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
Crashes / Fires:
15 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 0
Average Mileage:
77,270 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

Feb 252003

(reported on)


  • miles


Vehicle did not shift into different gears, the gears jumped and hung up in gear, the gears hung up between second and third gears, also when putting vehicle in reverse, it would speed backwards without stepping on gas pedal.

- Bemidji, MN, USA

problem #1

Dec 172002

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,800 miles
My 2003 Honda Accord experienced an unintended acceleration while in motion. I increased speed from 40 mph to 50mph to pass a slower moving vehicle in my lane and experienced a surge of power that I could not control by taking my foot off the gas. I needed to brake to restrain the vehicle. The tachometer went to 6000 RPM and stayed steady the entire time putting the vehicle in neutral as I prepared to kill the ignition returned control and the vehicle resumed responding. I have returned the vehicle to the dealer for inspection and am getting a response from the dealer that they have found nothing wrong with the car. I am a 47 Y/O male with 30 years driving experience and am quite sure of the circumstances. Cruise control was not engaged as I was in morning rush hour traffic I have opened a problem ticket with Honda N0112-17-00080. Thank you

- Saugerties, NY, USA

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