Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2003 Honda Accord suffers from widespread transmission failure & problems with the stereo backlight failing. We recommend avoiding this model year like the plague.

The transmission begins slipping & eventually has to be replaced, typically soon after 90,000 miles & with a repair cost of over $2,000. Transmission failure has been a huge problem for the Accord & several other Honda models all through the early 2000s model years. Honda extended the transmission warranty to 93 months/109k miles for the 2000-2001 Accord as a class action lawsuit settlement, but owners of other Accord model years with transmission problems are out of luck.

The stereo backlight problem has been an issue since these Accords were only a few years old. Honda eventually issued a recall which covered the repair for 7 years/100k miles, which was nice while it lasted but now that period is over. Honda initially was replacing the entire radio ($800) but eventually began replacing just the PCB which at ~$300 is much cheaper. That sounds like a deal, but keep in mind we're talking about a backlight bulb that costs $2 to fix in most other cars.

7.4

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$542.00
Average Mileage:
79,517 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. problem not fixed (12 reports)
  3. dealer replaced CD player under warranty (7 reports)
  4. not covered.......but the backlight display was! (2 reports)
  5. aftermarket, overpriced trunk cd changer (1 reports)
  6. auto manufacturer goodwill repair (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #19

Sep 012005

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This was the replacement radio I received under warranty. The replacement radio would completely turn off and make me enter the security code anytime I would seek on a CD. I gave up on CDs after 2 radios had failed. I now listen to XM radio only.....

- , Vienna, VA, USA

problem #18

Jun 012010

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Alright so this past summer my 6 disk cd player stopped working all of a sudden! a big pain in the ass! At first the disk numbers at the top still were showing, when I turn my car off to run into the store quickly and turn it right back on it would go from am to fm to cd and then go blank. It worked when it wanted to but now it doesn't work at all and you can't see the numbers of the cd anymore, sometimes it still does the changing of the stations when I turn it on and off quickly but I still have cds in there that I want! I went to the dealership and first they said I needed to pay 70 bucks to have a diagnostic test done and after that they can figure out what the problem is. I went back two months later and they told me it was 100 bucks! wtf this is ridiculous. Not only after they figure out whats wrong, they want to take my car for two weeks, and charge me daily to have the car there. I HATE HONDA! THIS IS BS! Who would have guessed that a Honda is more expensive and has more problems then my old Lexus! I WILL NEVERRRRRRRR BUY A HONDA AGAIN!

Update from Apr 4, 2011: Alright EVERYONE clearlyyyyyyyy we/everyone with a Honda has problems with the cd player! Now the only way to fix this problem is for ALLLLLLL of us to get in contact with Honda and ALLLLLLL of us need to file a complaint!! I'm positive that none of us want to pay $800 for it to get fixed to just break again!

In order for Honda to recall it we all need to call and make a complaint. They have recalled the backlight of the radio so if that is the case bring your vehicle in. They replaced mine according to the woman I purchased the vehicle from. But as every day passes and every time I get into my car I get more and more pissed off that it doesn't work. I've tried fuses, disconnecting the battery. Everything I can think of. The only thing I haven't tried is the cd player fuse.

If anyone knows that information please send me an email because the handbook doesn't have the information in it for the cd player fuse! Maybe that's because they know the cd player was going to go!!!!! !! Again let's get the cd player recalled it's never going to happen unless we take some initiative! please I'm begging y'all!!!!! With the economy the way it is money is tight!!!

- , Salem, NH, USA

problem #17

Jun 022010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

Radio works fine but not CD player. it does not respond to anything.

right now only radio work.

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #16

Oct 142009

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My Honda's factory installed CD player began malfunctioning about three months ago--CD getting stuck in player; player getting stuck without a CD. I paid an independent car stereo service provider $175.00 to get the CD out of the player (he had to go through the hood and cut the power). He cautioned me about using CDs with labels on them (though, I'd been doing so for years - why was this a problem now, I wondered?)

Alas, in less than a day's time, another CD got stuck. Took it back. Tech popped the hood, rescued my CD, and off I drove.

Now the player has developed another quirk - in the midst of playing a CD it will shut off and the display will go dark. If I press power, the display will come back on with some off-the-charts track number. It will play for a while and then shut off again. I've tried different CDs but cannot establish a pattern. The car is nearly seven years old and I don't think I'll invest in a costly replacement. But has anyone else had this issue and, hopefully, had it resolved?

