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
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
77,148 miles
Total Complaints:
5 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. purchased new transmission computer (2 reports)
  3. purchased new vehicle (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

Sep 302011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,646 miles


If your thinking about buying a Honda, Please think twice. This is my 2nd honda. I have had problems with both. Each Honda was purchased new. My 2003 honda has had more problems than I can count. This car only has 40k miles, and I have had to replace engine mounts, ball joints, digital dash board. and now a transmission. It seems that Honda has had transmission problems all along. My 1997 Honda accord had to have a new transmission at 10k miles. That one was still under warranty. This will be the last Honda I purchase.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #4

Aug 092010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,095 miles

I bought this car on August 2nd it was runnig grat at the delarship and for the next 7 days then I am driving down the freeway doing 75mph and the car suddnely downshifts and starts bucking I can barely control the car. I take it the shop and they say it is the Cyelonide which is a electraonic part and not covered under the warrenty and to top it all of if it needs a new transmission the warrenty will not cover it due to the Electrionic Cyelonide would have caused the transmission to go bad. What are you serios? What on a car these days are not Electronic?

I bought a Honda for their reputaion of builing good cars that last for a long time. Why is it the one I get only last 7 days.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #3

Apr 052010

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

driving, car just stalled while shifting, then a violent "bucking". pulled over. car would not go into reverse. had it towed to a dealer. over 4 grand was the price. waiting to hear back from honda corp. I only have 5 more payments left on it. I bought it used certified from honda.

- , Mont, AL, USA

problem #2

Jul 312007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I was driving along at approximately 60 mph when my car suddenly stopped. It wasn't gradual... I was going 60 and then I wasn't moving. Honda was prepared to return the vehicle after they could not reproduce the problem for two weeks. The day before the scheduled return, a technician experienced the same difficulty. The Honda dealership offered us Bluebook excellent private party value as trade-in towards a new vehicle due to the dangerous nature of the failure. Apparently transmission computer prone to failure and quite costly to replace.

- , Pontotoc, MS, USA

problem #1

Jul 262008

Accord EX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

I called Honda and they said that I didn't qualify for any type of assistance. I had to pay over 800 dollars to replace the transmission computer and my car is only a 2003; just 5 years old. I'm very dissatisfied as to the quality of my vehicle. I purchased a Honda due to their reputation of quality, long lasting cars but have been disappointed.

- , Oviedo, FL, USA

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