pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,820 miles
Total Complaints:
122 complaints

Most common solutions:

  1. replace transmission (44 reports)
  2. not sure (37 reports)
  3. rebuild transmission (16 reports)
  4. dealer claims there isn't a problem (10 reports)
  5. honda is replacing the tranny with a rebuilt at no charge (8 reports)
  6. dealer says entire trans needs replacing. charging me 3600 (3 reports)
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problem #122

Feb 112015

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,600 miles

I purchased a 2003 Honda Accord in April/2003. I've been the only owner, and all the maintenance has been done by Honda. This was my 1st car, and I was excited about getting a reliable car. Not so excited now! I recently reached 100,000 miles and not even a month later the transmission fails. I've been doing research and have learned that Honda is doing nothing to help their loyal customers with the cost of repairs. I'm going to replace the Transmission, and will be getting rid of this car ASAP. I'm a new mom, and I don't want to put our lives or anyone else's in danger. I wasn't financially prepared to purchase another vehicle, and now I'm being forced to. I will NEVER purchase another Honda again!

- , Hawthorne, CA, USA

problem #121

Nov 012014

Accord EX Coupe V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,560 miles

So I bought a used 2003 Honda Accord EX V6 Coupe in 2010 with really low miles, 37,636, thinking I was getting a reliable car. I had owned Honda cars in the past and for the most part, they had been pretty reliable. After getting the car, I took it to a Honda dealership to change the transmission fluid. They did that and also verified that it had the recall fix ( installing an extra 2nd gear oiling tube ) done at a dealership by the previous owner. Noting that in Honda's maintenance schedule it only calls for changing the transmission fluid at over 100K miles, I felt I was taking proper care of my car.

Fast forward about 4 yrs later, and almost 40K miles, the transmission starts slipping badly. I check the fluid and it's not low, but is not bright pink either. Starting to look discolored. I take it out to test again, and it goes into neutral while driving. I pull over and take a deep breath. I start it up again and limp home in 2nd gear. Now I know I have transmission problems on a car with only 76,500 miles on it. Research tells me this is a faulty transmission design, but that at 11 yrs old, Honda isn't going to do anything for me. I don't even bother to ask, even though Honda knows they built a faulty transmission and it should last more than 76,500 miles with proper maintenance.

So I looked around for a reputable transmission shop local to me and pray the car will make it there and I don't have to have it towed. I did make by driving very easy and babying the car. The shop inspects and the next day tells me a re-build is needed. I pretty much had already resigned myself to this. The shop seems well run and licensed and ATRA members and all that. They quote me $3,360.00 for a rebuilt transmission with a 3 yr/50,000 mile warranty. I say go ahead. What choice do I have? The car is nearly worthless if it's not running, and at only 76,500 miles, theoretically, I should be able to get another 100K miles out of it with only regular maintenance, assuming this badly designed transmission doesn't fail again. The shop did say they used improved, upgraded parts and that with proper maintenance ( regular 25K fluid changes ), it should last.

It just sucks having to spend $3,300+ on a car with only 76,500 miles on it. I would have just junked it and bought something else if I could have afforded to. Thanks Honda. This will be the LAST Honda product I will ever own.

- , Pittsburg, California, USA

problem #120

Oct 292014

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

2003 Honda Accord EX V-6 w/80,000 miles, it's pretty much the same problem I've read on the net, slipping gears, whining and clunking. This was a recall trans that they stuck a Band-Aid on with the fluid cooling jet a year after we bought the car and said there you go ,all better now. I know they knew this was just a way to avoid liability and say problem fixed when obviously it is not.

So now the dealer who says he's looking out for me, yea right, and will replace with a rebuilt trans for only $3,500. His help was taking $320 off labor. Whew, what a relief. That $320 was going to send me to the poor house, thank you helpful Honda dealer.

So what I need to know is how others are coping with this misery. Any law suits or recalls any one heard of? HOW SAD WE ALL HAVE TO YELL AND SCREAM AT THESE COMPANIES TO DO THE RIGHT AND HONORABLE THING.

