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:
18 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 1
Average Mileage:
63,558 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #48

Apr 222016


  • 39,655 miles


The contact owned a 2004 Honda Accord. While accelerating from a stop, the vehicle sped off without warning. The contact lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a retaining wall. The air bags deployed. The driver sustained injuries to the ribs and had a lot of internal bruising, including lacerations from the air bag deployment. The injuries required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to a tow lot. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 39,655.

- Roseville, MN, USA

problem #47

Mar 252016


  • 54,000 miles
4 cylinder automatic transmission started slipping during acceleration from a complete stop. Transmission would cause the car to her forward when breaking and after coming to a complete stop. The transmission completely failed at just over 54,000 miles and will not upshift. The car will only go about 20 mph, when the accelerator is engaged, it only revs up the engine and the vehicle redlines, the transmission will not shift into a higher gear.

- Edgewood, NM, USA

problem #46

Oct 192015


  • 120,056 miles
As I merged into a freeway lane, my 2004 Honda transmission failed causing me to nearly be rear ended by an oncoming vehicle.

- Porterville, CA, USA

problem #45

Feb 172015


  • 115,000 miles


As I was driving my car would not shift gears. Specifically, I was driving on the freeway the car went from 60 mph down to 35 mph and would not slip into gear. This happened as I tried to accelerate to merge onto another freeway. It seemed as though the car was stuck in neutral which it was not. This was very dangerous because as other vehicles were traveling at high speeds my car nearly came to a halt on the freeway. Luckily, I prayed my way into gear and it worked. It was quite scary since I was traveling with my child I easily could of been rear ended. No sensor lights turned on, there were no warning lights. My car has been serviced routinely and 2 days later it happened again. It is now at the dealership. When I read up on the problem it seems to be common. On one site I saw over 200 complaints for the same complaints and same make of the car. I can only imagine how many more complaints there have been. I hope that the federal Agency and Honda act responsibly and pay for the recall on these transmission problems.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #44

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 #43

Nov 152014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord V6 transmission decided to die on Saturday November the 15th. I was driving on the interstate when I realized the RPM's were going up, but I wasn't getting any acceleration. I pulled over to check my transmission fluid, oil and etc. Everything was good. So I start back on the road trying to make it to my destination. The next thing I know I heard what sounded like a chain breaking off and the car jumped back like I was gearing down really low. I hit my head on the steering wheel and blacked out for a minute. Thankfully I had someone with me and they grabbed the steering wheel and directed us off the interstate. We lifted the hood once again and could smell something burnt. We were able to get it to a mechanic who said the transmission had failed. We had no issues prior to the date the transmission failed. I'm extremely upset by this. The car had been taken care of and maintained regularly. My family is Honda enthusiast and have never had problems. That is why we always bought Honda's, for their reliability. I think Honda needs to make this right and have the transmission fixed. From what I've read this has been a major problem affecting tons and the transmission has been recalled. I thank god I didn't kill or hurt anyone during this ordeal.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #42

Sep 142013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 78,061 miles


While I were driving locals, I notice a sudden drop in speed and spike in RPM. When I tried to accelerate, only RPM would go up and the car would not shift to higher gear. This happened without any warnings. No engine light. Nothing. If this happened in the freeway, it would have been very serious situation. I also noticed numerous 2003 2004 Honda Accord owners to have similar problems. This is definitely manufacturer's fault. I had to rebuild the transmission which came out to be $1820. This is serious situation.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #41

Jun 172014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 112,500 miles
My daughter was driving on the freeway and without stepping on the gas, the car kept accelerating. When she tried to brake to slow down, the car would shudder and kept trying to accelerate. It was not a floor mat problem. She got up to 85mph!! she had to down shift (automatic transmission) to try and slow down to get off the freeway in yorba linda, ca. Thankfully, she got off safely and managed to stop the car. She had aaa tow the car home. Even the tow truck driver could not get the car in neutral and said he felt the car revving. Sounds just like the Toyota incidents, but was not aware of Honda having this issue. This is very serious!!! so very grateful that my daughter did not get hurt or injure anyone else. I know this is not a mistake of pressing the wrong pedal. Is there any other problems with Honda like this? we will be towing the car to our mechanic soon.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #40

Jun 102014


  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the vehicle quickly accelerated in backward when the vehicle was placed in reverse. The vehicle came to a complete stop when it crashed into another vehicle. The speed was unknown. There were no injuries and no police report was filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 106,000.

- Glenn Allen, VA, USA

problem #39

May 272014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 39,900 miles
Pulled up to a boulevard stop in a subdivision; made a complete stop and then made a left-hand turn. Auto began accelerating to a tremendous speed and I was unable to stop it. Within 2 blocks, I turned off the ignition and shifted into park and auto kept on accelerating. I came to a dead end and had to made a left turn and, at the speed I was going, the turn ended up a 2-wheel turn. After about 50 feet the auto finally came to a stop.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #38

Apr 272014

Accord 4-cyl

  • miles


I was parking my car in a parking lot when my 2004 Honda Accord suddenly accelerated, jumped a curb and hit a car. The air bag did not go off. I had muscle strain in the neck and had to go to physical therapy. There was no occupant in the other car. Honda claimed to check for equipment malfunction after the repair and said everything was working correctly.

