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:
58,517 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

problem #6

Jun 152011

Accord 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


@120,000 the transmission in our 2004 Honda Accord went out with no warning at all.if the traffic was not light at the time someone could have been hurt. Honda did not tell us of a transmission problem. We replaced the trans. And 50,000 miles later the 2nd trans. Went out. (same problem). Honda knows they have a transmission problem, but want step up and make it right.

- Douglas, GA, USA

problem #5

Mar 112010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
On Thursday March 11, 2010 my wife and I were traveling in our 2004 Honda Accord on a 45 mph road. When making a left turn on a green light, my shifter popped out of 2nd gear and into neutral causing the engine to rev to the redline. In neutral, the car lost power and coasted to a stop in the middle of the intersection with the oncoming traffic speeding directly towards the passenger side of the car where my wife was sitting. Additionally, we were almost rear-ended by the car behind us also making a left turn. This problem with the shifter is occurring with increasing frequency, and has become an extreme danger to me, my family, and everyone else on the same roads as I. my trusted mechanic examined the car and determined the transmission is failing and needs to be completely replaced. I will be fortunate to have this done for under $2000. He could not believe this happened to a newer Honda with as low mileage as mine. I've spent hours communicating with mcgrath Honda (the dealership that sold the car) and Honda of America corporation. I have only been treated with rudeness and unwillingness to take responsibility for a vehicle that is simply a lemon. Nobody will even offer to examine the car without charging me an exorbitant fee. Nothing has been done to correct the failure.

- Elgin, IL, USA

problem #4

Sep 152008


  • 86,000 miles
My car is Accord 2004 ex - 4 cylinder - approx 86K miles - manual transmission. My car started jerking about a month ago when I switch gear to 4th and 5th gear. I brought it to my mechanic who said that it is a transmission problem. I thought he was joking because I thought it was a fuel injection issue. Then I found out that there are more around 88 same complaints in this website: it's very annoying and dangerous, and I think since it is a defect in their transmission, they should recall and pay for the repair.

- Encino, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 092008


  • 65,000 miles


I have a 04 Honda Accord the transmission is slipping the car will not go pass 40 mph and at 40 mph it still doesn't hold that speed it slips and decreases speed and will not accelerate. When I position the car in reverse from the drive gear it will continue to stay in the drive gear for a second then it will jump into reverse. This is life threatening and can result in death.

- Hampton, VA, USA

problem #2

Sep 082004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I owned a 2004 Honda Accord 2 door coupe. I filed for lemon law because american Honda refused to fix a major transmission oil leak in the car. I have won the lemon law case, but when I found out that american Honda was not going to recall all the cars with that transmission, I felt like I had to do something. The problem is due to a low vent valve on the six speed manual transmission. The manual transmission only holds 2 quarts of oil. I purchased the car in 9/2004. From 9/2004 to 9/2005, I witnessed well over a quart of oil spill out and onto the bottom of the transmission and engine. I have a detailed outline that I can E-mail you on request outlining all of the visits to the dealership and the outcome of each visit. The location where this oil comes out, is also where the clutch is located. I had noticed clutch slippage soon after buying the car. I am assuming the clutch was slipping due to the oil soaking the clutch plate and disk. I would like to see a full recall done on all of these transmissions. American Honda admitted that they have modified the 2005 transmission to resolve this issue, but will not recall the old transmission.

- Glens Falls, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 032004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 100 miles
The consumer's vehicle stall intermittently even in traffic. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they could not find a problem. Dealer cannot find a problem. While driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, the problem is more noticeable. Vehicle has repeated problems going into first gear. Vehicle has been in Honda shop for about 75 days as of 5/21/05 and repeats the stalling issue on a regular basis. Dealer refuses to fix the problem.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

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