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:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 1
Average Mileage:
34,045 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Apr 122011


  • miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated the air bag light started flashing on and off a few months ago and is now on constantly. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer and was told that the seat position sensor had failed. The dealer mentioned NHTSA recall campaign id number: 07V001000 (air bags: Frontal: Sensor/control module), but the vehicle was not included. The failure mileage was unknown, but the current mileage was 57,000.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #26

Mar 012010

Accord 4-cyl

  • 48,000 miles
1. (the events) moving the driver's seat forward for my 5¿ tall wife and moving the seat all the way back when I drive, I am 6¿ tall, the air bag warning light will come on. 2. (the failure) air bag warning light, happens all the time, from just minutes at a time to days at a time, a failure of the sps causes the air bag system to default to full inflation pressure, regardless of the seat position. 3. (corrections made) none. I noticed a recall for this car ¿NHTSA campaign id number: 07V001000¿ and contacted Honda motor co. For recall repair information, they checked my VIN number and said that there were no recalls for this car. I connected my obd2 scanner to the car and there were no codes. I am not alone, checking different Honda forums, there are many Honda owners with this same problem.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 212010


  • 80,702 miles
I was driving to work on 9/21/2010. Traffic was coming to a stop and I began to apply my brake. Upon applying brake my vehicle accelerated causing me to rear end another vehicle. My air bags did not deploy and I'm not sure what my rate of speed was because I was trying to stop when the car accelerated. My front end is damaged to the tune of $4,886.08. After my accident I was confused about how it happened. I knew I had was paying attention on just didn't Ram into another car. I was on a street was several school bus stops and they where making their rounds. So speeding is not an option. I was talking with my fiance and he stated that this has happened to him once while driving my car. He did not have an accident, and also thought it may or may not have been operator error it kind of shocked and confused him as well. I'm going to have my vehicle checked while being repaired. I just want this looked into this was really scary and could have ended up much worse.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #24

Jan 042008


  • 50,000 miles


Summary: On certain vehicles, the seat position sensor (sps) detects the driver's seating position and adjusts the air bag inflation pressure accordingly. The wiring harness for the sps was attached to the seat frame in the wrong location and may have been over tightened. The sensor wire may break and cause the air bag warning light to be illuminated, and the sps to fail.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #23

Oct 012008

Accord 4-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord ex 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual, original owner. Had Honda handle the recall fix on driver front airbag when that recall was issued years ago. Everything ok per Honda and the dashboard indicators. Within the last 2 years the dashboard light for driver's front airbag will intermittently come on, stay on for entire trips. Haven't been able to connect its activation to any specific occurrence or regular pattern. Ask my independent mechanic about it and he referred me to the dealer. Haven't made an appointment. Any news from other owners?

- Nassau Bay, TX, USA

problem #22

Jun 012010


  • 80,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord ex started illuminating the front airbag on my instrument panel. I was wondering if this a unsafe warning about my airbags. I have read other complaints and it seems no one was reimbursed for fixing the problem, that is listed as a recall. Do we have any other means of getting it fixed?

- Forest, VA, USA

problem #21

Aug 012009


  • 97,000 miles


Over the past 10 months, starting approximately August 2009, the air light in my 2004 Honda Accord exl would intermittently come on then go back off. More recently, it comes on a daily basis. When I buckle my seatbelt and start the car it may appear and stay on the entire time while driving. Then when I stop and turn off the car then turn it back on, the light may or may not show up again. I found that there was a NHTSA campaign number: 07V001000 for 2004 Honda Accord. "component: Air bags:frontal:sensor/control module summary: On certain vehicles, the seat position sensor (sps) detects the driver's seating position and adjusts the air bag inflation pressure accordingly. The wiring harness for the sps was attached to the seat frame in the wrong location and may have been over tightened. The sensor wire may break and cause the air bag warning light to be illuminated, and the sps to fail. Consequence: A failure of the sps causes the air bag system to default to full inflation pressure, regardless of the seat position. Full deployment of the driver's air bag can increase the risk of injury for smaller drivers in a frontal crash. Remedy: Dealers will replace the seat position sensor wiring subharness. The recall will begin on or about February 8, 2007. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009." I contacted America Honda motor and they said that this recall was on the 2004 Accord LX and ex but not my exl model or my VIN number. I feel that my car is exhibiting the same issues and should have been included in the recall.

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #20

Jul 152008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the SRS (air bag) indicator illuminated in her vehicle. The dealer performed a diagnostic, but could not produce an error code. The dealer then reprogrammed the sensors in the driver's side air bag and the indicator dimmed. Recently, the contact noticed that the indicator was illuminated again. The dealer stated that the air bag needed to be replaced. She was informed that her VIN was excluded from NHTSA campaign id number 07V001000. The manufacturer confirmed that the VIN was excluded and offered no assistance. The current mileage was approximately 61,950 and failure mileage was approximately 51,000. Updated 4/28/09 updated 04/30/09.

- Maumee, OH, USA

problem #19

Jan 162009


  • 52,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact noticed that the wire underneath the driver's seat failed due to the air bag sensor module. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 07V001000 (air bags:frontal:sensor/control module). The vehicle will be repaired at the contact's expense. The failure and current mileages were 52,000.

- Eastmeadow, NY, USA

problem #18

Jul 222008


  • 38,620 miles
Air bags: Frontal:sensor/control module indicator light came on suddenly on July 22, 2008. Subsequent examination by Honda dealer service department revealed that the wiring harness for the sps which was attached to the seat frame was broken. Dealer denied any responsibility, as had Honda America, despite the fact that a recall announcement for this very problem was issued 1/2/2007 (NHTSA campaign number: 07V001000). They claim that my car's VIN # was not part of the recall which makes me responsible for fixing the problem.