- , Banning, california, USA

problem #119

Jun 072014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

We were coming home from a 2 hour drive and as we got off the freeway, the car wouldn't accelerate. The rpms moved but the car stayed in low gear. Had we been on a street road it wouldn't have been such an issue because we would be driving at relatively low speed. Because we were coming from a higher speed and trying to prevent other cars from hitting us, it was terribly inconvenient and dangerous. From now on I have to worry about passing other cars on the freeway/highway, turning, anything that would require me to accelerate because I don't know when it's going to quit. Getting a new transmission is not a cheap fix and we don't really have the finances to fix something that Honda knows is a problem but not willing to accept blame.

- , Corvallis, Oregon, USA

problem #118

Jul 192014

Accord EX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles

This is the second time my car has slipped out of gear...at least that's what I'm assuming. Again, coming home from a long highway trip, we were trying to accelerate after a stop light before having to merge into one lane. We were starting at 0 mph and made to about ~25 mph, when the car wouldn't accelerate. The rpms moved but no acceleration. This is terribly inconvenient because we don't have the money to spend on a $3600 transmission and Honda should be held responsible for crappy transmissions.

- , Corvallis, Oregon, USA

problem #117

Jan 262014

Accord LX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,318 miles

This is the fifth Honda we have owned and have NEVER had a transmission failure on a vehicle we have owned. We have had Honda's that had over 220,000 miles with no transmission problems. The dealer tried to help with cost but due to out of warranty could not. We have used Honda to do maintenance, change the fluids frequently, keep the car garage kept. We called Honda and were told by the first person it is four times the miles for warranty coverage. They would not admit to a known failure on this transmission. We requested a supervisor call so we could get them to assist with the cost, we didn't expect them to pay all but some towards the replacement. A supervisor called and said it is out of warranty and would not agree or admit there is a known failure or to pay any portion of the cost to replace the transmission.. When we said there was a class action lawsuit they said their records do not show this.

We were considering buying a 2014 Honda Pilot and will NOT buy one. If Honda does not build a reliable car or is not willing to stand behind a transmission with known failures why would anyone want to risk purchasing a vehicle that will be unserviceable. Honda has really dropped the ball on this. This will cost them more in future sales and service than paying a portion of the replacement. Poor business decision and only adds to bad PR.

- , Yorktown, VA, USA

problem #116

Sep 092011

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

OK. My transmission started to give me problems in 2011, OK, so I thought this is low mileage for a Honda Accord, maybe it was something I did. I paid over $3300.00 to get the transmission rebuilt. The service man said that this year model was not a good transmission for Honda. The transmission was slipping in the lower gear. So I got it fixed, wished I would have traded it right then.

Less than 2 years later it started doing the exact same thing. In the lower gear the car would not go into gear properly. So I took it to a mechanic and he bought a used transmission for this model. So they put the transmission in, get this, this transmission have the exact same problem, I don't even get it off the lot. Then he goes and gets another transmission to replace the one he originally had to replace and that has the exact same problem. I have never been so discussed in my life. How in the h*** can you have 3 transmission with the same problem. Unless this is a Honda problem that they did not make right.

I have always been supportive of Honda because their cars are reliable, but you will not have to worry about me being a proud supporter anymore. I had to buy a new car while my freaking car is still in the shop, been there for 5 months trying to find a transmission. I think this is sorry and there was a problem with this year model and Honda should be held responsible for this mess. Janice a very unsatisfied consumer.

- , Sanford, NC, USA

problem #115

Apr 062012

Accord V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles

At 92k I should not be replacing my transmition. The dealership says its "just back luck" but are charging me $4195 to repair and then I find out it is a common problem.

I am looking to get on a class action lawsuit if one gets started.

- , Verona, WI, USA

problem #114

May 012012

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

This was my deceased husband's car pride and joy that he was meticulous about and maintenance was done on a regular basis. I am upset that this has happened with only 50,000 miles. I have heard the dealership is being sued by a major insurance company for overcharging for repairs and thought $3600 was quite high.....and now I see the reason for the suit.

I am being very nice because I know everything can be worked out but I will be calling Honda this week to see what can be resolved. Thank you for letting me vent!

