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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
136,000 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Jul 012010


  • 165,000 miles


I own a 2003 Honda Accord that is having constant problems shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear (automatic transmission). This has caused me numerous issues merging onto the highway because the vehicle fails to accelerate. I have nearly caused accidents and have had to make emergency stops on the side to try to work through this issue and get the vehicle to shift and accelerate. The shift from 2nd to 3rd fails almost every time.

- New Castle, IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 252010


  • 107,000 miles
Complete transmission failure. Our daughter was lucky not to have been killed driving on a crowded outerbelt when the Honda Accord just quit. Local dealership recognizes a huge problem with this model, but corporate Honda is just waiting for a tragedy to occur. Just spent $1100 on new brakes, and now they want $4000 for new transmission. We are going to fight this. Honda is pathetic.

- Reynoldsburg, OH, USA

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