really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
35,742 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Feb 272015

Camry 4-cyl

  • 192,342 miles


I had trouble shifting my automatic transmission from park to reverse. It would not engage. I had it in reverse but the car would not move. After a few tries it engaged. I slowly drove a couple blocks to rossi's auto service and left it for the weekend. I learned it was low on transmission fluid and there was absolutely no sign anywhere of any leakage. I had it serviced at salinas Toyota on 01/22/15 for an oil change and the front brakes. I returned 02/03/15 to have a front engine mount installed. On 02/27/2015 it was missing approximately a quart of transmission fluid with a few minor metal found in the dirty fluid. I've spoken numerous times with rossi's and salinas Toyota and they have spoken to each other. No one can figure out where the transmission fluid went. The salinas Toyota assistant service manager has tried to find an answer but has not been able to. I need this explained or solved in order to feel safe driving this car. I do not want to take a chance on being stranded in the middle of nowhere. I would appreciate any help making sure I am safe driving this vehicle.

- King City, CA, USA

problem #43

Jan 182011

Camry 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Automatic transmission failure on the freeway. Initially hard-shifting, then loss of power when accelerating to pass. Miles later while cruising on level ground on the freeway, the transmission disconnected (felt like it went to neutral) and I needed to pull over to the side of the road immediately. Turned off engine, waited and re-started car. Used a merging ramp to safely merge back into traffic. Toyota dealer tells me that the transmission fluid was like "chocolate" and there were chunks of metal in the bottom of the pan. Needed a new transmission ($3300-$4800). Car was last serviced at another Toyota dealer (wondries in alhambra, ca) 14,000 miles ago and had the transmission fluid changed at that time.

- Milpitas, CA, USA

problem #42

Oct 122008


  • 35,000 miles
Twice on start-up I had the engine race, sounding like a jet revving up. Last time was as I parked in the garage after using the car it revved up sounding again like a jet starting up. I thought someone or some thing had come up behind me in driveway. Dates were approximately Oct. 2008 and Nov. 2009. Car has under 45,000 actual miles on it.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #41

Mar 042010


  • 38,800 miles


We have a 2002 Toyota Camry with a 2.4 liter engine with a 38, 900 miles in the odometer. And on March 4, 2010 my wife came home from a the grocery store asked me to check the car because of the check engine light iis on. I drove the car for a test drive around our neighborhood for five minutes with the speed of 10 miles to 15 miles an hour. Before I came to the stop sign, the engine start racing, RPM is up the red line, I could hear the engine roar. I step on the brake hard, shift the gear hard into park and turn off the ignition. I was so lucky, I was driving in the right place and the right time with no traffic and kids playing on the street. If my wife would be driving at that moment especially she is an elderly like me, it could be big accident. It's a terrifying experience. I suggest that 2002 Camry should be included in the recall. Before somebody gets hurt. That same day I called Toyota dealership for service appointment.

- Glendale, AZ, USA

problem #40

Feb 102007


  • 25,000 miles
Last year my dad's Toyota was going into reverse on the 710 freeway (eastbound to paramount, ca, to work) without touching the gear shift. This really frightened us. He took my car in to have them thoroughly inspect this problem. They told him nothing was wrong that they could see. He tried to drive it again and it was just a short time that my dad's Toyota was going into reverse on the 710 freeway (eastbound to paramount, ca, to work)without touching the gear shift. Again, I was told there was nothing wrong with my car!! frightened at the thoughts of this happening again and serious threat to my dad's life, he traded in his 2002 Camry and bought a 2009 corolla last year - to save his life!! this is an absolutely inappropriate response to my dad's problem. He loved the Camry compared to the corolla and would never, ever have sold his car if he weren't in fear of his life on los angeles freeways. We watched the testifying of a lady in front of the committee in Washington, D.C., saying she couldn't stop her car for 500 ft. This could have happened to our dad and only by circumstance, it didn't. however, he had to buy a new car which should have been totally unnecessary. He is on ss and medicare and this was a horrifying and very appalling experience and expense that should have not been in his life.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #39

Feb 012002

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,500 miles
In Jan. 2002 I bought a 2002 V6 Toyota Camry with auto transmission. I noted that on level surfaces at a constant speed of +/- 50 mph it would shift randomly between 3rd and 4th. On slick road surfaces there was a momentary loss of control. I reported to my Toyota dealer who for months denied the problem. Then Toyota announced a reprogramming of the computer. I got this, but it made no improvement. I reported to Toyota usa, and to NHTSA, but there was no action.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #38

Sep 032009


  • 90,000 miles


My 2002 Toyota Camry accelerated suddenly as I was turning into a parking lot causing me to hit a parked car.. the car that was hit was totaled & my car had $3400 worth of damage. At the time of the incident in Sept. 2009 I did not know that Toyota's were having a problem. Now in light of the recent recalls I believe my car has an acceleration problem.

