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:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
88,475 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 #4

Oct 112014

Accord 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles


My daughter had just left the house, she was maybe 1/4 mile from the house and she said it felt like her steering wheel locked up so she started hitting the brakes. She was headed into a curve but the car would not turn so she crashed into an embankment which slung the passenger side of the car into a tree. Both airbags deployed. She had 5 staples in her head, a concussion, a bruised lung, and some pelvic bleeding. She is still recovering from the concussion. I believe it was the air bag that caused the most physical damage to her head. But I can not understand what cut the gash in her head.

- Chester, SC, USA

problem #3

May 292003

Accord 6-cyl

  • 200 miles
This vehicle has been defective from the outset. The wrong lug nuts were on the wheels. I got a ride of vibration for 13,000 miles and 25 trips to the dealership and independent tire shops. This was followed by a differential which failed and two transmissions after the original for a total of three. I never got one mile of the new car ride a new car would normally provide. Countless trips and stop gap repairs, I am now afraid to take a trip. I have asked Honda for a new car three time including Japan and they have declined 'stating they cover the 3rd transmission with a warranty and have helped. I have been stranded 5 times the many trips to culver city from van nuys were not all documented as\ the work orders were redacted by [xxx], who Honda claims since have been released(fired).I have invoices of over almost 5 1/2 inches wide collectively. If ever a car was 'fraudulent' in terms of a vehicle that did not ever mesh mechanically this is the 'prototype' Honda Accord if there is any justice a new car would be provided and be deemed a most appropriate resolution on this matter of the car which never worked from the outset. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Van Nuys, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 212012

Accord 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
Other driver was driving reckless!!!!! ran a red light at 60 miles an hour 20 miles over speed limit, side impact, air bags did not work!!!!!!! major brain injury as a result!!!!!

- Burlingame, CA, USA

problem #1

May 052011


  • 20,700 miles
Low-mileage Honda Accord's front end front end anti-sway bar's link connectors broke and sway bar was disconnected from the wheels creating a dangerous driving condition; especially normal driving into turns and curves! american Honda refused to discuss the safety issues and only stated my car was "out-of-warranty". this problem of the losses of both anti-sway bar connectors is difficult to detect; only a soft scraping noise warned me of the danger. I purchased this Accord new and have driven it carefully for the 20,700 miles. I am concerned about the general public's awareness of this hidden Honda Accord problem before their front end wheels snap or bend causing accidents and/or fatalities!

- Cooperstown, NY, USA

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