1999 Honda Odyssey EX from North America


Would have been a great car, but too many problems with the transmissions


I bought my Odyssey new in September, 1999.

The transmission failed in February, 2000 and had to be replaced after only 5,000 miles.

18 months later the transmission started to lag when shifting. We eventually lost reverse and the entire transmission had to be replaced again in October, 2001. They told us that Honda had redesigned the transmission for 2001 and this time we were getting the "updated transmission." Our warranty was extended to 5 years.

In May of 2004, with 53,000 miles on the car, the transmission started to slip and "clunk" and eventually failed again. The car's fourth transmission was installed.

On July 31, 2004, the transmission failed rather suddenly, stranding my family on a major highway.

We will not be bringing the car back to my house this time. They have had 3 chances to fix this problem and the car remains unsafe to drive. Under my state's "Lemon Law," we are entitled to a refund from Honda even though the car has 56,000 miles on it. That is what we will be pursuing.

General Comments:

I have had four Hondas and Acuras, and generally love their cars. The Odyssey set the standard for minivan design; but there is no question that the 1999-2004 Odyssey is a problem car. One can only hope that Honda will not repeat this debacle with the redesigned 2005 Odyssey.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd August, 2004

25th Jan 2005, 16:53

Thank you!

Misery loves company! I was just searching for 'lemon' 'Honda' 'Odyssey' and found this posting.

My odyssey is a 1999, we had to pay $5K to be on a waiting list for 9 months until a dealer in my state had one.

We replaced the first transmission at 18K miles, second at about 40K, we were told how lucky we were that we had the extended warranty because we were beyond the 36000 miles normally covered. Warranty also covered the third at 60K and the fourth under recall at 98K, now the van has 128K miles and is in the shop getting is 5th transmission.

Symptoms have included, rev-then-shift, loss of reverse, chugging between shifts, and just plain missed shifts.

While the dealers have been generally responsive, there comes a point where I must question if I made the correct choice. This car has room, is comfortable, and does OK on gas, but 5 transmissions in 128,000 miles yet my Subaru and Ford are still on their originals after 112,000 and 145,000 respectively.

Honda... where did U go wrong?

30th Dec 2008, 20:58

Well, I can't believe these comments.

Honda had problems but, I suspect exaggeration. No transmission from Honda, Toyota or any other over seas maker has that much trouble. I would buy that 1999 Odyssey then put up with low quality, poor service and POOR reputation from the BIG 3. They've had major issues for a long, long time that made consumers turn off. They've had many years to change.

No one wants to spend many hours at the dealers doing warranty work. Drivers with stressful, demanding occupations don't want it. I would buy North American if they made quality vehicles. How come Hyundai changed their quality control and gained a lot of market in the last 5 years?

See the "Consumers Reports". This is an educated eye opener.

I purchased a used 1999 Odyssey, three years ago with 33,000k and NO transmission issues so far. I changed the transmission fluid to spec last year.


1999 Honda Odyssey LX 3.5 from North America


The worst car vehicle I've ever owned


Emission Control (Engine Light) non-warranty:

- Vent shut-off valve replaced

- Bypass Control valve Solenoid replaced

- 2-way valve replaced.

Transmission 2 replaced under warranty:

- 60000km - transmission replaced

- 60000km - new transmission replaced. Vehicle had not been test driven by dealership and they had not detected that the replacement was defective.

Wheel Bearings:

- Rear replaced at 98000 km.


- Constantly sticking doors. No effective repair.

- 2 handles broken as a result. (One under warranty one not)

Gas Gage: replaced under warranty.

Power Window: Regulator replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

- Poor internal ergonomics. Armrests too low, Mirror adjustments not readily visible, seats less comfortable than my '93 civic.

- Have spent more on maintenance than my '93 civic.

- Least reliable an most ecpensive vehicle to maintain that I have ever had.

- No automatic shutoff of internal lights resulting in many dead batteries.

- Intermittent engine light problems do not automatically clear. One has to go to dealer and pay $50 to have it reset.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2003

17th Dec 2003, 09:24

Your comparison with your '93 Civic is not apt. The '99 Odyssey was actually built by Isuzu, not Honda. An Oasis with Honda nameplate.

10th Feb 2004, 22:01

The comment following the original review is incorrect. The 1999 Odyssey is made and designed by Honda and made in Ontario Canada in a Honda factory. Warts, transmission problems, sticking doors, plugged EGR valves, road noise, short warranty, high prices and all, the 1999 Odyssey is a real Honda.