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:
23,686 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 - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 162013

Accord 4-cyl

  • 23,686 miles


Driver's car (left front) keyhole won't accept my key, electronically. I went to different auto services and have the same comments that most of the complaints were the same. I checked the internet,, many owners of the same make, model & year have the same issues and problems, even the Honda chat room help site. I thought this is an isolated problem, but it's not, if there is some ways that your company could do something about this matter/issue concerning the manufacturer's (Honda) defect issue, please let us know, we don't want to shoulder to expenses on their behalf. Thank you very much for your concern and looking forward to hearing from you the soonest and for the immediate response to repair the problem for the inconvenience that we are experiencing for a long time. I have tried cleaning the inside of the keyhole by air pressured and wd 40, nothing happened. I can insert the key halfway only and then it will stopped. All other keyholes are functioning well, except the driver's keyhole.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

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