really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
123,318 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Aug 262016


  • 170,000 miles


1.starting in early July 2016, my Honda Odyssey began randomly accelerating on this own, without a human depressing the gas pedal. While in drive, the car accelerates on its own. 2.when this happens, I have to press extremely hard on the brake to get the vehicle to stop. Then, when I place the car in park, the RPM increases to between 5, ooo and 7,000. Again, this is without a human depressing the gas pedal. 3.this issue seems to occur when the air conditioning is turned on, and it feels like the cruise control system is taking over even though it's turned on. 4.this issue doesn't always happen immediately once the car is turned on. It sometimes takes a random amount of time to manifest itself while the car is being driven. 5.I've faced this issue at least 15 to 20 times over the past 2 months. 6.obviously, this issue is extremely dangerous and may result in severe injury or death for the driver and other motorists. And therefore, it must be dealt with immediately. The Honda dealer said that there is nothing wrong, but only checked the vehicles cpu. This is insufficient because, as indicated above, the cpu will not register an issue in idle mode or when the problem isn't actually happening.

- Farmington Hills, MI, USA

problem #27

Mar 012016


  • 141,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While the vehicle was at the dealer for a routine service check, the technician noticed that the transmission and motor mount failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 141,000.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #26

Jun 012015


  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The vehicle was repaired according to NHTSA campaign number: 04V176000 (power train), which experienced heat build-up between the counter shaft and secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission. The vehicle began to move slowly when transitioning from second to third gears prior to the repair. Once the vehicle was repaired, the failure recurred and the vehicle began to jerk when in second gear when or while driving 22 mph or higher. The vehicle would also emmit a whining sound under the hood of the vehicle. The brake warning light, the pcs warning light, and the engine warning light illuminated. The contact returned the vehicle to the dealer who stated that the vehicle needed to be diagnosed a second time and the vehicle would no longer receive a repair under the recall. The contact had the vehicle diagnosed by two certified mechanics who stated the transmission failed, causing malfunctions when in second gear. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failures. The approximate failure mileage was 89,000. Updated 06/17/16

- Greenville, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 112015


  • 94,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 40 mph with the brake pedal depressed, the vehicle started to violently shake and the traction control and check engine warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 94,000.

- Morton Grove, IL, USA

problem #24

Jan 012015

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 220,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate past 20 mph when the accelerator pedal was initiated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 220,000. Updated 05/11/15 the consumer stated the vehicle must be stopped completed then accelerated again or powered off then on again. The consumer has a recording of the failure. Updated 9/16/2015

- Garden City, KS, USA

problem #23

Dec 152014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • miles
Passenger airbag light came on for a few seconds while driving at highway speed limit. Then vehicle seems like the transmission was slipping or took a few seconds to engage from a starting movement forward leaving a stop light. At idle the tachometer started to rev between 1100-2000 rpms at standing idle in park.the sliding doors get jammed stuck when attempting to open from the dash controls. I know these could cause and accident and not be able to get NY children out of the vehicle via the sliding power side doors.vehicle was purchased on 12-12-2014.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #22

Jun 072014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 93,128 miles


I am an original owner of a 03 Odyssey. Perfect maintenance record. Carefully driving and never tow anything. Transmission started to slip and lock up around 93K miles without warning. Crash almost occurred on a busy highway twice. Have two dealer checked up and both said need a replacement. Call Honda and got very bad customer service. Honda denied responsibility, but offered 25% replacement cost. 02-04 Odyssey had transmission recall in 04. My van was over 20K and only got an oil injet kits installed. I believed the faulty transmission has already been damaged at that time. The recall is a scam from Honda to cheat, to delay the problem and to save cost. Everyone knows an oil injet kits costs a fraction of a new transmission. This is the same kind of scam as another Japanese product, takata air bag recall. My van also equipped with takata faulty airbags. I requested airbag replacement through a Honda dealer two months ago and was told they were ordered, but have to wait. Driving a Honda product everyday to sent my daughter to school with faulty transmission and airbags, I have higher risk to be killed or injured because the transmission could fail and result in clash, and the airbag could deploy and kill or injured myself and daughter. What a nightmare! I just got my transmission replaced with $3K out of my pockets. I sent the invoice to Honda CEO 3 times to request full imbursement and was denied.Honda has the full responsibility for its faulty products. I request a full investigation on Honda's handling on its recalls.

- Sarasota , FL, USA

problem #21

Nov 232014


  • 125,000 miles
I owned 2003 Odyssey for years (approx. 125,000 M now), last week I drove on the highway about 70 mph back home then suddenly with no power, luckily, the car after me was too far to hit me. I pulled the car over to the shoulder and restart again. The engine light is on. I managed to drive home in 20~30 mph. Checked online and found out Honda did recall for the transmission issue but still can't solve the problem. Really love this van, still debating how to do it, not dare to drive now. Honda should take the full responsibility to solve this issue, no matter who owns the van. Not just care about the company?S profits and ignore the tragedy will be happened anytime. As a car manufacturer and humanity, Honda should know live is priceless.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #20

Jul 112008

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
Traveling at 65 mph the transmission failed without warning. No warning lights, no slippage... a complete failure. I managed to get into breakdown lane before transmission had completely seized. I was driving with my 72 yr old mother and 3 children, ages 4,6,8. I feel very lucky I was not involved or caused a vehicular fatality due to this failure. All recommended maintenance had been done at dealerships. A compete vehicle inspection was completed the day before the incident.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #19

Aug 222014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
I was driving on highway 95 South when my car would not accelerate while I was in the middle lane. I quickly attempted to switch to the right lane as there were many cars and trucks on the highway. I finally pulled the car over to the shoulder when it began to smoke. I do not believe it was a fire, but I am not sure. I do believe it was the transmission. This transmission was replaced by Honda about 6 years ago B/C of a faulty transmission.

