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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
10,733 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 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Jul 302004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

I have a 2003 Honda Accord ex V6. The car is currently in the shop, again, for the same problem. There is vibration of the steering wheel while driving the car. The car only has 28,000 highway miles on the car, I drive 80 miles each day, and already there have been 3 sets of rotors on the car. There is an inch thick of brake dust on the front wheels. The last time they replaced the rotors, I drove it 500 miles in one week and had to send the car back in. This is an ongoing problem and from what I have read from the complaints about this, this is a common thing to happen on these vehicles.

- Jackson, TN, USA

problem #42

Jul 202004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,990 miles
Strong vibration when braking on 2003 Honda Accord after 16000 miles. Dealer specified that pads and rotors were fine. After demanding that something had to be done, dealer resurfaced rotors and replaced pads as "good faith", but indicated that they were not responsible in the future...despite number of complaints regarding rotors on 2003 model. I expect this issue will reappear since other complaints suggest an issue with the rotor itself.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #41

Nov 152003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Recurring brake rotor warped problem on 2003 Honda Accord ex sedan.. problem first noted around 18K miles.. dealer resurfaced brakes at 30K miles, after complaint was issued.. about 1500 miles later problem recurred.. symptom appears to come from front brakes, at the end of braking a metallic shudder occurs for the last 2 seconds.. intermittently upon freeway exiting the problem seems to last much longer, shudder causes the driver to question if the brakes will work or not.. this is the 6th Honda I have owned in the past 14 years, and the first one to exhibit such behavior.. I have read other complaints, posts on the internet whereas many drivers are having the same complaint on this newly redesigned model Accord. Some posts have made the suggestion that the caliper is the actual defective part of the braking system, all I know, is the warping rotor is causing a very serious and dangerous driving situation.

- Lancaster, CA, USA

problem #40

Nov 012003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

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

Brakes on 2003 Honda Accord making really bad clunking and screeching noises. Honda issued a tsb-03-069. But, dealer says my car is normal. I've never had a car which made so much braking noises. I've also heard that many other Accord owners are having the same problem. This should be a safety issue, because the brakes feel as though they're going to fail everytime they start making noises. New cars braking systems shouldn't clunk and screech like this. Makes me scared to press down on the brakes hard.

- Rio Linda, CA, USA

problem #39

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 #38

Jun 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Barke rotors warped on my 2003 Accord with only 10,000 miles on them- dealer turned the rotors and put on new pads; however, there was no notification from Honda regarding the problem- this is a safety issue- all affected cars should be given new rotors.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #37

Jun 132004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

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

Had rotors resurfaced at 5000 miles as warped--Honda certified garage/dealership tried saying I had tightened the lug nuts too tight?! brakes again into shop at 17000 miles for replacement. My warranty just expired and have 30300 miles on it and there is still a problem with my brakes. Problem is extremely noticeable at speeds over 40 mph when applying brakes--car feels like it will run right off the road. Also, big problem with water leaking into front windows when there is the slightest bit of rain and have the windows cracked. Water gets into the power window buttons. This appears to be a design flaw.

- Port Edwards, WI, USA

problem #36

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 #35

Oct 142003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,900 miles
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 #34

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 #33

May 242004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

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

Started feeling vibration when braking at 45mph before 10,000 miles. Technician looked at it, determined the rotors were warped, but brake pads were fine. After research, found this was a recurring problem among owners of 2003 Accord, V6 and 4-cyl. (mine is 4cyl). Seems like Honda has a problem!

- Mesa, AZ, USA

problem #32

Jan 102004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
Rotors warped after 8000 miles. Had to replace pads and rotors at 15000 miles. Dealer admitted there was an issue with brakes on this car, but Honda won't do anything about it.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #31

