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Honda Odyssey Transmission Problems



  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Looks like your tranny failed at 74,500 miles. Acceptable? No. But..75k is not nothing. IF Honda fixes this for you for free, don't you think you're being a bit drastic?

    I mean, its your money, and if you want to take the hit and get into something else, no skin off my nose, but...if I could get a new tranny on a 75k car for free...I don't know that I'd trade it right in.
  • Had a similar problem with our 07 Ex. Transmission replaced at 2500 miles (give or take a few) and now 2 months later, the new one is doing the same thing as before. Take it in now....there seems to be a service bulletin out about this, although they are not telling us all about it. Make them check your tourqe converter and exhaust system. That seems to be part of the bulletin.
    If ours is not fixed, we are going to try and use the lemon law to replace's been in the shop for over 4 weeks total and we bought it on May 28th.
  • Hey thanks for your input and info on torque converters. It is really sad that one has to face these issues after spending 30K and a Honda brand, supposedly a very highly reliable brand. For me the excitement of buying the car died really fast due to the disatisfaction on downshifting / transmission behavior. Otherwise the car is wonderful
  • Has anyone been successful at getting Honda to pay for all or part of an '99-'01 transmission for a Canadian Ody in the US?

    I just found out I need a new one at 80k. Have seen all the troubles here and read about the lawsuit settlement. Frankly, the text of the settlement at does not say anything about imported Canadian Odysseys not being covered. Just says must be US resident and car less than 109k miles after 1998.

    My dealer says that Honda of America will not cover it. I knew from the start that the regular warranty was not valid due to it being Canadian, but this is a Honda "legendary reliability" brand issue and they should want to avoid driving customers away. If I wanted a minivan whose transmission would fail at 80k, I would have bought a Caravan for a LOT less $ (even including the import deal).

    BTW, I HATE the "grey market" label - salt in the wound. :mad: Not only are they not paying for any warranty work, but the term implies that I did something semi-illegal. Nothing illegal about importing a car - I checked carefully and did it right.
  • Just to chime in - I have a 2002 Odyssey with 109k freeway (!) miles - trans is shot and the dealer will do nothing. I have contacted both the dealer and Honda USA and after keeping the car for a week (rental car cost!) they came back and said they would offer absolutely nothing in assistance.

    I've done lot's of research and this is a major issue - I'm surprised another class action hasn't occurred as with the 99-01 generation; I had seem multiple cases of folks that are on their 3rd or 4th trans by 100k. In many cases, honda has helped in lower mileage cases but ONLY after many rounds of fighting over it. Then the rebuild fails after maybe 20 or 30k. Even if I could put out 4k for a new trans I can't take the chance it'd be toast after 30k.

    It seems like lately more folks are in the same boat as me with Honda offering no assistance whatsoever. Replacement cost is typically 4k +. These are fairly expensive cars (mine was 34k) for such poor reliability.

    I have even found similar stories about non-Odyssey models (accord etc) with half as many miles as mine having auto trans trouble -

    Wikipedia even has a good description of the defect and some history on it -

    The five-speed introduced in 2002 suffered early wear out and failure of the transmission's third clutch pack. This causes large amounts of clutch debris to migrate through the transmission and block flow of transmission fluid, caused slipping, poor or no shifts, or sudden down-shifts from 5th gear to 2nd gear. Under some conditions, the second gear could overheat and break, causing the transmission to lock. An oil jet was added to lubricate this gear but this did not solve the third clutch problem[2

    This was our third Honda but looks to be our last. I can't help but wonder how much of this is Honda USA vs. Honda in Japan;
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Honda is looking at it the same way...why would it put out a couple thousand of its own money on a vehicle that's not even worth it.

    You've got 109,000 miles on your car. Your situation is not the same as those who have had multiple transmissions. You've had one that lasted 109k. That's really not unusual for ANY car with that kind of mileage.

    100k is the life of the car to many people. I'm sorry it failed, and maybe I'm just conditioned by my American car experiences, but I'm not sure why you think Honda is going to pick this up.

