really awful
Crashes / Fires:
8 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
3 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,142 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.

2003 Honda Odyssey drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 10 of 10)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #11

Jul 072011


  • 68,217 miles


Transmission in vehicle failed during operation in traffic. Vehicle operator managed to move the vehicle to safety despite diminished operational function of the vehicle. There was a potential for a serious injury or fatality related to this incident. It is my opinion that these vehicles (2003 Honda Odyssey) should be removed from traffic situations until the manufacturer (Honda) can prove that these vehicles are safe. This situation is more severe than the recent Toyota problems. In addition to the hazard mentioned the owner paid the local Honda dealer $4,300 for a replacement transmission, hope it goes more than 68,000 miles.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #10

Jun 032011


  • 110,555 miles
Encountered transmission failure with 2003 Honda Odyssey. 2004 transmission recall performed by dealer and factory maintenance scheduled performed throughout ownership. In June '11 noticed slipping when shifting from second to third occurred. Extremely dangerous and scary with 2 little children in the car on the highway or on the local streets. The car jolted on the highway for the first incident and we nearly swerved into the median. I've been told all is normal to replace the trans by varying dealerships. I feel that Honda has not investigated nor resolved the trans problem thoroughly and now I could be held paying the bill once it is replaced. After much research, we discovered that the Odyssey transmission has had numerous complaints of failure. Honda Corp indicated that the dealership will have full authority to issue a second recall if it is the transmission. The dealership said that Honda Corp makes the decision and a case needs to be filed. However, the seller said that if you bought the car at the dealership or have had spent a lot of many in service at Honda, this weighs heavily in their decision and customers are more likely awarded the full recall value. This is wrong for the Honda company to play games with a safety issue and only reward highest paying customers with a recall. All should be benefit and they should be held liable.

- Minneapolis, MN, USA

problem #9

Apr 042011


  • 77,945 miles
Our 2003 Honda Odyssey had a complete transmission failure when attempting to drive from a stopped position in a busy turn-lane. The engine revved when gas was applied, then the transmission light came on, an error code appeared, and the drive gear light started flashing. Somehow I was able to make the turn and park safely in a restaurant parking lot. The van was towed to mel rapton Honda. We were offered a rental car at $25 per day, our cost, which we declined. The next day we received a phone call from mel rapton Honda service department saying that our transmission needed to be replaced and that the cost to us would be $4,589.94. We then informed him that we were aware of the Odyssey transmission class-action lawsuit for certain model years, and that the 2003 model has transmission design flaws that Honda is well aware of. We asked that he call Honda to see if they would cover the entire transmission replacement 100%, as any company with integrity for their products should. With no apology, he said he would call them and get back to us. He then called us back to state that Honda would cover 25% of the cost only, and give the replacement a 3year/36,000 mile warranty. When we picked up the vehicle, the warranty was not in writing until we insisted on them doing so. The service department clerk hand-wrote it sloppily on the receipt and then made a computer note which he printed out. Nothing was in writing from Honda directly. Now, today, there is an oil leak after the replacement that needs to be fixed by the dealership.

- Sacramento, AL, USA

problem #8

Jan 282011


  • 73,030 miles


I was in my 2003 Odyssey with my daughter when the van lost all power merging on to the freeway. The tcs and check engine lights came on and then the van would no longer accelerate. We came extremely close to having an accident. I took the van to the Honda dealer and they reported back that the transmission had completely failed with only 73K miles. In 2004 I took the van to the dealer for the transmission recall (NHTSA campaign #04V176000), but it did not prevent it's future failure. I have regularly performed the factory required transmission maintenance, but this was not enough for the faulty transmissions in Odyssey from 2001-2004. Honda said in a recent report that insufficient cooling can lead to heat build-up and broken gears in the transmission. In rare instances, gear breakage could lock up the transmission. Gear failure could result in transmission lockup, which could result in a crash. Honda of America will not cover the replacement of my transmission even though they know that there have been pervasive failures with transmissions on the 2003 Odyssey. Honda has not taken full responsibility for the epidemic of Odyssey transmission failures. There needs to be a recall of all 2003 Odyssey transmissions!

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #7

Apr 242010


  • 61,711 miles
Honda of clear lake in webster, tx informed me that all the motor mounts were broken and needed to be replaced on my 2003 Honda Odyssey with 61,711 miles on the odometer. The dealership wrote $$$$$$$$$$$$ for their estimate. I've read online many other Honda Odyssey owners with the same complaints. The motor mount designs are defective to have failed so soon. There needs to be a recall. I replaced the motor mounts on my Toyota corolla at 180,000 miles for a comparison.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 152010


  • miles
I have not had an accident or injury due to this, but my 2003 Honda Odyssey can be turned off and the keys removed while the vehicle is still in gear. I have had it roll back a few feet before I caught it a couple of times.

- Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #5

Jan 052009


  • 94,500 miles


The key for my 2003 Odyssey can be pulled out in any gear. It has already resulted in a small collision. When the car was parked on a small incline, I failed to put the car in park when I pulled out my key. The car subsequently rolled down the incline and crashed into a parked car. The Honda dealer indicated the ignition switch needed to be replaced because it was worn. In the meantime, I now just try to always remember to set the parking brake and double check when I park that the car is actually in park before I pull the key.

- Tempe, AZ, USA

problem #4

Mar 052010


  • 105,000 miles
The shift interlock failed in my 2003 Honda Odyssey and it rolled backwards in a parking garage and hit two parked cars. I was able to take the keys out of the ignition in any gear and apparently that day I pulled my keys out of the ignition while it was still in drive. The parking space seemed level so I didn't apply the parking brake. It must have rolled when other cars drove past. I called Honda that day to report it and attempted to get them to pay for the failure. They wouldn't pay saying the car was out of warranty. I had the problem fixed at my local Honda dealership for just over $500 the damage to my car was over $2500 and I did damage to two other cars that my insurance company had to pay for. Thankfully no one was around and no one got hurt. This happened in a hospital parking garage.

- Pepperell, MA, USA

problem #3

Dec 182009


  • 90,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey has a unintended acceleration and had to apply brakes severely to control the vehicle this happened twice for the vehicle and was informed to the dealer and Honda of usa.

- Paramus, NJ, USA

problem #2

Nov 142009


  • 98,200 miles
Unreliable shifting between 2nd 3rd gears.

- Portland, OR, USA

problem #1

Sep 152002


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer state her parents are older and bought a 2003 automobile and is how having trouble with the transmission. She states that the buyer states that the transmission is not shifting smoothly. She says that they have taken it back to the dealership 3 or 4 times and cannot seen to get it repaired.

- New Richmond, IN, USA

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