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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
8,805 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Aug 012011

Accord

  • miles

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

2003 Honda Accord. Consumer writes in regards to ABS system malfunctioning the consumer stated the ABS malfunction happened twice.

- Malden, MA, USA

problem #21

Apr 052007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,700 miles
Brakes fail in reverse above 6000 ft when car is cold. Dealer said this is a known issue by Honda and say it cannot be repaired without updating car's software which Honda refuses to do. Dealer has had multiple complaints about brake failure at altitude when cold. Honda states that the car is working as designed regardless of the fact that the brakes completely fail. Fails every day since we have moved. Car narrowly missed pedestrian due to brake failure.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #20

Jan 152007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
When anti-lock brake is activated, the brake is so weak as none!!! very dangerous when you need brake most and the anti-lock brake has no stopping power! it always happens when the road is slippery.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #19

Apr 272006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

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

: the contact stated while attempting to apply brake pressure at all speeds the brakes grab and jerk as if they were being applied to hard causing the occupants to go forward. The dealership was unable to determine the problem with the brakes.

- Morehead City, NC, USA

problem #18

Mar 082003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles
Over the course of 3 years, with less than 27,000 miles, we have complained about the brakes on this car too many times to remember. We first noticed a squeaking sound at 4,000 miles when releasing the brake pedal with the car at a complete stop. We took the car to the dealer to have the brakes checked. They said the brakes were cold and the noise was normal. This noise continued and a second noise, much louder and resembling a "sticking caliper" began to occur when turning and applying the brakes. The dealer again did not find a problem. This was at 11,000 miles. Later, another mechanic said there was a "hot" spot on the rotor from braking too hard and this was causing the noise, though no remedy has been found. The brakes have always felt soft and the noises continue, though I do not believe the dealer ever checked the rotors or did a proper inspection. Now at 26,400 miles the pedal feels like a sponge and I am going to have to pay someone else to check the brakes again. Sometimes the brakes grab very hard, sometimes they seem not to grab at all. Honda needs to recall the cars or provide free brake inspections to insure the car will stop as expected. This is an accident waiting to happen and others have also complained of the same problems. The brakes have not completely failed, but we have had to assume they will not stop the car as they were advertised, in a reasonable distance relative to speed. No parts have been replaced or corrective measure completed despite several requests to the dealer (most while the car was supposed to be under warranty).

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #17

Dec 272005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 29,000 miles
Leased new 2003 Honda Accord with manual transmission in July, 2003. Have had minor, but irritating problems, with the car since it's lease. Power windows activate intermittently, battery died after 15,000 miles, and brake light went out. Dealer took care of all issues except windows. They still operate on their option, not mine. At 29,000 miles, heard grinding noise in rear brakes. Took car into dealership and they claimed that it was our fault for not "having the rust removed" at 15,000 mile check-up. Never heard of anything like this. Wheels were never removed by dealership for inspection. Took vehicle to independent mechanic for repair and found that rear brakes pads had worn down unevenly. Pads and rotors had to be replaced on rear brakes. Front brakes are fine. From my reading of this web site about the problems other people have been having with this brake system, I am filing a complaint and hope that this problem will soon be looked into before someone is seriously injured. This is our third Honda and have never had any problems with the brake systems at such early mileage.

- Huntsburg, OH, USA

problem #16

Nov 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving at 60 -65 mph applied the brakes and there was vibration in the steering wheel. There was minor vibration in the steering at lower speeds, but there was more extreme vibration at higher speeds. The vehicle was taken to the dealership to see what the problem with the vehicle was. The consumer did not know exactly what waswrong with the vehicle but felt it could be something within the brakes or rotors. The manufacturer stated that there iwasno recall for this vehicle. T has not had the brakes or any components replaced since he has purchased the vehicle.

- Livermore, CA, USA

problem #15

Nov 152004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles
The brakes grinded, and there was extended stopping distance when braking were used on snow covered roads. Vehicle has been to the dealer on three separated occasions, and they were unable to locate the cause of the problem. Also, dealer advised the consumer to take the vehicle to a dealer in the snow area, and let them inspect the brakes. No inspection was made at this time.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 102003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Intermittently when braking vehicle would not stop. Also, vehicle would commence to accelerate, and then the brakes would hold. Vehicle had been to the dealer on five separate occasions and they could not locate the cause of the problem.