- , Highland, CA, USA

problem #113

Aug 192013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 144,320 miles

I have owned many cars in my life and i have yet to ever have a transmission fail. A few of them had over 250k when i sold them and i am very surprised to see that Honda makes such a bad transmission in such a nice car. i have read at least 300 complaints about this very issue on a 2003 model yet honda seems not to care. i was a chevy man before i bought this car and now comparing them i really believe i made a mistake buying this new. Sad to that Consumer Reports rated this high when i bought it and still has a high rating for a used car. I own quite a few Honda products and never had any real problem with them. Sad to see they are as bad as the other companies when it come to known problems with a car. this car has had mostly highway miles on it since it was new. looking at 3500 bucks for a rebuilt transmission. It does upset me that they have become just like Gm and the others. guess my next car will be a chevy. i still have a 94 pickup and i have never had any major problem with it. Shame on honda for not recalling the 2003's with the other cars that have this problem. This complaint especially with the dealer and manufacturer not caring enough to do the right thing. I guess they are being added to my dodge list (They'll be No dodge in my Garage. )

Update from Sep 5, 2013: Since no help from Honda and transmission problems were starting to get much worse i decided to get rid of the car. Honda used to make a good car. But with all the problems they have and them not wanting to help with anything i have bought my very last Honda. I was looking at between 3500-4000 in repair costs for a rebuilt transmission with only a 12/12000mile warranty. The book value for the accord was in the 5500-6500 so i decided to just cut it loose. So now i'm on a mission to tell everyone i know about it. Buy something else, let's see if Honda likes that.

- , Harrisburg, NC, USA

problem #112

Apr 302012

Accord LX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 118,000 miles

The transmission slips out of gear when I accelerate on my 2003 Accord, V-6.

- , San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #111

Jun 152011

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,250 miles

Car started about a year ago slipping out of gear when stopped at an intersection or while moving. No warning sound or jerks, you would just notice the engine racing and no acceleration. Started complaining at the Honda dealer a year ago and they said there was nothing wrong. Again this week it slipped out of gear while driving and the dealer repeated their mantra - nothing is wrong. It doesn't do it often, but when it does it is very disturbing and dangerous. Going to a transmission place tomorrow to see if they do anything. I would like to get it repaired before it causes an accident or completely fails.

- , Independence, MO, USA

problem #110

Sep 122012

Accord EX 3.0L V6 Vtech

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,700 miles

I figured a Honda Accord EX is worth more than 148,000 miles. The transmission going out is surprising. I don't race anyone (which I figured would wear on the car more) and I take care of it. I have had it since 2007, I know now to do research that when I buy a Honda to look up the history of the model. It is just upsetting because now I have to decide to buy another car or fix the one I have. With the transmission going out I don't know if I can trust my car anymore or Honda. Annoying.

- , Wichita, KS, USA

problem #109

Mar 142006

Accord EXL V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,655 miles

Had to rent a car again to get to work. I guess as long as I own this car I ned a backup car for when it is in the shop!

- , Garden Grove, CA, USA

problem #108

Jan 172013

Accord EX 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I called Honda and although they know about problems with transmission on Honda Accords 2003 they told me that my mileage and age was out of the warranty and recall period. Really sucks. On Monday my car was worth 7K, on Thursday I could trade it in for 1K at best.

- , Newbury Park, CA, USA

problem #107

Feb 202013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 94,157 miles

What a piece of crap!!!! Transmission failure every 40,000-50,000?!?!? I bought a Honda because they are supposed to be reliable, long-lived transportation without major repair expenses. I drove a 1998 Jaguar XJ8 for six years and a 1978 Chevy MONZA for 11 years. Despite their poor reputations, both were far more reliable than this over-priced shitmobile.

