really awful
Crashes / Fires:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,697 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.

2002 Toyota Camry body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #18

Dec 172015


  • 135,000 miles


Sudden unintend acceleration at slow speed--on December 17, 2015, when pulling slowly into a garage and nearly stopped, the car suddenly surged forward raming the car into the garage interior wall. This resulted in "totaling the car" and damage to the garage and property in the garage. This is the second time that this sudden unintend acceleration occurred with this 2002 Camry. It also occurred on January 20, 2010 with a different driver (my wife) who had her foot on the brake when pulling into a parking spot. The car suddenly surged forward about three car lengths causing damage to the underside of the vehicle. We filed a complaint with NHTSA on January 30, 2010 (seenhtsa id number 10303355). For the 2010 incidence the car was towed to a Toyota dealer where repairs where made. When we picked up our car from the Toyota dealer, we noted that none of the repair items on the invoice mentioned accelerations problems. Several days later after complaining to the Toyota service manager, he agreed to perform a "courtesy inspection of accelerator pedal assembley for any possible binding sticking slow return or abnormal performance." No problems were noted. The service manager said the vehicle was safe to drive. In both incidences the surges were quick, unintended, and at very slow speeds. The incidences involved two different drivers.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #17

Oct 142015


  • 119,900 miles
I had an accident with my Toyota while my husband was driving on a city street and I was sitting beside him. We hit a car when it stopped suddenly. The seat belt and air bags did not protect me. My head strongly hit the windshield.

- Springfield, IL, USA

problem #16

Jan 072015


  • 155,000 miles
I had a wreck in Jan., 7th, 2005. I was traveling below the speed limit and the lady in front of me was dead stopped and I cold not stop my car. I hit her stopped car, doing 45 mph and my airbags did not deploy! now the airbag on the passenger side, is not right. It has moved and separated as if it is about to pop open, since the wreck and the people that did the service on my car to fix the front end (via my insurance co. - usaa) have had it looked at and they will not do anything about it. The cover has moved even more, since my wreck in Jan. 7th, 2015 and I am really scared. My 84 year old mother and my service dog ride in the passenger seat. Please help me before it deploys in her face!

- Franklin, TN, USA

problem #15

Apr 082015

Camry 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles


My wife was backing into our garage. She pulled forward to realign car. When she placed gearshift back into reverse (autom. Xmsn) and perhaps had lightly touched the accelerator pedal, the throttle immediately went to very high setting. Car accelerated backward until stopped by firewood pile, furnace and rear wall of garage. Throttle continued at high setting for some time. Driven wheels kept spinning (as shown by skid marks on garage floor). Then throttle autonomously returned to idle. Firewood was scattered. Furnace was destroyed. Garage wall was displaced about one inch. Bumper, one rear light assembly and one quarter panel of car were damaged. (body shop inspection may reveal other damage.) my wife experienced neck discomfort, which has gone away. She is sure that she did not press accelerator pedal more than very lightly. Clearly, under other circumstances the results of the throttle runaway could have been far more disastrous.

- Asheville, NC, USA

problem #14

Nov 012014

Camry 6-cyl

  • 122,000 miles
The trunk of the car is leaking on the passenger side. It's coming from the seal of the back windshield. Corporate says they have not had enough complaints addressed to them to make this an issue. If you read the blogs, there are a load of complaints regarding trunk leaks. Who is passing the buck on this problem?

- Overland Park, KS, USA

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problem #13

Dec 182014


  • 52,000 miles
I was driving southbound on lakeshore dr when with no warning of a turn signal a tow truck driver cut me off and slowed almost to a complete stop. I had no choice but to brace for impact as I stomped down on my brakes. The entire front end of my car was totaled as the front right end of my car made impact with the left rear end of his tow truck. After the dist settled I looked around and realized that no airbags deployed. I found this realization extremely alarming, not only for the chest pain that I was experiencing on my right side which I felt was from my chest hitting the steering wheel (even thought I was indeed wearing my seatbelt) but because earlier this year Toyota had come out with a recall list, and when I called to find out if my car was on the recall list I was told no. I don't know how my car was looked over but this is a situation that should be immediately rectified. Thank god my situation wasn't worse than it was and my 5 year old son was not in the car, but there are others on the road who may not meet the same outcome.

- Chicago , IL, USA

problem #12

Mar 262014

Camry 4-cyl

  • 73,400 miles


I parked the car. After realizing that I was about 2 ft from the parking bump, I decided to move it forward and as I took the car off park the car took off and hit the bump and was stopped by a tree. The car climbed partially on the tree, leaving the passenger side wheels completely off the ground. I put the brake and shifted to neutral. Fortunately, no one was hurt, no airbags displayed. I took the car to the Toyota dealer to get an estimate on the repair of the front bumper. Toyota investigated and a month later delivered the "data" by mail from Bosch, without any useful information for me. I do not dare drive the car.

