Is Honda lying? says transmission recall not covered

I have a 2003 Odyssey, 147k, great car - but gears finally having trouble. My local repair shop said they called Honda and Honda claimed it was “out of warranty.” But I found this below. Is it out of warranty? Thanks for any advice. Hoping to keep the Odyssey for many years.

Kelley Blue Book:



… On vehicles with more than 15,000 miles, the dealer will inspect the transmission to identify gears that have already experienced discoloration due to overheating. If discoloration exists, the transmission will be replaced. If discoloration is not present, the dealer will install the change to the oil cooler return line. The manufacturer has reported that owner notification began on May 12, 2004. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009


On some minivans… certain operating conditions can result in heat build-up between the countershaft and secondary shaft second gears in the automatic transmission, eventually leading to gear tooth chipping or gear breakage. Gear failure could result in transmission lockup, increasing the risk of a crash.

Why don’t you call the Honda corporate folks yourself in order to find out the exact situation as it pertains to your vehicle?

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Safety recalls lasts the vehicles life.

If this isn’t a safety recall from the manufacturer, the vehicle is out of warranty.


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Honda is probably not lying here. The part of the statement you quote does not include limitations such as time, mileage, maintenance, etc., but those limitations are elsewhere in Honda’s description of their campaign.

That campaign does not cover all 2003 Hondas, your VIN may not even be included and your car may never have been affected. Or…

Your car may have been inspected and repaired already according to the procedure described. Are you the original owner?

Moreover, your car is now 22 years old. Why would any part of the car be covered under warranty at this time?

If you hope to keep the car for many more years have the transmission repaired or replaced. That is certainly far more affordable than replacing the car.


The recall notice was made in 2004. Honda estimated that 0.3% for all models that might be affected could have the second gear problem. The Odyssey may have been evaluated for this issue in the last 20 years. Have you owned it since new? You can check with the dealer and see if this recall inspection was made already. If so, you’re out of luck. You probably are anyway. IMO this minivan aged out of this recall a long time ago. Remember that it is only for heat damage to second gear. If your problem shifting involves any other gear it almost certainly isn’t covered.


In addition to the valid replies thus far, I will add that a service campaign is not the same as a recall. A phone call to the corporate folks should clarify the matter for the OP.

But, I also have to wonder if he/she really thinks that the mfr should still be responsible for free repairs–of any kind–on a 21 year old vehicle.


Honda Odysseys of this vintage were known for having transmission problems. We had a 2003 Odyssey that was a great vehicle, but when it started having transmission slippage, we got rid of it. This was in 2015.

I think you’re out of luck here, friend. Either go visit a transmission shop, or start shopping for a new one.


Define "gears finally having trouble. "

Seems to me the time to have the gears checked was 2004, not 2024. I think most would say that 150,000 miles is good service.


How many miles did you have on it ? I only have 147k. It’s been a great car and love the huge windows with great visibility, so I want to keep it

Shifting from 1 to 2 - occasionally revs. Repair shop (good one) says transmission should be replaced ASAP

That means the clutches are slipping, and has nothing to do with the gears.

Typical for a transmission with that many miles if it wasn’t serviced regularly.


I have known several people who never serviced their transmission, and they all wound-up with serious trans problems. Most only made it to 90-100k, and one only made it to 150k.

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That is a different problem. The recall involved installing an oil jet to prevent the countershaft and secondary shaft second gear from overheating and transmission lock-up.

The recall for your vehicle was probably performed 20 years ago. You can check for open recalls on the Honda web site:

Recall Information for Safety & Defects | Honda Owners Site

And bear in mind that even if you have the trans replaced, every other part of this van is 20 years old and subject to failure at any moment, and its on your dime.


Good ideas above. Since this is a safety issue , might be worthwhile to ask the national highway safety folks.

I forget the exact mileage, but it was probably between 150-200K miles.

Also agree with the other comments that everything else on the van is 20+ years old. Including safety equipment.

There comes a time when you have to put the old horse out to pasture.

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I’ve always had it served regularly.

Machines still fail, though, even with regular service.

And like I said, the Honda transmissions of that era were rumored to be made of glass.