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
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
2,300 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 #2

Jul 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,600 miles


Complaint received via E-mail. I purchased a brand new car, and since then I have been back to the dealership numerous amounts of times for many problems. First problem was my brakes needed to be replaced at 4600 miles, but weren't replaced until 7700 miles 3.5 months later due to back order. Currently, with 17,900 miles the brakes were grinding again. This is my 3rd Honda, and the worse one, yet likely my last. The second problem was that my right rear door was locked for 3 months. The dealer claimed that the problem was due to getting my windows tinted, but they attempted to fix three times, and was told the third time the problem only occurs if the temperature goes below 32 degrees. Since then the temperature has been over 32 degrees. I also have problems with sulfur odor coming from the exhaust, and was told that this was normal problem, would go away with time. But as time goes by the odor gets worse, and smells like rotten eggs. Another problem with the car is the alignment has been off since I bought the car. I have had my own mechanic look at the car, and he believes the car won't align correctly because of the axles. The final problem with my piece of crap Honda is the driver seat isn't secure, it slides very little back and forth and side to side.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #1

Jul 012004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the brake pedal drivers seat moved forward. Consumer was able to maintain control of the vehicle, and drove it to the dealer for inspection. Mechanic determined that the seat track needed to be replaced, and replaced it. However, the problem recurred.

- Valley Village, CA, USA

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