- Palmetto, FL, USA

problem #11

Dec 142012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 86,415 miles
On December 14, 2012, at about 7:20 am, my spouse, [xxx] got into the driver's seat of the above described 2002 Toyota Camry, which was parked on our driveway. After fastening her seat belt and then checking behind to make sure our street was free of pedestrians and bike riders, my spouse placed her right foot firmly on the brake and shifted the automatic transmission lever from "park" to "reverse" the Toyota Camry instantly accelerated backwards at a high rate of speed. And hit a tree on my across the street neighbor's lawn, fortunately, the car stopped before hitting my neighbor's garage door because the passenger side front wheel dug itself into the lawn and the front wheel drive lost traction in a manner similar to what one expect when one drives into heavy snow. The total time elapsed during the sudden unintended acceleration was less than two seconds. The distance traveled during the sudden unintended acceleration was extremely short. The tree was located about 57 feet from the rear end of the car and the total distance that the car traveled was only 72 feet.. my spouse was terrified by the experience but, fortunately, she was not physically injured. I had to call aaa to come with a tow truck. Aaa extracted the car from the lawn's soft earth by the use of a chain attached to the back of the truck. The trunk lid was severely damaged and the parking paw within the transaxle assembly was broken.. I am a retired nys professional engineer. I can prove that the sua incident was caused by a defect in the firmware (software) in the electronic control module within the Camry. I filed a 48 page brief objecting to the us court recent Toyota economic loss lawsuit. It is available on the pacer system. I specifically requested that all 2002 through 2006 Toyota Camry cars be recalled by Toyota and equipped with applicable brake override systems.. information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #10

Nov 132009

Camry 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles
On November 13, 2009, I applied my brakes to turn in and park my car (my foot still pressing the brake). When my car unexpectedly accelerates about 15 feet and smacks into a building. A $10,000 claim was made against my insurance company. I informed the local Toyota dealership where I purchased the car since the responding officer urged me to get my vehicle checked out. Almost instantly after I began explaining the details of the incident over the phone, they informed me that the gas pedal wasn't the issue and that my car was not included in the recall. I feel like I have been passed over because my car wasn't brand new, even though it was one of the same year models that received an electronic throttle. I received a post card notifying me of a class action lawsuit against Toyota, however it does not pertain to property damage and I'm not sure which avenue to take.

- Sunny Hills, FL, USA

problem #9

Apr 122013


  • 20 miles
I drove up in front of mosses town hall building in lowndes county al as I tried to put on brakes to park the car it begin to accelerate and jump the parking bumps and hit the building knocking down the wall of bricks and that's when it stopped. I immediately got out of the car and looked and took a look. There were person in the other side of the building who ran out to see were I okay. This was the first and I hope the last incident I had with the car.

- Hayneville, AL, USA

problem #8

Jul 072012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles


My son was making a left turn off brown rd onto amber glen dr in charlotte, nc when the cars steering wheel locked up causing the car to go out of control. When he tried to press the brakes to stop the car it would not stop. The car hit a tree that cause major damage to the vehicle. Thank god no one was hurt/injured or killed. But my 2002 Toyota Camry is totaled and cannot be repaired. I just bought this car in April 2012 from the Toyota Scion dealership in huntersville, nc and was not made aware of any problems or recalls with the steering wheel locking up. This is a very serious issue that could have caused someone to lose their life. I feel like I have been mislead and cheated out of my money to purchase the vehicle. This car should not have been sold to anyone and why was the dealership not aware of the problem and made the customer aware or did they just not care. Toyota has left a bad memory that I will never forget and that is definitely a bad way to run a business. I have not even had the car for 3 months and this is what happens. www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2002/Toyota/Camry/steeringhttp://www.carproblemzoo.com/Toyota/Camry/steering-wheel-problems.php.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #7

