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.

6.8

fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,354 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

problem #20

Jan 122007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,541 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. On March 3, 2007 the brake smalfunctioned. A mechanic diagnosed the failure as the rear brake drums. The contact stated that the brake pedal began to vibrate and grind only when trying to stop the vehicle. This failure originally began in January 2007. On March 22, 2007 the the vehicle was brought to the dealer due to loud noises. The dealer stated that the front rotors and brake pads needed to be replaced. The failure mileage was 39541.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #19

Nov 102004

Accord 6-cyl

  • 12,000 miles
Brakes are shaking really bad when braking. I thought it was just me, but it appears several people in forums are reporting the same symptoms and issues.

- Northridge, CA, USA

problem #18

Nov 082004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,179 miles
Complaint received via E-mail. Heard a screeching noise from the front end brake. The auto repair shop upon inspection of the brake pad noticed that they were cracked. They indicated that this was a defect in the quality of the brake pad, and this shouldn't of happen. They kept the brake pad.

- Long Beach, NY, USA

problem #17

Oct 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

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

When applying brakes there is a growling sound and vibrations. Vehicle has 30,000 miles is under 100,000 mile warranty. Was told by Honda that this model year has soft brake pads and therefore soft rotors. The brakes have 45% wear according to Honda which made the rotor warp. They say not covered under warranty. Have done nothing yet.

- Hanford, CA, USA

problem #16

Oct 142004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Warped rotors. Brake pads need to be replaced. Brakes have been pulsating since around 15000 miles. I have taken the car to dealership on several occasions. On second occasion they produced a memo which stated that several people complained of the vibration and that it was normal for the rotors to heat up and cool down, but they are not warped. Today they told us that it is due to harsh driving and driving in the canyon. They are telling my husband that brake pads and rotors are not covered past 12,000 miles and Honda does not cover a "wear" item. We currently have 35,000 miles. So far the repair is going to cost $360 with a discount.

- Draper, UT, USA

problem #15

Jun 192004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The brakes pulsate when applied....already changed the pads twice still the same problem, rotors were replaced, then turned also. The clutch will stick when the vehicle has been operated for a period of time. The key is disconnect communication with the car, causing everything to be shut off. Dealer checked and said nothing was wrong.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #14

Jul 292004

Accord

  • miles

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

I was told that my rear brake pads need to be changed at my 22500 maintenance. I do not drive the car excessively and definitely do not ride my brakes. Everyexpert I've asked thinks that it is absurd that I need to change my rear brake pads so early. I've had other problems with the car as well such as a moonroof malfunction and a throttle modulator defect. I am concerned that my car is defective.

- Richmond, CA, USA

problem #13

Apr 092004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
I have a 2003 Accord that started to show the rear brake pads were excessively worn at 12,000 miles. At the 18 month servicing, my mechanic informed me that my rear brakes needed to be replaced at 19,000. I had the brake pads replaced at my cost because my mechanic told me that the brakes were not safe to be driven on. I took my car to the dealer where I had purchased it. The service manager stated that it may be due to "the way that I drive the car". this is the third Honda Accord that I have purchased since 1995, and I have replaced rear brakes on the first Accord due to a broken spring at 72,000 miles. I have had at least 10 new cars in my lifetime and have not had to replace the rear brakes, except for the incident mentioned on the car with 72,000 miles. I do not feel safe with the brakes going up in such a short span of time. I am also wondering if I will need to replace them again every 19,000 miles? my mechanic has told me that he has never seen rear braked going up at 19,000. My car also has a whining sound when I turn the ignition, but not everytime that I start the car.

- Odenton, MD, USA

problem #12

Sep 012003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the brakes consumer heard a loud squeaking noise coming from the front of the vehicle. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic determined that brake pads and rotors needed to be replaced, and replaced them. However, the problem recurred.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #11

Jun 072004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
2003 Accord V6 constant rotor service. Rotor service at 15,000 (machined, was not charged), 30,000 (front replaced rotors and pads paid by dealer, rear machined & new pads paid by me, 35,000 rotors need repair (service scheduled for 6/8 and I am not paying again!). I had a Mazda prior to this auto with 80,000 miles and the rotors were only serviced once within that time.

- Shirley, NY, USA

problem #10

Oct 142003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,900 miles

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

I purchased a brand new 2003 Honda Accord coupe on March 31, 2003. Ihave owned the car for 14 months and I have 13,252 miles on the car. I have had to have the rotors and front brakes replaced/resurfaced 3 times or basically every 3500 to 4500 miles. I have been informed that the rotors keep warping due to factory defect. I have come very close to having two accidents due to failure of brakes. This is a very serious safety issue.

