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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,667 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 #3

May 012010


  • 130,000 miles


2003 Honda Accord (VIN [xxx] ) has an airbag warning light coming on after 30 minutes of driving. A Honda dealer says the car needs new airbag control module for $525. There is a campaign # 07V001000 for 2004 & 2005 models airbags recall. This recall should include 2003 Honda Accord. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Kennesaw, GA, USA

problem #2

Feb 262010


  • 70,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) what: Air bags:frontal:sensor red light comes on intermittently. Vehicle: Honda Accord 2003 VIN: [xxx] mileage: About 70,000 related recall: 07V001000 how long: It stays on as long as the vehicle is being driven. Conditions: 1. the light comes on even when there is no bag or small object on passenger seat. 2. the light has also illuminated while the vehicle was in motion and passenger seat was vacant. Also when the seat was occupied by an adult weighing about 150 pounds. 3. the light comes on when starting vehicle after being parked for couple of hours. Frequency: About once every 15 days (started occurring from Feb 2010) recent change in conditions: 1. the driver side seat being shifted more recently as my wife has started driving this car too. I have owned this car for last 3 years and only recently the seat is shifted more often. That is the only change I can think of triggering this light. Remedy: 1. the warning light goes off if I switch-off the car and take the keys out and restart it. Though the process has to be repeated more than once. Related recall: 07V001000 this situation is very similar to the conditions described in the recall. Though my vehicle was not on that list. Spoke with Honda customer care, who suggested taking to dealer.

- Santa Clara, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 012007

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
SRS light comes on intermittently for what appears for no reason, but if there is a small pkg or my purse on the passenger seat it seems to go on more.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

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