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:
Average Mileage:
72,795 miles
Total Complaints:
87 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (34 reports)
  2. Honda issued a recall - covered 100% for 7 years/100k miles (28 reports)
  3. replace the entire CD player radio (13 reports)
  4. call American Honda (1-800-999-1009), ask for goodwill repair (4 reports)
  5. call local honda dealer and mention service bulletin 04-027 (4 reports)
  6. radio removed, LCD replaced, radio re-installed (3 reports)
2003 Honda Accord accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 5 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #7

Sep 112006

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 40,000 miles


My cd player completely quit working at @ 40,000 miles. It will not even let me eject the cds. I was so excited to have a 6 disc cd changer. A lot of good this does me now.

My LED light in the radio display also went out at @45,000 miles and from what I have read this is a major problem in 03 accords. Call American Honda and report the problem. Mention "Goodwill Consideration" and Service Bulletin 04-027. (Vehicles affected: 2003 Accord (except DX and LX L4 models):ALL. This was issued July 9, 2004. You might be able to get your radio replaced for free even if your warranty has "run out".

- , Statesville, NC, USA

problem #6

Aug 262006

(reported on)

Accord LX

  • 52,000 miles

I bought the Accord for my daughter while she was attending LSU. The back light went out in the stereo at 50,000 miles. The Honda dealer told us that we should bring it back to the dealer we bought from. He said some dealers are replacing the radios for nothing in order to maintain a reputation. Mine was not that gracious.

- , Longville, LA, USA

problem #5

Aug 292006

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 47,300 miles

Have not had the car long. Bought it used. Could have gone any route, new or used. But decided to go with this one because of Honda's reputation and could get a loaded car. Was I wrong in doing this? If I cannot get this fixed, I will stick with Toyota the rest of my life.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #4

Aug 242006

(reported on)


  • 29,000 miles


This is not what expect from a HONDA ACCORD... We never a stupid but severe problem with ACCORDS till now... There should be some kind of recall for this matter.. My back light blew out after 29k THAT'S BULLSHIT!!!!!

- , San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #3

Jun 242006

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 52,000 miles

Same thing happened with me too. Wish I had alot of money and purchased the 6 at 100K warranty.

- , Mechanicsburg, PA, USA

problem #2

Jul 102006

(reported on)

Accord EX

  • 67,500 miles

Shockingly the entire stereo systems must be replaced. I have been a loyal Honda customer. I hope this is a one-time event..

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Mar 082006

(reported on)

Accord LX

  • 49,000 miles

I was a dedicated Honda buyer but after I purchased a 2003 Accord, I've changed my mind totally. The radio dashboard light blew at 49K miles. We can't see anything on the dashboard except for the odometer readings. It's especially annoying at nights. The dealer informed me that my car has exceeded the 3 year/ 36K mile warranty and it will cost me over $1000 plus to replace. They can't replace the bulb, they have to replace the entire radio - What a rip-off

- , Randolph, MA, USA

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