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 4 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #46

Jan 082012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 119,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While parked, the contact noticed that the lights on the heating and air conditioning panel would not illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician stated that the panel would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 119,000. Updated 4/2/12

- Rocherster, NY, USA

problem #45

Mar 052012

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
The display has gone out. This is a known fact for Honda. They extended the warranty. Many experience after the warranty. Circuit board is faulty and they know it, why not replace it for owners who spent money on their product. This takes away from some visibility inside vehicle. I'm told it may be a heat issue...

- Toledo, OH, USA

problem #44

Feb 012012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Ignition problem- can not turn key in ignition switch, can not turn on car. Left me stranded several times. When searching complaints there has been previous complaints for same problem. Why no recall for problem. I am told it would be very expensive to fix. Air bag light keeps coming on- I have never received any recall notice.

- Hollister, CA, USA

problem #43

Apr 202011


  • 90,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the radio will power on and off on its own and while the radio was turned off it began trying to eject compact disc although nothing was in the cd player. The dealer was contacted and stated they were not aware of the problem. The vehicle failure was not diagnosed nor repaired. The contact does not feel safe driving the vehicle. The failure mileage was 90,000 and the current mileage was 105,000.

- Belton, SC, USA

problem #42

Oct 012011

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles
All lights of display box (for radio, A/C, audio, car info, temperature, clock, etc), display panel, and backlights of all switches on that box, such as heater on/off, A/C, front and rear defroster, temperature, and all controls about electronics, are gone, I.e. not displayed. Functions are working but backlight isn't working. It is a serious problem for safety. For example, in the night when you drive highway, you can't find the defroster switch to turn on to remove fog of rear window. You can't adjust the channel at the night when you need to hear emergency radio channel. No info about car at all. Honda admitted that it had a problem and so they extended the warrant period, but this problem appeared irregularly. For me, just after passing the warrant period they said (100K). It should be recalled. I found a lot of complaints and same issues in the internet. Please investigate and ask Honda to fix this problem whatever their warrant period. Thank you for your effort!

- Princeton, NJ, USA

problem #41

Sep 012011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
The interior lighting on the radio and other components went out. It is dangerous to be driving and trying to figure out where fan and other buttons are in the dark. I should not need to use a flashlight to figure out how to clear fog from the windows. If I have a related accident my insurance company would consider it my fault even though it is a design or manufacturing defect.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #40

Jan 052012


  • 55,000 miles


The air bag warning indicator is illuminated spontaneously regardless if the vehicle was in motion or at start-up and whether the front passenger seat was occupied or unoccupied. The recall 07V001000 (air bags: Frontal: Sensor/control module) does not include my VIN.

- Germantwon, MD, USA

problem #39

Apr 072009

Accord 4-cyl

  • 85,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact started the vehicle and noticed that the headlights were activated and the instrument panel lights failed to illuminate. The contact planned to take the vehicle to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 85,000. Updated 03/23/12 updated 04/09/12

- El Sobrante, CA, USA

problem #38

Dec 302011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
On December 30, 2011 the back-light on my radio stereo as well as the A/C panel went out. This poses a safety issue because 1. during storms or bad weather, I cannot see what station to turn the radio for tornado warnings or weather updates. 2. to adjust A/C or heater settings, I must take my Focus off the road to turn on the overhead light and adjust settings. 3. in weather conditions such as high fog or where you need to use a defrost, I must must take my Focus off the road to turn on the overhead light and adjust settings.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #37

Jan 142012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
The consult circuit board that lights up where to find the defroster, heater, stereo, ac is totally dark. This is a safety issue and I must turn on a light to see the controls and I feel this is a great safety issue and should be a recall for all Honda's since I have read on line how many people had this problem. I was never notified by Honda that they would fix it free (possible) if you get your car there before 7yrs or 100,000 miles but they keep that very quiet. I was so busy paying to keep my home and Honda never sent me any word on this and problem.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #36

Dec 012011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Smells burning when use heated seats, something is burning. Passenger seat, we are afraid of fire, , we stopped using it.

- Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #35

Nov 292011


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the lights on the instrument panel failed to function. The dealer nor the manufacturer were notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 102,000.

- Peoira, AZ, USA

problem #34

Feb 012011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the interior lights failed and he was unable to see the heat, defrost, radio and hazard lights while driving at night. The dealer advised the contact to have the control board replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure however, offered no assistance. No repairs were performed. The current mileage was 157,745 and the failure mileage was unknown.

- Elkton, MD, USA

problem #33

Aug 222011


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the instrumental panel circuit board failed. The instrumental panel and interior lights would not come on. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 112,000.

- Miami , FL, USA

problem #32

Aug 052008


  • 160,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled due to the anti-theft system. As a result, the contact was unable to unlock the doors or start the vehicle. In order to enter the vehicle, the contact had to climb through the window. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer, where the contact was informed that the vehicle needed new ignition keys and needed to have its computer reprogrammed. The contact also stated that there were numerous complaints regarding the anti-theft system on the internet. The failure mileage was 160,000.

- Millinocket, ME, USA

problem #31

Jul 062011


  • 88,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the key would not turn in the ignition. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic where the contact was informed that the ignition cylinder needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure, but offered no assistance. The approximate failure mileage was 88,000.

- Rockville Centre, NY, USA

problem #30

Jun 112011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I purchased a 2004 Honda Accord in October of 2008, the car was running and functioning well until the year 2010 where I started to have problems with the radio not working, the transmission failed and now in 2011 had to replace the sop ECM (per Honda dealer the memory card of the car), I have spent more than $6,000 on this car because I had so many major a minor problems with it. And even though I have followed the schedule maintenance visits to the dealer this car still reflecting problems. I have gotten everything fixed till this moment and im afraid the car will still give me problems in the future.

- Pa, PA, USA

problem #29

Aug 012010


  • 46,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 20 mph, the radio blinked off and turned back on. The vehicle had not been inspected or repaired. The current mileage was 47,657. The failure mileage was approximately 46,000.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #28

Sep 012010


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 40 mph, the vehicle shook. When the contact took her foot off the accelerator pedal, the shaking stopped. The failure occurred over fifty times. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer several times where the spark plugs and egr valve were replaced and the software was updated. The failure continued and could not be duplicated. The failure mileage was approximately 86,000 and the current mileage was approximately 88,000.

- Oak Ridge, NC, USA

problem #27

Jul 022010


  • 87,000 miles
When turn on the A/C, left side blows very hot air, and passenger side blows cool air. I turned the A/C to full (all the way to blue) but still getting extremely hot air from left side while my wife (in passenger) started complaining that she is shivering.

- Cary, NC, USA

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