really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 7
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,006 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.

2003 Honda Odyssey transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Odyssey Owner Comments (Page 12 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #112

Jan 022009


  • 74,980 miles


The gear ratio on my 2003 Honda Odyssey is incorrect according to the auto repair place I took it to have it looked at. The transmission slipped and went into neutral with no warning and has done it several times in the last two months. I took it in and had it put on a diagnostic machine when the "check engine" light came on.

- Waldport, OR, USA

problem #111

Dec 152008


  • 95,000 miles
Failure of the transmission in a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The can had 95K miles on it which is very low for a modern transmission failure. Research show that the Honda Odyssey have an extremely high transmission failure rate however Honda refuses to officially recognize the problem.

- Richmond Heights, OH, USA

problem #110

Dec 142008


  • 137,250 miles
While accelerating from a traffic light the vehicle's transmission locked up in 2nd/3rd gear, the van shook violently and almost came to a stop. The "check engine" and "tcs" light came on. I was able to get car home by switching into D3 gear. I brought the car to my local mechanic who said that it was a transmission failure. He told me to take the van to my local Honda dealership to get a full diagnostic test. I did this and the service technician wrote "...when driving it was banging into 2nd gear. They recommended that the transmission and ABS control unit be replaced. The original approximate replace/repair quote was $4,700. After filing a case complaint with american Honda, they offered a total replace/repair price of $4,255. There are recalls and a campaign relating to these issues.

- Chester, NY, USA

problem #109

Dec 272008


  • 79,600 miles


2003 Honda Odyssey at 79K miles. The transmission fail when the engine warm-up (approx. 45 minutes of run times). Now it can only drive in city but don't know how it will last. I toke to dealer and have it diagnose the problem (cost me $105 for Honda dealer). They state that I need to replace transmission, ECM module and front sway bar link are cost $4500.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #108

Dec 222008


  • 130,000 miles
Transmission code appeared about 80K miles; having issues with hard shifting took to local Honda dealership who stated nothing wrong with vehicle. Car has been maintained and had complete failure of 2003 Odyssey transmission today.

- White, GA, USA

problem #107

Oct 012008


  • 80,000 miles
Transmission is acting up on my 2003 Honda Odyssey. After searching the internet for possible causes I have found that many people are having the same problem and concern. My transmission has problems going into reverse at start-up and seems to lag at acceleration. The reliability of Honda transmissions is poor at best. I was directed to this site to help express consumer concerns about the safety of these transmissions. I believe action needs to be taken before something tragic happens. Please investigate all complaints and respond accordingly.

- Derby, KS, USA

problem #106

Dec 062008


  • 84,000 miles


Gear shift locked up in 2007. Felt slipping between gears when going at low speeds, but occurred so intermittently that could never get mechanic to feel slip. 2008 then one day the van began having problems accelerating. The van would rev, but would hesitate to accelerate when first placed into drive. Once moving van moved and problem seemed to go away so we continued to drive for several days. No indicator lamps came on. Van continued to have problems when placed into drive, van would rev, and hesitate, but eventually accelerate. 5 days later, as I was driving the van, the indicator lamps came on indicating malfunction. Tcs light also came on. I continued to drive the van to go home. The van stopped accelerating as I was pulling onto a highway with three children in carseats. Fortunately, I was able to coast into a turn lane and no one was injured. The van is currently in the shop for transmission failure. Nothing has been done yet as we are in the initial stages. We were told that there was no extended warranty on the transmission recall. There appears to be heavy chatter online of transmission failure in the Odyssey. The transmission was recalled in April 04. Our van had 26000 miles so the recall indicated for inspection of the second gear for heat discoloration if no damage then recall indicated to install an oil jet kit. This was installed August 2004. Total transmission failure 2008.

- Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #105

Nov 242008


  • 82,000 miles
Automatic transmission completely failed while driving in city traffic. If I had been in an intersection an accident would have most likely occurred. This Honda has 82,000 miles on it and no warranty.

- Valdosta, GA, USA

problem #104

Nov 252008


  • 85,000 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failed while driving down I-75. There was zero warning and the car completely stopped moving. We luckily had enough momentum to pass a safety railing and then proceed to pull of the road.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #103

Nov 232008


  • 97,000 miles
Own a 2003 Honda Odyssey bought brand new, transmission failed at 97,000 miles. Dealer service is not sure if the transmission failed due to defects or the computer that controls the transmission caused the failure, the computer was also found to be a problem and is being replaced. Vehicle does have factory installed traction control system that has never been turned on since we have owed the van. Vehicle is being repaired by Honda due to buying an extended warranty. Honda refuses any ownership of problem or reimbursement of expenses. All maintenance has been performed by Honda dealerships. Transmission failure should be a rare occurrence for any of today's' vehicles. With Honda's reputation on the line, you would think that Honda would have addressed this problem by now and not let it continue into future model years. Seems excessive that model years 1999 through 2008 are still having transmission problems. So far charges that have accumulated are shipping charges for the replacement transmission, all wheel alignment, still counting.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #102

Oct 172008


  • 104,240 miles


Honda Odyssey 2003 with 106,000 miles transmission slips between gears.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #101

Nov 052008


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 30 mph, the vehicle stalled and was taken to a repair shop for a diagnosis. The transmission was determined to be the cause of the failure. The repair shop will rebuild the transmission. A report was filed with the manufacturer. The manufacturer stated that the transmission was checked for NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train automatic transmission). The contact was advised to submit her repair receipt in order to be considered for reimbursement. The current and failure mileages were 120,000.

