ANNOUNCEMENT: The Car Book 2018 is now online!

Ratings on over 1,000 new & used models going back 5 years, from the Center from Auto Safety. Learn more about The Car Book 2018 here. 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 6 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #48

Aug 052009


  • 88,350 miles


My 2004 Honda Accord ex V6 has about 88K on it. While driving at about 45miles/per hour the car started jerking, then it started revving the engine, increasing the RPM's to 5000 revs even when my foot was not on the gas pedal. The car wouldn't go faster than 15/miles per hour. Its been taken to a mechanic where they said the transmission is gone and needs to be replaced. I was shocked because I've never heard of a car's transmission failing before hitting 100K, let alone a Honda which is supposed to be reliable. I went online and found 100's of complaints about the 2004 Honda Accord with transmission problems, and one of the post led me to this website. I'm a very careful driver and most of the mileage put on the car has been highway miles. I called a local dealer and they said they couldn't do anything about this and to replace the transmission would cost me about $3500. Please help in this case as I'm sure you've gotten similar complaints about this vehicle which leads me to believe that Honda needs to have some type of recall.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #47

Jul 222009


  • 44,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord with 44K miles needs transmission replaced. Contacted Honda customer care. There is a recall for some 2004 Accord for faulty transmission that could result in serious accident (NHTSA: 04V176000). Honda says our VIN does not qualify for recall. Car was purchased brand new from Honda dealer and all routine maintenance has been completed on schedule and all work done by Honda dealership. This is not normal for a brand new car, with all routine maintenance work completed, to require a total transmission replacement with only 44 K miles. Honda has agreed to pay 60% of the repair costs. Honda is aware of the manufacturing defect with these transmissions (ie, the recall). The defect investigation should be extended to additional Honda VIN's as there is obviously more cars with faulty transmissions that could lead to serious injuries.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #46

Jul 202009


  • 92,000 miles
Commuting to work in the morning, when I was getting on the freeway the car seemed to slip out of gear. The RPM's went very high (7K), but I couldn't accelerate at all. I coasted for a while and was eventually able to accelerate normally again. The car behaved normally the rest of the time on the freeway, but had the same thing happen again after I exited the freeway. After stopping at an intersection, I couldn't get out of 1st gear for a while. After work, I drove the car around the back streets for a little to see if I thought I could get home, figuring that once I got on the freeway, everything would be fine. After a few miles on the freeway, it happened again. I couldn't accelerate at all, and had to cut across 4 lanes with just my momentum to pull over on the shoulder. Once there, I restarted the car and tried to see if I could move at all. I couldn't. in park, I could rev the engine and see the RPM's increase, but when I shifted to drive or reverse, I couldn't get the engine to engage or move at all. I restarted the car several times, and eventually got it to respond, but shortly after getting back on the freeway, it happened again, so I pulled over once more and called a tow truck. The tow truck got me back to the Honda dealer, where I later found out I needed a new transmission. This is a 2004 with 90K miles.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #45

Jun 202009


  • miles


While driving down route 9 in old bridge, NJ my vehicle slipped out of gear. It was during rush hour and my car slowed down to 20 mph.

- Township Of Washington, NJ, USA

problem #44

Jun 052009

Accord 6-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
2004 Honda Accord V-6 66,000 miles I have had all recommended services performed on my car with the dealership thinking this would keep my car safe, which failed to be the case. My transmission went out with only having 66,000 miles. While driving this vehicle, my car would not accelerate beyond 45 miles which could have caused an accident. I placed a formal complaint with the company and they would only honor 75% of the fee to fix the transmission. After stating it was unsafe and unfair and I would seek legal action, they forced me to sign a release form or they would not honor the 75% fee required for the dealership to fix the transmission. I feel this car is unsafe to the consumer especially if they have their transmission go out while driving on the freeway. At 66,000 miles with a history of all required maintenance performed, it just seems this vehicle had a factory defected transmission. I feel Honda is aware there is a problem with this make/model year transmission but isn't taking responsibility for their product and it could be unsafe on the road.

