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.

5.3

fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
17,886 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #12

Aug 092010

Accord

  • 85,535 miles

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

The catalytic converter on my 4 cylinder 2003 Honda Accord exl was replaced under the 8/80 warranty on 7/10/09 at joyce Honda, denville, NJ. The car had only 67,187 miles on it. Now, less than a year latter and after only 18,348 miles on that genuine Honda replacement part, aron cooper, the joyce Honda service manager, says it needs to be replaced. He says that the code P0420 came up after the mechanic diagnosed the reason for the check engine light to come on. That is an extremely short life span for such an environmentally important part. It is also an extremely short life span for an expensive part replaced under warranty. Mat hatch, the Honda factory representative, said that Honda will not stand behind the replacement catalytic converter which is a Honda part, installed at a Honda dealership within the 8/80 warranty period. Mat's rationale was that although the car is within the 8 yr. Time period, it is 5,535 miles over the 80,000 limit. He refuses to acknowledge the unusually short life of the replacement part that was installed under the warranty. As a consumer I am suspicious of a genuine Honda warranty replacement part that lasts for less than a year and only 18,348 miles. As a citizen I am concerned that Honda won¿T honor any reasonable longevity for an environmentally sensitive part. Perhaps Mr. Hatch doesn't share Honda's advertising department's efforts to market Honda as reliable and ecologically sound transportation. Perhaps he doesn't share the Honda's marketing department's efforts, for he has ignored a legitimate claim from someone who has bought a new ex model vehicle every 3 years during the last decade. Such a ¿penny wise, pound foolish¿ response will leave me describing my dissatisfaction to my neighbors rather then sharing my pride in owning Honda.

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #11

Jul 162010

Accord

  • 127,000 miles
I own a 2003 Honda Accord. The car has unintended acceleration. After two episodes where the engine revved up to 4000rpm without depressing on the accelerator the car was taken to the Honda dealer and they claim to have repaired the car. Yesterday my wife was driving the car and another episode occurred. She stopped the car with the brakes and no accident occurred.

- Port Jefferson, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 152006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Since buying my car 2003 Honda Accord ex V6 coupe in 03. I had exhaust problems, radio replacement, park and brake sensor replacement, power outlet wiring problems and the windshield wipers freeze up during heavy rainstorms. This has almost caused a few accidents, but the dealership can find no problem. Last Thursday my car seemed to be hesitating before shifting into either 2nd or 3rd. I couldn't tell for sure. Later that night, the car began to jump into & out of the low gears while starting & stopping at lights. I pulled off the road and the car would not move in reverse (only rev up). After some time, the car jumped into reverse and back into a ditch. After getting back on the road, traveling approx 60 miles per hr, I eased off the accelerator, the car powerfully downshifted to 2nd gear. Had it not been for the seat belt, I believe I would have been injured. My dog was in the car with me & thrown into the dash, then the floor. The tires barked. The car then suddenly up shifted to a higher gear. I made it home that night and drove straight to the dealership the next morning. The car seemed to be doing ok. I arrived and was told to make an apt for next week. Less then 10 miles away the car would no longer shift out of 3rd gear and then would not go in reverse. I drove it back to the dealer. I was told I needed to replace the transmission at my expense, and I was pretty much at fault because I had not completed all my service at Honda. I explained that it was impossible for me to make it to them during their business hours. So, some of my normal oil changes were done at other lube centers. I then asked him about the transmission recall and he said that had nothing to do with my problem. After waiting more than ½ hr while he cut up with employees, I spoke to the location manager and asked about temporary transportation until I could contact american Honda, and he suggested I buy a new car.

- Leesburg, GA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012006

Accord

  • miles

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

2003 Accord had carbon monoxide fumes in vehicle causing consumer to become sick. The smell was a rotten egg sulfur smell. The consumer would get migraine headaches and become nauseous several days after driving the vehicle.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #8

Feb 012003

Accord

  • 2,000 miles
Nar 05/06/2003 mr the vehicles exhaust has emitted a pungent sulfur or rotten egg smell. Dealer was notified.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #7

Oct 152003

Accord

  • Manual transmission
  • 0 miles
Thus far, the sulfur odor from the exhaust has not caused any mechanical problems that I am aware of or cost me any money. I am concerned that the vehicle does not meet epa emission standards and, as you may imagine, I am most annoyed with the stink. Furthermore, american Honda seems totally apathetic to the defect and my dissatisfation. I am hoping that a powerful authority will put pressure on american Honda to correct the problem and recall the '03 Accord for repair.

- Canton, MI, USA

problem #6

Sep 202003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Rotten egg smell from the exhaust. Went to dealer ask them to check emission system. They ask if I had a check engine light on when I told them no they said maybe I should change gasoline that they found nothing wrong with the emission system I still have the rotten egg smell I have 6000 miles on the car.

- Findlay, OH, USA

problem #5

Apr 242003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Car has bad sulfur odor when driving slow or stoping.also, condition appears to be worst with a full tank of gas.level of odor can be light to level giving you a headacke

- Fayetteville, NC, USA

problem #4

Jun 202003

Accord

  • miles
Rotten egg smell coming from exhaust. Smell is most noticeable after a hard acceleration.

- Whitefish Bay, WI, USA

problem #3

Apr 212003

Accord

  • miles
While the car was idle or driven at low speeds a very bad (rotten) smell enters the passenger cabin through the vents. The vehicle was taken to the dealer which could not determine where the smell was coming from.

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #2

Apr 042003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
Follow up to previous complaint. Honda America says rotten egg smell from 2003 Accord is hydrogen sulfide. Honda is aware of the problem and the customer service rep. Read me a prepared statement that the 2003 Accord have a problem in releasing hydrogen sulfide due to design, it is not the gasoline. No technical service bulletins has been released. There is no fix. Honda claims the problem should go away or dissipate sometime between 3000-5000 miles. I have 3950 miles and the smell is awful. Honda will do nothing to help. According to the centers for disease control (cdc), hydrogen sulfide is a broad-spectrum poison! breathing high levels of hydrogen sulfide can cause death within just a few breaths! exposure to lower concentrations can result in eye irritation, a sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and fluid in the lungs. I have been showing some of these symptoms. Why has NHTSA done nothing on this issue? the problem must be wide-spread as Honda has a prepared statement for its reps to read over the phone. I will attempt a lemon law claim and/or civil action for damages due to injuries from exposure to the hydrogen sulfide. (incident date does not apply as this problem has been constant).

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #1

Mar 012003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Bought new 2003 Accord ex in 1/03. Since having the car, there has been a daily terrible "rotten egg" smell coming from the exhaust. Dealer claims that it is from the winter blend of gas, but my old car never had this smell and no one I know that has a car has the same problem. The smell is so bad that people getting out of back doors will plug their noses and I must keep heat/air on recirculate and keep windows shut because when I stop at a light etc..., the smell gets into the cabin. If dealer continues to "not find a problem" I will consider lemon law lawsuit.

- Chicago, IL, USA

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