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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
62,250 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace circuit board (3 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

May 072012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


I was driving to work and all of a sudden the dashboard lights flickered, went out, and the car coasted to a stop. I waited for a minute and was able to restart it and drive to work. After my shift was done I went out to try to start it and none of the electrical components were working.

- , Madison, WI, USA

problem #3

Jun 252013


  • CVT transmission
  • 109,000 miles

display stopped working on the sound panel

Honda told me this is an upgraded circuit board and ought to do the trick. If they have so many problems with this, why did I have to pay for it?

- , blue, ga, u

problem #2

Oct 102012

Accord EX 3.06

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Purchased my 2003 in 2008. It is a certified used vehicle. Never was notified about the warranty extension and out of warranty repair: Audio-HVAC Display Is Dim or Dark. (Mine is dark, dark, dark). Went to Pep Boys for an oil/filter change, and asked if perhaps fuses had burn out, as display panel was dark and I had no heat or A/C. Pep Boys notified me of the service bulletin regarding the Audio HVAC display issues, NOT Honda or the dealership in Leesburg where I purchased the vehicle. Had I been notified by Blount Honda, the faulty circuit board most likely would have been identified prior to the extension running out. I feel I should be given a Goodwill Repair. Honda, and the dealership, were well aware of this faulty circuit board.

- , Eustis, FL, USA

problem #1

May 152011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Lost access to info on climate control, clock, and radio, CD due to circuit board burnout, apparently common in this vehicle around 8 years old. Sold car as is due to transmission failure.

- , San Diego, CA, USA

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