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:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
14 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

problem #1

Sep 292003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14 miles


I test drove 03 Accord that tracked straight and some that did not. The car I picked pulled to the right, but the salesperson assured me that the car could be corrected by an alignment. Before I took delivery of my car, I asked they do an alignment, but when I drove the car upon delivery it still pulled to the right. So I took it back for a second alignment that again did not fix the problem. On my third try to do an alignment, they found a service bulletin that said that my Accord needed to have its subframe adjusted. They did the subframe adjustment and it made the situation better, but was still misaligned. On my fourth attempt at the dealer to get the alignment right they said that my car was within spec because it did not drift out of its lane in under 6 seconds. They said that alignments could not always be right on new cars and I should accept the car because it was within spec. But it is unacceptable that even when the road slopes slightly down on the left of the road, the car still drifts to the right. Out of frustration, I went to an independent wheel and brake shop for alignment (which Honda will not pay for, so it was $60 out of my pocket.) they where able make the car track straighter than before, but it still drifts to the right, even on road completely flat or sloping slightly down on the left. They found that the springs of my car made the right front tire on my car ride 1/4" lower than the left front tire. They think this creates a slight problem that cannot be completely compensated for. I am currently in the process of trying to get the customer service representative from american Honda Corp. To try to fix the situation, but I might be out of luck. They keep saying car is "within spec". my case # at Honda is N012003-09-0500462. The representative is anthony hill.

- Irvine, CA, USA

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