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.

10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
84,447 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 29 of 29)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #16

Sep 062003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,591 miles

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

(1) a. window being scratched by something in panel. Both driver and passanger window. B. at about 16000 miles it was noticed that the transmission was leaking so badly I couldn't drive out of the dealership. ( I believe the car may have been leaking since purchase. New with only 36 miles.) C. trunk liner sagging. D. when making left hand turns if you have the sunvisor out it can swing and hit you in the head. E. passenger door latch not activated. Could not open door from inside. (dealer forgot to install this on window repair.) F. motor mounts not installed correctly. G. belt tensioner needed replacement. H. car pulling to the right. F. black seal around door frame warping. (2) no consequences from any of these failures. Except loss time having to leave car overnight for several days. Who know what longterm effects of a leaky transmission, belt tensioner, and improper motormounts have on the car. (3) under warranty the dealer corrected every problem. Mosts times more then one repair for the same problem was needed to correct the problem. For the tranmsission the dealer tried to stop the leaks with hondabond. The next morning I had leaks in the drive way. They had my car for a whole week on the first fix attempt. Finally Honda replaced the transmission with a new one. Nothing was done about the visor because the dealer said if they install a new one it will do the same. My windows are still being scratched by the felt lining in the window panel.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #15

Jun 162004

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 55 mph consumer noticed that the transmission was slipping off. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer for inspection. While testing the vehicle it stalled. Mechanic determined that transmission needed to be replaced.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #14

Apr 182004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,640 miles
Car was in park with engine running on a flat driveway. Car rolled down driveway across a street, over a curb, on to a neighbors lawn and came to rest on a pile of logs. Engine was till running and car was still in park. Fortunately there was no personal damage, although there was damage to the back bumper. It was checked out by the Honda dealer, no problems according to them, they suggested using the emergency brake at all times. I feel this is a major safety issue, I truly find it hard to believe a car could roll when in park, it leaves me with quite a bit of doubt.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #13

Mar 112003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,085 miles

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

I own a 2003 Honda Accord LX V6 coupe, with 35,000 miles and current iaw owners manual preventive maintenance schedule, my transmission with out! I took my vehicle to ourisman Honda located in laurel where the service department 'flushed the transmission twice', returning it to me stating 'the problem was targeted and corrected'. the very next day, taking a trip to philadelphia with my girlfriend, we noticed the transmisson slipping as we were leaving the toll booth, 15-20 miles down the road the transmisson was so severe it wouldn't accelerate past 3rd gear (5 speed automatic). The vehicle was turned in under the reccomendation of princeton Honda, where the transmisson was replaced. However, the replacement transmisson, per ourisman Honda of laurel, will not be covered past the factory 36,000 mile warranty.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #12

Feb 052004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The consumer was able to remove the key from the ignition although the vehicle wasn't in park. The vehicle rolled into a trailer which caused damage to the vehicle.

- Danville, KY, USA

problem #11

Feb 022003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 660 miles
I have a '03 Accord. At 776 mi noticed car pulling to the left. Penske Honda in Ontario, ca said it the front tire is bad. Had the tire replaced by a tire dealer. Came back at 2251 mi to report car pulling to the right. Penske Honda just adjusted all tire pressures. Went back at 2693 mi to complain rear wheels visibly misaligned and also vibration at the steering wheel when idling. Penske Honda performed 4 wheel alignment. Idle found normal. Came back at 3036 mi. Reporting difficulty keeping the car straight, either pulling left or right. Reported again vibration on the steering wheel when idling. Technician advised the car drove straight while idling adjusted to base idle. Dealership had the car all day and noticed that the car wasn't driven far enough as shown by the mileage out at 3038 mi. Had to request technician, ron campbell to ride with me to show the pulling on either side. Seen it, felt it but thinks its normal blaming it on the road although he took me to a good stretch of flat road. Nevertheless, he asked to leave the car for further test on Monday being late Saturday, mileage in at 3042. Had the car all day Monday, was advised late afternoon that they did the alignment check, drove the car some more, checked the ride height and everything is to spec. The only problem is, the alignment print-out was made @ 4:04 pm and was called by the service advisor at 5:40 pm. Which makes it apparent that they spent little time to test drive and look for the problem. Next visit is to take the service manager for a ride to experience the problem. Mileage out at 3047 mi and drove it home but the problem is still there. There are similar complaints reported by other consumer on this website about the steering problem, vibration at steering wheel when idling and the car pulling forward or reversing fast on its own with less or no pressure at the gas (ref 10039029). Are these things normal or design flaws waiting for accidents to happen? and we haven't heard from nhsta.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 302003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,535 miles

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

After multiple service visits, test drives and complaints to Honda America and my Honda dealer, my 03 Accord ex V6 coupe's whining transmission was determined to be "normal." On my first drive on a freeway after picking up my car, my Honda failed to accelerate past 50 mph and the tachometer red lined, I released the gas pedal and the car's transmission jumped into 1st or 2nd gear without warning. I was almost hit by a car behind me that didn't have any warning of my sudden deceleration. It took a near accident for Honda to finally replace my transmission.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 252003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,540 miles
I was able to easily remove the ignition key from an automatic transmission car. Because of this, I assumed the transmission was in park when actually it was in reverse. Later the car rolled forward striking at least one other car.

