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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
32,275 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. better grade leather upholstery (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 152005

Accord EX 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


Sorry material for price of vehicle !!! Thought was buying quality, not cheap excuse for upholstery!!

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #3

Sep 172007

Accord EX 3.0L V6 Sohc (Mfi)

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,100 miles

The leather seats in my Honda Accord are tan and they are very difficult to clean. They also seem to have changed color. The seats with the most use (front) have turned almost a gray color.

- , Long Beach, CA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012004

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

Leather is CHEAP. Noticed color change and wrote it off as my son's jeans were causing the discoloration. WRONG! Also - noticed the wear on drivers seat is extreme from getting in out (design issue with getting into a bucket seat at that level from outside). The leather is cheap and it looks like an animal clawed at the drivers seat where your left upper torso would rake across it getting in. I also wrote that off as my son's misuse of the vehicle but know better now. Cheap Cheap Cheap LEATHER! Leather cleaner did not help. Will NEVER purchase leather again.

- , Saint Peters, MO, USA

problem #1

Feb 042005

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 14,000 miles

I purchased a 2003 Honda Accord EX in October of 2002. I noticed when leaving the dealership that my seat looked like someone with black pants had been sitting on the seat wet. I chose to ignore my initial gut, and drive my beauty off the lot. As months went by, the color started to darken and the back of the seat as well as the bottom, was turning blue!! I thought is it the jeans I have worn in the car. No, the jeans are 2 years old and have been washed at least 200 times!! I took my car to the dealer in August 2003 and told them about the problem and had them replace my seat back cover under my warranty. Within 2 months, the blue color was back! I went back to the dealer and they informed me it was something I was wearing because their leather doesn't turn like that and that they would not replace it again under warranty. They had never seen anything like it. Well, me either!! My jeans weren't turning my mom's seat of the same color blue! Again, they felt like they had already done way too much for me. The leather in the new Accord's is sh*t! It is cheap and now I have to drive around with a blue butt and have for well over a year. They said to scrub your seats at least once a week. I paid for a car with leather interior because it is a luxury, not a weekly cleaning ritual. Has anyone dealt with this? I think Honda is in for some major recalls on everything! If we pull together we can take them down!

- , Wichita Falls, TX, USA

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