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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
107,413 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #10

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 #9

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 #8

Nov 162011


  • 135,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the interior light of the dashboard and the center console malfunctioned. The contact had difficulty seeing the speedometer, fuel gauge and the clock while driving. The contact the contact did not take the vehicle to a dealer for inspection or repairs. The failure mileage was 135,000.

- Fallon, NV, USA

problem #7

Jul 012008


  • 100,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the headlights would shut off while driving at night. Also, the windows malfunctioned when the failure occurred and the contact was unable to open or close the windows. The dealer informed the contact to replace the radio. A private mechanic replaced the radio and two days after the radio was replaced, the failure recurred. The manufacturer was aware of the failure but did not offer any assistance. The current mileage was 207,000 and the failure mileage was 100,000.

- Decatur, GA, USA

problem #6

May 022011

Accord 4-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
In early 2011, I noticed that the backlights for the HVAC controls, radio, and gear shifter all went out. The cabin is completely dark when driving at night. When I contacted Honda, they said that this is an identified problem on some 2003-2004 Accord but that my car is excluded from the extended warranty. The repair is $1,000 which is not a reasonable cost for a manufacturer defect. It is very difficult to operate the vehicle at night without a properly lit cabin.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #5

Jan 052011


  • 40,000 miles
The failure occurs under regular driving whenever a rock or debris hits the fog light lenses causing it to crack or shatter. It has occurred 5 times in the last six years, and also hundreds of times to other Honda and Acura owners. The consequences include glass shards falling onto the road, and sometimes causes the bulbs to break and the fog lights to go out. The dealer replaces the fog light assembly with an identical unit which is also subject to the same problem. A simple solution would be to replace the glass lens with a hard plastic one (such as the one used on the headlamps) but Honda does not provide such a unit.

- Shrewsbury, MA, USA

problem #4

Oct 012009

Accord 6-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


2004 Honda exl V-6; headlights dim as a result of the eld issue which is Honda is fully aware of. The car works fine in every other aspect. Honda's explanation that this is normal and acceptable does not do anything to ease my concerns as the headlights flicker during nighttime driving. I am very disappointed that Honda is not taking the necessary steps to resolve this issue, as it is a very noticeable issue. Given the number of online postings and complaints filed directly to Honda over this issue, the NHTSA needs to apply some pressure to Honda to get them to resolve this dangerous situation on their Accord models.

- Lenexa, KS, USA

problem #3

Sep 162009


  • 43,890 miles
Turning signal for front and back of vehicle stopped working. Bulb and fuse are intact. Honda Accord ex 2004.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #2

Feb 032009


  • miles
The headlights on my 2004 Honda Accord go dimmer and brighter about every minute while driving or parked. This headlight problem only occurs when the A/C or defrost is on. I believe the extra load on the electrical system with these components turned on is causing the headlights to dim about every 60 seconds. It could be related to a fan or other engine component turning on and off, not sure. The dealer replaced my battery and checked the alternator but the problem still occurs. The dealer says it is normal for Honda Accord to do this, but I think there should be a recall. This is very distracting to myself and the drivers in front of me. It looks like I am flashing my lights.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #1

Nov 252004


  • 3,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. Ever since the vehicle was purchased, the low beam headlights are very dim. The dealer informed the contact that he would have to pay to have the vehicle diagnosed. The contact referenced three safety recalls: NHTSA campaign id numbers 06E023000, 073004000, and 07E031000 (exterior lighting:headlights). The current mileage was 45,000 and failure mileage was 3,000.

- Asheville , NC, USA

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