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:
$1,800.00
Average Mileage:
97,727 miles
Total Complaints:
65 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. Honda should fix it (34 reports)
  2. needs repainted (23 reports)
  3. not sure (8 reports)
2003 Honda Accord body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Jan 152010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

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

Clear coat began separating from paint in January 2010...it has just gotten continually worse...now it is in

UN-saleable condition.

Has always been dealer maintained...mechanically it is in great shape...but I am stuck with it because of the way it looks. I wouldn't buy it if I were looking for a used vehicle.

Honda refuses to stand behind the finish...it is obvious that the paint that was used is of inferior quality.

I will never buy a Honda product again!

- , Port Orange, FL, USA

problem #24

Feb 032012

Accord ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

I see the same problem on hundreds of other Hondas

- , Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #23

Mar 152012

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off

The clear coating is peeling/failing on the hood, front bumper, and two side panels in front.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

problem #22

Aug 312010

Accord LX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

Selling a product with know defect, definitely manufacturer should take responsibility because consumer paying money for what its worth it. If some issue which exists is part of the manufacturing defect, then manufacturer should take care of there customer to fix there problem. We can't afford expenses which is not our fault or luxurious. Manufacturer should think about mid class family who runs there life with day to day expenses love to drive a decent car, ended up with loosing extra money for product defects. Obviously we can't spend it and we can't loose the product as well.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #21

Feb 012008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

I purchased this honda new from robertson honda in 2003 and had all my service done there including a new transmission, new navi screen and cpu also had motor mounts replaced the car currently has 117807 miles on it and runs well but is a eye sore to drive my wife wont even drive it. I still wash and wax my car just like i did when it was new,but I'm afraid once all the clear coat is off it will rust into the body.

- , Toluca Lake, CA, USA

problem #20

Oct 092011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,500 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

We are long time owners of Honda autos (exclusively) but we are thoroughly disappointed with the quality of our 2003 Accord EX. Specifically, the durability of the clear coat on this car does not represent the quality one would expect from Honda. Although we have owned eight Hondas, there may be a shift over to another automobile manufacturer due to the quality of the manufacturing associated with this car. (not the only issue with this car)

- , Baltic, SD, USA

problem #19

May 012010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

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

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

The car was purchased in July, 2005 (certified used) from Livermore Honda.

Livermore Honda says it's not their problem. It's really annoying that Honda doesn't seem to want to own up to the facts.

I have gotten estimates ranging from $2,100 to $4,400 to repaint.

At one repair shop there were three other cars, 2 of them Hondas, already in the lot with the same problem. To be fair, Honda is not the only make with this issue.

We love the car otherwise, so I have finally decided to get it repainted next week, but if there is any way to be reimbersed by Honda, even partially, that would be great.

- , Livermore, CA, USA

problem #18

Mar 052012

Accord LX 4 cyl 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

This spring, I noticed white spots appearing on the roof and trunk of my green Honda Accord. I tried to buff them out but when I did that, some of the paint started to peel off. In the past few months, the problem is spreading to wider areas. I took it to a body shop and they told me it was a clear coat problem and it would cost me $1000 to repaint the roof and trunk. went to the Honda dealer and they told me it was sun damage. I told them my car was kept in the garage. They refused to acknowledge that it was Honda's problem.

- , Pickerington, OH, USA

problem #17

Jul 012011

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles

I PURCHASED MY 2003 HONDA ACCORD IN JULY OF 2003 AND I LOVED MY CAR WHEN I GOT IT BEING A SINGLE PARENT MAKING THIS PURCHASE TO HAVE A GREAT DEPENDABLE CAR AND THEN TO TAKE CAR OF MY CAR THEN TO LOOK AT THE CAR NOW FIRST IT STARTED OUT AS A SMALL SPOT ON THE TOP OF MY CAR SO I WENT TO THE DEALERSHIP AND GOT TOUCH UP PAINT NOW IT'S ALL OF THE TOP,TRUNK, AND HOODOF MY CAR AND THIS IS SO EMBRASSING TO RIDE IN. SO I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER HONDA BECAUSE OF THIS REASON!!!!!!

- , Rock Hill, SC, USA

problem #16

Oct 012009

Accord EX V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 65,000 miles

I bought a used 2003 Honda Accord from O'donnell Honda Ellicott City, MD. It had 8,000 miles on it. Over the past 2 years the car paint/clear coat is peeling everywhere. The car looks horrible. I work for an NFL team and there are so many beautiful cars in our lot and then there is mine. I am so embarrassed to drive it. The car is in good condition other than the paint. I do not think this is normal wear and tear. I would like my car to be repainted at no cost to me. Honda needs to step up and make this right.

- , Lutherville, MD, USA

problem #15

Apr 082008

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,898 miles

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

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

Calling original dealership and complaining can't get call backs from anyone that can take action. Taken car in to another dealership in my area, no response, Estimates to repaint is over $3k...Really upset and pissed at Honda. Only owner, paid cash, and now they don't want anything to do with me! I have pictures and the car looks like crap! Not my style enough to NOT buy a Honda again!

