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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
65,490 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 #2

Sep 262013


  • 130,980 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord. The contact stated that while driving 65 mph, the driver's side air bag inadvertently deployed. Once fully inflated, the air bag then exploded and with sparks and shards of material. The contact sustained injuries to the face, hands and chest due to the material being spewed from the air bag. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the mechanic stated that tie rod ends were bent and a there was a dent on the pan. The contact was not advised as to why the air bags had deployed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 130,980.

- Dublin, OH, USA

problem #1

Jan 262004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While merging onto interstate, car slipped on icy patch of road and spun around twice ending up crashing into guard rail on left side of highway. None of the air bags deployed. The right front tie rod also failed.

- Bowie, MD, USA

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