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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,517 miles
Total Complaints:
39 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. problem not fixed (12 reports)
  3. dealer replaced CD player under warranty (7 reports)
  4. not covered.......but the backlight display was! (2 reports)
  5. aftermarket, overpriced trunk cd changer (1 reports)
  6. auto manufacturer goodwill repair (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #39

Aug 202015

Accord EX 4 .0 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,671 miles


My CD player is jammed with cd's. Would not eject. Tadio has to be reset with code. Dealership states motor gone about $750.00 to repair. This is a defect and should be recalled. Everyone who has had this experience with your 2003 Honda, please file complaint.

- , Greenville, Pacific Islands (US)

problem #38

Apr 022016

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,265 miles

Suddenly went to play my CD music and got an ERR then nothing. Radio plays and screen still lights but when I try pushing the CD button nothing happens now. So I now have 6 CD's stuck in this player with no way to get them out..I see by all the other complains this has been a "B I G " PROBLEM!!! Because its an "03" I suppose Honda will not do anything. I will probably get an estimate on a repair but not from a dealer that's for sure. I will look on Youtube to see if there is any DIY fixes...

- , West Chester, OH, USA

problem #37

Mar 232015

Accord LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 170,000 miles

It's ridiculous that the radio in this car is such a complex unit combined with dual thermostat controls, etc., and yet the problems is so widespread and the dealers have the nerve (HONDA in general) to continue the process of wanting to charge everybody $800+ to fix the issue. If it was a one off scenario, or was a result from teenagers tampering with the unit to install aftermarket stereos, then fine. But, what about the honest hard working middle class people who choose Honda for a reliable car, and these circumstances arise? What then? Why are we punished for such a poorly designed stereo that your well paid engineers designed. Perhaps going with another car will provide a better stereo system? It is ironic that my Honda sales guy is now calling me asking me if we're ready to upgrade our car. I'm actually looking forward to his next phone call.

- , Columbus, OH, USA

problem #36

Feb 022015

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


CD Player clicks and whines every time I start the car. Very annoying!! I cannot live with the car like this. I just talked to someone at a stereo place and to replace, it is estimated to cost upwards of $625 because the whole thing is one piece. They can't even just disconnect the CD player from the power because that would turn off power for the AC/temperature control. BAD DESIGN!! This needs to be recalled!!!

- , Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #35

Jan 252012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

This is Radio #4...I have given up and just don't have music in my car.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #34

Nov 022014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles

The CD player stopped working and has a CD stuck in it. It seems that this is a common problem among owners. The prices I was quoted to fix the player are ridiculous and now I have no player. Let our voices be heard...service needs to be covered on these faulty players!!!

- , Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #33

Jan 102012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles


This is my third radio since owning the car...The reason this one only cost $75.00 was the place I bought it replaced it for free. I had only had it in for 2 weeks...The cost of swapping it out was $75.00.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #32

Jan 052012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

This was radio #2 that was replaced...This time not paid for by the Honda.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #31

Apr 052006

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Cd player stopped working at very low mileage...Dealership fixed it 1 of the 4 times it has had to be replaced.

- , Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #30

Sep 012014


  • 183,000 miles

So many owners of Honda Accord's 2003 are complaining about problems with cd that it's is shame for Honda not to give credit for repair. Is that still the case. Until now you were always helpful. Honda, as a loyal customer I am expecting always the best service from you.


Dragan Lekic

- , Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #29

Nov 202011

Accord EX-L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


The 6 disc CD player on my Honda Accord '03 stopped working, it has 6 CDs stuck in it. However, the radio works. I called a couple of dealers and they asked me to keep the car overnite just for letting me know what is the reason for the problem. Hence I never pursued the fix for the problem. The problem is getting to my wife's nerves hence I did some research on getting it fixed and so far it seems quite an expense if I take it to a dealer or to some independent repair shop.

- , Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #28

Jun 012008

Accord ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I purchased this car with 56k miles on it, after a year the light on the cd player/radio (6 disc changer) went out. After that the dealership replaced it but, later my cds (purchased from a store) would get so hot it would literally burn my face after it was ejected. Now i can't insert CDs or take them out. Honda says they can fix the problem for 859.00. The problem is this is a replacement radio!

- , Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #27

May 012009

Accord EX 4 CYL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

The CD player won't take or eject the cd at all. i tried to to search online to find the fix but most people just suggest to take to radio to dealer to get fix.

- , Winter Park, FL, USA

problem #26

Jun 082011

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


- , Easthampton, MA, US

problem #25

May 012012

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

It was the first thing to break after our purchase. Bad design.

- , Cypress, TX, US

problem #24

Oct 102008

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

Really terrible sound system in the particular model car. Even the speakers are crap.

- , Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #23

Oct 102012

Accord EX 3.06

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles

Literally the same day the Audio-HVAC Display went dark, I had no use of the CD player or radio. Related?

- , Eustis, FL, USA

problem #22

Oct 192011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,360 miles

The CD player issue started many months prior to 10/2011 but was intermittent .It actually stopped working all together in Sept 2011. I had it looked at while having the oil changed in Oct 2011. I have not been able to retrieve any of the 6 cd's in the player.

- , Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #21

Feb 182012

Accord EX-L 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,000 miles

My CD went out on me over a month ago. Initially I was able to listen to the 4 CDs I had in the player but unable to Eject or Load any others. Now the player doesn't work at all and I get an ERR code. I called Honda Corporation this week and they told me there is no recall on this issue despite me saying I have read many blogs/sites where consumers have complained. She told me they base their recalls on the number of complaints they receive. So please call and complain if you have this issue!!

- , Newnan, GA, USA

problem #20

Jul 042005

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

At this time I was still listening to CDs all the time. The multichanger jammed one of my CDs and there was no release available on the stock radio. They replaced the radio and did return my CDs from Japan a couple of months later.

- , Vienna, VA, USA

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