Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,328 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #13

Oct 252010

Corolla

  • 120,000 miles

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

The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla sport. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds the debris from a defective bearing that attached to the transmission caused the vehicle to stall. The vehicle was not inspected by the dealer. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #12

Mar 052007

Corolla

  • 80,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) purchased 2003, Toyota, Corolla, VIN: [xxx] with daughter. Veh was purchased from Toyota of orange in ca. Two days later a hit and run driver forced veh to skid across five lanes on interstate 10 in Ontario, ca, and landed atop center divider. The vehicle was sent to repair shop and "repaired" after approximately 5-8 months. However, the car was never properly repaired, and I complained to both Toyota, and to the insurance company, allstate, but Toyota adamantly stated the veh was without problems. The car was continually in the shop for the brakes. Eventually the carpet caused the accelerator to become stuck and the car went out of control. I was forced to reach down while the car moving and pull the carpet with both hands to release the accelerator. Stepping on the brakes did not help. Neither Toyota repair nor allstate would help resolve our complaints since 2003, we were simply told that the veh was fine. Additionally I believe the frame is bent, lack of interlocking brakes causing skids, brakes are soft and drop to floor, and poor steering column. This car is dangerous and is impossible to drive without involving near miss accident episodes. The car skids if going as little as 5-10 miles per hour. I offered to give the car away to anyone who was willing to investigate my complaints, all to no avail. I just recently learned that one of the problems I heard in the brand new car was a hole in the exhaust system. Toyota continually denied this for 5-6 years, then by accident a very young newly employed staff at Toyota of orange, informed us that our complaint about loud air sounding noise was a hole in the exhaust, which had been continually making the noise, and burning of eyes (migraines). The brakes were repaired every 2-4 months or less until I just reported less frequently. The car is now no longer under warranty. Currently it needs some brakes, rotors, drums, calipers, and shocks as always.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #11

Jan 012010

Corolla

  • miles
While applying the brakes and stopped, the car will move forward on its own. I apply more pressure and it stops again. I now leave excessive space between my vehicle and the vehicle in front of me. This occurs very often.

- Lithia Springs, GA, USA

problem #10

Apr 012007

Corolla

  • 93,000 miles

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

My automatic transmission is loosing transmission fluid. I took it to two different transmission shops and they cannot find where the fluid is going to, its not leaking external, into the radiator or to the engine but they confirmed it is loosing fluid to somewhere. Any ideas on this issue?

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #9

Nov 012004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
2003 Toyota Corolla experienced roll back. While stopped at red light car suddenly rolled backward. The consumer put the brake down as hard as she could but the car kept rolling. The consumer had to use the emergency brake to stop the car.

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #8

Apr 202005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,400 miles
Toyota Corolla le 2003. Parked in a multi-story parking lot. Put the gear in park. Next thing car accelerated and smashed into pillar. Called Toyota, who claimed that such incidents have been reported and investigated by NHTSA, and that driver error was the cause. I am sure the car was in park and about to switch off. Nobody hurt, but damage to car in excess of $4500. It is in the shop.

- Euless, TX, USA

problem #7

Aug 202003

Corolla

  • miles

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

While applying the accelerator pedal vehicle failed to accelerate. Consumer applied the brake pedal and the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. Vehicle was taken to the dealer for inspection, and mechanic determined that the transmission fluid needed to be replaced, and replaced it. However, the problem recurred, and the vehicle was taken back to the dealer. However, mechanic could not duplicate the problem.

- Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

problem #6

Dec 012003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission downshifts from overdrive to lower gear, when tapping brakes in order to slow down slightly at high speed. Going down hill, for example, resulting in sudden surge of RPM, acting like a brake and taking a while to shift back into overdrive. This puts tremendous strain on engine, and results in poor gas mileage. It doesn't seem proper that it should downshift when slowing from 70 to 65. Even punching the accelerator doesn't seem to make it go into od until several seconds have passed. 2003 Toyota Corolla.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #5

Jul 232003

(reported on)

Corolla

  • 8 miles
When going down an incline and brakes are depressed transmission feels like it's slipping gears, and the rmps surge up to 4000. Cause unknown.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #4

May 072003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,853 miles
6853 miles need a new transmission

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #3

May 022003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Twice while driving the car has suddenly dropped out of overdrive while coasting on flat road or going down a slight hill. In addition, the engine makes an unusual and very loud 'tingy' or high pitched reving noise when accelerating, which disappears when at cruising speed. The first incident occured about 2 weeks ago and was followed by the inability to go above 15 mph. This persisted despite pressing the accelerator fully to the floor. The only way to stop this was to pull over and restart the car. The most recent incitent only involved dropping out of overdrive. Dealership has been contacted and has tried to find problem with no success. Manufacturer will be contacted.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #2

Jan 072003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Vehicle drops out of over drive while going down a slight hill and gently applying the brakes to slow down. Also does it while going straight on highway, at 60 mph or higher and applying the brakes with medium pressure. Does not resume over drive for 1/2 mile after that.

- Boerne, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 012003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Vehicle lurches while sitting in traffic.

- Boerne, TX, USA

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