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:
14,500 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #2

Oct 042004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles


10/4/2004 - driving 65 mph and car completely shut off - lost power steering and brakes. In shop for 5 days and said problem's fixed. 2/7/2005 - driving 50 mph and happened again - lost power steering and brakes. In shop for 5 days, dealership said it was fixed. *jgb2/13/2005 - driving 45 mph and car shut off again - lost power steering and brakes. Back in shop currently. Safety concern - life has been put in jeopardy 3 times now.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #1

Jun 192004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
The brakes pulsate when applied....already changed the pads twice still the same problem, rotors were replaced, then turned also. The clutch will stick when the vehicle has been operated for a period of time. The key is disconnect communication with the car, causing everything to be shut off. Dealer checked and said nothing was wrong.

- San Diego, CA, USA

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