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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
21 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
17 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,476 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 Corolla engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #23

Jun 062008

Corolla

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I have a 2003 Toyota Corolla. When stopped at a stop light/ sign the car will idle up. If you do not have enough pressure on the brake the car will jump forward. This happens more when it is raining out. I took it back to the dealer, they checked it out and could not find anything wrong. I asked if I could stop in when it is raining so they could look at it than. They said yes. I stopped in on a rainy day when the car was doing it. The service agent said that cars idle up when you use the defroster. That could be the problem but I have never had a vehicle do it as to try to leap forward. My 1999 Toyota Camry does not do it. Nothing has been done to fix this problem. Thank you!

- Bucksport, ME, USA

problem #22

Jan 292010

Corolla

  • 181,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 5 mph out of a parking space his vehicle accelerated into a pole and damaged his vehicle. The license plate also came off. There were no injuries. The vehicle was driven to his residence; however, the failure occurred three times. A claim was also filed with Toyota. The failure mileage was 181,000.

- Conroe, TX, USA

problem #21

Nov 242009

Corolla

  • 75,000 miles
Was driving my 2003 Toyota Corolla last night and when I took my foot off of the gas pedal the car just started accelerating on its own - it did it 2 or 3 times when I pulled over and shut the car off.

- Housatonic, MA, USA

problem #20

Mar 012008

Corolla

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

I was driving on an interstate highway with my cruise control engaged and my car began to accelerate beyond the speed that I had set. I disengaged the cruise control but that did not slow the car down. Next, I tried braking, which slowed the car down a little, though I needed to use an unusually large amount of force to press the brake pedal down. Once I released the brake, the car began to speed up again. I made repeated attempts to brake but, eventually, the brake pedal locked up. At this point, I put the car into neutral and the engine revved (I don¿T know what the maximum RPM was, but I know it was well above normal driving RPM). I pulled off onto the shoulder and turned the car off. I tried turning the ignition on (my foot was not on the accelerator pedal) but the engine revved up so I immediately turned the car off. Over the next 30 minutes, I tried turning the car on a few more times with the same result. After I had been waiting for 1-1.5 hours, a tow truck arrived. The driver turned the ignition on and the car started normally; somehow the problem had resolved itself so we were unable to determine the cause.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #19

Aug 262009

Corolla

  • 105,000 miles
I was driving along a residential street (35 mph) and I was stopped at a stoplight. When the light changed, I began accelerating uphill. Once I reached my desired speed of 35 mph, I removed my foot from the accelerator but the car continued to increase in speed (I was still traveling uphill). I immediately put the car into neutral, pulled off to the side of the road, and turned the ignition off. Fifteen minutes later, I turned the car back on and the engine immediately revved up, although my foot was not on the accelerator; based on the sound of the engine, I would estimate that it surpassed 4000 RPM. I turned the car off and 15 minutes later I turned the car on only to meet with the same results. When the tow truck driver arrived, he noticed that the throttle valve was stuck in the open position. He closed the throttle and this fixed the problem. A few days later, I brought the car to a Toyota dealer. They told me that there was a kink in the throttle cable that may have caused it to get stuck. However, they were not able to provide a definitive diagnosis because the problem was not repeatable and, therefore, did not replace the cable. I have had the car for 6.5 years and this has only happened twice (the other time was in early 2008 and occurred on a highway). In light of recent media reports on acceleration problems in Toyota, I must note that I have the original floor mats and that they are, and always have been, properly secured in place. I did not notice whether or not the accelerator was stuck, but I was only traveling 35 mph, so the accelerator was not depressed enough to get caught under the floor mat. The parts are still available since I did not replace the cable.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #18

Oct 212009

Corolla

  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While making a U-turn, her vehicle suddenly accelerated to over 100 mph. As a consequence she crashed into a dump truck, and then into a pole. Two occupants receive minor injuries. There was a police report taken at the scene of the incident. The vehicle was completely destroyed.. he had not contacted the dealership or the manufacturer to-date. The current and failure mileages were approximately 57,000.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #17

May 272009

Corolla

  • 100,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact has a 2003 Toyota Corolla. After proceeding from a stop light at 35 mph, the vehicle accelerated to 70 mph. Even after brake application. The vehicle continued to accelerate. She then shifted the vehicle into park and turned the engine off. The vehicle was towed to her home. A mechanic inspected the vehicle, but could not identify the cause of the failure. The manufacturer was notified, and she was advised that her model type does not have a defect. The failure mileage was 100,000. The vehicle identification number was unavailable.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Aug 162009

Corolla

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While approaching a stop light between 2 to 10 mph the vehicle accelerated past the light without intention. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, but they could not find the problem. The failure mileage was 105,000.