- Jonesborough , TN, USA

problem #100

Nov 142008


  • 80,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey 80,000 miles transmission slips while accelerating. Went to Honda dealer, test drove, said everything ok. After being almost run over by other vehicles because the van transmission would slip, went back to dealer, test drove, needs new transmission. Had the recall done for overheating done when the recall came out.

- Nicholasville, KY, USA

problem #99

Nov 082008


  • 75,000 miles
I purchased a used 2003 Honda Odyssey in January 2006, the van had ~50, 000 miles on it. In June of this year we took the van to the dealer for service and to have the transmission checked, (the transmission would hesitate prior to going in gear) the dealer checked the transmission and found no problems. On November 8, 2008 the transmission failed with ~75,000 miles. The dealer quoted $4200 to replace the transmission. Upon doing research I found the transmission was recalled and "fixed" prior to our purchase of the van. The dealer has not taken any action on the transmission to date and has not offered for Honda to stand behind their product. It seems apparent to me that Honda has recognized a design defect since a recall was issued on this problem, yet the fix to the recall did not fix the problem. I am concerned that Honda has sold the public a faulty product and refuses to accept responsibility. Thanks for your time in this matter.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #98

Nov 082008


  • 135,068 miles
I had complete transmission failure on my 2003 Honda Odyssey on sat. Nov.8,2008. My check engine light came on about 10 minutes before this happened. We had the car towed to a Honda dealership and they are replacing the transmission with a refurbished one since new transmissions for this model are no longer available. We have contacted Honda corporate and they have agreed to a 50/50 split on the repair. This will put us out of pocket for this around $2500. The vehicle has 135,000 miles on it and has been maintained at the dealership. We have investigated and learned that this is a very common occurrence in 2003 model Honda Odyssey and I complained when I carried my vehicle in for a recall in 2006 that the engine was slipping was slipping on the interstate but the dealer could not replicate the slipping sensation and I was sent home without a repair. I was stranded on the highway for 1&1/2 hours and late for work. I am now going to have a used part in my vehicle that has failed already with only a 36,000 mile warranty to back it up. I travel to work sometimes in excess of 100 miles a day and I am now going to have to rely on a previously faulty part. We have been told by employees of Honda that the 2003 Odyssey transmissions were made by a company other than Honda and they have known for sometime that the transmissions were faulty, but have remained silent hoping that the transmissions would not go out until after the new car warranty had expired on the vehicle at which time they would not have to shoulder the expense of repairing the vehicle. After investigating online all of the complaints about the 2003 Honda Odyssey's with transmission problems, I can understand why they have kept silent, but that does not make what they are doing right. These transmissions are faulty and they should be repairing them at no cost to the consumer that believed in the Honda name and then got saddled with lemons.

- Rockwall, TX, USA

problem #97

Sep 112008

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. While driving approximately 45 mph on normal conditions, the transmission shifted to low gear without assistance and the RPM's increased. In addition, the check engine warning indicator illuminated intermittently on the instrument panel. The vehicle suddenly stalled and restarted after several attempts. Whenever the gear shifter was shifted into park or reverse, the vehicle immediately lunged forward. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for inspection and they stated that the transmission failed. The technician discovered NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission); however, the VIN was excluded from the recall. The vehicle has not been repaired. The failure mileage was 61,000 and current mileage was 61,500. Updated 08/31/2011

- Lamirada, CA, USA

problem #96

Nov 032008


  • 96,230 miles
The check engine light came on, took it to the local service station, they reported the code PO740-torque converter clutch. Took car to a transmission repair shop, who said they found metal in the bottom of the transmission so it needs to be replace. Waiting for word from Honda about replacement.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #95

Oct 292008


  • 87,000 miles
I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey with approximately 87,000 miles. The van suddenly started having problems with jumping as it tried to change gears. Honda issued a recall several years ago involving the transmissions in these and other model year Odyssey in which a repair was made to the van to supposedly correct the problem. The dealer is now saying we need a new transmission. Apparently, this is a common problem on 2003 model year Odyssey.

- Albany, GA, USA

problem #94

Oct 272008


  • 94,000 miles
Sudden transmission failure on yet another 2003 Honda Odyssey minivan. Driving at night with our daughter in the car, the rpms suddenly starting revving like crazy, we lost speed and the car eventually stalled. We could not get it back in gear. Tcs and engine lights came on. Fortunately we were near a field where we let the car "rest" for a while. Eventually, we were able to get it going, limped to a service station and poured some transmission fluid. We barely made it home. The car is less than 5 years old and has 94,000. Dealer says we need a new transmission for $5000. We balked. Later since we were such "good" customers and had religiously performed all scheduled maintenance at the dealer, they 'dropped" it to $2000. We still say no go and have taken it up with Honda America. We bought a Honda thinking we were buying superior reliability and technical performance. What a joke. Transmissions are built to last--except for Honda, judging by the number of complaints here and on the internet. It is simply unacceptable to us to pay the price that Honda charges for its vans and to be told less than 5 years later that a car that has been well maintained, regularly serviced and has not even reached 100,000 should need a new transmission. We haven't even finished paying for the car and we are furious! I am wondering how long it is going to take NHTSA to open an investigation.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #93

Oct 052008


  • 81,000 miles
Premature automatic transmission failure. Van began to slip in gears and hesitate from standing stop. RPM's will race with vehicle in "D" then engage. Will disengage all gear while driving. Cel code P0730. Honda of America won't even start a case for me since I am active duty military stationed outside the us. 2003 Honda Odyssey ex 81,000 miles transmission recall performed in 2004.

- Fpo, AE, USA

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