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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
21,795 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 lights problems

lights problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Honda Accord:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #3

Dec 222006

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


This problem has been occurring intermittently for 2.5 years, has never manifested itself while at the dealer. It all started with the yellow traction control triangle lighting up, right after we bought the car. No symptoms, just solid non-blinking light on dash. Dealer had no solution. The problem got worse when my wife noticed that the car's transmission seemed to "bog down". I never experienced it, just my wife. Dealer said this was just the traction control kicking in, no solution. Last July, 4 hours from home, the car suddenly bogged down on me, I immediately looked down at the dash... the car was traveling 70 mph, the speedometer was dead, the engine was dead, I happened to be at an exit ramp, so I coasted off the interstate to a stop. I called the dealer in the nearest city, and they said to restart the car, I did, and it ran. I took the car to auto zone where they said the code was "speed control sensor/short". dealer checked it, and said there was no problem with sensor. They blamed it on having too much transmission fluid in the transmission. A few times since July, the car has mysteriously gone dead in traffic, notably while in the turn lane. 2 weeks ago, the red brake light started coming on. An isolated and separate issue I think. Last week, I drove 1 hour to the airport. The traction control and check engine light came on, and every time I used the turn indicator, the car died. It restarted itself as soon as the turn indicator was released if moving fast on road. While looping around the airport terminal, it stalled several times as I tested to see if the turn signal still killed it, having to shift to neutral and restart, as the car was idling when it stalled this time. I turned the car off to load bags, and when I turned it back on, no symptoms, and it has not done it since last week. The dealer could not reproduce the problem, again no solution.

- Prairieville, LA, USA

problem #2

Jan 212005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,384 miles
While driving at night the light flashed from dim to high beam without warning. The dealer has been notified.

- Brush Prairie, WA, USA

problem #1

Oct 102003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
Headlight luminance noticeably fluctuates between a lower and higher intensity. The high beam is not on at this time. Happens ususally when car is at a lower speed and slowing down or accelerating. Intensity stays constant at higher speeds. Very annoying. Dealer and manufacturer don't know the cause. Alternator has been replaced, problem still persists. It is so noticeable that I'm sure oncoming drivers think I'm flashing my highs at them.

- Thorold, 00, USA

Not what you are looking for?