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:
18,000 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 miscellaneous problems

miscellaneous problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #3

Jan 152006


  • miles


I have a 2003 Honda Accord. Recently the back light on the radio went out. The radio still works, but the display does not. My car is out of warranty, so it is not covered. When I called the Honda dealership, they quoted me $600 to repair it because the entire unit must be fixed. After doing an internet search on the topic, I found that my 2003 Accord is not the only one with this problem.

- Pataskala, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 092003


  • miles
Within the first year of owning my Honda Accord (black pearl) the paint pitted all over, not just on the hood. Honda North in MA as well as the ca office claimed it was road rash --- it was all over the car - areas that would be hard-pressed to get any stone/road debris. They refused to remedy the problem also, I just now learned that the power train has been recalled. I did not receive any notice whatsoever.

- Newburyport, MA, USA

problem #1

Dec 142005

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
On 2003 Honda Accord le V6 w/O navigation system. Radio/cd/heating/ac control panel is dark, cannot read controls. Not knowing the status of defroster can lead to fogged windshield.

- Coppell, TX, USA

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