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. 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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,011 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #14

Mar 312016


  • 192,000 miles


When braking or accelerating my seat moves slightly; which is very dangerous. It ask for a specific date however this has been happening for several months, but I put today date.

- Garner, NC, USA

problem #13

Jul 152014


  • 40,000 miles
There are 20 complaints about the safety of the seats on this website, but there has been no recall. The seat slides forward when braking. This is very dangerous.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #12

Feb 102015


  • 45,000 miles
The seat will move when stopping or turning, which could be a serious safety issue. I have looked on-line and this is apparently a common problem with this model. Honda will charge to replace the seat rails. According to the on-line commentary's, this is only a temporary fix.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 012013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 136,500 miles


The transmission is well on its way out slipping only use official Honda dw-1 fluid still no help Honda needs to fix this problem they have a defective transmission and they know it.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #10

Apr 182014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the driver's front seat was not secured. The vehicle was not repaired or diagnosed. The manufacturer was not contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 89,000. Updated 06/10/14 the consumer stated the seat moves forward when the brakes are applied. Updated 06/11/2014

- Somerset, KY, USA

problem #9

Mar 162012

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 30 mph on a ramp, the front driver's seat began to slide back and forth. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the springs on the seat failed. The contact was advised to replace the seat assembly. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 125,000. Updated 04/19/12 the consumer stated the storing spring was missing. Updated 05/07/12

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 192010

Accord 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the driver's seat would move forward abnormally braking to a stop and when accelerating, the seat would move backward. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was told that the seat would need to be fixed. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 71,000. Updated 06/01/11

- Somerset, KY, USA

problem #7

Jun 162010


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact was driving approximately 30 mph, and the front driver side seat inadvertently moved forward in a jerking motion. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing where they informed her that the seat rail needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 75,000.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #6

Dec 012010


  • miles
The driver's side seat shifts when making a turn. Also note that when braking, I noticed the seat move as well. So both turning and braking. The man I bought it from noticed the same thing. I've read online that it is common. He got a price to fix it, Honda dealership told him $1000 and a local non-dealer $500. I'm going to wait and see if Honda offers a recall before I spend the money. I am reading that after some people have gotten it fixed, it brakes the same way.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #5

May 192007


  • miles
I was smelling the rotten egg smell that many other claimed to smell. I had the catalytic converter changed but the smell comes back from time to time. The seat slide forward and then backward when applying brake.

- York, PA, USA

problem #4

Mar 132006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The power driver seat moves when braking or making turns. When this happens, I feel very unsafe and am afraid the seat might come-off loose.

- La Habra, CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 202005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Driver seat moves when cornering mostly on the right turns.

- Mississauga, 00, USA

problem #2

Jul 062005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,575 miles
Driver's seat moves when turning 4/04-brought to dealer in miami, fl - mounting bolts for drivers seat loose-retorqued 5/04-driver seat moving again 6/04-brought to dealer in miami, fl - installed new seat track 7/05-driver seat moving again- brought to dealer in morrow, ga - dealer can not duplicate seat moving 7/05-called Honda corporate office-took 2 weeks to speak with customer service rep-tells me this is "inherent design with no fix" I do not feel safe driving this car. Please investigate.

- Mcdonough, GA, USA

problem #1

Mar 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • 5,076 miles
The engine emitted a rotten egg smell. The driver heard a grinding noise. The vehicle also had a brake problem. The driver's seat was not stable. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer at least 9 times for multiple problems. Paint on the hood is flaking. Seat is not fixed. The door panel was fixed twice but problem still exists. Consumer confronted dealership about problem with vehicle but consumer was ignored. Consumer called american Honda to report issue with dealer.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

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