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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
64,493 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 Civic lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Honda Civic Owner Comments

problem #14

Aug 232016


  • 171,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. While driving, the exterior lighting became inoperable. The vehicle was repaired per NHTSA campaign number: 12V136000 (exterior lighting), but the failure recurred. The failure mileage was 171,000.

- Westland, MI, USA

problem #13

Sep 082015


  • miles
Called the dealership for an appointment and was given one over 60 days beyond the days date. The recall is for airbags and is a clear safety risk to drivers. They will sell vehicles but will not repair their mistakes in a reasonable amount of time.

- La Jolla, CA, USA

problem #12

Apr 012015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact received a notice for NHTSA campaign numbers: 15V320000 (air bags), NHTSA campaign number: 12V136000 (exterior lighting), and NHTSA campaign number: 15V370000 (air bags) and felt that they exceeded a reasonable amount of time for repair. The dealer and manufacturer stated that the parts needed were not available. The dealer also stated that they would contact the contact back to schedule an appointment. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Huntington Park , CA, USA

problem #11

Mar 292012


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 12V136000, 14V349000 and 14V351000 (air bags, exterior lighting); however, the parts to do the repairs was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 032014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact received a notification of NHTSA campaign number: 14V70000 (air bags, exterior lighting) however, the part to do the repair was unavailable. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Bayamon, PR, USA

problem #9

Nov 062014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact received notifications for NHTSA campaign number: 14V351000 (air bags), NHTSA campaign number: 14V394000 (air bags) and NHTSA campaign number: 12V136000 (exterior lighting). However, the parts needed were unavailable to repair the vehicle. The dealer was unable to inform when the parts would become available. The manufacturer was not notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Jacksonville , FL, USA

problem #8

Nov 152012

Civic 4-cyl

  • 91,325 miles


I got a recall notice (Nov. 2012) about 2003 Honda Civic's headlights failing. About a week later in the early morning as I was going to work, my car headlights failed as I left my driveway. I left the car at home and took another. On return from work I found both headlights out, no blown fuses, heater fan not working, both ABS and brake panel lights on. I scheduled repair at O'hare Honda, des plaines, il. I arrived at the service dept. With recall notice and also to have additional maintenance services. I left the car for them to work on it. Repair work done on invoice #410741 dated Nov.19, 2012. The service writer called me the next day and told me the brake light repair required the master cylinder to be replaced. I ok'd major work. Service writer called back to say the ABS module needed to be replaced too. I ok'd that repair at large cost also. When I picked up my car the service writer told me they "put in a free alternator as that too was bad". the headlight repair cost $1,877.77 ($1,326.17 for parts + $551.60 labor). I have been thinking about this repair and have come to the conclusion that the voltage regulator on the alternator failed and put a large surge on the electrical system of the car. This surge "fried" the electrics on the two brake parts and burned out the headlights. The "free" alternator should have been the clue to the cause of the problem. I don't understand why some device can not be installed into the electrical wiring system of the car to prevent this expensive and potentially dangerous failure. The final problem with this repair was that I had to immediately return to the dealer to have them install new headlight bulbs as they must not have checked them and they were still burned out. So much for quality control.

- Des Plaines, IL, USA

problem #7

Dec 152012


  • 101,983 miles
One or more headlights often do not light when turned on. Plug on headlight is not loose, fuses and relays have been replaced.

- Bountiful, UT, USA

problem #6

Jan 012012


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while driving approximately 50 mph, with the headlights activated the driver's side low beam headlight failed to illuminate. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer which made the repairs under a recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 12V136000 (exterior lighting:headlights:switch). The contact stated less than twenty four hours after the repair was performed the air bag warning indicator began to illuminate continuously and the driver's side low beam headlight malfunction continued to occur. The vehicle was taken back to the dealer who informed the owner would be responsible for the repair expense; even though the recall remedy failed to correct the problem. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000.

- Surf City , NC, USA

problem #5

Oct 032012


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Civic. The contact stated that while traveling 30 mph, the headlights failed and the vehicle crashed into a yield sign. There were no injuries and the police were contacted. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who confirmed that the VIN qualified for repairs under NHTSA campaign id number:12V136000 (exterior lighting:headlights:switch). The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 133,000.

- Hempstead, NY, USA

problem #4

May 162012


  • 115,000 miles


Driving vehicle, (2003 Honda Civic), during predawn hours on unlit portion of town road. Proceeding around a bend in the road, vehicle suddenly lost both low beam headlights. Fortunately, was able to safely pull vehicle to a stop without going off the road. This needs to be investigated!!! vehicle high beams work and all other lighting appears to be fine.

- Milford, CT, USA

problem #3

Dec 062011

Civic 4-cyl

  • miles
Left and right low beam headlight failure, high beam headlights operational.

- Elkmont, AL, USA

problem #2

Jul 102010


  • 125,600 miles
2003 Honda Civic ex over 125K miles low beams will turn off by themselves while driving at night any speed. High beams and interior lights are not affected. This is not the first time this happened, but I do not drive in the evening very often. On July 10, 2010 my lights shut off 4 times in a 210 mile trip at speeds ranging from 40 - 70 mph. The first time I experienced this was in January 2009. Updated 01/04/2012

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 102008


  • 65,000 miles
2003 Civic hybrid- 80K miles. Bought in 2006 with 60K miles. The vehicle hesitates when accelerating from a stop. There is about a 5-8 second delay in pressing the gas and the car going, which has caused me to almost be rear ended a few times. The vehicle also slows down extremely rapidly when the foot is removed from the gas pedal. Even with no pressure applied to the break pedal. To ordinary (not hybrid) cars, it seems like I am pressing my brake, they just see me slowing down, but there are no lights to warn them, I have almost been in two really bad car accidents that were avoided by mere inches when: On the highway I have taken my foot off the accelerator to slow my vehicle, but I did not need the breaks since the car slowed down so fast on it's own. I threw on my emergency lights and tapped the brake to signal to cars behind me who were moving much faster still. I think that Honda should put in smaller lights or a different safety light when you remove your foot from the accelerator on the Civic hybrids, to avoid rear-ending accidents due to rapid decrease in speed with no usage of the braking system. History of problem: During test drive vehicle made slight shudder noise and hesitation before starting to accelerate. The dealer told me that it was a normal noise for hybrids. I foolishly believed him. A few months later the shuddering was worse and I knew that it wasn't a normal noise for any transmission to be making at 60,000 miles! over the last 2 years I have taken the car to the dealership many times to "fix" this problem, which is only patched up and the shuddering comes back a few thousand miles later. Honda knows about this problem and has a service bulletin for it, yet their dealerships try to put off fixing the problem until someone's warranty is almost over, or over. Honda needs to be held responsible for this faulty vehicle. A recall should be done at the very least, to fix the cars driving around with bad transmissions.

- Mount Prospect, IL, USA

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