The automatic transmission on my 2003 Honda Accord LX V6 packed it in. I was surprised since Honda has a good name for quality and I own a 1997 Acura 1.6EL that is a great little car.
Another one bites the dust! I have a 2003 Accord LX V6 with 109,000 miles. Running cold was OK, but once warm, the revs shot up without shifting and then abruptly downshifted which dramatically slowed the car down. Twice when stopped at a light the car came totally out of gear. Since the problem was intermittent the dealer charged me $50 and said they don’t see an issue but to monitor the situation. Of course, on the way home, the problem occurred again. Went back to the dealer and they now seemed very interested in making the problem go away. The service adviser brought in the service manager who denied any defects with the transmission and that the 2004 recall couldn’t have anything to do with the fact I needed a new transmission. The dealer quoted me $6300 for a new Honda transmission and also got me quotes for a used and a rebuild ($4200 and $3200 respectively). When I said that the price for a new transmission with tax was ridiculous and that for that price I should just cut my losses they were very quick to get the used car manager to call around (he wouldn’t take the car since the tranny was broken) to get quotes (the highest was $2700). As I said, they seemed very eager to go out of their way to make the problem go away without costing them anything and they wouldn’t go to bat with Honda for me because of the service records (don’t get me started on that one!). I didn’t press the issue and found an independent transmission shop to do a rebuild for $1800. The owner there said that they see a lot of transmissions from V6 Honda’s (Accord, Odyssey, and Acura TL).
After doing some internet research it does seem like there are some major problems with this car. I found a good page here. A very interesting discussion of what the problem is can be found here. I was also surprised to see that the car was the fourth worst vehicle third worst vehicle at carcomplaints.com. The majority of the issues reported there were transmission related. Also, the NHTSA has 440 complaints (as of Nov 1, 2010) regarding this car’s transmission.
I’m very disappointed in my car because I thought it would be more reliable but I’m really disappointed with the way Honda is ignoring this issue; I won’t be buying any of their cars anytime soon.