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 8 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #192

Apr 172010


  • 80,000 miles


Our 2003 Honda Odyssey had a transmission fail on us at 80,000 miles in 2008. Now 2 years later at 119,000 it has failed again. The first time we were stranded waiting for a tow truck, this last time on Saturday, we were able to make it up to the dealership. We are now facing another $4000 repair bill. The second transmission only lasted 39,000 miles or half of the original.

- Saint Charles, MO, USA

problem #191

Feb 282010


  • 105,665 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey(automatic transmission) has been slipping gears and having trouble shifting into gears when accelerating or driving in traffic jam. On February 28, 2010 after driving some 40 miles on the highway and exited on a ramp, the transmission locked when the car was at a complete stop at a stop sign on the ramp. Once the transmission locked, the engine died. Then I started the car numerous times and each time the engine started when in parking or in neutral. However, when I shifted to drive or D1, D2 or to rear, the engine always shut off. Luckily, after a dozen times or so, I got lucky to put the car into gear, and slowly drove home, the car jerking and engine on the brink of shutting off as I drove some 3 miles back home at 20 mph. The next day, March 1st I could put the car into gear at all. Each and every time I shifted from either park or neutral to drive or rear the engine shut off. I towed the car to carrs Honda in Chicago. Dealer checked and performed a recall on the second gear by installing an oil jet kit. Dealer said my transmission has internal failure and said that this failure was not related to the recall of the second gear. How convenient! I did contact Honda at their corporate office in ca and explained what happened but since dealer said that my car is not covered by the provisions of the recall, then I could not get any financial help from Honda. I managed to get picture copies of the second gear from my dealer and wanted to get pictures of the same 2nd gear at a different transmission shop. However, Honda made it clear that under no circumstances it will accept pictures made by non-Honda dealer. There were no codes to be found. I took my car to a transmission center and had my transmission rebuilt. Now I do drive the car and so far it seems fine. The transmission specialist replaced all clutches, torque converter, linear solenoids, shorted ground wire in prndl circuit, etc. It cost me but I needed the car. Please help!!!

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #190

Mar 312010


  • 82,650 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact was driving approximately 10 mph when the vehicle stalled after she depressed the accelerator pedal at a traffic light. The vehicle lost all power and would not move forward. The vehicle was towed to a local repair shop where she was informed that the vehicle needed a new transmission. She called the manufacturer who stated that they would replace the transmission and pay 50% of the repair costs. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 82,650.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #189

Mar 202010


  • 104,500 miles


When I was proceeding at about 60 miles/hour on the high way with my 2003 Honda Odyssey, the transmission suddenly locked up periodically. We were almost getting into two accidents in a couple minutes. Finally, the transmission was gone. Now dealer is asking about $5000 dolars to replace it. However, it was happened because of manufacturer error since this car was recalled for the transmission issue.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

problem #188

Mar 212010


  • 85,000 miles
I was driving my 2003 Honda Odyssey down the highway when all of a sudden my wife lost the ability to accelerate the vehicle. The RPM nozzle was going up but the car could not accelerate anymore. Afterward my son began to see smoke coming from the back of the car. We pulled the car over and immediately got out of the vehicle. There was quite a bit of smoke coming out from the engine area and a lot of oil dripping at the bottom of the car. We called triple a and had them pick the vehicle up after 2hrs of waiting on the side of the road in the rain. Then we had it dropped off to the mechanic and he stated that the transmission was dead. We then discovered that the 2003 Honda Odyssey had a transmission recall in 2004. I rejoiced and thought clearly this is why this happened as my vehicle only had 85,000 miles on it. Nevertheless, when I spoke with Honda about it they said that the problem was solved for my vehicle in August 2004. Therefore the best deal they could provide to me was to cover 60% of the cost. I told them I cannot afford the 40% differential and I do not believe I should pay it because this should not have happened to a Honda under 100,000 miles. There were no warning signs before or after the incident. Nevertheless, they mentioned that they are not sure what else they could do. I am complaining because clearly Honda did not fix the issue in 2004 else we would not have had the problem at 85,000 miles again. I am soliciting whatever help you can provide to me in this situation.

- Monticello, GA, USA

problem #187

Mar 162010


  • 124,000 miles
Dear sir; on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, while driving in the visalia, the subject Honda's transmission failed. I was able to get to the vehicle to the your dealership and was informed the transmission was failing in gear ratio switch failure. The vehicle was inoperable. I was informed by the dealer that there was a transmission recall on this vehicle in 2004, I do not recall taking the vehicle in for inspection/repair. The Honda service manager said the Honda records showed the vehicle was inspected; there is no paperwork with my signature indicating my acceptance of any such recall order. If the transmission inspection did, in fact, take place, apparently it did not thoroughly evaluate my vehicle's transmission situation. In the past the Honda dealership has performed two transmission oil changes, within a short time, because the oil was turning brown. I used a different mechanic to do my routine motor oil changes and that mechanic informed me the transmission oil was brown again and replaced it, and there was no further problem with the transmission oil. I cannot explain the difference in the oil change procedure between an independent mechanic and the Honda dealership. I was informed today by the Honda dealership that they changed their transmission oil equipment with updated technology. Today, under protest, I authorized Honda dealership to replace the transmission in the subject van. It was not feasible for me to drive the vehicle to another mechanic. The cost of the replacement will be approximately $5800 minus 25% = app. $3900. I feel Honda not did properly take care of the problem that was subject of a recall; they were unable to show they inspected my vehicle with my signature accepting the condition of the vehicle. I request Honda reconsider the costs of the replacement transmission and afford me at least a bigger discount, if not full coverage of the repair costs. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Visalia, CA, USA

problem #186

Mar 102010

(reported on)

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Consumers 2003 Honda Odyssey transmission slips into neutral while driving for a couple of seconds then returns to normal operation. The consumer stated the problem with the transmission occurred randomly whether the car was cold or warm.

