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:
92,250 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. duct tape (2 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Aug 102012

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


The key cover was loosening for a while. It finally fell apart in 2012. Since new keys are so expensive, we just hold it together carefully as we turn it in the ignition.

- , Collierville, TN, USA

problem #3

Aug 012009

Accord LX 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

Tell me how in the world a big expensive key can break into rendering it useless and the cost to replace is prohibitive.

- , Springfield, MO, USA

problem #2

Mar 302010

Accord LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,000 miles

Basically, the metal key became loose in the plastic housing and eventually the movement caused the key fob to fall apart.

- , Toronto, ON, Canada

problem #1

Nov 302007

Accord LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,000 miles

I have owned several sub-compact cars and was so pleased to finally be able to get my Honda Accord. I have been relatively pleased with the car with the exception of the electrical keys. They are just flimsy. I have already tried to fix the key myself and was able to put it back together again temporarily, but it can't be fixed that way for long. Now, I have not dropped the key or done anything differently than with keys from other cars, but the plastic just chips or wears away. When I called the dealer I was informed that I would

have to pay at least $90 to get a new key and an additional fee to get the key reformatted to the electrical system that is in the car. I have to admit that I got a little pissed off and have yet to find out how much that part is going to cost, but I was also informed that I had to take it to the dealer and if I tried to fix it myself I could end up with a problem that could cost me $1000. I was floored that I would have to pay for this myself since I was not the one who caused the problem, but apparantly this is a rare problem that they have never seen before. Interestingly, he knew exactly what to do and he knew what would happen if I didn't follow his instructions and pay up at the dealer.

- , Elkridge, MD, USA

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