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

problem #13

Mar 042003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
There is a pulsating in the vehicle, and it has become extremely hard to stop. The vehicle does not feel like it is stopping completely.

- Pleasantville, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 042003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

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

The brakes kept locking up, causing extended stopping distance. Taken in for repair 5 times, but the problem recurred. Manufacturer has been contacted by consumer.

- Norwich, CT, USA

problem #11

Oct 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
Brake failure. Primarily a complaint about Michelin tires. The tire had poor grip in the rain. The consumer stated when he slammed on the brakes, the vehicle slowed very gradually only because the consumers foot was off the gas pedal and the vehicle coasted, approximately 2-3 seconds later, the brakes applied very gently. The consumer as well as the mechanic at the dealership believed there was a momentary failure of the ABS.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #10

Sep 262004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving vehicle flipped in the air, hit a culvert and then hit a guard rail. No air bag was deployed. Consumer lost control of the vehicle and hit a guard rail, flipped over three times, and landed on top. Upon impact, both frontal air bags did not deploy. Driver and passenger sustained head a neck injuries, and were transported by ambulance to the hospital. Vehicle was towed and totaled by the insurance company.

- Bunker Hill, WV, USA

problem #9

Jun 232004

Accord

  • 18,145 miles
While braking there was extended stopping distance. Dealership was notified, but did not solve the problem.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #8

Aug 022004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Consumer's vehicle was struck from left side/ rear, applied the brakes and they failed. Then, vehicle struck a car. The vehicle contiued down the street the consumer tried to stop the vehicle as the brake pedal was firmly pressed the vehicle would not stop. The vehicle was then steered to a grassy spot and stopped on its own.

- Highland Park, NJ, USA

problem #7

Jul 192004

(reported on)

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
Problems with anti lock brake system on 2003 Honda Accord ex. While braking abruptly the consumer indicated that it took the brakes 3-4 seconds before the responded. Once they did the vehicle came to a slow stop and the vehicle came within inches of hitting another vehicle. The consumer was not satisfied with the performance of the V-rated energy Michelin tires. The consumer indicated that he tires performed poorly in the rain and snow. The consumer purchased new B.F. goodrich traction T/a radial all season tires. The consumer likes the performance of these tires but they make noise while driving.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #6

Jan 062004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
1.front brakes grind for the first 1-2 stops after sitting overnight or 1-2 hours. 2. rattle or creaking sound in the drivers side window and B column, unresolved after 3 trys by the dealer to fix.only present while driving on mildly coarse road surface.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #5

Jan 082004

(reported on)

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
ABS lights came on while driving. This indicated brake failure on 3 separate occasions. Consumer ran a red light, hit a curb, and crashed into a building. Upon impact, frontal air bags failed to deploy. Consumer sustained arm and back injuries. Dealership did not locate the cause of the brake failure.

- Lake Charles, LA, USA

problem #4

Dec 202003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,265 miles
Brakes failed to grab when in an emergency breaking situation and the car would not stop which caused me to hit another vehicle. The brakes have been making a gringing noise when applied even prior to this incident. I took it to the dealer and they stated there was a stone between the pads and the rotors. The grinding noise persists.

- Verona, NJ, USA

problem #3

Oct 152003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
The ABS system seemed to "over reacted" during a panic stop situation, causing me to hit the car in front of me. It felt like the braking pressure was being significantly reduced even though I had my foot to the floor on the brake pedal. I feel that if the ABS system had not engaged and backed off the brakes, I would have stopped in time. Also, only the passenger side airbag went off, even though I hit the car in front of me at less than 5 mph. It should not have gone off, but if it "thought" that it was a severe crash, why didn't my airbag go off? I would like for you to check the ABS system to insure that this does not happen to anyone else. Please contact me asap to let me know if this is possible. Thank you.

- Syosset, NY, USA

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