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:
66,500 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (2 reports)
  2. fixed by upholsterer (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #3

Oct 012012

Accord LX V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I didn't think headliners fell any more....however, the 2003 Honda Accord seems to be the year that everything that can break/go wrong with this car & costs a fortune - DOES! This is a HUGE safety problem. The dealer wants $850 to fix it....I found a car Upholsterer to fix it for me for $200. That's the way to go, check in your area. I started by asking local small repair shops, they usually know who will fix this inexpensively & typically are guys who don't have to advertise, so it's kind of the only way to find them. My guy, Allen, has been in the 'biz' since 1958 & did an excellent job. It does take one guy a good 6-7 hrs to do the job.

- , Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 012011

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

I am a Senior (female) and had a dream of driving a Honda until it drops so dropped the $20,000 plus for the cost. Only driven 7 years and the headliner is falling out. No biggie I went to have it fixed to find that Honda has it attached to foam material that has dry rotted and causing the lining to detach and fall down. It is already 12" wide and continues to fall. Honda feels no responsibility on a car out of warranty (3 years only for interior) and I'm told the only way to fix this is to take it all down and replace as new to the tune of $300 to $500 in cost. I maintain full service on my car and the car itself is in totally maintained condition. This sucks and I will NOT buy another HONDA due to this issue. My car looks like a crappy teen-agers rattle trap not like a $20,000 car! I have talked to the dealership - 'so sad, so bad' as well as Honda Customer Support and while the lady I talked to was kind considering how very upset I am the end result is 'it is over 3 years old nothing we can do'. I am so angry that I'm going to put this out for anyone, anywhere to know how well they stand behind such an expensive vehicle. Like it is my fault it dry-rotted in 7 years that is crazy.

- , Springfield, MO, USA

problem #1

Dec 082006

(reported on)

Accord LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,500 miles

Headliner tears began appearing in ceiling. Headliner began to show tears after three years and 33,000 miles. Second and third tears have begin recently. I have had several Honda cars since the 1980's and never experienced this problem. Dealer shrugged it off as " so what?"

- , San Diego, CA, USA

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