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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,250 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. Toyota did nothing (4 reports)
2002 Toyota Camry brakes problems

brakes problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #12

Feb 012016

Camry LE 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles


It is an extreme experience for me to have the brake failed while on the street. I could've died. Who will be responsible for this problem?!!

- vythoai, Westminster, CA, US

problem #11

Aug 122014

Camry LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

So, I finally got a 2002 Toyota Camry LE V6 to drive to school. In the morning, it was working perfectly fine and all, no issues, no C.E.L and new tires. Soon after on the way home, I was just driving like usual, braking from far behind the line, and in this case, my driving method had saved my life since the brake slowed down for about a millisecond but then did the lock and let go, lock and let go, as if the ABS was kicking in and malfunctioning since it wouldn't slow down and stop, it actually kept on going (while I was pushing the brake harder in attempt to stop it) and then finally come to a stop when the handbrake was pulled. After that, it worked normally again and about 2 mins later, at a turn the same thing happened again, it would lock up and let go and wouldn't stop immediately or slow down for more than a millisecond.

No, the brake pads weren't worn out and no, the brake fluid wasn't low nor was the ABS sign lit on my dashboard. Now I was lucky that I didn't hit anyone, but no way am I driving that car again, and I hope that there is a solution to this, or that someone knows of a fix to this, because I was lucky that I didn't hit anyone or anything.

I am assuming that this may be an ABS issue, due to the fact that the way it did a very long stop was the same mechanism that the ABS system is there for, to make you stop, but in a controlled manner (most of the time, it's the lock and unlock repeat pattern continuously until you come to a full stop) so that you don't brake and swerve to the side.

- guesswho530, Sacramento, CA, US

problem #10

Feb 022013

Camry XLE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,790 miles

I am a driving Instructor for a driving school. After experiencing braking problems with the 2002 Camery I wrote the letter to my boss.

Dear Employer,    On Saturday February 2, 2013 while driving a car pulled in front of me from the curb without indicating or checking their blind spot. My first reaction was to hit the brakes. With my foot on the brake I felt the car not stopping. To avoid a collision I swerved on the other side of the road. This was not an isolated incident. There were times in 2012 that the brake felt like it wasn't holding. During that time I asked the mechanic to check it out. Upon receiving the car back the mechanic said there were no issues with the brakes. This has become an unforgettable problem since the brakes failed at a time most needed. These brakes need to be fixed immediately. Instructing in this car has now become "risky". I am only as good as the tool I use. When will my brakes fail again? Will I be as lucky the 2nd near collision? The answer to both questions are unknown. There are professionals with unknowns attached to their jobs; firemen and policemen. For these individuals bravery is matched with benefits and a pension.    With very little research I found that Toyota is known for faulty brakes. To continue being #1, Toyota never admits to having a flawed car. But there are many people who have complained about the braking issue. The typical complaint is pressing on the brake until it is floored and the car doesn't stop.  In some cases the car accelerates on it's own. Also, The 2002 Toyota Camry has quite a few recalls. Upon submitting the VIN number I will get a list of defects that can be corrected at the dealership. If this situation is overlooked class, students and most important the instructor may reap inevitable repercussions.

Please copy, paste and visit links concerning braking issue. Entry #4 from Jen P. of Boston, MA bests describes the issue. The nail is hit on the head when she uses the phrase "the brake pedal pulsating when abruptly applying the break"



- goldmind, Mount Vernon, NY, US

problem #9

Mar 222013

Camry XLE 4.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles


I bought my 2002 Camry in 2005 with about 40,000 miles on it. When it rained, the brakes acted erratic but not all the time-only occasionally. I took it to Toyota and other places and no one ever said anything other than that it was normal wear. I have had the brakes redone more often than any other car I've owned. I now believe this is a design flaw that Toyota should have recalled.

- donnymack, Columbus, GA - Georgia, US

problem #8

Dec 112008

Camry LE 2.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

Okay so I bought this car used 2 and a half years ago with 80,000 miles on it. Having that kind of mileage did not phase me once for a Toyota because I have grown up there at least has been one Toyota in the driveway. At 90,000 miles exactly the check engine light came on. Cat converters needed to be replaced ($1,800) then 95,000 miles the brakes felt really soft. I put up with it for 10,000 more miles brought it in when my steering wheel started shaking when I used the brakes. I was told new pads and rotors for the front and the rear drums would get adjusted. 4 months later my brakes were at the point that the car would not be able to stop if I had to slam on the brakes and I had to push the brake pedal down to the floor to get the car to come remotely close to a stop. The service manager at Team Toyota in Langhorne, Pennsylvania called me crazy and too sensitive. After that I took it to THREE other Toyota Dealers in Pennsylvania. Within taking it to those three dealers I have gotten in 2 and a half years as follows: 3 sets of rotors the break pads changed out 4 times, new break cylinders in the rear break drums, new calipers, had the brakes bled more times than I can count on two hands. Now the car has 147,000 miles on it and its routine for 2 times a month while I am driving for the breaks to full on give out on me. besides all the break problems, apparently the serpentine belt has to be replaced every 30,000 miles? doesn't sound right to me. In the past two and a half years I have spent roughly $7,500 in repairs for this car. I will NEVER BUY A TOYOTA PRODUCT AGAIN after having this headache. Hopefully there will be a recall or something to compensate for this huge expensive headache!!!

