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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
6,333 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 #3

Jul 082004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I am having recurring brake problems with my 2003 Accord ex. All problems relate to a soft pedal or rather having the pedal to the floor prior to the car stopping. The first instance I took the car back to the dealer where they said there was a defective master brake cylinder. This seem to correct the problem but in a couple of months the car developed the same problem. I returned it to the dealer where they said there was air in the line. This seemed to fix the problems but after 3 months I had to take car back and have now been told that they are going to replace the master brake cylinder one more time. This is the third strike in the lemon law. If the brakes go soft again then the lemon law takes effect.

- Inman, SC, USA

problem #2

Apr 052004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles
I purchased my new 2003 Honda Accord LX coupe in Apr 2003. In Dec 2003, I took my car in for an oil change and was told that I needed to leave my car there because of the brakes. They replaced the master cylinder. Less than 4 months later, while in rush hour traffic, the brakes failed as my foot nearly went completely to the floor. I shifted the gears down and was able to stop the car that way, no accident. I took my car back to the dealership service dept (it was a Thursday). The next day they called me and said they couldn't find anything wrong. I insisted that something was wrong. When I went to pick up the car, I was told by the service repair person that the mechanic decided to probe further due to my insistance and he subsequently found air bubbles in the brake fluid. They bled my brakes. That following Monday, something else went wrong. At the time I believed the problem to be the brakes, but now I am not so sure. While pulling into a parking space at my apartment, it felt as though the brakes slipped. My foot was on the brake pedal, but it did not stop; it almost seemed as though the car sped up a little, while my foot went to the floor. In a panic, I took my foot off the brake and pressed it again. I heard the tires squeal, but by that point it was too late. I ended up hitting a pole. State farm had my car evaluated to determine if there was a problem with the brakes that could have caused the accident. I took it to the same dealership shop, but only under the condition that the state farm inspector check the car with them. Thirty minutes into the inspection the state farm inspector left and my car was subsequently left for approx 1-1/2 hours soley with the dealership. At the end of the 2-hour inspection, I was told no problems with my brakes. I now drive my car fearfully, hoping that nothing else will go wrong.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #1

May 012003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There is a popping noise that occurs once upon acceleration from a dead stop and while braking to come to a dead stop. I have taken the car in twice to correct this problem without any luck. First time Honda replaced the master cylinder and the second time they replaced the calipers.

- Vienna, VA, USA

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