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:
18,500 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Apr 072007


  • miles


Drive window and cruise control stopped working. Hondas are supposed to be the best cars, in my opinion I think they are the worst. I wouldn't never own another one. Everything brakes in Honda.

- Elizabeth City, NC, USA

problem #3

Sep 112005

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles
I bought my Accord ex when it was 2 years old. The light on the radio didn't light up, so the dealership fixed it before I bought it. They told me it cost them $300. Also, my cruise control has gone out. And it's not the fuse.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #2

Dec 042003

(reported on)

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Cruise control will not fully disengage. It causes sudden acceleration. Tapping the brake when the cruise control was engaged caused one to two second disengagement followed by sudden acceleration. The vehicle attempted to resume to the previous or another speed. This occurred with no operation.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #1

Jun 202003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles
Cruise control disengaged while being on.manufacturer was not contacted at the time of the call.

- Seattle, WA, USA

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