- gbermon, Langhorne, PA, US

problem #7

Jun 302009

Camry LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I am trying to investigate this problem on my own, seeing as every place I take it, including the Toyota dealership says my brakes are fine. I have noticed for the past year that I pretty much roll to a stop in it. I slow down in advance and never get right on people so I avoid having to slam my brakes on. But it's something I notice more when I drive other cars and realize what the brake is "supposed to" feel like. Currently my car is in the shop after an accident involving the brakes to not perform correctly in the rain. This too has happened on several occasions. My car handles better in the snow than it seems to in rain. Again, Toyota said it's fine, so I'm going to bring it back somewhere else and just see if it's the rotors or tires or something(although 2 of my tires are new)

- crwilliams80, Ipswich, MA, US

problem #6

Nov 082002

Camry LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 188,000 miles


I bought this car new ,i have had brake pads changed,rotors changed,master cyl changed, And i still have the same problem stopping the car. It stops when it wants to. i pray that i don't have to panic stop!! so i maintain a safe distance from everyone. I also own a 1993 Camry it has 188000 on it not a lick of trouble.

- Arthur T., Newark, NJ, US

problem #5

Jun 252007

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles

I recently bought a used 2002 Camry LE with about 26,000 miles on it. I bought it from a dealer who said that his shop thoroughly inspects all cars it sells.

To make sure that the car was in good shape while still under the 2 month dealer warranty, I brought it to a place that specializes in Toyota vehicles, and they performed an all-round inspection on the car. They found a few minor problems, but none with the brakes. I brought the car back to the dealer and had these problems fixed under the terms of my warranty.

However, I had noticed 2 issues with the brakes on this Toyota.

1. The brakes seemed to be "soft"-- I needed to really press the brake down to get the car to stop.

2. On several occasions when braking from a slightly more elevated speed (bet 30-35 miles), the car's ABS system seemed to make the brake pump by itself and cause braking to delay. I was worried about this, because I felt it might cause an accident. I was getting set to have the brakes looked at again when unfortunately I had an accident in which I rear-ended a vehicle that had stopped suddenly in front of me. I hit the brakes but instead of stopping, the car skidded into the back of this SUV in front of me, badly damaging my car's front end. Fortunately no one was hurt-- I had not been going more than 30 miles an hour, as far as I know. But if the brakes had functioned correctly, I do not think the accident would have occurred.

- Alex J., College Point, NY, US

problem #4

Jun 302006

(reported on)


  • 36,000 miles

I first noticed the problem with the brakes a few years ago when the car had only 12,000 miles and brought it to the dealership. They suggested replacing the rear brake pads, which wasn't covered under warranty. I thought that was ridiculous but complied. Subsequently, I have brought back the car to the dealership three times because of braking problems, including long braking distance, hard breaking and the brake pedal pulsating when abruptly applying the break. Each time I was told that nothing was wrong with the brakes and that I could, at my own expense, change out the rotors and brake pads again! Not only would they not do anything about the breaking problem but they told me that it's the result of improper driving and had the nerve to charge me each time for labor to inspect the brakes. My husband has a 2000 Camry which we're thrilled with and have never had any problems with it but from the beginning my 2002 Camry had been a source of constant headaches. What can I do?

- Jen P., Boston, MA, US

problem #3

Apr 022006

(reported on)


  • 30,000 miles

VERY SCARY!!! I almost got killed on the highway! I am thrilled I found this website and other people who had this problem.

I felt crazy, if my friend wasn't with me to see it happen, no one would have believed it. Car would not stop and actually accelerated almost hitting other cars. BRAKES DID NOT WORK.!!!! Car jerked forward. I had to downshift to neutral which did nothing, then 2 and 3 finally put emergency brake on and car stopped. TOYOTA IS GOING TO BE SO SORRY I BOUGHT THIS CAR!!!! I"M JUST GETTING STARTED!!!!

I ALMOST GOT KIILLED. I have been all over the web, I'm finding a lot of people with this problem!!!

- Laura G., Braintree, MA, US

problem #2

Aug 012003

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • 14,130 miles

When stopping brake pedal would frequently go to the floor. Never knew if I was going to have any brakes when I needed to stop. When I was stopped, the brakes would quite often just "sink" and sometimes the car would lurch forward. I was in a rear end collision because when I went to apply more brake pressure to stop, there were "no more brakes" there and I ran into the man in front of me. Luckily I had already been slowing down so I wasn't doing 70 and didn't kill anyone. After having my car in the service department for 2 days, all they did was adjust my rear brakes. After driving it for a week, the whole problem started up all over again!!!! Talked to 3 separate brake places, said it sounded like the master cylinder was leaking. Took it back to Toyota, they check it out and said "they could not find anything wrong with it, but I was welcome to take it to another dealer for a second opinion." In the meantime I get to drive around in a car whose brakes might fail at any time and kill me or worse, someone else.

- Bernadine Z., Phoenix, AZ, US

problem #1

Jul 292002

(reported on)

Camry V6

  • 1,600 miles

Toyota certainly doesn't make them like they used to! I've had three other Toyotas over the last 10 years with NO problems. Then comes my purchase of a 2002 V6 model (manufactured on January 2, 2002!). We've had 5 incidents of the car taking a long time to stop while it "decides" whether to use normal or ABS brakes. NONE of these stops has been emergency, all occuring on sunny dry days. We are the only people in America with this problem -- according to Toyota. As it "only" happens every 500 or so miles, Toyota has been "unable to confirm" our reports of problems -- so no repairs made. Saturday, I "rolled" into a concrete parking bumper due to my inability to stop the car. So much for QUALITY!!! Just a word of warning to all who still believe Toyota makes high quality cars -- ain't always so. WATCH OUT!!

- Joyce D., Greenwich, CT, US

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