- East Amherst, NY, USA

problem #17

Jul 072008


  • 57,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The contact noticed that the air bag warning light would sporadically illuminate on the instrument control panel. On one occasion, the light remained on for approximately 20 minutes. The dealer stated that her vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 07V001000 (air bags:frontal:sensor/control module); therefore, the contact would be responsible for the repair costs. The manufacturer did not provide any assistance. The failure and current mileages were 57,000.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #16

May 142008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 100,112 miles
On May 14, 2008, I brought my 2004 Honda Accord ex to my local Honda dealer because the SRS (airbag) indicator came on and remained on during operation. The dealer charged me $263 for replacing the wiring harness under the driver's seat. I believe that the repair should have been completed at no charge because there is an outstanding NHTSA recall (07V001000) that specifically refers to the SRS indicator and problems with the wiring harness for 2004 Honda Accord models. My service rep at the dealership said that the VIN on my car did not fall in the VIN range for the recall, but the documentation for NHTSA recall 07V001000 does not specify a range of vins for 2004 models, only for 2005 models. I am asking that the NHTSA clarify and/or expand the VIN range for 2004 Honda Accord to include my vehicle and that the dealer reimburse me for the charges I have already paid.

- Prescott, WI, USA

problem #15

Apr 122008

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,169 miles
On Saturday 04/12/08 my wife and 12 month boy were involved in an accident, with another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign. My wife did not have time to really apply her brakes and had a head on collision with the drivers side of the other persons vehicle. My wife's airbags in our 04 Honda Accord did not deploy. My wife broke her bone in her left hand in four places and we are waiting to see if she will need bone pins to rectify her injury. My son "thank god" was uninjured. If they can repair our vehicle, we feel that our vehicle would be unsafe to operate on a daily basis due to the airbags not deploying in this accident. My wife and myself are self employed and are now both unable to work at this time due to her injury and the daily care of our 12 month old boy.

- Jonesboro, AR, USA

problem #14

Jan 012007

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Honda Accord LX V6 with safety recalls** while accelerating from a stop, the automatic transmission exhibited a problem shifting into second gear. The consumer did some research online and found a NHTSA recall (O4V176000) which addressed the problem the consumer was having with the vehicle. The consumer also found a recall on the frontal air bags (04V551000). The consumer never received any recall notices.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 082006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There is a recall on my 2004 Honda Accord drivers side air bag. In February I contacted Honda in torrance California according to instructions explaining my situation. I am teaching overseas in a dod school and needed to get a european Honda dealer to fix the car. They said just contact the european dealer. I did and after 3 months said they did not have the proper bag. They would have to order it from the usa. I have not heard back from them after two inquiries. Again I called torrance California(american Honda headquarters. This time July 2006, the girl said, oh yes you did call in February. Can I speak to a supervisor. No. she would send it to a case manager. About one week later a manager calls my wife at work and tells her they only have brown and grey air bags no black ones in the entire usa. And they do not know when they will get them in if at all. She said our car's entire interior is black we need to have black to maintain the quality in case we have to sell the car. No way is this possible. You can have the grey or take a chance on the one you have being defective. This is absurd. How can I get them to send me the airbag and I can walk it to the dealer so I can get this fixed since they are unable to and do not care whether it gets done or if there is any danger involved. It was purchased at southeastern Honda in Florida. 2004 Honda Accord LX silver with totally black interior. Trying to argue with this guy is difficult from germany. Is there anyway you can rectify this.

- Apo Ae, AE, USA

problem #12

Sep 062005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While traveling at 35mph, my 2004 Honda Accord ex crashed into a stopped vehicle. No airbags deployed. Driver was sole occupant of the Honda. Captiol Honda of mcminnville, or, was not able to determine why the driver airbag did not deploy, but determined that both front sensors and the driver side airbag had to be replaced. (NHTSA recall 04V551000 was completed Dec 2004.)

- Cornelius, OR, USA

problem #11

Oct 282005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
Contact states the driver's side air bag deployed in her mother's vehicle without an accident occurring. Her mother was driving slowly coming up on an intersection. She did not hit anything prior to this incident. The dealer stated they saw a scratch on the bottom of the driver's door that might have indicated she hit something in the road. Her mother states she was injured, but has not gone to the doctor.

- Boca-Raton, FL, USA

problem #10

Dec 312004


  • miles
Info copy of ltr addressed to american Honda and Honda cars of columbia atty represent client luegenia mcclurkin died from traumatic injuries automobile collision 12/31/2004 re: Defective air bags. Answer required**. the air bag was torn when it deployed. There is also a question as to whether the air bag may have deployed inadvertently and caused the accident. Recall #04V551000 was issued December 2004.

- Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #9

Oct 112005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. The consumer was involved in a car accident on 10-11-05. The consumer was sitting still and an another vehicle hit consumer's vehicle in the rear while going 45 mph and pushed it into the car in front. It was a four car accident. There was more damage done to the rear than to the front of the vehicle. The contact was not immediately injured. Her knee did hit the steering column, but she was not initially injured by this. The contact was alone in the car. Upon impact, the driver's air bag did not deploy. The contact has not yet spoken to the dealer or the manufacturer, but planned to. Do so. The car was totaled. A police report was taken. The accident was reported to the insurance company. Updated 11/16/05.

- Monterey Park, CA, USA

problem #8

Jul 292005


  • miles
Consumer was broadsided by a pickup causing a collision with another vehicle both side air bags deployed, the driver side front air bag did not deploy. After the consumer was broadsided the vehicle continued forward striking a telephone pole head on. The consumer received a recall notice prior to the accident and did comply with the recall. The air bag that was mentioned in the recall was the very air bag which had supposedly been serviced. Recall# 04V551000.

- Erie, PA, USA

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