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:
12,817 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

Dec 222004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,250 miles


Consumer was driving at approximately 40 mph and the side curtain air bags dropped down, but did not inflate. Also, the seat belt on the passenger's side did not retract. The headliner was ripped 6 to 8 inches toward the center of the vehicle. The plastic housing that retracts the seat belts did not operate either. Consumer contacted the manufacturer and told the story, but the manufacturer will not stand by its product.

- Clover, SC, USA

problem #2

Jun 162004

Accord 6-cyl

  • 4,100 miles
Vehicle's passenger side air bag deployed inadvertently and the seat belt retracted.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #1

Jun 162004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,100 miles
While driving 65 mph, the front passenger side air bag inadvertently deployed. Also the front seat seat belt retracted. Upon inspection, the engineers believed that the consumer struck something based on a small scratch in the undercoating on the bottom of the vehicle. The consumer stated that the vehicle did not strike antyhing.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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