Dec 312005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,300 miles
On 12/31/05, during a rainstorm, the hazard lights on the vehicle started flashing while the vehicle was parked at our home and not running. The only way to turn off the hazard lights was by removing the fuse. The next day, while driving the car, we found that we had no turn signals as the fuse removed also controlled them, and we discovered there was about an inch of water on the floor on the driver's side of the vehicle. We replaced the fuse, and although the hazard lights were no longer constantly flashing, when a turn signal is activated both lights go on causing a driving hazard. At our earliest convenience (on 1/17/06), I drove the vehicle to the closest Toyota service and dealer (modesto Toyota, and hour and a half drive from our home). After checking the vehicle I was informed that there was a leak in the firewall near the driver's side door and that water damage had caused the electrical damage. Furthermore, they (modesto Toyota) could not repair the damage; we would need to take the vehicle to an auto body shop. We next took the vehicle to the dealer where it was purchased, merced Toyota, on 1/25/06. The results were the same, and we were also informed that there was a technical service bulletin regarding this problem (although no one ever offered to give us a copy, or even allow us to read it). We were also told that Toyota would not fix this problem, although they know about it, because we were past the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. The possibility of a water leak that can cause major electrical damage is a hazard. Because of this problem, we have been driving our car, with our 5 year old and 2 year old daughters in the back, with no working turn signals for almost two months. Toyota is aware of this problem as evidenced by the tsb (I believe it is #B001503, NHTSA# 1000348), yet they have not made consumers aware of this potential hazard and the need to have this seam repaired before it leaks.

- Sonora, CA, USA

problem #6

Jan 042005


  • 23,600 miles
Water leaked inside the floor boards, causing a puddle of water on the floor, and the pedals would be slippery. Dealership was notified, but did not resolve the problem.

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #5

Sep 012004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,860 miles
Spots on car paint obviously cause by poor paint job reported to dealer. (rice Toyota, greensboro, nc) dealers' representative jim pope says caused by environmental factors. Insuance company says it's caused by poor paint job. Tend to agree with insurance company. Car still on warrenty.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #4

Jan 102004

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
1. loud creaking and rattles: After many attempts at repairs, the problem finally turned out to be a manufacturing defect. They left plastic assembly guides in place, which they had to remove by removing the window again (this was a super secret service bulletin that was divulged only when the customer engineer for new england showed up). But he dealership managed to chip the paint in the process, requiring the roof to be repainted. Once the creak was gone, the interior rattles were unbearable from all the quality work completed. 2. transmission issue: I've been assured by the service manager at me dealership that it is normal the transmission take at least a mile shift out of second gear when below 30F and to a lesser degree during warm weather. The car won't shift into third or overdriven until after least 1-2 minute of driving, no matter what speed. 3. transmission issue: When lifting off the throttle from 60 to 55mph on a downhill, there's a "hitch" or bucking where the transmission abruptly catches, then releases. Almost like it down shifting, but it stops half way. This has been an annoying problem since day one. The bucking problem is annoying and problematic. It was solved by reset the computer and showed up again at 42,000 miles. They are blaming it on the adaptive micro-processor and my driving style. (warranty) 4. door rattles: Driver's side and passenger side doors rattle/tick when going over bumps. I asked the service manager that was let go about the rattle, and he explained it's normal for new Camry's to have the doors make that make noise. Constant use of silicone was advised by the dealership. 5. airbag recall 6. passenger seat replacement due to poor construction and squeaking 7. check engine light for defective charcoal canister 8. warped front brake rotors 9. pealing chrome on passenger door handle. (warranty) 10. Flaking paint on exterior door handles. *

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #3

Jun 012002

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles
Noises from around the front of the winshield, popping, rattles, rubbing, and other similar noises.rubbing noises around drivers door.light but can be heard at the time of going acros bumps.

- Chillicothe, OH, USA

problem #2

Mar 182003

Camry 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Backing car out of driveway in approximately. 6 inches of snow (had been parked night before after 1-2 inches had fallen). Rock guard caught snow (gave no feeling of resistance) and ripped off, also pulling off front bumper (mostly driver side) and damaging driver side head lamp assembly. Dealer claims this is "normal." However, the minimal speed and force that it took for this amount of damage makes us question the integrity of the parts used in our vehicle. Toyota refuses to investigate or claim any responsibility, and refuses to give out any information on how to reach a factory rep. Other that telling us they will "relay the complaint" to the factory rep. And have her call us "whenever she will be in town." The vehicle has only been owned for 8 1/2 months and has never been in an accident. It had no problems driving forward in snow conditions. We were told due to the build of the vehicle to withstand front end collisions, that it makes the car vulnerable to the circumstances we have experienced, however, we were not given this information prior to purchasing the vehicle. We have never had this problem with any other vehicle in exactly the same or worse conditions in the past. We are now being held responsible for over $1400 in damages. We feel that there is faulty manufacturing involved and would like this investigated. We also want Toyota to own up to some responsibility for their product manufacturing.

- Fort Collins, CO, USA

problem #1

Nov 302002


  • miles
The 2002 Camry has a considerable amount of squeaks and rattles. I have been back to the dealer four times for the rattle on the rear passenger side. Never had this experience with the Oldsmobile and Mercedes C class that I have owned over the past thirty years.

- Monroe, CT, USA

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