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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,422 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

Jun 052014

Accord 6-cyl

  • 74,844 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that the driver's side seat warmer caused second degree burns to the driver's back. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired. The manufacturer was notified. The failure mileage was 74,844..... updated 08/05/14 the consumer stated the vehicl was inspected by bob lindsay Honda the malfunction could not be replicated. The heaters must be found defective by Honda dealership in order for action to be taken. Updated 08/11/2014

- Washington, IL, USA

problem #1

May 042006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles
2003 Honda Accord. The seat heater shorted and burned a hole in my leather seat after about 10 minutes. I felt burning on my leg and stopped the car to discover what was happening. I took it to the dealership the next day and the service manager said he had never seen it but that they would replace it even though he did not believe my extended warranty would cover it. He ordered a new seat bottom but did not order the seat heating element. Now they are ordering that and I have to make yet another appointment when that part comes in. If I had not felt the burn and continued driving, my seat could have burst into flames!!! I am complaining about the faulty unit - I am not complaining about my local Honda dealership.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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