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:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,283 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 wheels / hubs problems

wheels / hubs problem

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2003 Honda Accord Owner Comments

problem #10

Dec 102014


  • 199,100 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Honda Accord equipped with winrun R380 tires (na), size: 215/60R16 (na). While driving approximately 65 mph, the tires shook and vibrated. The contact discovered that both front tires were worn down to the threads. The tires were not replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate vehicle failure mileage was 199,100 and the tire failure mileage was 9,100.

- Rialto, CA, USA

problem #9

May 282010


  • miles
On the 28th of may I was traveling 60 mph (the speed limit) and my back passenger tire blew out and I lost control of my car. I stopped when the back passenger corner rammed into a cement railing. The back bumper, side paneling, wheel tire and trunk hood were all damaged and needed to be replaced. I do not know what caused the tire to blowout.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #8

Feb 242009


  • miles
Second complaint for tires, since dot number different on second tire. Lost pressure, and out of round. Sidewall is dry-rotted at not quite 40,000 on a 60,000 mile warranty. Pireli P6 four season, P205 60/R16. Will try to get satisafaction on warranty.

- Woodbury, NJ, USA

problem #7

Feb 242008


  • miles


I drive a 2003 Honda Accord ex. Bought 2 new pirelli P6 four season tires, P205/60R16. Started getting flat all of a sudden recently. Have 35,000 on a 60,000 tire. Was told by mechanic I need to replace them as the side walls have rotted out. Dangerous for me, as I commute 50 miles each way each day on a rough highway in NJ. Will try to get some satisfaction on the warranty.

- Woodbury, NJ, USA

problem #6

Mar 172008

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,590 miles
I wish to lodge a complaint against Michelin tire company. About 4,000 miles ago I installed two Michelin 20560V16 front tires on my car. Yesterday, while parked, the sidewall of the front right tire (dot-M37R-jlfx-1106) simply burst leaving a 2-3 in. Gap. I had to replace both front tires in order not to have a tread imbalance. After a long and tedious telephone conversation with Michelin customer service, they maintained, without checking the state of the tire, that this is not a manufacturing or other defect, and thus would not be covered by the standard manufacturer warranty. They added that it was due to misuse, since the tire was installed on a car!!! as if their manufacturing responsibility extends only to brand new tires while still in the shop, prior to installation on a car. They then offered "as a good will" (as they claim) only 30% reduction on tire replacement only (no reimbursement of labor associated with tire replacement), which I have refused, given the near-new state of the tire. Other than indicating that there may be a safety problem with these Michelin tires, do I have a recourse against such a flagrant failure to honor a clear defect responsibility?

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #5

Jan 012008


  • miles
Michelin energy mxv4 plus tires with radial xse size P205/65R15 oem tires on Honda Accord ex V6. Vehicle is kept to date on maintenance, regularly rotated, balanced, air checked. Car is handled conservatively and tire has low miles. Driver has clean driving record. 1) these tires have been the cause of a constant, harrowing hydroplaning on any wet or iced surfaces over the last 4 years. 2) two tires had side walls blown on negligible shallow pot-holes on different occasions, in 2005, and in Aug.2006. 3) latest surprise: Now at 23,000 miles, 2 front tires threads are completely worn, and back tires also worn enough to warrant replacement. At 23,000 miles! these tires are defective safety hazards and should be recalled.

- Cambridge, MA, USA

problem #4

Jul 172004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,636 miles


2003 Honda Accord recall on tranmission. Consumer learned of recall on the internet. Recall automatic transmission second gear inspection was performed. Alarm key remote no range, must be right up on car to work. Front brake noise and/or judder. Front brake discs were refinished and new front brake pads. Tires were rotated and and rear brake service was performed.

- Smithtown, NY, USA

problem #3

Sep 092004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
Dear sir/madam, when my wife drove the car on local road under 50 mph, one rear tire exploded suddenly. (the road was clean). The car we have is Honda Accord 2003. The tire has 60% usage under warranty. We went to a local authorized Michelin tire dealer to get it checked and replaced. The dealer checked the tired and found the side wall of the rear tire blew up. The dealer think it is a defective tire. We are scared of the Michelin tire and got replaced with four new Goodyear tires. We and the dealer called Michelin later and they told us even though it was a defect tire, we could not get any credit/discount back on the replacement since it was another brand. But who would pick the same brand after it just blew up. We are very disappointed with the quality of the Michelin tire as well as their response. Luckily the tire exploded on local road. If it were on freeway, it could be very dangerous. So we are writing to fail a complaint to you.

- Newport Coast, CA, USA

problem #2

Jan 132004

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
Tire failure while driving on highway.

- Aquebogue, NY, USA

problem #1

Sep 092003

Accord 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
I am driving a 2003 Honda Accord exl-V6 sedan. My major complaint is with the Michelin tires on this car. I called Honda on the advice of brent fischer (service manager) at pompano Honda and he can be reached at 954-427-4744. Basically, when driving in wet weather the tires have no traction and it feels like you are driving on ice.I have had 2 incidents where I lost complete control of the vehicle and the back tires spun out almost causing a collision with the car next to me. I called Honda at 1-800-999-1009 to register my complaints. They were reluctant to address my concerns but said that a representative would call me. I did receive a call on 09/09/2003 from a person called don at 1-800-999-1009, ext.118037. I believe his last name is something like piton. I registered these most serious complaints with him but not only was he exceptionally rude but he also literally hung up on me. He sort of laughed when I mentioned that I would notify NHTSA. The other issues include the brakes on my car which pompano Honda intend on reoplacing front and rear due to some inherent defects. I ask that you look into this as well. The final complaint includes the poor finish and squeaks and rattles in the vehicle.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

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