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.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,000 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 exhaust system problems

exhaust system problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Jul 012003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles


2003 Honda Accord ex sedan with 4 cylinder. Car has developed high idle 1800 RPM when starting a cold engine(started after 3500-4000 miles). Car will accelerate (actually jumps) to 20 mph with foot off the accelerator(it will spin the tires on wet pavement and winter is around the corner and can only imagine what driving will be like). Takes over +5 minutes before it reduces to a normal idle (approximately 2 miles worth of driving). This is a really dangerous situation. Also experiencing the rotten egg smell entering into the drivers compartment. The air conditioner (A/C) has a serious vibration when coming on that has had several passengers ask me what the noise and vibration were. It's a shame since I have been to the dealer 4 times for these problems and came away with them making me feel guilty and that I'm the only one with these problem. I feel this is an extremely dangerous situation and have told the dealer so. I guess I'm glad that sites like this exist...thanks.

- Orchard Park, NY, USA

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