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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,654 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

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Jun 152003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


At about the 12K miles, the brakes started to pulse during normal operation. Dealer cut discs and installed new pads. At 24K miles, same situation. Dealer replaced disc and new pads. Dealer could not resolve problem. I am a mechanical engineer and an auto mechanic. The problem is the lower quality steel being used by Honda for their disc brakes. I solved the problem by purchasing ($300 incl shp and handling) american racing disc. I have had no problems since then. Conclusion: Honda is using low quality steel in their disc brakes and has done nothing to improve their product quality. Tsb are a poor/cheap way to solve problems.

- Mayaguez, PR, USA

problem #3

Apr 092005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
I believe there is a brake design or manufacturing defect in my 2003 Honda Accord V6. The dealership has replaced the front rotors on my vehicle twice within 37,000 miles. In addition, the front brake pads were replaced once and the rear brake rotors resurfaced once within this milage period. Going through three sets of rotors and one set of brake pads within 37,000 miles means there is either a design or manufacturing defect in the brake system. I experienced no brake failures as a result of these problems.

- Howell, MI, USA

problem #2

Aug 202004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,618 miles
I purchased my 2003 Accord 4dr about 2 months ago. I started hearing an awful front brake noise at speeds >40mph and the steering wheel would shake. It almost felt like the car wouldn't stop. I'm taking the car into the dealership this evening for this and other issues, however, the service manager seemed as if he had never heard of this problem before. It's annoying to think that the service manager would not be aware of it since it has been so common.

- Peoria, AZ, USA

problem #1

Oct 162003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
While driving a noise can be heard, such as squeaking and popping coming from the brakes. Dealer refurbished all the discs on the brake system, which temporarily remedied the problem. Manufacturer was aware of the problem by the complaints he received from several consumers, but had no remedy for the problem.

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

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