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 1 of 6)

problem #106

Mar 222016


  • 159,000 miles


I purchase a car from sunshine auto new link finance on West Tennessee St tallahassee fl on March 22 2016 I purchase this auto off good faith from the sale women and owner after taking vehicle home I notice the vehicle was barely pulling like it was low on fluids I also notice 2 recalls air bags N one back seat beat working as require by law it was also pently motion on highway turning N riding down road this company runs a fuard scams N owner claims he always out state N bussiness closed down after fuard customer out there money comany has been under 8 differnt name since 2011 please feel free to call 8507021381 any more questions

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #105

Mar 012016


  • 140,000 miles
The panel lights on the radio has went out. I can't recall if it happened while I was driving or not, but I noticed it while driving. In the 2004 Honda Accord, the ac, radio, & clock share the same display. It was raining the other night while I was driving and my windows fogged up. It was impossible to find the defrost button at night since all the display lights stop working. This is a big safety issue and hopefully Honda will step up to the plate and fix this issue to ensure their customers are safe while driving their vehicles.

- Thomasville, NC, USA

problem #104

Aug 152015


  • 252,869 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While the vehicle was parked, the air bag warning light illuminated and the radio failed to function. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the brake pads, dome light, and multiple parts needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired; however, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 252,869.

- Wichita, KS, USA

problem #103

Apr 032014


  • 141,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 35 mph, the instrument panel failed to function. As a result, all the meters and gauges displayed incorrect readings. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the circuit board needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 141,000.

- Millers Creek, NC, USA

problem #102

Dec 222015


  • 150,000 miles
The headlights flicker between normal output and dim output making it very difficult to verify if the headlights are even operational at times much less see in front of you while driving. It looks as if the headlights are rapidly turning off and on. This has been happening since the car was brand new but every time it's taken to a Honda dealership, they don't know what the issue is. I have paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars repairing random things Honda "thinks" might fix the problem but it's still a major issue that affects safety of the Honda driver, passengers and other drivers on the road.

- Goodlettsville, TN, USA

problem #101

Mar 012013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 157,247 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 45 mph, the air bag warning light illuminated when the consumer hit a bump in the road. The vehicle was serviced under NHTSA campaign number: 14V700000 (air bags), but the remedy failed. The contact mentioned that the air bag warning light continued to illuminate after the recall repair. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 157,247. Also, the battery was replaced and there was an issue with the driver's side seat belt buckle. Updated 10/26/15.....updated 11/02/15

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #100

Jan 132015


  • miles


The unit lights behind the radio knobs, A/C functions etc. Has gone out. It is a consistent issure with these Honda's. Honda is requiring almost a $1000 to fix. Read the customers reviews online..its a common issue.

- Macon, GA, USA

problem #99

May 012015

Accord 4-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Radio stopped playing music and makes loud cracking noise that is startling when driving. When searching for solutions online, it was suggested "a chip for the audio output has failed and exploded on the internal printed circuit board." There are hundreds of complaints posted online by other Honda Accord owners. Honda won't fix and some comments say that the non-dealer mechanics have further damaged the vehicle when trying fix the issue. The costs to possibly fix with chances of causing more damage is greater than $500. If it's not a common issue, Honda should take responsibility and correct the issue. It is dangerously loud sometimes and causes me to lose Focus on the road.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #98

May 282015


  • 98,703 miles
Air bags replaced, after picking up car from Honda dealer; car will not start. Appears something is sucking all the juice so starter does not have enough power to start. Car worked great before (besides the kill people at low speeds thing), handed over to Honda, now wont start. Mind you this car was actually recalled in 2014 but only just now received new bags. Very un-pleased with the way Honda handled this very scary situation.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #97

May 132015


  • miles
While driving the vehicle at night, I experienced a spontaneous total electrical failure when switching the dash control which powers the digital thermometer/odometer control. This effected headlights, steering and braking, as if the car was turned completely off, but I was able to coast toward the road shoulder.

- Avon, CT, USA

problem #96

Apr 272015


  • 134,000 miles


This reported issue is not specific to my 2004 Honda Accord, but applies to many vehicles. On almost a weekly basis, I see people driving their cars at night on freeways and city streets without their lights on, posing a danger to other motorists who might not see them. I believe the cause of this can be solved simply: Change the light switch to not illuminate the dashboard unless the lights are on. My car always has its dashboard illuminated, regardless of whether the lights are on or not. There is a small "idiot light" of a green headlight when the lights are on, but it hardly noticeable. If instead the car's dashboard would be dark when the lights aren't on (like in 25+ year-old cars), I believe most drivers would be much less likely to forget to turn their lights on -- do you agree?