- Fallston, MD, USA

problem #18

Jul 182014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 192,150 miles


Our Odyssey has always shifted a little rough, but I attributed that to its age but on 7/18/14 we were on grocery store visit and the check engine light, tcs light, and maintenance required light all came on. We took it to local mechanic to get the codes read and they said it was the transmission control system, but it was driving fine so I kept going and had our normal mechanic take a look at it about a week later. He too said it was the transmission control system, and that we shouldn't need a new transmission, so take it to Honda and get them to look at it. The service advisor kept saying "this vehicle isn't going to go very far, it's going to leave you on the side of the road" but, we don't have that kind of money right now, and since it's driving "ok" just shifting the same as it always has, we decided to take it home.

- Budd Lake, NJ, USA

problem #17

Jul 122014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 160,123 miles
I left stevens point, Wisconsin to go to Chicago ilinois with my family... three adults.. to young children... got to madision stopped at target..got back in car left.. got back on highway and the car started to buck.. like it was going in and out of gear... racing then down shifting on its own.. threw the flashers on got off the highway... found a fire stone garage and they check it. The engine pic came on also and tcs light... the mechanic told us the codes that read mean the transmission and it is not recognized what gear it should be in.. they do not do transmission repair.. so we found a way to get it home which cost us $250 dollars... she also mention I should check recalls on this because I only bought the van awhile ago.. it was used... from a dealership.. courtesy Honda in stevens point... if there is not..my mechanic stated that there should be because this should not happen.. and we are all lucky to be alive.. cause the car kept going to park.. and if it did stop we would of had a bad accident.... please get back to me asap... the car is un-drivable..

- Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #16

Jul 072014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 178,000 miles
The minivan was being driven at about 30mph when the idle suddenly jumped to 3500 RPM. The brake had to be applied to keep the car from dangerously accelerating. The driver was able to pull the minivan into a gas station. The vehicle was turned off then back on a few minutes later. The minivan immediately idled at 3500 RPM again. After letting the vehicle sit turned off for 20 minutes, it was turned on and showed no further problems. In the past two years there have been three similar incidents with this vehicle. Outside temperature may be a contributing factor since it has always happened in a temperature of 80+ degrees Fahrenheit. After letting the car sit for 10-20 minutes, the problem goes away. The local Honda dealership investigated the problem, but found no computer codes or other signs of problems. We are concerned this problem could cause an accident and that the problem may occur in other Odyssey's of this year.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #15

Mar 152014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
The van started losing power right after the tcs light appeared. I slowed down to 45mph when I lost all acceleration and coasted to the side of the road when the vehicle stopped. The car is reported to have broken gears and the clutch in the automatic transmission that had a recall on it that reported it fixed.

- Provo, UT, USA

problem #14

Apr 032014

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 134,458 miles
I brought my Odyssey to the Honda dealer for an oil and filter change on 4/3/2014. While there, the service advisor, [xxx], informed me that my motor mounts were failing. When I questioned that this sounded like a manufacturing defect that should be subject to a recall, his response was that they replace so many motor mounts that they always keep a good supply in stock. This would seem to strengthen my position, not his. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #13

Dec 112013


  • 119,000 miles
Transmission failure on highway. Apparently this is a known transmission failure issue with 2nd gear. Honda indicates it was "fixed" by recall, which obviously is not the case. Honda will not fix as just out of warranty window.

- Marlborough, MA, USA

problem #12

Aug 252009

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 160,771 miles
Was driving home and started having shifting problems, took it in for service the transmission had to be replaced as well as the radiator. The radiator because I was told they would not warranty the transmission with out it. $ $4,371.08 I was never told about any issues from Honda and I never received any thing from Honda. On 8/27/10 one year later I had to replace the transmission cooler. Then on 9/17/10 they replaced the transmission again. Now the second transmission only has 34,000 miles on it and now they just replaced torque converter and it runs like a truck. The Honda dealer did all the major maintenance. We have owned four Honda's but never again. My son has a 2002 civic and it is on its second transmission. If a recall was on these Honda they never sent me anything and I purchased it new.

- Hazel, KY, USA

problem #11

Mar 012013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
The car has an automatic transmission system. I was driving just fine when the transmission slipped and it felt like the car was in neutral. I was pressing the gas, but no power was given to the car. I could brake and steer just fine so I pulled over and put the car into park. It engaged into gear fine and I continued on. This continued to happen slipping in and out while driving. I wouldn't even have to stop and put into park, I would slip "out" of gear and feel like it was in neutral. I would pump the gas a few times, and rev up the engine and then it would magically engage into gear. Honda dealership stated the transmission was bad, stated that pieces of metal were in my fluid and my entire transmission needed replacement. Estimate $2K-4K - will know more when they break it open to find out. Honda America states that I had taken the van in for the transmission recall in 2005 - I don't recall doing that, but if I did why is it happening? now the van will not pass the ca smog test simply for functional check portion. The emission portion is fine. Seems the repairs exceed the value of the car. Working with Honda America to get warranty or recall to offset the cost of repair. At this point, the car is deemed non operational.

- Castro Valley, CA, USA

problem #10

Mar 282013

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 82,498 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey was brought into the dealership for an interlock recall. After work was completed and leaving the dealership the vehicle shuddered violently. This was not the case when the vehicle was brought in.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #9

Jan 312012

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
Transmission failed, which, apparently is common to older Honda Odyssey, but was not fixed until after 2005.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

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