really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,006 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 Element transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Honda Element Owner Comments

problem #4

May 012009


  • 80,000 miles


2004 Honda Element: (I have 2 and both have the following exact problems)1. Airbags warning lights indicating problems 2. drivers seat is loose and rocks 3. passenger seat causes extreme discomfort to hip and back on long tips (this is occurs with all passengers, young and older) 3. under carriage brushes failure 4. A/C air compressor failure 5. straps in back seats pulled out and seat cannot be reclined 6. engine decelerates without warning. Power cutback during passing makes this very dangerous. 7. drivers seatbelt buckle is difficult to secure (only 1 car with this problem) 8. loud clanking noise when cars are being turned.

- Victoria, TX, USA

problem #3

Apr 122009


  • miles
My mother arrived at my home in her Element to pick up my children. She was going to drop off some items in the house while my children proceeded to get in the car to get in their car seats. The car rolled backward into the pond and the two children ages 3 and 6 (thank the lord) were rescued alive while the car quickly sank. When the car was pulled from the pond it was in neutral and the keys were on the floor. My complaint is twofold: My mother was able to shut off the car and remove the keys with the car in neutral. The gear shift on the floor does not have any visual indicator (a red line or an arrow) to indicate the gear the car is in. Once the car is shut off- the indicator on the dashboard would not have been lit. I believe that the eye-hand disconnect between the shifter on the floor and the indicators on the dash is a pitfall for user-error. Had she not been able to remove her keys with the car in neutral, it would have been clear to her that she had not parked the car correctly.

- Florence, IN, USA

problem #2

Nov 202004


  • miles
Weeks after purchasing this vehicle new from the dealer. It began to leak transmission fluid. I took it to the dealer with the complaint. They said they'd take a look at it, but it was a waste of time. They claimed it could not possibly be leaking and any fluid I saw was condensation from the ac. The gave it back to me in a few hours claiming it was fine and again said the fluid was condensation. I argued and said it was oily. They claimed this was because my garage floor was oily. The response to me was: "I'm so confident it is water I'll come over and lick of the garage floor. New cars don't leak." Well, it did leak and loads of transmission fluid. I had to mop up the fluid and return with the soaked rag and the vehicle to get them to take a closer look. I had to have an entirely new transmission installed. This is my 4th Honda. I've never had so many problems with a vehicle as I've had with this Element. I've only had it 3 months now. Very disappointing.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 282004

Element 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25 miles
With vehicle in drive and with engine running, the car will roll backward down hill. My driveway has a small incline - vehicle rolls backward while in gear (drive) with engine running. 2004 Honda Element ex.

- Wake Forest, NC, USA

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