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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,000 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 242006

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles


I was on I-285 going about 40 mph when a truck carrying tree limbs and branches pulled off the median directly in front of me. My 2003 Honda Accord ex coupe rear ended the truck. The front passenger air bag deployed breaking the windshield but the driver's side air bag did not deploy. The driver's seat belt did not retract. Damage was confined to the hood, bumper and several components under the hood (compressor, radiator, etc). The vehicle was towed to my local Honda dealer who is making all the necessary repairs. The dealer informed me that Honda recommends the seat belt buckle be replaced when the seat belt needs to be replaced. The dealer ordered the seat belt buckle but noticed it was the wrong part when they went to install it. They contacted Honda North America on May 4 and again on May 12 regarding this and as of May 13 the dealer still has had no response from Honda North America. The car was scheduled to be ready on May 12 and now the dealer can't give me a completion date because of Honda North America's refusal to contact the dealer regarding the seat belt buckle. In the meantime, I am still having to pay a portion of my rental car and the maximum allowed by my insurance company will max out this coming week.

- Marietta, GA, USA

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