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #95

Mar 312015


  • 97,264 miles
Honda Accord was at a complete stop when rear ended by another vehicle. The air bag sensor did come on but the air bag did not deploy. The air bag sensor remains on after impact.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #94

Mar 262015

Accord 4-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
Battery light continually flickers intermittently. When the battery light flickers, my headlights get very dim, my A/C fans fluctuate in speed, and my aftermarket stereo amplifiers (2) cut out. When it first happened, I immediately took my vehicle to an auto parts store where they tested the battery, starter, and alternator. Battery had a dead cell but was still holding a charge. Starter and alternator tested ok. I bought a new battery on the spot. That did not correct the problem. I have brought the vehicle to get checked at multiple auto parts stores and the auto repair shop. No one can find anything wrong. Every day seems to get a little worse. It has gotten to the point where the battery light is always on and the car loses power intermittently along with all of the other symptoms I have already listed.

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #93

Feb 122015

Accord 6-cyl

  • 198,000 miles
The display where the heater and radio is does not light up, we just purchased this veh 2/12/15... I tried to drive it last night and it's a safety issue after dark, U can't see to turn knobs/buttons or any thing to do w/the heater....U have to turn overhead done lights on to see the buttons, it's very dangerous.

- Pomeroy , OH, USA

problem #92

Feb 102015


  • 143,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving 60 mph, the instrument panel lighting failed to illuminate. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the circuit board needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 143,000. The VIN was not available.

- Pinehurst, GA, USA

problem #91

Feb 042015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to start. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the battery needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Wichita , KS, USA

problem #90

Oct 072013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
Another death could be avoided, this car was recalled in 2014 too late for ea domination of the car, and now after speaking with attorneys again the air bars are involved. Our son was so evict rated that there was nothing to do, pronounced dead at the scene. Emt's were helpless, he lost his face and his chest. No protection from this vehicle, pleas notify others. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Vineyard Haven , MA, USA

problem #89

Dec 292014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 57,000 miles
I got back in my car in the parking lot at wal-mart and the center console display is no longer lighted. This is a safety concern because if the windows fog up and it is dark, you cannot see the buttons. The center of the car that should be lighted is completely dark. Honda dealer where I bought the car wants to charge $115 for a diagnostic test. I read where the warranty for this was extended to 7 years or 100,000 miles. My car should be covered, but the Honda dealer says no.

- Loganville, GA, USA

problem #88

Nov 202014


  • miles
I was driving my normal route and coming up on my right turn. The dashboard lights and all interior lights of my car went black and I was unable to steer my car. Within seconds I tried to brake. My pedal went directly to the floor and my brakes never engaged. I had no steering and no brakes going 55mph (forcing me through a red light). I was T-boned by a SUV at 60mph (no skid marks for either of us)- a full impact crash. My side of the car was destroyed, my car sent spinning into and taking out a pole, and then my car spun down an embankment. The next thing I remember is being cut out of my car and then nothing past that. I spent the next 5-6 days at 2 different hospitals. I suffered lung/heart/body trauma (especially due to airbag and seatbelt) and a major concussion. Wherever the airbag hit and seatbelt lay- I'm a rainbow of colors. I am looking at a lengthy recovery and unable to return to work for a few weeks, unable to take college finals, nor can I return to college next semester due to heart trauma. My husband and I had moments of brake and steering problems sporadically/occasionally in the last few months. Each time we took in our car we were told "we can't find any problems". and the notorious: "there are no recalls for your brakes". we have four children and this incident has affected each of us.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #87

Oct 202014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
Hi, the Honda knock sensor harness wire is made with low-grade material, which is getting snapped or cut due to engine heat or attracting vermin as per blogs, as being soya based. The part number for Accord V6: P/N 30531-rca-A00 H/C 7134133 or Odyssey, Pilot: P/N 30531-P8F-A00 H/C 5878327. This wire cost is $5-$6 but it takes about $600 to $700 to replace in local dealership with engine malfunction happening with P0325 code which indicates knock sensor malfunction. The sensor failing suddenly with out warning is causing untold hard ships to all the Honda owners and its needs to be fixed immediately to avoid severe engine damage and over heating. So I am requesting NHTSA to investigate and request Honda to issue an recall of this small 3inch wire and avoid headaches to the common people. I also see lot of people with Acura, Honda Accord, ody have reported with Honda of this problem from year 2004 and find below is a copy of the letter from a blog. That it was reported with Sept 10,2004 with case no B012004-09-07011 to american Honda motor co.,1919 torrance blvd.,torrance, ca 90501 the url is:

- Springfield, VA, USA

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