    But then again, this is coming from a guy who had a steering system fail on an American car that was 3 years, 1 month old and had 21k miles (out of warranty by a month) and who had GM tell me tough luck, bad break, here's your bill for $2500 for a new steering system, so maybe I'm jaded...
  • While I certainly agree that 109k is much better than many other with much lower mileage, I would argue that mine lasted that long largely to do with the fact it's nearly pure highway miles.

    I don't expect Honda to pick it up by any stretch - however, given the extensive history on this part, I wouldn't expect them to offer nothing, after keeping the car for better than a week.! I've found many examples of folks post 100k that they have covered 50/50! (I expected less than that, maybe a token good faith gesture - one of my early calls to Honda indicated this was not an unreasonable expectation)
    They told me a new trans for this goes for over 4k, without the ECU - I'd dance in the streets to get it done for a couple of thousand.

    Really, nobody expects more than 100k on a ~35k car? I put 200+ k on a GM transmission 25 years ago! Notwithstanding much worse stories, my point is that many people may not realize how extensive this problem is, and should realize that Honda very well may tell them to go pound sand.

    This is my 3rd Honda and this was quite unexpected - your last sentence made my point exactly; albeit this is not as severe case as yours, I'd come to expect the "tough luck" stuff from American car companies, up to now that certainly has not been my experience with Honda (as now seems to be).
  • Yup, I'd say you are jaded. I was always amazed that friends of mine with American cars just expected them to fail at ~100kmiles. It seemed like brainwashing. Like living with your Windows 98 PC locking every 20 minutes. I had 2 Hondas go to 200k. My extended family had half a dozen Hondas do the same. This was the primary reason I looked for the Odyssey and paid more. All good things have to come to an end and maybe Honda's run is ending. I have many friends very happy with their Toyota's of similar model years. And, all things considered, I might have bought American if I thought I was looking at ~ 80kmiles for the expensive Honda.

    Not expecting a handout. And frankly, I just wanted to check all options before I repair or sell this thing. It is a business deal. They are under no obligation to me apparently, but I am under no agreement to buy Honda next time now that I know the score.
  • mfletou1mfletou1 Posts: 508
    Though I will say that Toyota might not be your answer, either...see this month's Consumer Reports for an article about Toyota's "slipping" reliability.

    If you troll through enough of these forums, I think you'd see that on balance, Honda is probably the most generous manufacturer when it comes to product failure. Now, I don't blame you for feeling the way you do, at all, and I don't even own a Honda, so I'm not schilling for the company, but when it comes time for your next purchase, perhaps instead of giving Honda an advantage, you'll just view them all equally because if your tranny had failed on your 109k Sienna--which, statistically, is probably almost as likely to happen as it did on your Ody--you wouldn't even dream of getting anything from Toyota.

    Its true on American cars, absolutely---though I will say that I consistently paid quite a bit less for them. You do get what you pay for. Now, however, an 08 DGC-CTC costs more than an 07 Ody by a significant amount, so we're looking at the Ody.

    We drove a Sienna but...frankly...we just didn't like it was much, even if all things were equal. So that steers us to Honda.

    BTW--I wouldn't assume that highway miles mean a heck of a lot when it comes to a transmission. Rotors, brake pads, even suspension, yes, but not so much on the tranny.

    Are you both 100% sure Honda will do nothing for you? Have you taken it as far as it will go?
  • maryh3maryh3 Posts: 263
    Have you guys done what Chrysler told its clients to do? They said to flush the transmission fluid every 60K and it would help significantly. I just passed 172K on my 2000 Chrysler T&C and still on my original tranny. Still no slippage or rough shifts yet. Maybe Honda Odysseys need the same maintainence. I go to Midas who only charges $89.99 for a tranny flush.
  • Fair points on the Toyota v. Honda v. American overall quality. However, I would say that it is NOT statistically likely that the Sienna would have failed at 81kmi like my '01 Odyssey has (or even 109kmi necessarily). The Odyssey has a known and fairly widespread issue with the transmission (there is a Wikipedia entry on the 99-01 transmission problems, for what that is worth) and many have been failing at a lot less than 80kmi. On this specific issue for at least these years (but maybe for later years also), there is a problem.

    Now, regarding what Honda will do for me- I have pled my case everywhere, including Honda of Am, Honda of Canada, my regular dealer, other Honda dealers. The reason for my post was a last ditch effort to see if anyone else has had luck with any other avenue.