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #43

May 222009


  • 74,000 miles
My transmission went out. Was on the freeway going 65mph when car suddenly felt like it went into neutral. I would accelerate and the RPM's would rev up high, but the car would not go into gear. Next day, couldn't get the car into gear at all.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #42

Apr 112009

Accord 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


Early model 2004 Honda Accord transmission problem. While driving at 45 mph, the car suddenly and with no warning has issues. When pressing on the accelerator, (I was going up a hill at the time) the engine revs really high and then will not go. Luckily I was able to pull over to the side of the road, and turn it off before creating an accident. I was able to restart the car and make it home. Same thing happened the next day and we immediately contracted the dealership for repair. I then read on the internet that this a recurring problem for this 2003 and2004 Honda Accord V-6. please make sure Honda fixes this problem's very dangerous. Thank you

- Sandy, OR, USA

problem #41

Jul 012006


  • miles
Atf (automatic transmission fluid) leaks on the cooler line join bolts under the tranny.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #40

Mar 042009


  • 100,000 miles
While driving my 2004 Honda Accord V6 it just stop driving in the middle of the highway no warning, putting my life at danger as trucks and trailers were coming at my car I was terrified. Honda cars seems to have a problem and they should warn consumers when they are purchasing.

- St Albans,Queens, NY, USA

problem #39

Dec 192008


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While driving at an unknown speed, the contact heard a strange noise and the rpms would not allow her to accelerate. She pulled over and turned off the vehicle for 30 minutes. Once the vehicle was restarted, it would only travel between 15-20 mph. The vehicle was taken to an auto body shop and the technician stated that the third gear and reverse failed. The manufacturer advised her to bring in the vehicle for diagnostic testing. The vehicle will be repaired at the contact's expense. The vehicle was unable to be driven because it would only move in first gear and then lock up. The mechanic stated that the transmission failed. The failure and current mileages were 115,000.

- Dakota Dones, SD, USA

problem #38

Feb 082009


  • 89,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While shifting from the park position, the transmission became locked. When the contact depressed the accelerator pedal, the rpms drastically increased and the engine revved very loudly; however, the vehicle barely traveled over 2 mph. She shut off and restarted the vehicle in hopes that it would correct the issue, but the engine continued to fail. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that a new transmission was needed; however, they could not explain the cause of the failure. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop and they found several failed components within the transmission, along with numerous defects with the transmission fluid. The contact had the transmission replaced. After the vehicle was repaired, she discovered NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission) online. She called Honda directly and was informed that the recall did not apply to her vehicle; therefore, she would not be reimbursed for the repair. The contact believes that the recall applied to her vehicle and should have been the manufacturer's responsibility to repair. The current and failure mileages were 89,000.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #37

Nov 062008


  • 95,000 miles
At 95,000 miles the transmission failed and needs to be replaced.

- Simsbury, CT, USA

problem #36

Oct 312008


  • 89,000 miles
I was on my way to take my car to be serviced because the tranny seemed to slip in and out of gear. On my way there, which was a 10 minute drive, the car stopped in the middle of the road and I could see the rps go up but it would not move. I braced myself because a woman driving a black infiniti almost hit me from behind! it finally decided to move and I was almost to the shop and decided to turn off the busy road as soon as I did that (I barely made it through the elight) the same thing happened again and I coasted into a bank parking lot and had the car towed form there. The mechanic shop said I needed a new transmission.

- Tullahoma, TN, USA

problem #35

Oct 292008


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Honda Accord. While attempting to transition from reverse to drive, the vehicle began to jerk and hesitated to shift into gear. The contact was finally able to shift into gear and drove approximately 40 miles before it failed to shift at all. It seemed as if the vehicle was in neutral. She pushed the vehicle to a mechanic and then called her insurance company to inquire if the failure may have been due to the crash she was involved in five weeks earlier. The mechanic stated that he did not believe that the failure was due to the crash. He further stated that the automatic transmission needed to be repaired or replaced and referred her to someone else who could complete the transmission repair. The contact is currently waiting for her insurance company for further action prior to having the vehicle repaired. The manufacturer stated that her VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission). The current and failure mileages were approximately 72,000.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #34

Oct 282008

Accord 4-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
My 2004 Accord ex 4cyl hydroplanes in wet weather and the tires spin from a stop. Honda claims no incident was ever reported and my case number is N012008-10-2900938.

- S. Setauket, NY, USA

problem #33

Oct 172008


  • 62,000 miles
The automatic transmission comes out of gear at any time and at any speed or downshifts into first gear even while on the highway going 70 mph causing the vehicle to abruptly slow down. This may be related to NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 but Honda told me that this does not apply to my VIN number. I brought the car to a Honda dealer and they said it needs a new transmission.

