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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
100,528 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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Honda Accord:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Nov 102007

Accord 4-cyl

  • 40,000 miles


My 2003 Honda Accord exl started to rust through the left rear wheel well lip this past winter. The car has been meticulously maintained with the records to prove so. The car was damaged at the back edge of the left rear door and repaired at the body shop both joyce Honda and grecco auto body are subsidiaries of the grecco auto group selling & repairing Honda. The Honda factory rep. Said the rear quarter panel would have to be replaced but that the rust was due to the accident and subsequent repair and therefore Honda was not responsible. The Honda dealers body shop and state farm insur. Claims rep. Maintain that the rust was far behind the area that was repaired and was not due to the accident. Attached are photographs of the small dent by the door just above the body trim line and the rust at the very top of the wheel opening. In essence, the service manager of joyce Honda and the factory rep (who would not give me a business card or name) said the rust is a result of the repair and not their responsibility. While grecco auto body and the auto inspector for state farm insurance said the rust is far to the rear of the repaired area and not the result of the repair. I had the repair done at the dealers body shop to avoid a situation as this where no one is accepting responsibility to correct a problem. Thus the three entities of the same business, Honda motor co., joyce Honda dealership, and grecco auto body are blaming each other and my car continues to prematurely rust through. Attached are photographs of the rust, the car, and the itemized repair as well as contact information of parties involved. I am expecting Honda to honor the rust perforation warranty. The consumer stated the catalytic was replaced under warranty on July 10, 2009. Now less than a year later, the consumer was informed it needed to replaced again. The dealer informed the consumer Honda would not stand behind the replacement catalytic converter. Updated IVOQ 12/28/10

- Rockaway, NJ, USA

problem #3

Dec 012003


  • miles
Falling acorns have left many pock marks on the body of my 2003 Accord. My other car is parked in the same area with no damage. The metal on the 2003 Accord feels significantly weaker to the touch than the body of my other cars. This car looks like it was pelted with hail stones. It seems to me that a car should withstand the impact of an acorn!

- Bel Air, MD, USA

problem #2

Jul 102003


  • miles
The exterior window ledge is bubbling. It looks like cheap tape over metal. Have heard this complaint from several other 2003 Accord owners.

- Whitefish Bay, WI, USA

problem #1

May 152003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
There is a constant popping noise that developed around 2500 miles. The noise occurs once or twice upon acceleration from a dead stop and while braking to come to a dead stop. The noise appears to be coming from the firewall area under the driverS side floor pan. Other people with this problem have reported that this is a common issue with V6 Accord and that the fix is to re-weld some areas between the firewall and floor pan. My dealer is not aware of any such fix and Honda customer service has no idea as well. The popping noise appears to be caused to body flex in areas that were not welded properly.

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

Not what you are looking for?