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:
7 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 brakes problems

brakes 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

problem #4

Aug 312004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8 miles


I have a 2003 Honda Accord ex-V6: Y husband has experienced the following safety problem on three occasions. He drives the vehicle more than I do. Several mornings while backing out of our driveway the car's brake pressure did not employ the brakes in the normal safe fashion. When he was about half way down the driveway he applied the brakes, the pedal was hard and noncompliant (the car did not stop or slow down) until he applied the brake pedal very hard. While at the beginning of the driveway right before exiting onto the sidewalk the brakes began working as normal. This situation happened even though the car was warmed up for a couple of minutes he tapped the brakes upon rolling backward a couple of feet or so to make sure they were working properly. This is a very dangerous situation that needs to be addressed immediately. This safety problem is intermittent. I left my car overnight with a local dealer to have a mechanic go through the brake system based upon this safety issue. I was told by the mechanic and the service consultant my brakes are fine nothing unusual was detected, my car is perfect. Based upon the seriousness of this issue and the lack of resolve from the dealership I am filing this complaint. I have another problem with my car which I have reported to the dealer and received service for on several occassions. This problem is not safety related but may have some connection to the brakes not engaging on several occassions. When taking off from a cold start and traveling between 7-10 mph, the car makes a thump noise which originates from the driver's side. Not only can you hear the noise but you can feel it through the acceleration pedal. I was told by one dealership the problem is brake related and there is no fix. The other dealership said the problem was related to a piece of scrap metal lodged in the subframe. They removed the piece of metal and assured me the noise would go away. The thump did not go away.

- Mattapan, MA, USA

problem #3

Jul 222004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2003 Honda Accord LX model. I have started to have some brake problem with my car from 7,000 miles. At that time my dealer told me that my brake rotors need to be realigned, and which they did. Then again at 15,000 miles I noticed that when I apply brakes at 60mph my car vibrates and on wet roads it slips/skids. This also happens on curves at speed of 30 mph in wet conditions. Rosenthal Honda at tysons corner in Virginia has been working on this since started happening at 15,000 miles. They told me that they need to resurface my rotors and replace my pads and that the problem will be gone. I ask them to proceed with it and now the problem came up again at 18,000 miles. Rosenthal again resurface the rotars and told me the problem has been fixed. Today at 20,000 miles the same problem comes up. Rosenthal & Honda are telling me that there is no problem but I know that my brakes are not working right and not the way hoinda has designed it to work. I do not know what to do and where to go. I really have great confidence in you and expect that you help me out of this issue.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #2

May 092003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20 miles
Vehicle drifts to the right. Dangerous on interstates when traveling @ 70mph. Must constantly hold vehicle in lane. Also problems with brakes grabbing when stopping. Dealer adjusted subframe and replaced brakes. Vehicle is still extremely sensitive to road crowning. Dealer said the drift is better but not perfect. I'm still concerned with safety of vehicle.

- New Bern, NC, USA

problem #1

Dec 122002

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This 2003 Honda Accord has caused me a lot of problems since the beginning I bought it. Just after 2 weeks with around 500 miles all this rattling noises started coming from the doors and windows. I took it to the dealer, they fixed it, but the problem was back less than a week after. Today I have 14000 miles on my car and I have been to the dealer more then 20 times for this problem. They have replaced the run channels and other parts without any success. Also the interior is falling a part; the middle compartment is not working. The cd compartment gets stuck all the time. The engine is making a lot of noise, feels like its actually sitting in the passenger side next to me. I know this is not the quality Honda has, my wife has a 1996 Accord and it doesnT make as much noises as mine, and it also runs better. Honda needs to take quality seriously. And help me out with this lemon car.

- Northridge, CA, USA

Not what you are looking for?