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.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
32,000 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #1

Mar 012004

Accord 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles


In 3-04 (1 year old -approximately) noticed a noise in front(wobbling/metallic)at highway speeds. Could not determine if noise was coming from the front/back but appeared to be louder in front. Returned vehicle to dealer (4-9-04) but they failed to find any problem. Problem remained consistent, did not worsen significantly during the next 8-10 months. Sometime in early 2005, noise began to get worse. Brought to a repair shop. Cause could not be located but determined that back left rear tire was wearing unevenly and it was suggested that possibly tires had been rotated incorrectly in 2004. Back-wheel alignment was performed and new tires were purchased in May 05. Noise appeared to subside. In late 05, noise returned & began to worsen. Although brakes had approximately 30% wear still left on them, replaced them in 12/05. Took vehicle to local shop on 3/10/06. New tires had worn on the left rear but cause could not be determined. Returned to the dealer on 3/17 who determined that 3 of 4 wheels had defective wheel bearings. It was recommended that the left front and left rear be replaced immediately and that the right front be replaced in near future. We had the dealer replace the two left bearings and had a local mechanic replace the rf on 3/24/06. A 2nd back wheel alignment was performed/new set of tires now needed. The dealer has indicated this is a rare failure. Hard to believe that something this "rare" can occur on 3 wheels unless product is defective. Internet contains multiple cases of similar complaints about the Accord (var. Years). In some instances, bearings had to be replaced multiple times! almost all driving is at hwy speeds. Vehicle has approx. 87000 miles on it we did not return the vehicle to the dealership after they failed to diagnose the problem initially because we live more than 120 miles (round trip) from our home and it requires that I take a day off of work to return the vehicle to them.

- Lebanon, TN, USA

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