really awful
Crashes / Fires:
7 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,552 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jul 162011


  • 99 miles


The vehicle (2003 Honda Odyssey) has progressively been experiencing what I'll deem "electrical" issues that seem to be severely impacting the automatic sliding doors on the vehicle causing them to open while driving, not open when using the handle or button. Specifically, the automatic sliding doors will not open, will not close or partially close without fully latching. This happens regardless of using the manual door handle or the button located on the dashboard. More importantly, the automatic doors have opened while driving the vehicle with children in the back of the vehicle creating an extremely dangerous and potentially deadly situation. This has occurred approximately 6-10 times over the past year and seems to be getting more frequent. It's happened while driving on the highway, on side streets and during normal operation of the vehicle. In addition, there seems to be an issue with the electrical system that is constantly drawing a small charge from the battery keeping it in a weakened state.

- Waxhaw, NC, USA

problem #20

Jul 082011


  • 81,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that a warning light flashing the letter D illuminated on the instrument panel. The dealer and manufacturer were notified, but offered no assistance. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 81,000.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 212011

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 124,000 miles
Was parking in a parking lot. Turned off the ignition. Got out of the vehicle. Walked around to other side of vehicle to get child out. Car started rolling back. Ran around to driver side, pressed brake. Car allowed me to remove key while still in drive.

- Vail, AZ, USA

problem #18

Feb 222011


  • 128,848 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated the ignition would not turn and the vehicle would not recognize the key when attempting to start the vehicle. The manufacturer was contacted and advised there were no recalls on the vehicle and referred him to the dealer to have a diagnostics test performed. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer nor repaired. The failure and current mileage was 128,848.

- Santa Fe , CA, USA

problem #17

Jan 042011


  • 144,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While the vehicle was parked it rolled backwards and crashed into another vehicle. The contact stated that she had taken the key out of the ignition but was not sure if she put the vehicle in park. The other vehicle had minor damage and her vehicle was not damaged. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not repaired. She called the manufacturer and was advised that there were no recalls for the failure. The failure mileage was 144,000.

- New Albany, OH, USA

problem #16

Nov 232010


  • 175,000 miles
The top bracket holding the alternator to the engine block failed again for the third time while my wife was driving the van. As a result of the failure of the top bracket, the stress on the main serpentine belt caused the bolt holding the alternator in place to snap off at the engine block. This caused the alternator to become loose and caused a burning smell to come into the cabin of the vehicle. The alternator loose and un-attached poses a potential catastrophic failure with the pully system and the power steering which may cause an accident. I reported the previous incident of the same problem on October 25th, 2010. My concern is that this is a recurring problem that Honda is aware of and not correcting with a recall and addition of a re engineered and strengthened top alternator bracket. I am also very concerned that failure of this part/system while my wife and children are driving the van will cause an accident and injury or death to my family. I have called Honda and their solution or recommendation is to replace the part and use proper torque specifications. This has not worked 2 times so far and my mechanic tried to weld and additional piece of metal to the oem bracket to make the bracket stronger, and this did not work.

- Amawalk, NY, USA

problem #15

Oct 252010


  • 165,000 miles


Top alternator mounting bracket failed for the second time in one month. On first failure at night, headlights became very dim while vehicle was operating causing danger to occupants and other motorists. On second failure vehicle was close to home and no immediate hazard to driver or other motorists. Research shows this is a known component failure to Honda and nhtsb.

- Yorktown Heights, NY, USA

problem #14

Oct 022010


  • 157,000 miles
You can remove the ignition key from the ignition switch when the vehicle is in gears other than P (park).

- Fulton, MD, USA

problem #13

Aug 012009


  • 98,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey ignition switch: We can remove the key without putting the vehicle in park problem has existed for at least 1 year. Vehicle does not appear to be covered by a recall for this problem (per Honda recall lookup by VIN), but npr reports that Honda has recalled some 1.4 million vehicles for this problem, including minivans (www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyid=129085652 ) it seems likely that our vehicle model & year should be included in the recall, but is not.

- Lubbock, TX, USA

problem #12

May 102010


  • miles
I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey that suffers from the same issue Honda is recalling other vehicles for. My wife has removed the key from the ignition twice while the van was still in drive. She only noticed her error when the car would not start back up. Neither time was there an accident involved, as she was parked on a flat surface.

- Greenwood, MO, USA

problem #11

Aug 102009


  • 118,000 miles


Car will not start. Ignition switch remains locked. My 2003 Honda Odyssey will no longer start. Prior to this, I went to Honda service to complain about the frequent incidents of my ignition switch failing to unlock. They said that this was due to wear and tear and I will have to spend over $500 to replace the key cylinder. Are they putting substandard key cylinders" I understand that other models of Honda are being recalled due to ignition switch problems. Haven't they done anything to eliminate this problem with the Odyssey models"

- Stockton, CA, USA

problem #10

Aug 022009


  • 102,795 miles
Have a 2003 Honda Odyssey ex with rear entertainment system. Dvd has had a buzzing noise in headphones intermittently for several months. Today smoke came out of dashboard as dvd quit while traveling down highway.

