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 9 of 17)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #172

Feb 032010


  • 90,000 miles


NHTSA campaign id number: 04V176000 was recall/repair for transmission. Caused delay in total failure of transmission. 2003 Honda Odyssey with 90K miles. Last night out of blue starts to rev when pulling out into traffic. Almost killed, as sudden failure caused van to have no power when needed to pull out. Really needs to be addressed!

- Germantown, TN, USA

problem #171

Feb 012010


  • 77,000 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey transmission gave out after only 77,000 miles. My research has shown thousands of customers are having or have had the same problem with their Odyssey from 1999-2004. Honda settled a class action lawsuit covering from 1999-2001. These transmissions are apparently all defective. Honda refuses to replace these dangerous transmissions for free like they should.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #170

Jan 252010


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. The contact was driving approximately between 55-65 mph on normal road conditions and suddenly smoke was coming from underneath the hood. Pressure was applied to the accelerator pedal, followed by no power response. The driver pulled over to the side of the road. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing who stated that the engine exhibited a transmission fluid leak. The transmission needed to be replaced and has been ordered. The failure mileage was unavailable.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

problem #169

Jan 232010


  • 44,500 miles


1. manufacturer remedy to NHTSA campaign # 04V17600 does not correct heat build up/ gear failure in 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey automatic transmissions. It only delays the failure. 2. cooler return line revision was performed on my vehicle at 17,847 miles. Despite the manufacturer design revision the gears failed this last week (code P730 - gear ratio error) at 44,500 miles. I was fortunate. It only resulted in loss of power. There was no transmission lock up or crash, this time. I'm not the only one. Even cursory internet research reveals over 1300 reports of continuing failures at the edmunds site alone; some vehicles having had as many as three transmission rebuilds by the manufacturer. 3.cooling line revision has not corrected the heat build up problem. The gears still get hot enough to lose temper, soften and fail under normal loads. It is only a matter of time until debris from the failed gears cause a transmission lock up and crash. To date american Honda motor co. Declines to help me with this ongoing problem.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #168

Jan 022010


  • 83,454 miles
The transmission on my 2003 Odyssey just failed at 83,000 miles. 2nd and 3rd gears, mainly over 25 miles per hours, do not work predictably. When one would normally expect it to go to third gear, it slips. The car just started this today. From what I have read, the dealership will charge thousands of dollars to replace it. I am dropping it off tonight or early tomorrow morning. I hope it is only a part, and that I don't have to replace the whole transmission; I can't afford it. The car has had average maintenance by the dealership. This is a safety issue. I can't pull into and out of intersections predictably. Taking a left from a busy highway, such as the one I live near, is dangerous, because I don't know what the van will accelerate like. What if it slips out of gear, and I get stuck in a lane of oncoming traffic? I hope that Honda is required to fix or replace the transmission. No one expects this out of a six to seven year old car with 83,000 miles anymore. People may try to drive slowly anyway, because they cannot afford to replace the transmission. There are accidents waiting to happen, because the cars behind the van will expect it to accelerate, and it will get caught in the middle of intersections.

- Libertyville, IL, USA

problem #167

Jul 012009


  • 85,000 miles
It shudders when driving between 30-35 mph speed. I showed to mechanic and he told me that torque converter lock-up clutch is causing this issue and it is very common problem with Odyssey. I perform all regular maintenance but still this happened.

- Bartlett, IL, USA

problem #166

Jan 272010


  • 84,000 miles


Vehicle: 2003 Honda Odyssey with 84,000 miles. Wife was driving our van home from the gym and upon returning home reported to me that the transmission was slipping as it shifted from 2nd to 3rd gear. I drove the vehicle to the Honda repair shop about 5 miles away and observed the same thing. They went and "diagnosed" the problem and reported to me that the transmission needed replaced. In fact, they said that they barely made it back to their shop at the conclusion of their diagnosis. In addition to transmission replacement, Honda requires that the engine control computer be replaced as well because there is new version that runs the transmission. There was a recall for this year and model of vehicle relating to the transmission, but was simply an inspection an a subsequent install of an "oil jet." This recall had been complied with on my vehicle. I believe Honda knows there is a problem with these transmissions and is doing a disservice to consumers. The early recall coupled with their requirement to replace the computer, and their willingness to pay a portion of my repair to me is proof of their acknowledgment of a problem with their initial design. In my opinion there are also legitimate safety concerns with this problem.

- Goddard, KS, USA

problem #165

Jan 272010


  • 121,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey nothing wrong with the car. Driving home about 40mph, slowed to about 20 to cross a street that is crowned. Started to accelerate, the engine just revved. Coasted to the side about 100 yards ahead to get off the street into a parking lot. Car started working again, proceeded home. Had to stop 2 other times to get back home. Checked the web and there are hundreds of other complaints. Called a reputable transmission service, told me that the entire 2009 year was filled with Honda coming in! in fact, he had an identical Honda Odyssey there when I got there.this is a giant safety problem! I cannot imagine being in the left 5th lane doing 70 and having this happen- or a lock up! from what I have read on the net, it seems Honda does not want to address the issue. This is my second Honda. My first went 248K miles w/O any major issue whatsoever! that is why I bought another. This is truly a bad safety issue.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #164

Jan 122010


  • 166,755 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission issue. Continue to get the codes: P0740- tcc circuit malfunction P0730- gear ratio incorrect P1750 malfunction control transmission now has 166K miles on it and is slipping in and out of gear. Must get the transmission replaced.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #163

Dec 212009


  • 103,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission started slipping and catching, nearly smacking my head on steering wheel. Contents of car became missiles. Tried to get it home, slips in and out of gear on highway. Real dangerous!!

