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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,000 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 accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 232014


  • 90,000 miles


We were driving down the highway and all of the sudden we heard a loud crashing sound above our heads. We pulled over and discovered the sunroof had exploded. There was not any inclement weather nor was there a object that hit it. It exploded and shattered from the middle. After researching on the internet, this has happened to several Honda owners, different makes and models. When contacting Honda they said there was no recall. Although some dealerships replaced the sunroof for free. This is a safety issue if glass explodes above your head while driving. It's also not an insurance issue. Feel free to google "Honda sunroof explodes", lots of affected consumers. This definitely needs to be a recall.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #3

Jan 022014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 75 mph, a loud explosion was heard from the roof. He open the sun roof portal and found that the sun roof glass had exploded and fractured. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure and current mileage was 58,000.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #2

Jan 012003

Accord 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Honda Accord. The consumers vehicle only 3500 miles and has been serviced 5 times for the same ignition problem. The consumer was told nothing can be done and the consumer would have to live with the vehicle not starting. The cabinet door under the radio had to be replaced because it began vibrating audibly, the sunroof had to be re-greased and shimmied.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #1

May 202003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
There is a constant rattle on the sunroof of my vehicle when it is closed. I took it to the dealer, and they said they would have to remove the entire sunroof just to check it. I have been hesitant to take it in due to the possibility of more damage. The dealer is downey Honda (downey, California).

- Maywood, CA, USA

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