    Here is what I have learned: If a Honda is bought in Canada and immediately imported to the US by a US resident for use in the US, all warranties are canceled (knew that already for the base factory warranty). Turns out that Honda's interpretation of the settlement is an extention of the factory warranty to 109kmi for the trans. From their perspective, I never had any warranty to extend. My VIN is not even in their system (so they say). Now, it is interesting that the factory warranty is cancelled for everything EXCEPT safety and emissions items. And BTW, this does not apply if you buy in Canada, live in Canada and then move to the US - they will transfer your full warranty. So they CAN do things, but they won't. This is their way to attempt to stem the "grey market" of cross border buying.

    Also, clarification on that term: I believe that they intend the term to refer to dealers sort of violating Honda's own rules on selling for cross border traffic, not the buyers per se, although you do feel like a criminal at some dealers. It is perfectly LEGAL, and possibly even easier under NAFTA than it was, but Honda does not like it because they want to price for each market separately. Honda of Am and Honda of Can are two separate profit centers. Still, word to wise Honda dealers - be careful of using this term with customers who might feel that you do not want their lucrative service business or future possible sales.

    Finally, my local dealers service mgr told me that he gets 4-5 cases like mine a year - Canadian bought Odyssey with failing transmission. That's a lot of cases nationwide and that's just a fraction of 99-01 Odysseys.

    And, in the end, he did offer me a deal since I have been a long term service customer - remanufactured transmission at part cost and he would pick up the labor - ~$1800 total, 3 yr, 36 mo warranty (the std warr.) Not the perfect outcome, but at this point, for an 81kmi vehicle, I'll take it and hope to get another 3 yrs out of this vehicle before shelling out for another minivan. Not what I had expected from a Honda, but it is what it is.
  • There is a hugh price difference between buying USA & Canada (ins the case of the Odyssey it's about $10K {my Can 2002 Odyssey EX costs list 34,700}) . Some Canadian residents would like to buy from American dealers. Also the American dollar has lost ground against the Canadian dollar. On the news it has been told that if an American dealer (Ford, GM, Chrysler) sells to a Canadian resident they will lose their franchise. I do not know if this is the same policy with asian vehicles. There is a company with ties to both markets & so would be able to buy USA for Canadians.
  • I had about 57K miles on my 99 LX and the extended warranty (settlement) had expired by a couple months when the tranny showed signals of failure.
    Plead the case with Honda' a RE-MANUFACTURED transmission out of the deal,but had to pay about $800 for labor.
    This a known,documented,DEFECTIVE transmission!! Honda Motors should be 100% liable !!! Why are they getting away with this abuse?
    Did anyone tried to take Honda Motors to court ? Contact the news?....We should!!
    In addition....because of the publicity on those failing transmissions ,the resale value went WAY DOWN !!! My van is in mint condition,but can not get more than $5000 for it.
  • Man, I feel your pain, jal1948. 57kmiles is way too low for any make, let alone the brand with the "legendary reliability." They did take Honda to court and won the settlement you spoke of, but it did not require them to re-design the transmission. And given some other posts, the 02 redesign did not fix the problem and perhaps there are still issues even with the 07 model, which has a significantly beefier transmission (from the Pilot vs the Accord line)

    By the way, the JD Power ratings on this (the Edmunds) site give the 01 Odyssey a 4.5 out of 5 rating for powertrain reliability! Kelly Blue Book has similarly high ratings. Either we are a rare bunch of cranky malcontents or this gives you a calibration on these ratings. It is as if the inertia of the Honda reliability brand outweighs actual data.