- Loudon, TN, USA

problem #8

May 132003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my $34,000 2003 Accord on May 13, 2003 from route 23 Honda in pomton plains, NJ. After purchasing it, I noticed that the plastic/glass moldings around the doors were were very deformed. Three moldings have been fixed after 2 times being in for service, and one has yet to be fixed(waiting for part). The radio was making a squeaking noise and deformed looking, and they replaced the entire unit. On the right front tire well, there was a molding that was never screwed in properly, and began to hang down, which was replaced. The shifter has a loose stitch on it, which is becoming very sharp and can possibly cut someone. The part was put on order 3 months ago, but I was never notified of it's arrival. The driver side windshield wiper nozzle sprays directly into the wiper arm. This was brought in for service 4 times, and finally another dealership(sussex Honda) ordered a new nozzle which will hopefully work. The car has a slight burning smell when I park the car after driving. I brought this to Honda's attention, but of course they didn't find anything wrong with it. The car also has a slight grinding feeling that can mostly be felt between 1500 and 2500 rpms. I brought this into service 4 times and they couldn't find anything wrong(again). Along with that, when I put the car in drive, after about 20 feet it makes a horrible grinding noise and feeling in the gears. The car also seems to lack the power that it should have. I know this because I had a 2003 Accord LX V6 coupe, and then traded it in for a 2003 Accord ex V6 coupe. The LX had a lot more power than the ex. Also the LX had no wiper problems, grinding problems, or other problems that I have with the ex. Overall I have found 10 defects with my car within the first month of having it. After all of these problems, and having the dealership and the Honda service center hotline treat me as if I was making up these problems and that it was my fault for having these problems I will never buy another Honda again!

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #7

May 132003

Accord

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased my $34,000 2003 Accord on May 13, 2003 from route 23 Honda in pomton plains, NJ. After purchasing it, I noticed that the plastic/glass moldings around the doors were were very deformed. Three moldings have been fixed after 2 times being in for service, and one has yet to be fixed(waiting for part). The radio was making a squeaking noise and deformed looking, and they replaced the entire unit. On the right front tire well, there was a molding that was never screwed in properly, and began to hang down, which was replaced. The shifter has a loose stitch on it, which is becoming very sharp and can possibly cut someone. The part was put on order 3 months ago, but I was never notified of it's arrival. The driver side windshield wiper nozzle sprays directly into the wiper arm. This was brought in for service 4 times, and finally another dealership(sussex Honda) ordered a new nozzle which will hopefully work. The car has a slight burning smell when I park the car after driving. I brought this to Honda's attention, but of course they didn't find anything wrong with it. The car also has a slight grinding feeling that can mostly be felt between 1500 and 2500 rpms. I brought this into service 4 times and they couldn't find anything wrong(again). Along with that, when I put the car in drive, after about 20 feet it makes a horrible grinding noise and feeling in the gears. The car also seems to lack the power that it should have. I know this because I had a 2003 Accord LX V6 coupe, and then traded it in for a 2003 Accord ex V6 coupe. The LX had a lot more power than the ex. Also the LX had no wiper problems, grinding problems, or other problems that I have with the ex. Overall I have found 10 defects with my car within the first month of having it. After all of these problems, and having the dealership and the Honda service center hotline treat me as if I was making up these problems and that it was my fault for having these problems I will never buy another Honda again!

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #6

Sep 202003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles

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

Transmission failure at 1500 miles on a brand new 2003 Honda Accord.

- Sandy Springs, SC, USA

problem #5

Jul 012003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 300 miles
From start to the first shifting of the transmission, at low speeds, the shifting is slow and makes your head lurch forward. At faster acceleration the transmisison shifts normal.

- St. Joseph, MO, USA

problem #4

Sep 162003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 660 miles
Reading complaints in your website will support my claim that I had experienced a sudden speed while on reverse without putting pressure on the gas pedal. I must have experienced it today thrice. The first two I ignored but the third one had me looking at your website. I can't wait to file a complaint since this is an urgent safety issue especially when you live where kids freely plays. I'm calling the dealership and manufacturer about this tomorrow. I also have issue that some consumers have experienced, the car pulling to the left. My car is barely a month with 731 mi. On it. I'd appreciate your advise.

- Chino, CA, USA

problem #3

Mar 252003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 miles
When shifting the car into D after being off for a while it makes a grinding/scratchy sound. Only happens when going into D from any other gear.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #2

May 152003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20 miles
When auto should be coasting or under very slight load, feel intermittent engine braking, engine RPM is fluctuating indicating transmission is searching between gears. Dealer said that is the way they all are. Very annoying.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #1

Apr 012003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 400 miles
The consumer was able to remove the keys from the ignition while the gear was in drive. This caused the vehicle to roll away..

- Auburn, ME, USA

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