- Lawrenceville, GA, USA

problem #162

Dec 222009

Odyssey 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 147,000 miles


Engine gasket failure. Noticed a small oil leak on the garage floor. We were told that a new head gasket was needed for $1,861. Got a call today and was told that the bolts in the engine were stripped (it has not been touched by anyone since manufacture) and that we can pay an additional $400 to have the bolts reseated or buy a used motor for $2,900. Neither seems fair. Transmission failed in October and was $5,200 but given a $1,800 discount. This is the 6th major repair to this van since its purchase as a new vehicle. The consumer wants to know if the complaints she found from other consumers that had similar problems with their vehicles like her were made at the same plant around the same time her vehicle was manufactured. Updated 01/05/10.

- Simpsonville, SC, USA

problem #161

Dec 282009


  • 67,000 miles
My daughter borrowed my wife's Honda Odyssey to pick up her sister's children in thousand oaks, ca. The trip is about 65 miles. She reported almost getting into an accident on the freeway because 4th gear went out suddenly. She finished her trip crawling along at 40 miles per hour.

- Signal Hill, CA, USA

problem #160

Nov 292009


  • 86,000 miles
Problem with transmission on 2003 Honda Odyssey at high speeds: When accelerating from speeds of 40 mph to 55 mph, the vehicle lurches suddenly, and it feels as if it were shifting into 1st gear. History: On November 7, 2009, the engine light came while driving on a highway. Our auto mechanic checked the code (PO740) and found that it was a problem with the lockup control system (transmission). Road test didn't reveal any problems. The mechanic froze the data/cleared the code to see if engine light would come back on. It did not. However, we subsequently experienced the lurching of gears while driving on the highway at high speed: November 29th, 2009; December 23rd, December 25th. It happens unexpectedly and without any predictability when we are driving on the highway. Since the first incident, we've tried to avoid driving the car on the highway. We are currently borrowing a car from family and are trying to find a way to have it repaired for a reasonable cost. We will not drive our children in the car any longer because we believe it is putting them at risk.

- Parkville, MD, USA

problem #159

Jan 102009


  • 8 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Odyssey. When driving between 30-35 mph, the vehicle would slightly lose power, as if she removed her foot from the accelerator pedal. After a brief moment she can resume normal vehicle operation. In year 2004 her vehicle was repaired according to recall number 04V176000 (power train:automatic transmission). After the repair, the failure became progressively worse. On one occasion the vehicle was towed to a certified repair shop. The mechanic stated that the entire transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. She called the dealership and advised to take it in to have it inspected. She called the manufacturer and was told that they would not assist her with the repairs. The current mileage was 124,372. The failure mileage was approximately 8.

- Barboursville, VA, USA

problem #158

Dec 122009


  • 119,000 miles
First transmission replaced at 61,000. Replaced with a refurbished Honda transmission. Supposed to be better than new transmission. Second transmission failed at 119,000. Almost didn't make it to the dealer. The transmission was slipping so much. At one point, I could not get in any gear.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #157

Dec 182003


  • 130,000 miles
My 2003 Honda Odyssey transmission suffered sudden catastrophic failure while driving on the interstate in traffic. The vehicle could not be driven any further and was left in a dangerous spot and required towing to the Honda dealer.the vehicle could be cranked and placed in gear but the transmission does not engage and the engine revs the same in both park and in drive. There was no warning of a transmission problem until some erratic revs appeared on the tach going from normal cruising revs of ~2K up to 5K a couple of minutes prior to the failure. The only other indication was the "check engine " light which according to the manual indicates an emissions system problem...not a transmission problem. This happened Friday night and the dealer called sat morning and said the transmission required replacement. After researching the problem on the internet I see many other people have the same problem with their 2003 Odyssey transmission and in fact their has been class action suit on prior year and maybe another one that covers 2003. I am very concerned that Honda is aware of this problem and not doing anything. There was a recall and I took my vehicle in but the changes they made were not effective. Additionally, I understand that the filter is internal and cannot be cleaned or changed.

- Raleigth, NC, USA

problem #156

Nov 292009


  • 69,000 miles
I drove car to church; parked my car and went inside. After church is over, I came out, my van did start but I was not able to shift the gear, I had to tow it to repair shop to change break switch.

- Bloomington, IL, USA

problem #155

Dec 062009


  • 50,100 miles
My Honda 2003 Odyssey transmission lock up and I cant drive it from my garage, I wasn't inform about the transmission recall by Honda.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #154

Nov 272009


  • 68,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure on highway. Driving under normal conditions within the speed limit, upon downshift into overdrive the transmission "slipped" causing a driving safety situation at full speed putting my entire family at risk of an accident. The transmission has failed and continued to perform unacceptably off and on that day. I stopped driving it except to take it to the shop where they told me it has to be replaced. Very low mileage (68K or so).

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #153

Jun 012008


  • 90,000 miles
2003 Honda Odyssey transmission failure.

- Morrisville, NC, USA

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