- , Louisville, KY, USA

problem #15

Oct 222009

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

My CD player stopped working about a month ago. I had 6 CD's loaded and pressed the eject button to take one out but just got an ERR mesage and it wouldn't play any CD's either. I already had an appointment at the dealer a couple of days later for another problem and metioned the CD problem when I dropped the car off. The service rep said they would take a quick look but fixing it would probably run me about $1000! I asked if they could just get my CD's out and he said they'd se what they could do. When I picked up the car...the radio display no longer showed the ERR message for the CD player...it actually didn't even acknowledge that there was a CD player or any CD's. When I dropped the car off at least it showed on the display that there were 6 CD's loaded even though it wouldn't play or eject them! I pointed this out to the service rep and his response was "we didn't do anything to the CD player"...my response was "then why doesn't the display acknowledge that a CD player exists with 6 CD's loaded". He just brushed it off and said I could leave the car and they could check it but it would cost $$. I know there are many people out there with CD player problems with this car...WHY HASN'T HONDA ACKNOWLEDGED THIS PROBLEM!!!!

- , New Rochelle, NY, USA

problem #14

Jun 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

I'm so annoyed. First of all, I had the same backlight problem that others have mentioned here ... that happened about a year ago at 55,000 miles and my awesome mechanic convinced Honda to repair it under warantee, although my warantee had been up for years. Anyway, about a month ago my CD player quit. It started with songs skipping, CD's randomly ejecting, and strange noises as if the CD's were not in quite right and were thunking around in the changer. The mechanic couldn't help me with this one. The Honda dealer told me they could not either fix or replace it, but they would confirm that it was broken for $50 (duh). How can a dealer refuse to fix their own cars? Long story short, I found a fly-by-night type guy about an hour away who claimed he could fix it, and had fixed many 2003 Hondas just like this before ... two trips there and $250 later it worked fine, until today when it quit completely. I have 5 CD's in; the display says 6. The radio works but pressing the CD/AUX button has no effect. I can't load or eject CD's. To top it off, the dude who "fixed" it has not returned my calls. I am totally aggravated and I just wish I could get the dealer to take ownership of the problem!!!

- , Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #13

Jun 012004

Accord

  • 39,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My cd/dvd player quit working just after the car went out of warranty so I took it in to see if they would do anything, of course they said no but they would put in a new one for a little over $1000. We still do not have it fixed.

- , Sherwood, MI, USA

problem #12

Nov 172008

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles

I was wondering if Autobeef have any information about a recall on cd player on the 2003 Honda accord system

- , Knightdale, NC, USA

problem #11

Nov 152008

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,460 miles

player rejects cds nd z radio keeps going on nd off!

- , Kano, Kano, Nigeria

problem #10

Jan 172007

Accord V6 3.0L

  • Manual transmission
  • 40,389 miles

CD player reads error! can not use any function of cd player at all. Radio works though. As well as the climate controls. Except............I cant see them. Due to the fact that the display burnt out and Honda has taken 4 months (still with no reply) to get the part that was back ordered! But they did install some 2nd gear jet system in the recalled transmission that I got no letter for!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just found out when I called about the Display!

- , Napanee, Ontario, Canada

problem #9

Jul 152008

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My factory-original in-dash 6-CD changer just plain died while trying to switch discs. At first it displayed an error message, then all CD-related controls just stopped responding. Radio and climate controls in the same in-dash unit still work fine.

The parts department at my dealer offered me an in-trunk 8-CD changer for $600 (before labor). After some discussion, they quoted another part (39175-SDA-A12 "Tuner Assy") for $720 after taxes. He said he "thought" that this was the replacement for the 6-CD changer, but honestly, no one there gave a very convincing impression that they knew anything more than what was listed in the parts catalog. For all I could tell, it could have been the single-CD player, or even the basic radio tuner without a CD player.

I have two major beefs with this.

First: This looked like a fairly straightforward mechanical failure. Why not try to repair the installed unit, especially since no one could even tell me confidently whether the replacement part is still manufactured and available?

Second: While I absolutely don't expect every representative to be an expert on every model from every year, I do expect them to have resources available to allow them to look up any information they might need, and I expect them to take the time to do so, not just quote me for an aftermarket "upgrade" that I don't want. If I had wanted to get out of my car to change my CDs, I'd have gotten an in-trunk changer to begin with, or I'd have gone to an aftermarket vendor and gotten one cheaper than I could from the dealer. I wanted a replacement for the OEM in-dash 6-CD changer, and after going to the dealer, I'm still not sure whether one is even available.

At this point, since no one else seems willing to do so, I'm going to try to repair the unit myself. Failing that, I'll explore my options--maybe a more competent parts department, or a car stereo store.

- , Allen, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 202008

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles

This is the first of at least six complaints that I am submitting. My CD changer has gone out and the display is darker. I complained to American Honda and they want me to take it to the dealer and have the dealer remove the changer, tell me what is wrong, and then have it replaced. HOWEVER, I have to pay for all of that myself and then American Honda will decide if they are willing to "help" me with it or not. It is certainly less expensive to just go to an audio store and have them replace it and pay for it myself. I cannot see ever buying a Honda again. I truly have a "lemon".