- Newington, CT, USA

problem #37

Mar 252014


  • 155,000 miles
Upon entering the expressway (from the entrance ramp), I engaged the accelerator (gas pedal) to transition into existing traffic. Upon reaching an adequate speed, I quickly began to approach a car in front of me (this was during morning rush hour). I needed to apply a bit of pressure to the brakes to react to flow of traffic - and upon taking my foot off the brake, realized that my car was still accelerating. I quickly reapplied pressure to the brakes and tried to use my left foot to "un-jam" the accelerator. I did not look to see what might have caused the accelerator to stick, as I was focused on the road in front of me. I then applied heavy pressure to the brakes, engaged the emergency brake, and turned off the ignition. I was able to coast to the shoulder without further incident - though this could have been a very serious incident under different conditions or had a driver not reacted in the same manner.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #36

Aug 112013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
August: 1st. Driving home shifted into 1st gear to go from a stop light. Car hesitated, began to go real slow even when trying to accelerate. Pushed gas pedal all the way to floor car did not go any faster. RPM were revving up as if the car was going faster. Went into 2nd gear....the same. Check engine and tcs light was on. Turned off car 15min later the tcs light was off but check engine light was still on. Stayed on for about 2 days. Got codes check, it stated it was all misfires. 300-306. Reset. September: On the 15 fwy South on a Sunday in September with my mother and kids going around 70mph in fast lane. Car then lost power instantly. Went down to 40mph car began to jerk and sputter. Had to put on hazard light and get off fwy as safe as possible. Very dangerous!!!!! stop and called aaa. Engine codes read again. Codes were: PO300, PO3001, PO302, PO303, PO304, PO305, PO306, .P2138. Shut off car waited 30mins and car drove fine and tcs light went off, the check engine light went off later. Took car to Honda specialist and they said it was the misfire of 1st coil spring. Got that replaced along with fuel injection cleaning and oil change. November-January: Car running sluggish. Honda dealer says nothing is wrong. Taking off sluggish. Check engine light flashes on and off from time to time. Feb 13th driving home on 210 fwy East at 8:30P. Going 70mph in 6the gear cruising and car instantly looses power again to 30 mph. Making cars swerve around me. Had to pull off fwy very slow with hazard lights on. Car began to sputter and jerk. Feb16. Check engine and tcs light turned on while stopped at stop light. Car lost power and slowly turned into intersection. Pulled over. This is now becoming a safety hazard for my son and I and no one can give us answers and keep fixing things that aren't fixing the problem. Please help!

- Rialtto, CA, USA

problem #35

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 #34

Feb 212013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
I had a sudden fallen transmission problem while I was driving the car started jerking and loose speed due to the transmission not putting in the gears it got over heated fast and I was in traffic and had a stranger help me push it to the side and aaa towed it to my home then the next morning towed it to the dealer and the dealer said I need a new transmission after reading comments on motor Honda failed to send me a recall notice about my transmission. The 2004 accordv6 obviously have transmission defects and I want my transmission paid for from Honda im really upset and Honda Corp. Needs to pay for this.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #33

Jan 182013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 94,000 miles
I was driving on the interstate when all of a sudden I was no longer able to accelerate. The car jerked when I tried to accelerate or brake. I was able to steer it off onto the side of the road. After taking it in to get it looked at, I was told it is the transmission. According to several articles online and mechanic at the shop I took it too, 2004 Honda Accord are known for having weak transmissions. It was so unexpected and I take car of my car. I felt completely unsafe trying to get it off the interstate going 20 miles an hour as it jerked along and apparently people already know about this issue?? I have just had the car for a year now and bought it from a Honda dealership. Not a word was said to me about the issues with these models or safety recalls for several Honda models made in 2004 - but apparently not mine.

- Nashville, TN, USA

problem #32

Nov 242012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 168,519 miles
I was driving the highway and merging on an uphill ramp, the transmission raced and the car lost speed. About 20 miles later, I could feel something wrong with maintaining my speed and there was hesitation. Another 20 miles later, I lost all forward movement in drive and left the highway. I was able to go another few miles on a side street in 2nd gear and then the car stalled in the middle of the street. The transmission is completely lost.

- Westlake, OH, USA

problem #31

Oct 052012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
Transmission has been accelerating very fast overheating, slipping, it appears the transmission fluid have been leaking however I took it in for service about a month ago and everything was fine. My dealership from February 13, 2012 September 28, 2012 commonwealth Honda has been claiming there is nothing wrong with this transmission the suspension or the timing belt. They performed service and all of them they claim everything is fine. Now less than 30 days later my transmission is broken. A vehicle with just got problems should not continue to be resold.

- Methuen, MA, USA

problem #30

Apr 012012

Accord 4-cyl

  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving slowly to park the vehicle, it lunged forward and crashed into a wooden fence. The failure recurred several times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for a diagnosis and the contact was informed that the throttle was faulty and would need to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 31,000 and the current mileage was 32,000...updated08-30-12 updated 09/07/2012

- Sebastian, FL, USA

problem #29

Sep 052011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the vehicle suddenly accelerated when the brakes were applied. The transmission appeared to slip or skip since the sudden acceleration failure occurred. The vehicle was not inspected by the dealer. The failure mileage was 73,100.

- Indicott, NY, USA

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