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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,347 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 Element miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Honda Element Owner Comments

problem #9

Sep 202016


  • 202,005 miles


Driver side door lock no longer working when alarm is activated. Key gets stuck sometimes in the lock. I then have to go around to passenger side to get in to open driver side door from the inside.

- Concord, CA, USA

problem #8

May 192016


  • 195,000 miles
Door locks are defective- cannot insert my key in driver's side door. My remotes don't lift the locks any more. Lights flash ok, but I have a feeling that the driver's side door lock is involved. I understand that this is common in this vehicle

- Buffalo, NY, USA

problem #7

Mar 202013


  • 170 miles
Dealerships rolling the milage back 3000and scams disable people out of thousands of dollars and 28% lawsuit crimmal and civil please call me.

- North, SC, USA

problem #6

Jun 282013


  • 130,000 miles


Door lock on the drivers door stopped working. Honda said I needed a key fob. It worked for a while. Now my key fob will not open drivers door. The only way to lock or unlock my door is to pull up on the handle and push lock down and to go to the other door and crawl across to unlock it. I have read of many owners being locked out of their cars totally. A repairman thought it was the actuator. When he went to install it, it was not. I have spoken to several Honda service departments and they have no clue they said.

- Salem, AR, USA

problem #5

Jun 062004


  • 23,000 miles
The door locks on the Honda Element are faulty. So faulty in fact that a year after the Elements were advertised, a technical service bulletin (06-068) was issued for "door lock cylinder binds". this tsb applied to 2003-2004 civics, 2002-2003 CR-V, 2003 Elements. The tsb includes the affected VIN numbers. Once the door cylinder stops working you cannot gain entry into the vehicle through the affected door. For me it was the drivers door and I was forced to enter the vehicle via the passenger door. The Honda site stated that you should contact the dealer and ask for re numeration as this was a known failure. The Honda dealer local to me stated that since it wasn't a recall they wouldn't "give me a break" on the cost to fix the problem. Honda should be made accountable since they knew this was a problem. The safety issue here lies in the fact that you can't enter your vehicle quickly in a dangerous situation. Climbing over seats is certainly not a safe thing to do either.

- Cream Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #4

May 192007


  • 42,300 miles
The driver's side outer lock and automatic lock fails on the car. Passenger must enter through passenger side only. Intermittent problem with multiple instances of this occurring

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

May 152003


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles


The problem is with the windshield. I have had to replace it twice since January and it needs to be replaced again due to cracks. I checked around and I am not the only one with this problem. It seems that the windshield in the Element is very susceptable to cracks due to the flange creating too much stress which renders the glass very prone to cracking by road debris. I got hit by a tiny pebble which should never have cracked the glass. And in my 18 years of driving various vehicles, I have never, ever had this type of problem, so I know it is not just "bad luck" as the dealer has told me.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #2

Oct 212003

(reported on)


  • miles
Complaint regarding Honda american motors and the purchase of a 2003 Honda Element. Consumer stated experience at the dealership was less than good. His vehicle was sprayed with "armor oil type grease" all over the door panel with spray sprinkles. All over the front and back seats and console. They sprayed stuff all over the place to the point where his hand slipped off the steering wheel and the seats were destroyed. Dealership promised the perma plate, low jack and keyless entry. Consumer was told he wouldn't receive his keyless entry despite it being part of the deal. Consumer stated the dealership jacked up his vehicle.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #1

Aug 232003

Element 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 650 miles
Bought the car with 264 miles on it on Aug. 15th, 2003. On Aug. 23rd, a noise began consistantly from the rear part of the vehicle each & every time when making turns.

- Plano, TX, USA

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