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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
12,000 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 #3

Sep 162004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles


I've had a major problem with the brakes on my 2003 Honda Accord LX, starting at about 6,000 miles. The problem is front calipers, rotors, and pads with a complaint of "brake judder". the car does not and never has with the exception of the first few thousand miles brake normally. This noise and irregular breaking happens in normal driving and there is an unstable feel to the brakes when braking firmly in an emergency. I brought it back to the huntington Honda dealer 3X with that specific problem and was told they saw nothing wrong and on only one occasion made an adjustment and at the same time telling me they saw nothing wrong. Now I see now that a tsb has been issued for these brake problems. Consequently, now that my car is off of the warranty and I'm reading about thousands of other Accord '03 owners with this same exact problem. There should definitely be a recall on this problem. This is a potential safety risk to the owners of these Honda Accord and other drivers on the road if an accident occurred because of these faulty brakes. Now that my car is off warranty I feel as if I have little recourse even though I brought this problem to their attention three times when the car was covered. Something more should be done about this issue with the Honda company before injuries or death result because of these faulty brakes. I also want to add that I am very disappointed in Honda. Previous to this Accord I owned a civic and I never had a problem like this. I owned the car for 10 years and put 175, 000 miles on it. I most likely will never buy a Honda again and never recommend one to anyone else. Thank you.

- Commack, NY, USA

problem #2

May 182005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
When backing down my angled driveway, when the car is cold, the brakes do not adequately stop the car. In fact the car continues movement even when the brake pedal is pressed firmly. This is a serious concern should I need to stop suddenly and yet the car continues to move. The car also does this when driving in a forward movement down the driveway, but not to the same degree as driving and braking backward. The dealer and looked at the car twice, and tell me this is normal because the car revs up high when cold to reduce pollution, and the drum brakes are not strong enough to stop the car when backing down a grade.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #1

Dec 112003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
2003 Honda Accord, been into dealer twice for brake shudder and grinding noise. Rotor was resurfaced, dealer says brake problems are the result of hard braking. Still have problems, not resolved.

- Miami, FL, USA

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