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:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
83,801 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #108

Dec 282010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 86,000 miles


On December 28, 2010 I was driving my car through the windy and snowy back roads of the adirondacks when suddenly the car began to slowly decelerate. Luckily there was a small shoulder where the snow was plowed off enough for me to pull over and call aaa. I had to wait 35 minutes on the side of this road in the middle of nowhere for my car to be towed. I purchased this car new in 2004 and have been the only driver since. It has been excellently maintained and always brought in for oil changes and checkups. This car, other than what happened on the 28th, is in perfect condition. I had my car towed to the nearest Honda dealership in plattsburgh New York. The next day the mechanic called me and said it was an internal failure of the transmission. He gave me three options, none of which are appealing. The first option costs $2,500 for a used transmission, second option costs $3,000 to rebuild the existing transmission and lastly $3,300 for a new transmission. Again, no option is appealing. When looking up the types of failures that other Honda Accord have had, this is right in line with them. It infuriates me to no end that this is not covered by warranty and that it will cost me over $3 thousand to fix this car. Prior to this problem, my immediate family has owned 6 Honda, needless to say, we won't be purchasing any more.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #107

Dec 232010


  • 96,517 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle began to decelerate but the engine continued to rev. The vehicle coasted to a stop. While shifted in drive, the vehicle moved in reverse and vice versa. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer who stated that the transmission was the cause of failure. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 96,517.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

problem #106

Nov 242010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 112,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord - transmission failure. Noticed high pitch whine the day prior to transmission failing while wife was on the interstate. Barely avoided collision while trying to move to breakdown lane.

- Stafford, CT, USA

problem #105

Nov 242010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 76,500 miles


My torque converter on my 2004 Accord is not working. This has caused the transmission to fail. My car was not accelerating while I was on the highway. The RPM would rev up but the car would not speed up.

- Denton, TX, USA

problem #104

Nov 182010


  • 90,900 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 50 mph the vehicle shifted in neutral on its own. She stated that the vehicle shifted back into drive on its own in less than a minute. After reaching her destination she parked the vehicle and within a few hours she stated that the vehicle began to function normally, but as she continued to drive the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who stated that the vehicle would not shift into second gear. The manufacturer and dealer were willing to pay 50 percent of the repair cost to replace the transmission. She referenced recall 04V176000, power train:automatic transmission and stated that her VIN was not part of the recall per the manufacturer. The failure and current mileages were 90,900.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #103

Nov 232010


  • 80,000 miles
The transmission failed while driving up the incline of an 8 lane bridge rending the car useless during heavy traffic. There was no emergency lane and cars were speeding by at 60 mph. If that's not dangerous and unsafe for everyone on the road, I don't what is..? luckily no one was hurt!! the car has been properly maintained..I have been informed that this was due to a torque converter failing and that Honda or no governing Agency is helping to make sure that the consumer is being helped with this very dangerous defect!!!!!!

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #102

Nov 022010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles


I was driving my 2004 Honda Accord ex V6 on the freeway at 65 mph. All of the sudden the car jerked and felt like it downshifted and the vehicle abruptly slowed from 65 mph to 30mph in a matter of seconds. Luckily there was not a car directly behind me and I was able to pull the car to the side of the road without an accident. If there had been someone directly behind me then there would have been a bad accident. This could have been extremely dangerous to anyone who was on the road with me.

- Katy , TX, USA

problem #101

Oct 222010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
My 2004 Accord V6, 117K miles...transmission slipped on Thursday of last week for the first time, and by Saturday the vehicle was inoperable. Car revved with no acceleration while driving in traffic at 50 mph, was on a highway ramp with traffic all around me, very dangerous. It continued to sputter and slip, then would not go into reverse once parked. I just called the dealer and they denied knowledge of any problem with the transmissions on this problem and told me to "be careful what you read on the internet." This is my second, but last Honda. I bought Honda because of their supposed reliability. This is a dangerous problem and Honda should make concessions and own up to the problem. Someone will end up dead before this is over if they don't make this public. There is no warning that this problem is coming on. One minute the car is fine, the next you are in a dangerous situation.

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #100

Oct 202010


  • 77,000 miles
When starting, my 2004 Accord, a green D light came on then the car began to drive very roughly and without power. It was then that I found out about the recall on certain cars of that year, for the same problem, however, my VIN number was not included in the recall so the Honda dealer said in essence too bad that doesn't effect your car because your VIN wasn't included! now I'm going to have to pay to replace a transmission in a car with only 77,000 miles!

- East Lyme, CT, USA

problem #99

Jul 252009


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving approximately 50 mph, the contact accelerated and the transmission became extremely sluggish and began to slip gears in a jerking motion. The rpms began to increase. The contact drove to the side of road and then resumed with the continuous failure. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and two independent transmission shops for diagnosis. The technicians stated the failures were related to a defective part within the transmission. Currently, the vehicle was being diagnosed with a forth opinion. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure mileage was 150,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Lusby, MD, USA

problem #98

Oct 152010


  • 180,000 miles


Car goes into neutral while driving. Will not go back into drive mode unless car is turned off then turned back on.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #97

Feb 102009


  • 69,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord ex coupe starts jerking when I reach 3000rpm or going uphill. I cannot go faster than 40mph when this occurs. This happens almost daily.

- South San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #96

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 #95

Sep 202010


  • 102,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord trasmission failure.

- Pelham, AL, USA

problem #94

Sep 192010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 74,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord ex V6 with 74,000 miles had transmission failure on the freeway. I was going 65 mph and without warning the RPM's revved up to 6000, the transmission disengaged, and my car almost stopped. Fortunately, it went back into gear and I was able to pull over without any additional problems. I had my car towed to a local transmission repair shop and was told I needed a new transmission. I decided to have them rebuild it with a cost of $3,300 rather than install a brand new one due to the expense. I am so grateful there was no one in back of me on the freeway but I am extremely upset that I need a new transmission at only 74,000 miles.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #93

Aug 272010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
When I exit the 87 freeway san jose ca and attempted to drive over the bridge on curtner street my transmission failed and stop moving forward. Then my car slip back a few foot because of the angle it was on. Luckily the car behind me stop or else I would of hit them. The end result Honda would not cover something that they know is common with their product and that is transmission.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #92

Sep 032010


  • 80,000 miles
My 2004 Honda Accord ex currently has 80,000 miles and needs a new transmission. Research on the internet found that many other customers are having the same problem. Please do something to hold Honda responsible.

- Marmora, NJ, USA

problem #91

Sep 052010


  • 68,300 miles
Just happened Sept.5th. No action taken thus far.; 2004 Honda Accord accelerated w/O my foot on gas and then w/I a few minutes, it wouldn't go at all. 3 women stuck on major 2 lane highway on the way back from beach on labor day week-end. Very dangerous and scary and unsafe. I would say that the transmission is faulty and that Honda is responsible for what could have been a major accident. I am concerned for the safety and well-being of other Honda Accord owners that are not aware of this safety issue. Police and tow truck were needed.

- Belmont, CA, USA

problem #90

Jun 232010


  • 111,376 miles
Transmission slipping while driving up hills or approaching slow turns, condition is getting worse by the day, occurring on a consistent basis, dealer said repair would be approx $3,000 and there was no recall on my VIN # mileage is 111,376.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #89

Aug 252010


  • 110,000 miles
Transmission failed.

- Springville, UT, USA

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