- , Campbell, CA, USA

problem #14

Mar 072011

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

my honda which i love clear coat is cracking off...Honda makes a good quality car to have a sh*tty paint job done to it!! Help

- , Swansea, IL, USA

problem #13

Oct 012008

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

click to see larger images

clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off clear coat coming off

The problem started in 2008 and continued to grow all over the car. Clear coat is pealing. I took to my Honda dealer (Tameron Honda) where I have been performing ALL of my regular maintenance. They saw how bad it was and contacted Honda America. Honda America said they will not pay due to the age (it is now 8 years) and mileage (107,000 now). I have a Toyota Sienna that is 1998 with 200,000 miles. There is not any clearcoat pealing. Both cars have experienced the same weather conditions. I see other Honda Accords with the same problem and when you google it, you get a ton of hits. I'm thinking that this is ripe for a class-action lawsuite. Other cars do not do this. Honda definately created a defect. They should make it right. I have already decided to stop going to the Honda dealer for service. If this is not fixed I will not by another Honda product of any kind.

- , Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #12

Jan 012010

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

I have a 2003 green Honda Accord and over the past year or so the clear coat has been coming off so bad that the car looks like it belongs in a junk yard. I've also noticed that around the areas where it's peeling there is an actual line delineating peeling from non-peeling, almost like the car was taped. I've noticed a lot of other people have this problem. We should all come together to get Honda to do something about it because I don't think we should have to pay for a paint job when clearly Honda has a problem with their clear coat.

- , Hazlet, NJ, USA

problem #11

Apr 122011

Accord EX-L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,500 miles

My 2003 Honda Accord has signs of serious delamination of the clear coat from the green body paint on the roof, trunk, door edges and trim. An area that had to be repaired (dent and paint) does not so any signs of delamination. Originally I thought it was due to sun damage, however with the recent (4/19/11) estimates I have recognized it it an automotive/manufacture defect. I strongly believe that this should be corrected by Honda and not me the consumer (at the cost of $5,000). I am to meet with the customer rep. early next month and would like to present a good case any ideas insights or advice? Help! I do love my Honda.

- , Penn Yan, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 112010

Accord LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,000 miles

ok i bought my 2003 Honda accord lx 4 door black in color.. 4 weeks ago from a girl i kno.....i bought it for only 4000..because it has some sun spots i think that Honda should fix this problem.....my clear coat id peeling off and the hood is faded ...it wouldn't be that big a deal but this is and 03 accord no not brand new but the paint should not be as bad as it is.....i runs like a brand new 1 tho.....i thought about taking it 2 macco but after all the bad crap i saw about their black paint jobs...so i might just get a paint gun n some paint n all the stuff i need 2 do it myself...Honda make a recall for this paint........I LOVE HONDAS NO matter what......

- , Lagrange, GA, USA

problem #9

Jun 012010

Accord V4

  • Manual transmission
  • 88,000 miles

The clear coat started coming off my car in various places over the summer. Now it's getting worse! I checked for recall on this problem, but do not see that one exists. My car is old, but not a dinosaur! I will contact a Honda Dealer and see if this problem would be covered under a warranty. I think it should be. Will advise back....

Update from Dec 4, 2010: After reading the other complaints on this site it seems as though you will get the run around by calling your local dealer or Honda Corp.!

- , Lake In The Hills, IL, USA

problem #8

May 012010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Went to local Honda dealer , who told me it was a problem for the district manager , which in turn said , he had to contact the regional mgr. who never responded. There is no way to contact anyone in CA. ( home office). Honda will never hear the end of this!!!!!!!!!!!

- , Hanover, PA, USA

problem #7

Sep 172009

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

I bought my Candy Apple Red Honda Accord LX in 2005. It is barely paid for, and the paint is already peeling on the both the trunk and roof. I REALLY LOVED my car,and was so excited when I bought it, so can you just imagine how much this bothers. It is becoming so unsightly that I don't even like looking at it! I bought my car because of it reputation for reliability, I never even thought that this would be something that would give me "car problems." My husband recently read somewhere that Honda's are KNOWN for having bad paint jobs, which is really a shame since they are such goods cars. Really, who wants a reliable, ugly car? And from what I have been reading during my research on Honda paint job, this is more common than I realized. I can't believe the number of people who are having the same problem, on the same general area (I read quite a bit of trunk and roof complaints). At first, I believed it was my fault because my car may not have been waxed/buffed enough, but after reading several consumer complaints, I realize this paint problem was inevitable, too bad I didn't know this BEFORE I bought the car! I may have gone with the red Toyota Solara I almost purchased. Also, to read about the lame excuses the dealerships offer when consumers come complaining, like acid rain, sap, and birds, is even more discouraging because apparently these dealers have been trained to give this response, considering how many people I read were told this. Wow Honda, why not go all the way and have a flawless reputation? Why not be known for having a NICE, reliable car where EVERYTHING is lasting! Everyone knows excited I was about my Honda, and how I loved it, and now look at it! Not a good look Honda!

- , St. Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #6

Aug 022010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,500 miles

Just within the last three months, my 2003 Honda Accord V-6 started to have three places on the roof where the clear coat was failing. Considering I've had the car professionally detailed by the Honda certified shop, I would not have expected this major failing of the coating to happen. A technician at Honda said if only I had waxed the car it would not have happened. When I mentioned that I had the car detailed by his shop several times during my ownership, he got very quiet.

What is the solution? Will Honda make this right.

- , Germantown, MD, USA

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