- Coopersville, MI, USA

problem #32

Oct 082008


  • 89,500 miles
I have complained to Honda about my transmission slipping, almost stalling out and then taking a huge normally happens when letting up off my gas...this has been ongoing for almost 2 years; last night I had the ride of my life in only a matter of seconds! I was stopping by the bank to get cash from the atm; as I let up off my gas, the car did a hard jerk and jumped the sidewalk hitting the corner of the bank. I'm so glad no one was using the atm at this time. My airbag never deployed and my seat belt released for me to get out but now it is jammed and will not pull out enough for me to wear it! with all the complaints I've found that are very similar to mine going back as early as 2003, I really feel that Honda should take these complaints more serious and that they should be held responsible for repairing the issue and any damages incurred due to the issue. I am a nervous wreck and I hope no one will experience what I just went through. There should be a thorough investigation requiring Honda to fix this problem.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #31

Feb 012006


  • 49,000 miles
When I drive 40mph to 60phm under light to moderate load my vehicle shakes and vibrates excessively. I have asked my local Honda dealer on any service bulletins but apparently nothing outside of my airbag. I am concerned because a lot of people report online the exact same problem. " Honda case # N012008-04-1100-403 Honda at 1-800-999-1009 NHTSA campaign id number : 04V176000 my car a 2004 Honda Accord 4 door 4 cylinder. When I am drive at a speed of about 25 mph the car trembles/shakes momentarily and then continues to gain speed. If I continue driving at about 25 mph the car trembles/shakes momentarily without warning. The same issue with trembling and shaking happens also when I drive the car at a speed of about 40 mph. This issue does not occur at any other driving speed ranges. The second gear in the automatic transmission momentarily trembled the car. I have been told by the dealership that this problem can cause gear failure and transmission lockup resulting in a crash. The driving tremble problem started happening at about 50K miles. I brought the car to the dealership and the problem could not be replicated so it was not repaired. I brought the car back at 75K, 80K, 85K, 90K. Finally at 95K the problem could be easily detected by the mechanics and they wanted to try some simple changes. First the mechanics tried fuel injector cleaners. At 97K the mechanics tried changing the erg or ekg valve. At 99K the mechanic changed the catalytic converted heat shield and changed the spark plugs. The problem continue at 101K the mechanic now tells me the problem is with the transmission and that I should think about replacing the transmission because the wear of the gears can cause a tooth to chip or gear breakage which could result in the gear failure. The gear failure can result in a transmission lockup, which could result in a crash. I am upset because the car transmission was under warranty from 80K to 100K miles and I had bought the Honda care warranty. Now it".

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #30

Sep 152008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
This complaint is related to a 2004 Honda Accord V6 #, purchased new by my wife and myself in bellevue Washington. 1. background: My Honda Accord was recalled under this ntsb recall (Honda recall 04-037 speed sensor 3rd gear inspection): Automatic transmission recalls and defects found on 2004 Honda Accord power train:automatic transmission automobiles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is authorized to order the 2004 Honda Accord power train:automatic transmission manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles or parts of motor vehicle equipment when its investigation indicates that they contain serious safety defects in their structure, or performance. To remedy the recall Honda performed a camera visual inspection and sprayed "lubricant? into the transmission. On September 15th 2008, my wife observed an ?engine light" on the dash. We immediately brought the vehicle with approximately 88,000 miles back to the dealership. I initially directed the work to begin. I then called back to asked the service manager to hold on the repairs and asked him to wait and investigate alternatives. I was told that the warranty had been extended, that there was a recall and that an 88K car should be covered. I verified that the warranty for most Honda Accord V6's had been extended. I then called back to Honda and was told at 130pm that the light reset and there was no need for repair and that the service manager, Mr. Ortiz would not pursue warranty repair of the transmission. 2. my concern is that my transmission has secondary indications of pending transmission failure. When the service manager realized that this was a warranty issue, he was willing to send the transmission, with a likely pending failure back on the road and not complying with the ntsb recall. According to the recall there is a probability of catastrophic transmission failure and crash. Estimated vehicles affected: 1099796.

- Faifax, VA, USA

problem #29

Sep 122008

Accord 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
2004 V6 Honda Accord with transmission failure, but the Honda customer service said, " your VIN number is not included in the recall". however, the car has the problems listed in the recall and is requiring a transmission replacement with 92, 000 miles.

- Summerville, GA, USA

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