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 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
55,118 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Dec 202003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles


Driver side window and windshield are creaking when driving over left side bumps. Car taken to dealer who claims this is normal body flex which is incorrect. Research indicates that this is possibly due to a pillar clips or mohawk strip, however dealer inspected the a pillar and claims it is "tightened to spec".

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #1

May 032003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have a 2003 Honda Accord purchased in March 03. The left rear and right front is leaking water. We don't know exactly when this started but noticed it on May 3rd. Dealer has been unable to fix as of now and now car is smelling like mold. Concerned about mold now that it smells. Techs at dealer have not been able to fix. Honda motor Corp. Was called by me and dealer but they have been no help. I know that it's dangerous to breathe in mold so I am now afraid that since they haven't fixed and don't know were it's leaking from that there could be mold that I am not seeing.

- Bristol, PA, USA

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