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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
11 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
30,667 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 Toyota Avalon seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments (Page 8 of 9)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #30

Aug 222014


  • 166,427 miles


I received an interim notice on May 17, 2014 that the electronic restraint system's electronic control module may short circuit when exposed to certain electrical noise from various vehicle electrical components. I have called Toyota on there hot line 1 888 270-9371 to get this problem resolved in my car. Each time I call, the Toyota rep. Says that Toyota "is working on it but they have no parts to solve the problem". it has now the end of August, 4 months later and no solution. Am I to believe that they are really working on this problem. I am the one at risk. The airbag may deploy while I'm driving or not deploy if I hit something or something hits me. I want to know when the remedy will be ready and I can drive a safe car.

- Latham, NY, USA

problem #29

Aug 212014


  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact received the recall notification related to NHTSA campaign id number 14V147000 (air bag). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 78,000.

- Buford, GA, USA

problem #28

Aug 182011


  • miles
The contact owns 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the SRS air bag warning light illuminated intermittently. The contact received a recall notice under NHTSA campaign id number: 14V147000 (air bags) however, the part needed for the repair was unavailable. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was unknown.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #27

May 152014


  • 98,500 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number:14V147000 (air bag) and stated that the part needed was unavailable to perform the repair. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Victorville, CA, USA

problem #26

Mar 272014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that he attempted to have his vehicle repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 14V147000 (airbags) but was informed that the part was not available and that the dealers were receiving one part every two weeks. The contact stated that the manufacturer exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Fountain Valley, CA, USA

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problem #25

May 302014


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number: 14V147000 (air bags). The contact stated that the parts needed to remedy the failure were not available. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #24

Jul 272014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles


The air bag warning light turns on and off. I am the original vehicle owner. The vehicle has never been in a crash nor has the air bag ever deployed. Currently the air bag light is on. I took the vehicle in under the interim air bag recall notice that I received but no repair by the Toyota dealer was made. The interim recall notice for the air bag was received 05/19/2014. Today is 07/27/2014.

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #23

May 282014


  • 105,000 miles
Electronic control module (ECM) issue: Problem w/ intermittent warning lights for air bag some time ago (researching date)- took vehicle to dealership. No more light, but vehicle began stalling/losing power while driving- rarely, but became more frequent over time. Instrument panel/check engine lights will illuminate- now every minute or so while driving. Other people have same problem- NHTSA id 10605681. Took vehicle to dealer late May. Dealer on phone w/ Toyota multiple times + had tech from another dealer come and look at vehicle - could not figure out what was wrong. Dealer now says the ECM faulty. Not repaired, but dealer wants to charge 8hrs of diagnostic time and not repaired - can dealer charge if recall item? my concern is that problem is more than air bags- faulty ECM results in loss of power/control when engine shuts down, stalls or experiences intermittent loss of power- vehicle no longer safe to operate. I cannot drive it; I cannot sell it. Called Toyota, asked for part # of recalled SRS/ECM- was told only local dealer has part numbers. They took information and transferred me to "Toyota corporate"- operator id'd as Toyota corporate asked questions, indicated they had documented my file. When I asked operator to confirm items operator had chosen to document, operator refused to respond to my requests for confirmation- I asked for supervisor- was told "no supervisor" there. Operator threw me on hold (on hold for over 30 minutes w/ corporate then transferred me to NHTSA w/out operator ever coming back on the line prior to transfer (NHTSA conf # available). "corporate" indicated that Toyota has no control over dealers- they can charge whatever they want to diagnose even if related to recall notice. Loss of use over 1 month. Dealer said no new ECM replacement part available. Pretty sure recall remedy inadequate.

- Cody, WY, USA

problem #22

Jul 012014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Avalon. Consumer writes in regards to airbag deployment may exist without illumination of the SRS warning light. A Toyota representative informed the consumer, it would be months before a remedy would be available.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #21

May 302013


  • 10,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving at an unknown speed, the vehicle lost power intermittently. The contact stated that warning lights illuminated on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was taken to a dealer. The contact was included in NHTSA campaign number: 14V147000 (air bags) but the dealer determined another failure. The failure mileage was 10,000 and the current mileage was 21,000.

- Huntsville, AL, USA

problem #20

Mar 272014


  • miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact received a recall notification for NHTSA campaign id number: 14V147000 (air bags). The contact stated that the part was unavailable to do the repair. The contact had not experienced a failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the problem.

