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:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
3,420 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #6

Sep 282004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Brake failure, transmission not working after impact. Side air bag did not deploy. Consumer was hit on the drivers side of the vehicle. The air bag did not deploy. The brakes failed to stop the vehicle and the doors could not be opened after the collision, a spreader was used to open the driver side door. The vehicle declared totaled.

- Woodland Park, CO, USA

problem #5

Nov 192003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,422 miles
While driving 55 mph front left side of vehicle went into a ditch. Passenger's air bag deployed, but driver's air bag did not deploy. Driver went to the emergency room and received six stitches over the left eyebrow.

- Spring Lake, NC, USA

problem #4

Oct 302003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Vehicle involved in crash and passenger side air bags deployed but the driver's side air bags did not deploy.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #3

Nov 042003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving 55 mph, the pavement became slippery. This caused the driver to lose control running off the road into a ditch. The side air bags deployed upon contact but not the driver's air bag. Consumer lost control of vehicle while driving on slippery pavement at 55 mph. Vehcile ran off the road into a ditch and driver's side air bag did not deploy.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #2

Oct 092003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,300 miles
Driver's side air bag didn't deploy but passenger bag did and the driver's seat belt pretensioner did. I T-boned another car in the doors with my front end.

- Taylors, SC, USA

problem #1

Aug 262003


  • 12,800 miles
While driving at 65 mph consumer drove over an object on highway that caused the curtain air bags to deploy, but not to inflate

- Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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