- , Mandeville, LA, USA

problem #106

Nov 082012

Accord EX-LN 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,800 miles

I have a 2003 Honda accord and last November while driving home on the freeway my transmission slipped out of gear and started making a thudding sound. I could not get out of 1st gear and had to sit on the side of the freeway for help to arrive, about an hour later. I could not exit the freeway because I could not go fast enough to merge past the steady flow of 2 lanes of another freeway merging onto mine to get to the exit that was within eye sight. Honda has refused to help saying that they are not responsidbel for this problem. However every transmission shops states that these transmissions have inherent problems in the design that cause them to fail. They don't cool properly, they have underpowered torque converters, they do not have a changeable filter, and the weight of the 5th gear is causing the cases to bend (they have to be machined when the transmission is rebuilt), all this is why they cost $3800+ to rebuild. On shop even told me that they no longer rebuild the transmissions they just get you one someone else has rebuilt. these transmission have been failing every year since 2003 in the same manner see safercar.gov. there were 61 complaints just last year, on average 1.25 a week.

Honda says this is not a safety issue, even though we all would say it is, they call it a mechanical defect. Please see below. This Code of Federal regulations governs vehicle safety, it clearly defines this as a safety defect. I ask that you please write into Honda corporate and send letters to the NHTSA also. Honda should fix this before someone gets hurt.

The United States Code for Motor Vehicle Safety (Title 49, Chapter 301) defines motor vehicle safety as "the performance of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in a way that protects the public against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle." A defect includes "any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment." Generally, a safety defect is defined as a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that:

• poses a risk to motor vehicle safety, and

• may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.

As stated above a safety defect is as a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment (any system, part, or component of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured) that poses a risk to motor vehicle safety.

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #105

Apr 022013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Driving down the 101 when the transmission went out. The car behind me almost drove right over me. After calling a tow truck, and waiting an hour. I figured out that when I turned it back on it worked, for about 5-10 miles. Then it would go out again. So I limped home, turning my car off every 5-10 miles.

- , Westlake Village, CA, USA

problem #104

Mar 082013

Accord EX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,800 miles

Along with what everyone else has already experienced, the 2003 Honda Accord (purchased less than a year ago from a wholesale dealer) suddenly started bucking and slipping out of gear - violently - on my way home from work. While my RPM indicator shot through the red, my speedometer was stuck in gear - dangerously and unsafely going from 45 MPH to 5 MPH within 3-5 seconds inside of a mile-long, two lane tunnel. Not only did my life flash before my eyes, but I could see the first 3 or 4 vehicles directly behind me in my lane miraculously avoid what could have easily been a horrific pile-up scene by literally mashing at their brakes (yes, surprisingly, they happened to be at a more-than-safe distance apart from each other, which is the only reason I think the accident was avoided. It was miraculous.

Anyway, the next morning, I took my vehicle to a trusted mechanic where he performed a transmission fluid flush, checked sensors, ran tests on transmission to determine if failing, etc. That was 3 days ago and I've had no known problems with my tranny since. This weekend, I'm taking my car to a Honda dealership where they are going to perform a recall on my power steering hose leak. I'll be sure to request that the service team perform a road test, check fluids again, etc., to confirm that there are currently no symptoms of my transmission failing. I'll post again after my dealership experience with any new developments.

Lastly, I'd like to note that I'm extremely disappointed in the way Honda has handled previous drivers' complaints about this issue and trust that I do feel for you all who have to experienced this. I burned through thousands of dollars in repairs with the two cars I owned prior to my Honda when I finally decided to finance a Honda due to its reputable stance on safety and reliability. I know I didn't purchase my Honda directly from a dealer like most people have mentioned, or have service done through Honda as I've only had my car for less than a year, BUT, it goes to show that despite the difference, a terribly built car is just that - a terribly built car.

Good luck to everyone and let's continue to fight for a much required federal investigation into these cars and the manufacturer who produced them!


- , Alameda, CA, USA

problem #103

Mar 152013

Accord EX-L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

With only 132,000 miles on a ten year old vehicle, I am very disappointed that an expensive transmission replacement is necessary on what people generally consider to be a reliable make/model. I am seriously reconsidering buying another Honda ever again. The main reason I bought this make in the past was not for style or features, but mainly their strong reputation for reliability/durability/longevity. I am unbelievably pissed off about this!

- , Bethany, CT, USA

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