- Franklin, WI, USA

problem #9

Apr 012008


  • miles
2003 Honda Odyssey smoke coming out of the cd player. Consumer states that she smelled burning plastic. Dealer stated they could find nothing wrong. She found 6 service bulletins for this problem on the internet.

- Euclid, OH, USA

problem #8

Jul 272006

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
: the contact stated the radio controls worked intermittently. While on vacation, the cruise control suddenly stopped working. The dealership determined this was a common problem with vehicles of the same year, make and model. The defective part also affected the proper operation of the horn assembly, the steering wheel, air bag sensor, cruise control and radio controls. The dealership replaced the cable and reel assembly. The repair only corrected the problems with the radio controls and the cruise control.

- Grand Forks, ND, USA

problem #7

Sep 192005

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,714 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey. The consumer stated that the horn did not blow and the SRS light was on. The consumer had an appointment on Thursday to have the vehicle looked at. The SRS light came on September 30, 2005, and the horn quit working on September 19, 2005. The consumer stated that the vehicle had the cruise control switch replaced. This did not help the problem. The alternator was replaced, since the consumer purchased the vehicle a metal on metal sound had been present, the keyless entry has never performed properly, the cruise control was inoperative, the SRS light stayed on, the horn had gone out, the windshield wiper was inoperative, the alarm had gone off for no reason, there was a wind noise coming from the driver window, the remote was intermittent, the dash lights would illumnate while the vehicle was in motion, and the alternator bracket had broken.

- Newton, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 012005


  • miles
The radio in the consumer's 2003 Honda Odyssey shorted out shortly after the vehicle was purchased. The cd player was replaced. The consumer detected an electrical problem form the beginning. There were problems with the electric slide doors, tail gate displayed a constant chime while the vehicle was in motion, as if it was not closed. The dealership never find anything wrong with the vehicle. The consumer requested her money back.

- Glendora, CA, USA

problem #5

Oct 012004

Odyssey 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle stalled. Consumer noticed that all electrical compliances failed. Consumer was able to restart vehicle fifteen minutes later. Drove vehicle to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the problem could not be duplicated. Consumer informed mechanic that this problem occurred more than once and had not been resolved.

- Paauilo, HI, USA

problem #4

Feb 022004

(reported on)


  • miles
While driving the owner noticed that the sliding door indicator light was flashing. He also heard the door chime ringing which indicates that the door was ajar but the door was properly locked. The dealership has been contacted.

- Willimantic, CT, USA

problem #3

Aug 172003

Odyssey 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
New 2003 Honda Odyssey ex-L van caught fire while I was driving. The fire started in the stereo/cd player. Earlier in the day, the radio stopped working, shut off and would not turn on. Later that evening as we were driving, we smelled an electrical fire. A few minutes later, the cd player burst into flames. The fire began inside the cd slot. Blue, yellow and orange flames were soon jetting out of the player. As we pulled off and evacuated the car, the flames were licking up the dashboard, within minutes touching the windshield. Emeryville ca fire department put out the fire.

- Kensington, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082003

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,800 miles
American Honda motor co., Inc. Honda automobile customer service 1919 torrance boulevard mail stop: 500 - 2N - 7D torrance, ca 90501-2746 claim number: [xxx] dear Honda, we are writing to you in order to put you on notice of a potential vehicle defect with my new 2003 Honda Odyssey, VIN: [xxx]. after having the vehicle just 6 weeks the vehicle experienced the following problems: 1. brakes began to get softer and would not engage till almost to the floor 2. while waiting at a signal the car engine appears to be revving up and shaking 3. rattling noise emanating from the muffler linkage 4. low fuel warning light comes on when gage is still at tank. Of grave concern is an incident that occurred last Friday, August 8, 2003 while my wife was taking my son to celebrate his 6th birthday at summer camp. This is what happened: After making a turn on a steep hill my wife proceeded down the hill. While going down the hill the brakes completely failed to operate and the following lights illuminate on the dash, battery, oil, door open warning lights. The engine was still on and she had to use the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. We were very fortunate that there was no accident, the vehicle was not going fast and we were able to bring the vehicle to a stop. My wife was extremely frightened and upset by the incident. She was almost in a very serious accident! we had the vehicle towed to beaverton Honda who advises us thus far they could not duplicate the problems. You can surely understand our concerns with this vehicle, especially if there appears to be nothing wrong with it. We would like Honda of America to take the following steps to protect our family and it's brand: 1. provide us with a loaner Odyssey until& (2) 2. exchange our Odyssey with the same exact vehicle from a different factory or fully refund our purchase. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Lake Oswego, OR, USA

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