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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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,700 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 windows / windshield problems

windows / windshield problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 012007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Recall notice on 2003 Honda Accord for window wiper motor. Consumer wants to be reimbursed for the repair work.

- Marlton, NJ, USA

problem #4

Nov 062008

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Honda Accord ex and Accord LX safety recall windshield wipers may stop working. Consumer has issues with this recall and one for the transmission. The consumer has two Honda Accord and when she took the vehicles to the dealer on different dates, the invoices gave different explanations as to what was done to remedy the recall. The consumer began having transmission problems with the sedan ex. The transmission would not move to the second level smoothly. The dealer could not find any defects with the second gear. Five days later, the engine light illuminated and the vehicle stopped twice in the middle of the road. The consumer was able to make it to the dealer and a diagnostics revealed the transmission needed to be replaced.

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jun 012008

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Honda Accord windshield wiper motor recall notice. Consumer received recall notice after the repairs was performed and wants to be reimbursed for the repairs. The consumer stated the windshield wipers stopped working.

- Nashville, NC, USA

problem #2

Aug 082008

Accord 4-cyl

  • 48,500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that it took Honda four or five months to notify him of NHTSA campaign id number 08V169000 (visibility:windshield wiper/washer: Motor). In the interim, his daughter was caught in a rainstorm when the windshield wiper motor failed. The current mileage was 50,000 and failure mileage was 48,500. Updated 10/20/08. Updated 10/20/08.

- Kingston, NY, USA

problem #1

May 132003


  • 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

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