Cheryl in Texas

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Feb 202008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

In February 2008, my radio/clock/HVAC display failed and went completely dark. American Honda did not recall this part because it's not a "safety issue," but recognized the problem by issuing an extended warranty on the part to 7 yrs/100,000 miles. Two weeks after I picked the car up, the 6 CD changer/player failed. Other than showing 5 CDs were in the machine, you'd never be able to tell that I had a CD player. It wouldn't switch to "CD mode" or load/eject CDs. American Honda agreed to fix the CD player under a "one time goodwill warranty" for customer loyalty. I'm still waiting to receive a shipment of the 5 CDs that were stuck in the player. One week later, the transmission failed without warning due to an "internal error." This IS a safety issue as the car cut out in traffic. It slipped at 75th Street and was toast by 80th Street. Despite an obvious problem with the transmission in this make/model (see the off-the-chart complaints listed on this site), Honda has not issued a recall. It did, however, stand behind the car by agreeing to cover most of the cost of the transmission out-of-warranty.

Honda has taken very good care of me on all of these issues so far. With that said, these kinds of problems should not be happening on any Honda with only 60,000 miles. I've driven Hondas for over 20 years and never had any problems come close to the ones I've had with this car (starting with replacement of an O2 sensor in '05). I'd steer clear of the '03 Accord and try an '05 Accord instead. Or a Camry.

- , Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #6

May 282007

(reported on)

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I'm having problems with my radio/cd player cutting off periodically. Not sure what the problem is. I took it to the dealer to have it fixed and was told they don't fix radios - only replaced them. This is frustrating. I really don't want to shell out $600.00 or more for a radio that according to some accounts here, might end up having the same problem down the road.

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Sep 302007

(reported on)

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I had the stereo replaced once under warranty. Now the CD player just stopped working and the dealership basically told me, too bad so sad. Absolutely disgusted with this. Two radios in one car?? Please.

- , South Milwaukee, WI, USA

problem #4

Jun 162007

(reported on)

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

Whenever the CD's are ejected from the player i noticed that the discs are hot to the touch. A few weeks ago after about an hour and a half of running the cd player the screen got dim, then went out all together. The radio froze up on a super loud volume and, luckily, the power button still worked. The radio would turn on and off but just sit on the high volume and still no display. None of the buttons on the head worked. After about 15 minutes the display started to slowly come back to life and after 25 minutes the radio head had cooled enough and was fully functional again. Don't know how much it will cost me but i'm sure it's not under warranty. I've been really disappointed with this car, and it's my 4th Honda accord. It will also be my last.

- , Salisbury, MD, USA

problem #3

Jan 122007

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

Couple of weeks back, music system/display went blank. The weird thing is the CD player, AC works but no display at all. I took it to the dealer, and was told that they have ordered a system, will be available in two weeks. It was part of the warranty it seems.

- , Nj, NJ, USA

problem #2

Dec 282006

(reported on)

Accord EX-L 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

WHILE DRIVING FOR LESS THAN A HALF HOUR LISTENING TO THE RADIO THE WIFE NOTICED THE LIGHTING PANEL ON THE STEREO WAS DIMMING AND THEN GOING BRIGHT AND DIMMING AGAIN UNTIL THE PANEL WENT DARK AND THE PLAYER STOP COMPLETELY. I POWERED THE RADIO ON AND THEN OFF AGAIN AND THE BACKGROUND WAS DARK BUT DID DISPLAY THE STATION, TEMP, TREBLE, BASE DOES LIGHT UP, BUT NO SOUNDS AT ALL, COMPLETELY DEAD!

I CALLED THE LOCAL DEALER AND THEY INFORMED ME THAT IT COULD BE COVERED UNDER 60,000 MILES BY ACCOUNT OF AN EXTEND SERVICE BULLETIN #04-027. I TOOK IT FOR A DIAGNOSTIC AND THEY SAID IT WAS AN INTERNAL PART OF THE RADIO BUT BECAUSE THE SCREEN WAS NOT TOTALLY DARK IT WAS NOT COVERED BY #04-027

I READ AN EARLIER COMPLAINT AND IT WAS EXPLAINED THAT A RESISTOR WAS HEATING UP ON THE CIRCUIT BOARD AND CAUSING THIS DARK DISPLAY ISSUE. SEEMS TO ME THIS SAME HEATING COULD JUST AS EASILY CAUSE THE PROBLEM I AM HAVING.

I CALLED AMERICAN HONDA AND THEY KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS 04-027 SERVICE BULLETIN AND IF THE DEALER SAID IT WAS NOT COVERED IT WAS NOT COVERED THEY WERE FN USELESS!!

- , Pomona, NJ, USA

problem #1

May 122004

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 10,000 miles

At 10,000 miles, I had to replace my CD player b/c it quit working. I am just VERY disappointed with my Honda. I have heard so many good things about it, but I can't add to it.

I am mad b/c I didn't get the extended warranty b/c it's a Honda and I would never use it! Now, at 31,000 miles, I'm regretting it. I've called and written letters to everyone I can think of and no one is concerned. Any suggestions would be great!

- , Baltimore, MD, USA

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