- Waterbury, CT, USA

problem #15

Jun 112006

Corolla

  • miles
2003 Toyota Corolla le revved up when brakes were applied. The consumer had to apply a good amount of pressure to the pedal and eventually, he shifted the gear into neutral. The vehicle came to a safe stop and the very fast idle which may have lasted for 10 seconds had returned to normal. The dealer was unable to duplicate what the consumer had experienced.

- Burlington, MA, USA

problem #14

Apr 272006

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On April 27, 2006 my dad started the engine to go to church and the car accelerated in parking position. Car was turned off and started again, once started it drove fine. The same day when my dad was coming from church he started the car and when he put it in drive the car accelerated itself and itt bolted out and went over a pile of sand that was on the side on the road. The car flipped and stopped against the fence of a house. The air bags did not deploy. My dad was taken to the hospital and the car was a total loss. He was lucky to have his seat belt on. I've reviewed other complaints and it seems to me that this has happened too many times to just be a random defect. I hope this accident is investigated to avoid unnecessary deaths due to this problem.

- Trujillo Alto, PR, USA

problem #13

Mar 182006

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,300 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While rolling to a stop between traffic signals foot off the gas pedal my vehicle suddenly revved itself up and bolted forward creating a 3 vehicle accident. I hit the brake when I felt the initial surge, but still hit the vehicle in front. Seat belts were worn in each vehicle and my airbag didn't deploy. My vehicle has suffered over $4,500 in damage and won't run while it sits at an auto body shop, the nose and bumper are badly damaged. I was told this sounds like "unintentional acceleration". the vehicle is awaiting the parts for repairs.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #12

Feb 012004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
: the contact stated while slowing down behind another vehicle. It would not slow down so the vehicle was put in to neutral, the engine revved up. The gears were then put into drive and finally the engine slowed down. The vehicle was taken to the dealership to be checked, upon inspection the problem was determined to be the throttle body had stuck. The vehicle was driven for a short amount of time before experiencing the same type problems. The dealer said it could have been the floor mat getting under the accelerator pedal. The vehicle is still having the same type of problems. The manufacturer has been alerted. Updated 4/6/2006 -

- West Palm Beach, FL, USA

problem #11

Mar 112005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer complained about sudden acceleration about 5 times. Consumer has to step on the brake several times in order to slow the vehicle down.

- Pompano Beach, FL, USA

problem #10

Mar 242003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states when trying to bring car to stop, he had apply an excessive amount of force to the brake, even though right foot removed from gas pedal engine did not stop. Bf the vehicle was still under warranty during the time of the failure. The consumer stated while he was backing the vehicle up at less than 35 mph the failure occurred. After the consumers foot was moved from the gas pedal he had to forcefully apply the brakes. The consumer stated that it was necessary to shift out of drive to bring the vehicle under control. The consumer shut the vehicle off and let it sit for a while and started it again and drove home with no incident.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 152004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
The vehicle will surge forward when at a stop. This happens when the air conditioner is turned on. There has been several occasions that I almost hit the car in front.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #8

Mar 312004

(reported on)

Corolla

  • miles
When the brakes were applied, the vehicle surged, which forced the consumer to place the vehicle in park to stop. Toyota found nothing wrong with the vehicle.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #7

Apr 032004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
While idling at a stop light, the vehicle surged forward without warning. The consumer's foot was completely on the brake pedal.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #6

Apr 052004

Corolla

  • miles
Consumer states that when he is sitting at a stop light, with his foot on the brakes, his vehicle surges forward. He states this also happens when he has her defroster on or the vehicle is heating up. He states he has taken the vehicle to the dealer/mechanic he is told that it is normal. He states that this has been happening for 2 years, and nothing has been done about it. He states that he is told that there are recalls on this type of vehicle for the same problem, but was it does not include his. He states he was told that it is with the Camry, avalon. Please help, because he states it is getting worse and he is afraid he will have an accident or hit someone.

- Lorain, OH, USA

problem #5

Mar 162004

(reported on)

Corolla

  • miles
When applying the brakes vehicle suddenly accelerated.

- Pearl River, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 182003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Toyota Corolla surged, hitting brand new washer in garage, surged again, running up planter curb hitting tree. Taken to Toyota dealer both times without success. Dealer said they could not duplicate scenario. Why so many people having same problem yet Toyota saying there is nothing they can do? also, have problem with vehicle dropping out of overdrive, rearview mirror problem with visor. So much for the saying; "you won't get a lemon at Toyota of orange". I'm happy to say I haven't had the sulfur smell.

- Orange, CA, USA

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