- Natcatz, MS, USA

problem #19

May 312014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
I was involved in a collision where my passenger side front tire came off of a ledge in a construction zone at which point I lost control of the vehicle. There was no barrier in place on that side. I chose to direct my vehicle toward the mud pit on the right of the road. I corrected to the right causing the vehicle to go off of the road and nose dive through the first mud/dirt embankment. I expected the airbags to deploy on both side and front taking the speed and force of the collision with the first embankment and the yaw of the vehicle in the air. I was attempting to control the vehicle still at this time at which point I had now landed rear bumper first and a bit sideways on a 2nd embankment. This then launches the front of the vehicle airborne finally coming to rest in a mud and gravel drive way of an individual who lives off of the highway. The vehicle lost all of it's transmission fluid almost immediately through some opening in the bottom of the vehicle and the headlights were not damaged but after further researched I had determined that the impact sensors are actually located in the front bumper of the vehicle. 2 were injured in the accident which were myself, the driver, and my driver's side rear passenger who was wearing a seat belt but not properly. She had the lap portion of the belt on but the shoulder portion behind her. She is a 20 year old adult female.I am a 19 year old male and had mine on properly. She hit her head twice on my headrest. I was thrown into the side of my door and then the steering wheel, then back against the door resulting in bruised ribs. If the vehicle's airbag system were to have deployed properly there would have been a barrier between me and the door which caused my bruised ribs on my left side. There is a known airbag recall on my vehicle for which Toyota which I have not been notified of a solution for at this time.

- Broken Arrow, OK, USA

problem #18

May 292014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
I just received a recall notice on my 2003 Toyota Avalon which seems to be saying there is a problem but just be careful in your use of the vehicle until we get around to correcting the problem. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Is this a customer risk problem or not" in other words, it I do not want to take the risk of the air bag deploying while driving, I would have to park the car until Toyota decides to fix the problem. I want this problem fixed right away, even if it means me paying for the repairs and seek reimbursement. How should I proceed"

- Boonville, MO, USA

problem #17

May 172014


  • miles
T* the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact received a recall notice for NHTSA campaign number 14V147000 (air bag). The dealer stated that the part for the repair was unavailable and did not know when it could be expected. The manufacturer was notified. The vehicle had not experienced a failure.

- Winooski, VT, USA

problem #16

Apr 292014

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 17,100 miles
The subject of this complaint is my 2003 Toyota Avalon LX which had a total mileage of approximately 17,100 miles. This vehicle was last serviced at 9,000 miles plus. On April 29, 2014 the subject vehicle was parked in the back parking lot of a small MINImall at 3601 E. foothill blvd.,pasadena, California. After we finished shopping at the MINImall, we returned to the our vehicle and strapped ourselves in the car with our seatbelts. When I turned on the ignition of the subject vehicle I had my left foot on the parking brake and my right foot on the driving brake. After the vehicle started, I released my left foot from the parking brake and shifted the gear to the drive position when my car unintentionally accelerated forward. I tried to slow or stop my car by pressing on driving brake but to no avail. I estimate my car traveled approximately 200 feet before the left front of my car hit the right rear of a Honda fit and concrete planter. The collision with the Honda fit pushed it into a Honda CRV that was parked in front of the Honda fit. There were no injuries to anyone however. My airbags did not deploy.

- Pasadena, CA, USA

problem #15

Mar 202014


  • 156,465 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated while driving approximately 40 mph, the front passenger's side air bag inadvertently deployed although there was no impact to the vehicle. The passenger's seat was unoccupied when the failure occurred. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 156,465.

- Panama City, FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 152011


  • 75,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that the air bag warning lamp illuminated sporadically. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but was not repaired because the warning lamp was not illuminated at the time of inspection. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the issue. The approximate failure mileage was 75,000 and the current mileage was 90,000.

- Monument , CO, USA

problem #13

Aug 102013

Avalon 6-cyl

  • miles
I was a mile from home when I noticed that my air bag light had just come on. Next thing I know I hear a sound like a gun shot and the steering wheel airbag deployed - while I was driving. (it was not caused by an impact and I had not hit a pothole.) the airbag did not hit my face so there was no injury, and I was able to pull over into a turn lane to call roadside assistance.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #12

Aug 112010


  • 171,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated the air bag light illuminated on the instrument panel. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer to have NHTSA recall campaign id number 10V354000, steering repair performed in August of 2003 and the air bag light has been on since the recall repair. The steering recall remedy included replacing the steering interlock device. The dealer replaced the air bag on the steering wheel and the clock spring. Whenever, the air bag light came on the dealer offered several solutions, but none of them have were performed. The failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 171,000.

- Brague, OK, USA

problem #11

Dec 292011

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 140,998 miles
Airbag system warning indicator light flashes intermittently. Independent repair shop found no codes stored during vehicle check. Illumination of warning light is inconsistent, has no apparent connection to speed or conditions, but has occurred repeatedly. Due to the seriousness of airbag system failure, and the apparent trend of complaints for this specific problem on a range of Toyota Avalon model years, inaction by NHTSA and Toyota must cease.

- Columbia, MO, USA

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