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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
102,725 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Dec 012003


  • miles


Falling acorns have left many pock marks on the body of my 2003 Accord. My other car is parked in the same area with no damage. The metal on the 2003 Accord feels significantly weaker to the touch than the body of my other cars. This car looks like it was pelted with hail stones. It seems to me that a car should withstand the impact of an acorn!

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #2

Jul 102003


  • miles
The exterior window ledge is bubbling. It looks like cheap tape over metal. Have heard this complaint from several other 2003 Accord owners.

- Whitefish Bay, WI, USA

problem #1

May 152003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
There is a constant popping noise that developed around 2500 miles. The noise occurs once or twice upon acceleration from a dead stop and while braking to come to a dead stop. The noise appears to be coming from the firewall area under the driverS side floor pan. Other people with this problem have reported that this is a common issue with V6 Accord and that the fix is to re-weld some areas between the firewall and floor pan. My dealer is not aware of any such fix and Honda customer service has no idea as well. The popping noise appears to be caused to body flex in areas that were not welded properly.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

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