really awful
Crashes / Fires:
31 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
20 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,045 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #24

Apr 172009


  • 91,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While driving in reverse, the vehicle abnormally accelerated. The vehicle proceeded to crash into another vehicle. The vehicle did not stop and continued accelerating, pushing that vehicle onto someone's lawn. The incident caused major damage to the vehicle and property. A passerby was injured and a police report was filed accordingly. The dealer was contacted and told the contact that there were no mechanical issues with her vehicle. The vehicle was not inspected and there were no previous incidents of unintended acceleration. The manufacturer was not contacted. The current mileage was approximately 93,000 and the failure mileage was 91,000.

- Lexington, MA, USA

problem #23

Feb 232010


  • 50,000 miles
There are two incidents when I was driving my 2003 Toyota Avalon & the vehicle accelerated & I was unable to get it to stop. I have detailed the incidents below: 12/3/2009- I, [xxx], was driving my Avalon on portage rd when I hit another car in the re & was pushed into another lane of traffic & over an embankment & hit another car which was pushed into 2 other cars. I was cited for the incident. I had tried to put on the brake but there was nothing therefore & the vehicle accelerated forward which caused the accident. 2/23/10- on this date I was leaving to take my husband to the doctors. I was again driving my 2004 Toyota Avalon, we had backed out of the garage & were at end of the driveway, I was too close to the snow bank on right hand side so I had to pull up, at that time I put the car back into drive to pull up some & the vehicle took off & I could not stop it. My husband was yelling for me to hit the brake but I couldn't get the vehicle to stop & we ran into our garage door & the vehicle ended up in the house. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Canton, OH, USA

problem #22

Dec 192009


  • 63,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) was braking to park 2003 Toyota Avalon 4 dr sedan (VIN [xxx] ). it suddenly accelerated and went through a fence and landed in canal #E4 in lantana, Florida on December 19, 2009. Car had 63,000 miles on odometer. Nothing like this ever happened before. Park lot is located at 2810 hypoluxo rd. Lantana Florida. Car was "totaled" by geico insurance co.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #21

Jan 052010


  • 52,500 miles


Pulling into driveway of my single family, car, 2003 Avalon, lurched forward, jumped curb at end of driveway, and hit neighbor's fence. I cannot explain why this occurred. From habit, I pull into driveway at a slow speed, apply brakes and put car into park. However, for whatever the cause or reason, car did not come to a stop.

- Cedar Grove, NJ, USA

problem #20

Aug 172008


  • 82,000 miles
I own a 2003 Toyota Avalon. In Aug 2008 I was driving and involved in a rearending accident where I had my foot on brake and felt as if my car continued to accelerate. I had brakes totally check and damage to my car repaired but am wondering whether my can suffered an acceleration issue as other Toyota cars have. The brakes were inspected and found to be fine I had over 1,000 damage done to my car and unknown amount to car I hit. The woman in car I hit took ambulance in to hospital with neck pain.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #19

Nov 262005


  • miles
2003 Toyota Avalon. Consumer has several Toyota vehicles and would like to know if they are included in recent recalls. Consumer states in the older Toyota she owned she was in an accident because the vehicle would not stop. The consumer went through a busy intersection and went through a fence and landed in someone's backyard.

- Hudson, NH, USA

problem #18

Jan 012009


  • 85,000 miles


Our 2003 Toyota Avalon has experienced several occurrences of sudden acceleration. My wife took the car to our Toyota dealer and both times they said that it was due to the floormat sticking under the gas pedal. The mat was removed and it still has the problem. While I was driving it down the highway, I let off the gas to slow down and it started to speed up. I put the car into neutral and the engine started to rev up and down from 1000 RPM to 2500 RPM. This continued for a couple of minutes until I was forced to pull over to the side of the road and turn the engine off and restart it. (this is always the fix...turn off the engine and restart it. It seems to reset the computer). This problem started over a year ago and continues to occur almost monthly. This vehicle is not included in the recall and even if it was, I don't feel that the problem has a fix, yet. We have to continue to drive the car because we can't afford another one and the resale value has plummeted. Just last week my wife was stopped by a dps officer for speeding from a stop light. She did not even have her foot on the gas pedal. She explained what had happened and was not ticketed.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #17

May 272006


  • 49,000 miles
In 2006 my wife experienced unintended acceleration in our 2003 Toyota Avalon. This happened in a parking garage, as she was slowly easing into a parking space, the car suddenly speeded up and crashed into the wall of the parking garage, causing extensive damage to the front of the car. She claimed she did not have her foot on the accelerator, but on the brake. After having the car repaired by a collision business, the Toyota dealer said there was nothing wrong with the accelerator. It happened a couple of years later, but this time a concrete parking strip stopped her after she moved it about three feet. Her friend that was with her was really scared.

- Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #16

Dec 202009


  • 18,500 miles
2003 Toyota Avalon xle. Approximately 2 months before problem with Toyota gas pedal problem was made known, my gas pedal stuck causing auto to accelerate and difficult to stop almost causing accident.

- Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

problem #15

Jan 232010

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 29,715 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. The vehicle accelerated while driving 5 mph in reverse. The contact was able to avoid a crash by driving the vehicle into the middle of the road. The vehicle was taken to the dealer was unable to diagnose the failure. The Toyota manufacturer stated that they would contact her regarding the failure. The failure mileage was 29,715. Updated 3/10/10 updated 06/11/10.

- Buena Park, CA, USA

problem #14

Aug 302006


  • 58,180 miles


On August 30, 2006 my 2003 Toyota Avalon accelerated and I was unable to stop the car. My vehicle subsequently crashed into my neighbor's house. My daughter and I were in the car and received minor injuries but there was major damage to the home and the car which was a total loss.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #13

Oct 102009


  • 30,000 miles
Car accelerates on its own. There are no floor mats in driver side of car. Happened a total of three times since 2005. Mileage on first occurrence about 30,000 on last occurrence 70,000.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #12

Sep 272009


  • 159,260 miles
At 70mph car will accelerate aprox. 5mph, then drop back to 70mph upon exiting the freeway, the car would not decelerate lower than 40mph. I applied brakes, put car in neutral, and turned engine off. Upon restarting, operation returned to normal. This same defect has occurred twice.

- Clarkston, MI, USA

problem #11

Oct 202007

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While driving 3 mph with the brakes applied, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The contact applied more pressure to the brakes; however, the vehicle did not stop and crashed into some bushes. A police report was filed. There were no prior warning indicators. The vehicle was towed. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and there were no error codes. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 45,000. New York police report. Updated 12/12/07

- Latham , NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 162007


  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,930 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While driving 15 mph into a parking lot the vehicle accelerated without warning and the driver lost control. The failure mileage was 16930. The vehicle was diagnosed for a second opinion, however, the dealer stated that the vehicle was operating normally. The current mileage was 17000. Updated 04/12/07.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 012007

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Avalon. While parking the vehicle the accelerator pedal engaged without warning. The contact was driving 5 mph. The contact depressed the brakes and the vehicle would not stop, and it crashed into a parked Ford pick up truck. The road conditions were not a factor. The vehicle was towed, and the contact was unable to drive the vehicle. The contact sustained a shoulder injury due to the seat belt. The passenger in the front seat stated due to the airbag deployment she was having hearing problems and experienced discomfort to her teeth. The passenger in the back seat experienced chest pains. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the reason for the unexpected acceleration. The current and failure mileage was 35,000. The consumer stated that they received vehicle back but are concerned that this incident will happen again. Update 5/3/07 the consumer stated they had an accident caused by rapid acceleration and caused over $13,500 in damages. The consumer further stated they escaped the accident with minor bruises and they have retrieved via website 9 other cases with same make and model as the consumer's vehicle and since reported to the Agency. The consumer stated would like an investigation done due to the fact that an article in the Washington post stated an all weather floor mat can trap the throttle pedal when not properly secured and consumer is wondering whether this is in fact what happened to their vehicle.

- Silver Spring , MD, USA

problem #8

Apr 192005

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
2003, Toyota Avalon, backing up, sudden acceleration, pole stopped car, brakes didn't stop racing engine, put car in drive, shot forward into golf course, brakes wouldn't work, put car in park, didn't stop car, hit trees, utility pole, tried to steer, little or no response, turned key off, car finally stopped, car totaled, airbags did not deploy, seat belt on, but impact made head hit left side of windshield, received concussion, overnight hospital stay. Reported to Toyota, they wanted car, we refused to let them have it. Toyota sent inspector he refused to open hood, or put auto on hoist to examine, refused to examine, just took pictures. Then Toyota attorney sent letter saying they couldn't see from their examination that the car failed. Had 3 wittiness that Toyota inspector refused to inspect car. My automobile insurance totaled auto and settled, they took auto.

- Bartlesville, OK, USA

problem #7

Apr 182004

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Stepped on brake and car accelerates into very high speed.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #6

Apr 042004

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
While driving 5 mph, the driver applied the brake pedal and without warning the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. The driver was not able to maintain control of the vehicle and collided into a fence. Both frontal air bags failed to deploy. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection. The mechanic was unable to duplicate the problem.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

problem #5

Apr 012003

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,661 miles
While pulling inside of a parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated uncontrollably. The consumer placed both feet on the brake pedal. But vehicle continued to accelerated. The consumer turned off the vehicle in order to stop it. The consumer had the vehicle towed to the dealer for inspection but mechanic could not duplicate the problem. When the vehicle went out of control the last time, the consumer hit a wall and the air bags did not deploy.

- Tehachapi, CA, USA

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