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 1 of 4)

problem #63

Oct 222008

(reported on)

Accord

  • miles

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

2003 Honda Accord recall notice for radio display. The consumer stated he was not able to see the radio station numbers, the temperature on the air condition or the heater. The consumer was informed the rotors were bad and needed to be replaced.

- Menifee, CA, USA

problem #62

Jan 122007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,541 miles
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 #61

Jan 302004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
Within a few months of ownership after buying this car new my wife began complaining that the car pulsed under braking. After about 2 years and ~ 25K miles the pulsing/vibration got much, much worse so I took the vehicle to the dealer while car was still under warranty. The dealer told me I needed to have rotors turned and new pads installed, and that it would cost me almost $200. The dealer did not tell me Honda issued a service tsb (tsb# 03-069) regarding this problem and that the service should be done under warranty per Honda. I never received any notice of a tsb from Honda telling me they were having issues with brakes on this vehicle. As I was unaware of the brake problems specific to this vehicle I did not have the service performed at that time because I thought the dealer was lying to me as I have never had a car that had brake rotor problems at on only a few thousand miles. Not telling me of the problem was negligent of the dealer and manufacturer, someone could have been hurt or killed if the brakes failed. To try and solve the problem I first took the car to a tire shop and had the wheels rebalanced which cost me $50, that did not solve the problem so I spent another $90 on new brake pads which I did myself, which also did not help...anyway now at 47K miles the vibration that occurs when needing to stop from highway speed is so severe the whole car shakes, it is unsafe to drive. I researched the problem on internet forums and this is how I found out about the tsb, but my car is now far out of warranty, so I now must have it fixed myself, and it will probably start to happen again. This is a safety issue and should have been recalled, and replaced with updated and safe parts. I have never had any brake rotor problems on any car I ever owned before this car. Honda's solution (even if done free under warranty) of turning rotors is a temporary fix at best and is unacceptable as the problem would have recurred later.

- Yorba Linda, CA, USA

problem #60

Aug 152003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

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

In May 2003, I purchased a new 2003 Honda Accord ex. Soon after, I noticed a strong vibration when braking. I took the vehicle in to a Honda dealer for service in August 2003. They determined there was a problem with the brake rotors. This appeared to fix the problem, but a couple months later, the vibrations returned. Again, the dealer replaced the rotors. About one year later, the vibrations returned. I took the vehicle to a different dealer and they could not find anything wrong, so they just replaced the rotors again. This was in July 2004. This solved the problem until mid-2006 when the vibrations started again. I took the vehicle to another dealer. Now all they did this time was resurface the rotors and change the brake pads. This time, I had to pay $375 to "fix" the problem as it is now out of warranty.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #59

Jan 042006

Accord

  • 40,415 miles
Consumer 2003 Accord brakes pulsate and grind with no warning light of brake problems. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who replaced the rotors. The consumer found out that this was the third set of rotors replaced on the vehicle. The previous owner had the rotors replaced. Six months after the rotors were replaced the consumer heard grinding noises and felt the brakes pulsating when pressed.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #58

Aug 202005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact stated since ownership of the vehicle the front brake rotors have been changed twice. When driving grinding noise came from the brakes. Also, the brakes pulsated. Intermittently the brake pedal will have to be depressed to the floor the stop the vehicle. The manufacturer has been contacted they have determined there was no brake problem.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #57

Aug 202005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,415 miles

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

The contact stated the brake rotors failed multiple times. When the brakes were applied there was a grinding noise. Sometimes the brakes will not work unless full pressure was applied. The was extended stopping distance when the failure occurred. The dealership replaced the rotors due to warping. The problem returned after the replacement. The rotors were replaced before by the previous owner.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #56

Nov 262005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
I'm leasing my 2003 Honda Accord LX. At 20,000 miles my brakes were pulsating and steering wheel was vibrating when braking at 55mph. Took the car to the dealer to have the rotors re-surfaced. Now at 40,000 miles I'm experiencing the same problem. Honda service says it's the way I'm driving and that if I re-surface rotors again I will continue to have the same problem due to my driving. After doing some research on the internet, I don't think it's my driving but a manufacturers defect. There are many customers who are experiencing this same problem. I don't feel safe driving.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #55

Nov 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 25,000 miles
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 #54

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 #53

Sep 152004

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

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

Rotors were defective. They had to be serviced at 12,000 miles. Consumer stated he previously owned another Honda and the same problem existed. The material was inferior. Manufacturer was notified.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #52

Oct 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
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 #51

Sep 252004

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
When the brake pedal was depressed there was a metal to metal noise. The vehicle was taken to the dealership two days later. The dealership indicated that the rotors needed to be replaced because they couldn't be resurfaced.

- Montebello, CA, USA

problem #50

Oct 162004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
2003 Honda Accord exhibited grinding brake noise when brand new (9-03). Has been in for brake service 6 times. Was told by service manager at cary auto park Honda that Honda was aware of the defective warped rotors and planned to recall them in the fall of 2003. My rotors were replaced with more defective rotors while waiting for the recall that still has yet to happen. On 10-16-04, I had the rotors inspected by an independent mechanic who said that they were most definitely defective. I am experiencing an ever increasing amount of grinding and shuddering when applying the brakes. I want my "lemon" repaired correctly. I purchased a new car with the understanding that it was free of defects and any defects found would be corrected under warranty.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #49

Jun 122004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
Have brake problems with a 2003 Honda Accord ex. I had the brakes replaced at 24,000 miles and still had problems and was told to have the rotors replaced because they are warped. This seems to be too early in mileage to have these type of repeat problems.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #48

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 #47

Jan 042004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Honda 2003 Accord V6 sedan. Brakes pulsating, after only 12,000 miles. Brought into shop, paid to have resurfaced. 2,000 miles later doing it again. Im dealing with dealership now. Reading all sorts of complaints online that its a defect. Its the drivers it's the car defect.

- Cedar Park, TX, USA

problem #46

Aug 302004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,823 miles
My 2003 Honda Accord ex needed new rotors and brake pads at 11,000 miles. I do not ride the brake and am rarely (maybe once every 2-3 months) in stop and go traffic. I was charged $350 by my dealer to get this problem fixed. I started to wonder why my car had this problem. After internet research, I am finding out I am not the only one with this problem. In fact, it's quite common and something needs to be done.

- Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, USA

problem #45

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 #44

Aug 202004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
I filed a previous complaint #10075304. I had my rotors resurfaced at 30500 by an independent mechanic who said they are warped. My warranty is up. Now have 35000 on vehicle and brakes are terrible again.

- Port Edwards, WI, USA

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