Notes: The 2004 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue ever since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially replaced the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
86,420 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Honda Accord electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #86

Feb 012011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles


My vehicle allows me to remove the key with it not in park. I know that this was a recall on 2003 Honda Accord but not 2004. I don't understand why this can happen. It will cost me upwards of $700 to fix a defect. It has been doing this behavior since I bought the vehicle back in 2011.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #85

Feb 172014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
The display for the climate control and radio light went out making it impossible to see what is happening as far as defrost and heat ext.. this is a safety issue as it is impossible to see what is going on with the climate control system, and out of the windshield. This needs to be a safety recall for this reason.

- North Stonington, CT, USA

problem #84

Jun 022014


  • miles
2004 Honda Accord. Consumer requests a vehicle recall for faulty radio wiring. The consumer stated a year ago, she began having problems with the radio. It would make a very loud pop and then go off. The audio would disappear, but the radio was still on. At times, there was a popping and hissing sound. The radio issue, occurred on an intermittent basis.

- Eagan, MN, USA

problem #83

Feb 022009


  • 40,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, the low beam, high beam and fog lights became dim. The failure was recurring and the instrument panel and radio lighting would also sporadically fail. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where it was indicated that the eld device in the fuse box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was also taken to an authorized dealer, who diagnosed that the fuse box needed to be replaced. The vehicle was to be inspected and repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 40000.

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #82

Apr 172014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 128,498 miles
I have noticed that when I try to turn on car there is a lost in connection and car won't turn on I have to turn the steering wheel in order for car to finally turn on. I think there is a problem with the ignition switch. I have done research and seems like other Honda owners have had the same problem. I'm just afraid that car will stop in the road while I'm driving.

- Lawrence, MA, USA

problem #81

Nov 052013


  • 159,000 miles
The radio and gear shift lights do not illuminate at all. Cd player ejects cd's immediately upon insertion of disc does not play at all.

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #80

Apr 122012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 94 miles


First, I called approximately two weeks ago and filed a complaint over the telephone. The man I talked to said he would follow up with an email to me, which he never did. He also said I would receive something by mail, which I never did. My name is [xxx] I would like to know what happened to that complaint" in short: My 2004 Honda Accord's transmission failed at 94K. Honda said my VIN was not part of the recall. Who did Honda make a deal with? I had to pay to have the trans rebuilt. Now going high speeds for long distances the dash board lights up, the D light blinks, the triangle comes on, the engine light comes on. Once the car cools down most lights go off and after 3 cycles, the engine light goes off. Auto zone came up with some P code that it was a sensor. The trans guy replaced it., I am still getting dashboard lights and this time I lost the speedometer. Someone said the trans is overheating. But then why the P code that it is a sensor electrical problem? if Honda is having such a big problem with this why isn't the highway safety commission getting involved? why doesn't everyone write to them and make a complaint? why aren't you getting involved with this issue? Honda put a bad product in their cars and the consumers are suffering. In 1970S Chevy put a small trans in a mid size car with plastic parts. After 3 transmissions and a trip to court the judge ordered they put a bigger trans in my car. Is this the same thing? this is a very serious problem with Honda and their transmissions and I would like to know why the consumers are getting the raw deal on this? the Honda dealership said they don't know anything about this problem" how can that be when there are so many complaints! information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Elmwood Pk, NJ, USA

problem #79

Jun 122013

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the air bag light warning illuminated. The contact stated that the vehicle was not taken to the dealer for inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 51,000. Updated 08/20/13 the consumer stated when he put his seat belt on, the air bag light went out. While the vehicle was running, he un-latched the seat belt, the air bag light illuminated and stayed on, after he put the seat belt on. Updated 08/22/13

- Hubbard, OH, USA

problem #78

Jul 102013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I received a recall notice for my 2004 Honda Accord. I work very long days and have very little time to get this recall completed. The problem is that the closest authorized Honda dealer is 70 miles away. This makes getting the work done very difficult. My complaint is that there should be circumstances that Honda allows others to fix these issues. Now, I may never be able to get this fixed and who knows what may happen to me or my car if that is the case...

- Alexandria, MN, USA

problem #77

Jun 182013


  • 100,010 miles
I started up my car after being parked for about 2 hours in normal conditions and the lcd display for the radio/clock/ac/heat/vents etc did not light up. I've had it checked and the only solution is an expensive one. One repair place also told me that this has been happening to a lot of Honda's lately.

- Skandia, MI, USA

problem #76

May 222013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 58,643 miles


Car just shut off when I stepped on the brake. Had to restart the car and it ran fine until I hit the brakes again. Now it shuts off or stalls whenever I use the brakes, turn signals, head lights, and high beam lights. Check engine light will flash rapidly and go out sometimes.

- Holly Springs, MS, USA

problem #75

Oct 102012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Light for instrument panel display quit working, making it impossible to read climate controls, defrosts, radio etc. This creates a safety hazard when needing to control these functions while driving.

- Fort Mill, SC, USA

problem #74

Dec 172012


  • 54,000 miles
Vehicle air conditioner drain hose improperly installed by factory, causing excessive water build up in A/C reservoir. Water drained onto vehicle ECU, causing corrosion. Engine started running poorly, followed by failure of ECU to recognize valid keys. Vehicle would not start and had to be towed. Problem could have easily cause stalling in interstate traffic. Internet searches show this to be a common problem due to the design and placement of the ac unit directly over the unprotected ECU.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #73

Nov 082011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle would stall sporadically and without warning. The contact stated that the instrument panel would illuminate as the failure occurred. The contact took the vehicle to a mechanic and was told that the ignition switch needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 114,000.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #72

Jan 292012


  • 250,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the instrument panel lighting would not illuminate. All of the gauges were operable but the lighting would not illuminate when driving the vehicle at night. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 250,000.

- Palm Bay , FL, USA

problem #71

Jan 032013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 940,000 miles
Low beam headlights wont work, systemic problem with Honda Motors 2003-2004 product line, many Pilot and civics recalled but not Accord. Must use same parts and engineering.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #70

Dec 222012

Accord 6-cyl Diesel

  • 84,500 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord had an engine fire caused by a defective high pressure power steering hose. The hose sprung a leak, spraying power steering fluid onto the engine, which caught fire. This defect is already the subject of NHTSA recall 12V-222, but inactivity and foot-dragging on Honda's part has caused this otherwise avoidable safety incident.

- Los Altos, CA, USA

problem #69

Sep 062012


  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord ex. The contact stated that the lights on the radio and cd audio had become inoperable. The dealer was not notified of the issue. The manufacturer was also not notified. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 131,000.

- Siloam, NC, USA

problem #68

Jan 032010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles
Light display went out that controls radio and HVAC components 2 years ago. Dark at night when driving and when the windows get fogged up you can not see the switch to turn on defrost because the printed circuit board has stopped working, so it requires you to turn on interior light to find the defrost button, this is very dangerous while driving at night. After researching last night I found Honda extended the warranty on this until 2011 or 100,000. So I called Honda and I was told I'm past the warranty it's whichever comes first (I never received a letter from Honda or it would have went in to get fixed) this in my opinion should be covered by the dealer as it could cause a fatality with someone fumbling with the interior lights just to get the defrost buttons on.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #67

Oct 132012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 84,216 miles
The lcd radio display went dark. Everything works but no dashboard information. This is a well documented problem and Honda issued a warranty extension. This should be a recall.

- Longwood, FL, USA

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