Apr 092004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Purchased car new in Nov 2002 from college park Honda in Maryland. Took car to Honda of bowie for second oil change and tire rotation at 6349 miles on May 10,2003. Returned car to Honda of bowie 7 days later for vibration in steering wheel while driving above 40 mi per hour. Dealership balanced front tires at no charge. Returned car to Honda of bowie on june28, 2003 with 8287 miles for steering wheel vibration when braking. I was told the front rotors were slightly warped and dealer resurfaced rotors free of charge. Problem reoccurred at around 15,000 miles but did not get car in for service until mileage was 18,003 on April 9, 2004. Took it to college park Honda where I purchased and explained the problem. Before looking at car service rep told me it was probably due to my driving habits (lots of stop and go). I have had the same commute for over 10 years and never had this kind of problem before. I said I'd be very unhappy if I had to replace the brakes at 18,000 miles. Service rep said it was very common to replace brakes and rotors at 18,000 miles. I reiterated my unhappiness if I was going to have to pay for the repair. I believed it should be covered under warranty. After inspecting the brakes I was told the front rotors were glazed and the pad were cracked. They resurfaced the rotors (that's twice in 10,000 miles) and replaced the pads under warranty as a "one time courtesy". the problem came back within 7 days of the repair. I have an appointment to take my car back today ( 4 weeks to the day since they worked on it). I believe the rotors are defective or have been resurfaced too much and need to be replaced. I am expecting that they will try to tell me this is somehow my fault and expect me to pay for the repair. I believe from reading all the other complaints which are so similar to mine, that the 2003 Honda Accord have a brake problem that the company does not want to address.

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #30

Mar 272004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
03 Accord LX brake rotors warped. When stopping there is a vibration in the steering and brake pedal. Brake pads also squeek and make grinding noise. Will bring to dealer for assessment

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #29

Mar 102004

Accord

  • miles
Consumer purchased vehicle brand new, and when he drove it brakes overheated and vehicle vibrated. Brake rotors were warped. Took vehicle to the dealer, and was told that this vehicle had a different type of brakes, and they needed to be specially ordered. It took a long time to get this particular kind of brakes. Then, mechanic drove vehicle, but was not able to find anything wrong. Consumer had his vehicle back, and the problem with the brakes became worse. Consumer maintained that Honda knew about these brakes and were not doing anything about them.

- Valley View, PA, USA

problem #28

May 082003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
Defective rotors on 2003 Honda Accord V6 sedan. Immediately after buying the car, the front brakes vibrated. I thought it might go away. Dealer inspected and "cut the rotors". defect was not corrected and got very bad such that whole car now vibrates. Dealer failed to recognize and replace defective Honda rotors, which he should have done when car was taken to him for this service. I have now had to try to find a private mechanic who will get suitable rotors and repair the brake system. All rotor manufacturers have stated that the failed rotors cannot be "fixed" by cutting them. They must be replaced or the defect will occur over and over with time. Honda and the dealership have refused to replace them and did not replace them when first reported.

- Salem, SC, USA

problem #27

Oct 152003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,601 miles
2003 Honda Accord coupe ex V6 mt w/nav. Experienced brake pedal pulsations and steering wheel shaking when braking. Front rotors have been resurfaced twice, at 7000 and again at 15600. This looks like a recurrent problem in the new generation Accord's. must be faulty brake/rotor design.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #26

Feb 042004

(reported on)

Accord

  • miles
When applying the brakes front end shimmied intermittently.

- Neskowin, OR, USA

problem #25

May 022003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,849 miles
The braking system on some 2003 Honda Accord are defective. I brought a demo Honda Accord ex in Feb '03 with around 4500 miles at purchase and has over 40000 now. 05/02/03 12,849 miles. I took my car back to the dealership (leith Honda in raleigh) complaining of vibrations in the steering wheel when braking. I was told it it was caused by high speed braking and to change my driving habits. Since it was a demo vehicle, the dealership resurfaced the rotors free of charge. 6/17 17,775 miles. I took the car back to the dealership with the same complaint.again, the technican said it was caused by high speed braking. The service advisor went on to tell me that this would be the last time it would be fixed free of charge. My rotors were resurfaced again. By late September, the car began having strong vibrations when braking. The condition had gotten progressively worse but I knew I didnt have the money to pay for the car itself and this brake problem. I called the Honda dealership back and requested to speak with the service manager. It was at this time that I found out Honda (tech line) was aware of the problem and that it would be fixed free of charge until a solution was in place. 10/08 30,550 miles. Had my rotors replaced (boyd Honda in oxford) 12/01 35,995 miles. Took my car in for service for another matter but informed the service advisor, the vibrations were back. I learned a bullentin was posted for the '03 brake pads and they were replaced (boyd Honda). 01/09/04 39,226 miles. Returned to the dealership with signs of the problem present when braking after having the new pads put on.

- Warrenton, NC, USA

problem #24

Jan 162004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
My '03 4D Accord, purchased in bentonville, ar, has required replacement or machining of the front brake rotors four times due to warping (resulting in pulsating braking). Each repair has lasted about 5000 miles. I've logged about 400K miles in Honda in the last 14yrs and have never had this problem; accustomed to going at least 150K mi (before trading) with no rotor problems.

- Fayetteville, AR, USA

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