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
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
96,667 miles
Total Complaints:
3 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. at this point, there is none (2 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Honda Accord engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 222013

Accord ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


My Honda Accord engine caught on fire and burnt to a crisp August of last year! Thank God the car was not in my garage when it caught on Fire without warning. The car was totaled, windshield busted. I called Honda and they told me sorry, can't help you. Last week, March 15th I received a recall notice from Honda Corp warning about the car make, model and year recall due to a defect which could lead to engine fire. Recall advised to take car to approved dealer for free repair but of course the car has beed scrapped.

I called them again to discuss the recall notice and the fire, again they told me sorry, you can't prove the engine fire was due to defect. I plan to seek legal advice to find out if I have grounds to initiate a class action lawsuit against Honda specific to this problem on this make,model and year.Anyone out there with same problem or know of anyone who had this problem?

- , bentonville, AR, USA

problem #2

Apr 162008

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

On April 3, 2008 I took my car to Kuhn Honda at 3900 West Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33609. (813) 872-4841. They did a routine oil change, tire rotation, regular maintenance service. Four days later my transmission fell out of the car on the highway and I had to have the car towed to the dealer. I had the 105,000 mile warranty and they replaced the transmission.

As driving off the lot I notice the transmission would not shift from second gear. Next day I took it back to the dealership, they ordered another transmission and put the new one in. That was Wednesday April 16th, 2008. I left the dealership around 3:00Pm and the traffic was horrible so I drove less than 3 miles to the mall to shop. Parked the car at the mall, when inside and was there less than 10 minutes when I was called by the Tampa Police Department telling me my car was on fire in the parking lot and burnt the entire engine to a crisp. The car was melted like a piece of plastic nothing up to the windshield.

The dealership claims no responsibility. They have no idea what happened or why! They claim these things happen and they do not know how it could have happened. They did not even apologize, this is a horrible place to do business, they serviced this car for 4 years and I never had an issue. Now they are new ownership from Lindell Honda to Kuhn Honda and this is the service you receive. I would be leery of ever buying, using or taking my car to this dealership! If anyone can tell me what type of neglect this dealership did to cause this type of situation to my car I would love to know! How could this happen?

No attorney wants to take the case because I was not burned up, or injured and only a property damage at the mall is evident where the tress fried to a crisp. My insurance company is only going to pay me market value for the car but my car was a cream puff! I loved that car, navigation system, 5 C-D changer, Leather interior, clean like new and impeccable service record that I planned to keep that car forever and have it as a classic 20 year later. That idea went up in smoke to say the least! I feel I am entitled to more and the dealership should be responsible for its workmanship and the safety of the customer by allowing me to leave with a car with such high risk! Jerks! Happy to be alive, guess it can always be worse. Trust me I am counting my blessings.

Glad I did not drive home and park in the garage as usual or my home could have burnt up too, or I could have been stuck in traffic, no way for the fire truck to get to me and burnt in the car. For sure did not want that to happen. Scared of FIRE!

- , Tampa, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 272008

Accord EX 6L Vtech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I am not sure what caused the problem. Gauges were perfectly normal, no check engine light, etc. Started smelling then flaming! Total loss.

- , Moundville, AL, USA

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