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:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
500 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

Nov 202003

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles


The steering wheel vibrates while driving and when at a complete stop. The dealer found no problem.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #1

Oct 202003

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have had my 2003 Honda Accord ex automatic 4 cylinder VIN# [xxx] at nalley Honda in brunswick, ga to be aligned three times. 9-23-03 had recall work and pulling to the right alignment done. Picked car up on 9-26-03 and drove home (St. Marys, ga) approximately 45 miles and car was still pulling to the right and the steering wheel is off centered to the right. Called nalley Honda and spoke with the service director [xxx]. he said bring it back. 9-29-03 second alignment and steering wheel adjusted straight. This time [xxx]. hall gave me a copy of the alignment specifications, but the specifications/tolerances were listed for a Honda Accord from 1998-2002. Picked car up on 10-2-03 and drove home. Car still pulls to the right. Called nalley Honda and spoke with the service director [xxx] and he said to bring it back again. 10-6-03 went on a test drive before leaving it with [xxx] and he agreed the car pulled to the right. Third alignment performed. Picked up car on 10-10-03 and [xxx] stated he and the owner of the alignment shop drove the car and it was satisfactory. Again I take my car and it still pulls to the right as I am driving home. Now the steering wheel has a shimmy vibration and the steering is tight and jerky. Called [xxx] at nalley Honda and he said they cannot do anything else and referred me to american Honda customer service at 1-800-999-1009. I called american Honda customer service on 10-15-03 and spoke with [xxx]. and gave him the above information and he said he would get back to me in 24 to 48 hours. He said he needed to talk to nalley Honda. On 10-16-03 [xxx]. called back and said he had spoke with [xxx]. he said [xxx]. hall at nalley Honda stated the car was satisfactory and said it drove better than his own Honda. [xxx]. suggested I carry my car to another Honda dealership to see if they could align the car to suit me. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- St. Marys, GA, USA

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