- Leisure World, CA, USA

problem #185

Mar 012010


  • 85,000 miles
Transmission needs to be replaced.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #184

Feb 152010


  • 101 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failed at 101,000 miles. Took dealer three service times and $1,000 in unneeded repairs to find problem. Transmission should have been replaced during recall procedure in 2003/2004...wasn't. dealer finally replaced transmission with remanufactured unit in February 2010 at a $1,400 cost to me.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #183

Feb 152010


  • 90,000 miles
Transmission revs then bangs into gear.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #182

Mar 012010


  • miles


Honda Odyssey 2003 - gear shifting poorly, check engine light turns on at around 84K. Honda dealer diagnoses it and states that the failure code indicates internal transmission failure. Mechanics saw dark/disfigured transmission fluid and reproduced the gear shift problem. Dealer claims no warranty or recall covered. Seems like a very common problem requiring a recall. In lieu of the Toyota problems, Honda should be investigated. Very expensive to fix (quoted $5500+tax), almost the price of the van.

- Issaquah, WA, USA

problem #181

Feb 202010


  • 104,150 miles
I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey. I was entering the highway from the on-ramp. The car failed to shift at around 38 mph. The engine revved to the red line but, the car didn't accelerate. I almost got into an accident. I took the car to the dealership recommended by the guy who has serviced my three previous Honda. The dealership fails to acknowledge there is an issue because they couldn't replicate it during a 30 min test drive. After reading the other complaints, I am convinced I have the same issue. I am hoping and praying that I am lucky enough to not get into an accident when this problem appears regularly. The problem started couple of weeks ago and it has continued to happen a couple of times each day. I just don't know the exact condition it recurs.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #180

Sep 172008


  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact was driving approximately between 35-40 mph on normal road conditions. When accelerating the transmission exhibited a slow response in one gear. The driver continued in operation with caution to the residence. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer. There was a recall under NHTSA campaign id number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission). The vehicle was inspected in fy 2004, and a recall remedy repair was not performed on the vehicle. The contact was displeased to know the authorized dealer refused to repair the vehicle under the recall campaign id number 04V176000. The vehicle was repaired at the owners expense. Failure mileage was 104,000.

- Avey, GA, USA

problem #179

Jul 142005


  • 35,554 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. She stated that while driving 35 mph the vehicle would shake, vibrate and squeak. When the brakes were engaged, the vehicle accelerated without a warning for a few moments and then it would decrease in speed. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who was unable to duplicate the failure. A second dealer diagnosed the failure as an internal transmission failure. There were no repairs made to the vehicle. The failure mileage was 35554 and the current mileage was 93000.

- Trumbull, CT, USA

problem #178

Feb 052010


  • 99,750 miles
Transmission slips intermittently causing lack of acceleration while pulling into traffic. Torque converter error code. Individual repair shop and a Honda dealer said tranny + PCM needs to be replaced. Honda has redesigned transmission thus requiring new tranny + new PCM (control module) because old tranny design is not compatible with original PCM. Appears to be related to 2003 Honda Accord recall/extended warranty for tranny problems. Repair shop recommended NHTSA web site due to frequency of problem in 99-01 Honda Odyssey and 03 Accord.

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #177

Feb 102010


  • 93,657 miles
Transmission started revving in between 2nd and 3rd gear. Next day tried driving it to transmission shop and it started slipping between 1st and 2nd gear. Car has difficulty making it over 40 mph. These defects occurred all within the same week. No other issues had occurred before this event. Shop said transmission fluid appears burned. Transmission has to be replaced to fix problem.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #176

Feb 162010


  • 58,000 miles
My wife's 2003 Honda Odyssey transmission has failed causing the dealer to replace it. We received the original NHTSA campaign notification #04V176000 and took the car promptly to the dealer for inspection. The transmission started to fail to shift from 1st to 2nd gear, then malfunction light came on, then visit to dealer for inspection. Vehicle has 58,000 miles on it and it has been regularly serviced by Honda dealers. After seeing the volume of Honda transmission problems, I feel Honda should replace the transmission free.

- Bradenton, FL, USA

problem #175

May 152009


  • 73,000 miles
Transmission system failure.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #174

Jan 262010


  • 104,000 miles

- Buckeye, AZ, USA

problem #173

Feb 072010


  • 59,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey has an apparent design flaw in the automatic transmission. After 60,000 miles, the transmission has failed. Driving the car during the 3 days after failure was extremely dangerous with the clutch inside the transmission slipping causing high revving and lack of control. Slowing down (resulting in downshifting) causes the car to "jerk" since the clutch isn't functioning properly and the car isn't able to smoothly change gears. Honda issued a recall in 2004 to add an "oil jet" inside the transmission on the 2nd gear to prevent overheating, but this fix hasn't fixed their design flaw. Despite having this recall taken care of by the dealership in 2004, the transmission has still failed. Honda apparently issued a warranty extension, but I never received notice of this extension and the dealership had no details on this warranty extension (other than to tell me I am beyond that extension due to time lapse). Honda needs to be held accountable for this design flaw. It causes a dangerous situation if not immediately addressed, not to mention a very expensive fix for a problem that has plagued hundreds or perhaps thousands of 1999-2003 (or beyond) Odyssey owners.

- Fairfax, CA, USA

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