- Sherman Oaks, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 112003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,700 miles
Bought brand new 2003 Honda Accord ex-V6 in 9/03. By 12/03 at 4700 miles, the front brakes were not working. Per tsb 03-069 Honda replaced the front brake pads with "new" part number 45022-sdb-A10. Two months later, 2/04, the car had brake problems again at 7400 miles. This time Honda "resurfaced" the rotors and said the pads were fine. How can pads be fine if they are harming the rotors? the car is still unsafe when braking from highway speeds. Honda says that it is my fault! I have been driving since 1989, never gone through brakes in under 30K miles. It is now 6/04, car has 11,500 miles, and the brakes still don't work right! Honda needs to replace pads and rotors with redesigned safe parts, asap!

- Sterling, VA, USA

problem #8

May 072004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,500 miles
At high speed, severe steering wheel shake when brake pedal depressed. Also, loud grinding sound with limited braking ability. Progressively got worse from new until 21,500 miles where almost couldn't stop. ABS and tcs lights also came on. Dealer said Honda has issued a bulletin to replace with a less aggressive updated pad and had to order wheel monitoring sensor to fix light indicator problem. Dealer had to cut rotor to install new pads.

- Crofton, MD, USA

problem #7

Jan 062004

Accord

  • 12,000 miles
While driving at any speed and when the brakes were depressed vehicle jerked to one side or the other. Also, there was a grinding sound coming from the front wheels. Dealer repaired the problem free of charge, claiming that old brake pads were updated.

- Hemet, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 082003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Ongoing problem with faulty brake pads. Causes vibration on high speeds and noises. Company alleges brake pads need to be replaced and pads are on back order. Problems increasing with additional vehicle use.

- Tybee, Is, GA, USA

problem #5

Jun 232003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,150 miles
On June 23, 2003, I took this vehicle to the Honda dealership in clovis, California. It had a problem with the vehicle shaking when I applied the brakes and a constant slight vibration in the steering wheel. This was done with the vehicle having 5,150 miles on it. The dealership resurfaced the front rotors. On July 17, 2003, I took this vehicle back to the Honda dealership in clovis, California, for the same problem as before. This time I was charged for a balance and rotation which I agreed to. I left the dealership with a slight vibration in the steering wheel and was still experiencing a slight vibration while applying the brakes. This was done with the vehicle having 6, 784 miles on it. On October 17, 2003, I took this vehicle back to the Honda dealership in clovis, California, for the same problem as before. This was done with the vehicle having 11,692 miles on it. The dealership resurfaced both the front and rear rotors. The vehicle now has 16,000 miles on it and it needs to go back into the repair shop once again for rotor warping. I feel there is a defect in the braking system with this new 2003 Honda Accord.

- Sanger, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 272003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,900 miles
At 8000 miles, had the front rotors turned down. Judder returned about 3000 miles later, but not repaired (explained as road conditions). Now at 22000 miles, need new rotors and pads for front left brake. Brakes went from acceptable to unusable within a 500 mile trip.

- Leesburg, VA, USA

problem #3

Aug 312003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Honda Accord noticed pulsation in brake pedal after 1000 miles. Dealer resurfaced front rotors at 4600 miles. This did not fix the problem and the rear rotors were resurfaced at 9000 miles. This problem continued and the front rotors were replaced at 14000 miles. All of these repairs were done free of charge but done hesitantly. Now the car has 20000 miles and all four rotors are again warped and the pads are glazed. The dealership is now refusing to fix the problem free of charge and is blaming the problem on poor driving habits. 2/3 of the vehicles milage is on the interstate and is not driven aggressively in any way.

- Elizabethtown, KY, USA

problem #2

Jul 222003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles
My vehicle has been in the Honda dealer with problems with the front brakes(warped rotors), after having the front rotors resurfaced and pads replaced twice it was found that the front calipers were hanging up.my car just turned 17K miles and it has had problems with the front brakes since in had 8K miles, at that time I was told by the dealer that I was "riding" my brakes and they would only take care of this problem for me at no cost just this "one time". I feel Honda is knows that 03 Accord have brake probles and Honda puts the blame on everone else except themselves. My vehicle has now been in the Honda dealer for two weeks because they are unable to locate new calipers. From talking with other 03 Accord owners and reading information on other websites, I'm not alone with this problem.

- El Cajon, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 292003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
Brakes make extremely loud grinding noise during first few uses of each drive. They seem to have less grip during the first few stops as well. Dealer states this is a problem with noise insulator pads on 2003 Accord and that Honda has no fix at this point. Dealer added temporary composite material until Honda determines permanent fix. Called Honda customer relations and I am waiting for a response. Dealer claims there is no safety risk.

- Skokie, IL, USA

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