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:
120,265 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 022013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 119,000 miles


Around December 2012 I started noticing a loud whining noise coming from the power steering pump on a cold start along with a whining noise when slightly rocking the steering wheel back and forth. After a couple of minutes of the car warming up the noise goes away. Now I have received a recall letter NHTSA campaign id number: 12V222000 just recalling the power steering hose to be replaced. (letter received on 3/12/2014) I immediately took my vehicle to the dealer on 3/13/2014 and had the hose replaced under the recall and also paid for them to go ahead and replace the O-ring in the other hose to see if that was the cause of the problem also. They stated without a diagnostic test they wouldn't know for sure if it is the steering pump or not (understandable), but when my car was finished, the service tech informed me that the mechanic discovered my rack and pinion are now leaking fluid and want to charge me $1,220 plus tax to fix and not to mention that I still do not know yet if the power steering pump has now gone bad because of this. I find this totally unacceptable and I believe the whole power steering system is faulty and should be covered under recall.

- Jacksonville , FL, USA

problem #3

Apr 052013

Accord 6-cyl

  • 164,700 miles
My vehicle was subject to NHTSA recall #12V222000 which recalled steering:hydraulic power assist:hose, piping, and connections. I initially was informed of the recall by a cnn article and research on the Honda website on October 1, 2012. I began noticing leaking power steering fluid and subsequent power steering issues in November 2012. I was informed in a letter from Honda that I would receive notice that parts were available February 2013 and that my particular recall could not be completed until the parts were in stock. I received notice on March 19, 2013 that parts were available and had the hose replaced on April 5, 2013. During the repair process, I was informed that due to the defective part, the power steering pump would need replaced as it has cracked and leaked power steering fluid. I lost all power steering and had the pump replaced on April 5, 2013. This part is not covered under the recall but for the defective hose, the problem would not have occurred. I am seeking to file a complaint against Honda to reimburse my cost of parts and include the power steering pump as a part of the recall.

- Springfield, VA, USA

problem #2

Jul 172010

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact noticed residue on the connection hose for the steering wheel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the contact was informed that the power steering hose would need to be replaced. There were no prior warnings of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The current and failure mileage was 115,000. Updated 11/12/10

- Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #1

Sep 112008


  • 82,359 miles
My 2003 Honda Accord has the same factory hose as described in the NHTSA campaign id number: 08V091000. The low temperature hose was exposed to heat which lead to cracking and leak in the high pressure power steering hose. The heat source is the exhaust manifold and directly below is the catalytic converter. The power steering fluid leaked onto the catalytic converter and after the catalytic converter reached operating temperature smoke billowed from the engine compartment. The smoke became overwhelming to the occupants of the car through the fresh air intake of the air conditioning system.

- Coppell, TX, USA

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