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:
40 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
44 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,782 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 9 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Jul 012003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,302 miles


While traveling about 55 mph on the highway and without prior warning the side air bag deployed without physical contact with a vehicle. The curtain and seat air bags had blown on the passenger side. Honda refused to repair the vehicle under warranty. There were no previous accidents.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 012003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
Airbags deployed unprovoked while traveling at freeway speeds.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 112003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle was struck from behind at about 40 mph. Vehicle was pushed into another vehicle and the vehicle spun around and landed on top of the car from the side. Neither the front airbags or the side airbags came out. Thank god no injuries; just sore the next day; but I'm very puzzled as to why the air bags didn't come out.

- Summerton, SC, USA

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