Ask an expert


I am looking at buying a 2001 Honda Odyssey.

I have read that there was a recall on automatic transmissions for this vehicle. Do you know if this model would have been affected, or how I would find out?


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 23 July, 2010


This vehicle is 9 years old so any weaknesses in the transmission should have been well highlighted by now.

I believe there was a recall campaign in America and was in relation to a bearing in the differential breaking up causing all sorts of damage due to contamination of the oil.

It was also an issue with some Odysseys that were sold new in NZ around this time but from our knowledge the majority of failures happened within the first 5 years of ownership. I am not aware of any official recall campaign, it was dealt with on a case by case basis if the car was out of new car warranty and the bearings failed.

Regardless of a potential problem with a diff bearing failure, I would exercise general caution on the automatic transmission full stop on a vehicle of this age. Automatic transmissions simply wear out and they can be extremely expensive to repair.

I have heard of costs around the $4,000K mark for parts alone for the Odyssey.

The Odyssey has been a popular vehicle in NZ for many years especially as a used import and there are probably more happy owners than unhappy ones in terms of overall experience. You just need to be very careful you are not buying someone else’s problems Lynn.

I wouldn’t put you off the Odyssey (any other make/model at this age will have similar risks) but make sure you get it checked out properly with a vehicle inspection.

I would even go as far as getting either a Honda dealer or a automatic specialist to check out the transmission performance before committing to buy.