    How common is this problem? The lawsuit estimated that the cost of the extension of the warranty by 9 months and 9000 miles was about $180M, I believe. I do the math at $3k a pop and I get something like 60k Odysseys that will fail within that window. If they sold a million Odysseys from 99 to 01 (a generous guess) that would be 6% failing just between 100 and 109k miles with many more before that. Maybe it is not every one of them, but it is clearly not just one in a million. :(
  • bjb5bjb5 Posts: 2
    I quess im not crazy then! I started to notice the clunk in the downshifting at about 5 hundred miles. I know have 2500 miles on it know. I does not do it all the time and then it seems to do it every time im comeing to a stop .It seems to very on brakeing speed and # of passangers. I dont know what to do about this yet
  • meli3meli3 Posts: 2
    First I'd like to say that I love my Odyssey-all of the features, but having any tranny fail on any vehicle before 100,00+ miles is ridiculous. $16,500 isn't chump change for a used car- for crying out loud it really wasn't all that long ago that you could buy a starter home for the price of what many new vehicles cost today -and homes can last 100+ years. Honda has been a top of the line manufacturer forever and I surely expect to get what I pay for. The main reason I'm considering trading it in is because I don't want to be like some of the other unfortunate consumers on this site who are having to replace multiple tranny's.
    Second I had the work done last week and the final cost was $1068. $841 for "parts" and $161 for labor + tax. So the folks who are only paying for labor GUESS AGAIN, my bet is we are paying "dealer cost" on parts + labor. And I plan to send a letter to Honda and my dealership requesting the $841 be refunded.. I'm sorry that some may not agree, but I am tired of being cheated. Honda knows darn well they have bad tranny's and instead of recalling them and changing them completely, their trying to hide it and when it's disputed they are putting the same tranny's right back in "rebuilt".
    My next step, depending on the response from Honda and my dealership is the BBB and Florida states attorney. :lemon:
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,570
    I just had the 30K (3 year) service done on our '05 (at about 31.5K). Had them do the tranny drain and refill.

    The service advisor actually tried to talk me out of it (not hard, he just pointed out that it wasn't called for yet), but I told him do it anyway, given the history (he kind of nodded at that).

    For $75 every 3 years, it is a pretty cheap preventive maintenance. Besides, I figure that if the tranny does crap out after the warranty expires (30 days from now!), it gives me much better ammunition for getting a replacement on them.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Last week I bought a 2007 end of the year clearance Odyssey with 45 miles on it, and the next day I noticed the brakes make a grinding noise when stopping at slow speeds. Now I go online and I see that this is a chronic problem. Oh, this is just great. This really pisses me off. I thought the Odyssey was the top rated mini-van. Now I'm going to have to go in and deal with all the service hassles. Does anyone know if there is a technical service bulletin associated with this problem ?
  • pt2pt2 Posts: 1
    This forum has been a huge eye opener for me. I never would have believed Honda would have so many issues with their transmission.
    I bought a 2003 odyssey EX from a dealer (not a Honda dealer) six months back. I had it checked out at a repair shop before buying and everything looked ok. Last week I felt a little roughness while shifting. I had a oil change scheduled this week and asked the dealer to check it out and yes I got the answer that there was a internal failure in the transmission and the cost was 2900$. I was too shocked to reply back and just came back. What should I do? The vehicle has only 53k miles on it.
    - I do not have any service history since I bought it only 6 months back.
    - I checked the class action website and this vehicle was not part of it.
    - Should I ask the dealer to talk to honda? or should I call honda?
    - What are my chances?
    - Should I check with some other transmission places and get it done for a cheaper price?

    Thanks for any help anybody can provide.
  • I'd say in general your chances aren't bad in general but the first, not so good sign, is that they didn't offer to contact Honda on your behalf. 'Course, mine did and i think they may have not exactly helped my case (terrible dealer, really).

    You will want to contact Honda Customer Service (not the dealer) and they will give you a case number and do some research. Given the low mileage I would expect they would likely cover a good deal of the cost or perhaps all of it. This is only based on several forums I've checked out and many stories of good results.

    Mind you, there are also quite a few cases, like my own, where they refused to do anything. Mine had 109k on it (had it new) but they offered nothing and wanted to charge me $4100 for a rebuilt one. I got the impression this was due to the fact that I did my own trans fluid changes which seemed to mean nothing to them. I also found a post where a car with the same mileage got them to pay for the full deal - incredible. So there is a wide range of responses (too many bad in my opinion) but I would say you have a good shot with a low mileage vehicle.

    Also check out:

    Go to the "Has anyone reached 75k without trans failure" thread - you'll see many posts similar to your issue - I would copy off the examples of Honda paying for the replacement and send those to your case manager.

    The experience has taken me from strongly recommending Honda to being committed never to buy another...but hey, if they hadn't just left me hanging I'd still love 'em -

    Good luck
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