- Norwood, NJ, USA

problem #37

Aug 182008


  • 111,000 miles
My 2002 Toyota Camry got stuck in reverse and accelerated causing a 5 car accident in a parking lot.

- Mission Viejo, CA, USA

problem #36

Nov 152007


  • 132,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that the vehicle erratically shifts. While accelerating up an incline at 65 mph, the vehicle drives as if it is in neutral. When shifting from second to third gear, it feels stuck on second gear and then pops into third. The transmission was replaced in either November or December of 2007, but the failure has recurred. The vehicle has been with a mechanic for over a week, but they still cannot determine the cause of the failures. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 132,000.

- Hayesville, KS, USA

problem #35

May 152008

Camry 6-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
At low speeds, when the gears switches it makes the noise. Have taken to dealer several times and still no proper fix. Been this way form at least two years.

- The Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #34

Feb 142008

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles


Engine light came on during a trip to lexington, ky on a Saturday. I experienced a bad shift on one occasion during that trip. Took it to the dealer the following Monday. Was told that my catalytic converter was going bad. Cost to repair was approx $800. Elected not to repair car at that time. I have approx 127000 miles on car and just paid it off last December. Within two weeks of this visit to the dealer, the transmission began to jerk when shifting between 25 and 40 mph. I parked car and began to drive my older vehicle until I could get it back into dealer. I took it to the dealer on Feb 14 and was told that my transmission needed replaced. I had all of completed transmission services during the life of the car. I feel that this is a safety problem as the transmission hesitated during driving and could have resulted in me being rear-ended by another vehicle. I am concerned with the quality of Toyota vehicles as I have read about their engine sludge problems and other people with transmission failures.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #33

Aug 142007

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,083 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. Beginning on August 14, 2007, the vehicle's gears would shift into reverse, but the vehicle would not accelerate over 15 mph. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the transmission failed. The transmission was replaced. A new battery was installed without the owner's consent, knowledge, and need for a new battery. The cost for the repair was $4,432. In December of 2007, the vehicle would occasionally not switch gears or allow the contact to drive above 10-15 mph. The vehicle was taken to the dealer on December 13, 2007 and the contact was informed that the transmission failed again. The transmission was repaired once more under the manufacturer warranty for the previous transmission. The dealer stated that there was a hole in the dust boot on the passenger side. The contact has the dust boot available. The purchase date was unknown. The current mileage was 147,000 and failure mileage was 140,083.

- Redlands, CA, USA

problem #32

Jun 302007

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
Just after the warranty expired (5 years, 4 months) the "check engine? light came up with the generic P0770 code of what seems to be a frequent transmission/solenoid failure problem for few Toyota models. I contacted Toyota Canada for support in this matter to only experience more disappointment. After being assured that a response to my request would not take longer than seven to ten business days, I had to follow up with customer service on few occasions, by E-mail and phone, until finally receiving a response after six weeks ? a negative one. My current disappointment is not so much due to the fact that Toyota took such a long time to reply, but to the inflexibility proven by those who analyzed and ?solved" my case. Also, they seem to send "canned messages". but, to be more specific, here are the quick facts about my car as also presented in my correspondence with the customer service: 1. the solenoid failure was first reported at 43,000 km (25,000 miles) when the car was 4 years old, well under warranty. At that time instead of dealing with the root of the problem, a transmission flush was performed and the code reset. But the code reappeared when the car was five years and four months old, and only 67,000 km (40,000 miles). Just 4 months out of the official warranty. 2. the problem my car has is common for Toyota cars. Although the P0770 code I got is a generic code, a google search returns only Toyota reported issues in the first 40 results. My Camry has transmission U140E which is shared with other Toyota cars. Lexus RX300 (using U140E) has a service bulletin (1999-2002): Proper identification of the 5 solenoids used in the U140E/U140F transmissions (NHTSA item number: 10009396) there are also numerous tsb for solenoid problems with the following Toyota cars: Tundra, highlander, matrix, Camry, Lexus RX300, sienna. They seemed to be plagued by this problem. Even sienna 2004 (5 years later after the first tsb in 1999) still has that problem.

- Woodbridge, 00, USA

problem #31

Sep 212007

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles
At about 105,000 miles on my 2002 Camry V6, the car experienced hesitating driving while driven at speeds above 40 mph when removing slightly the foot from the throttle pedal. The car is bucking backward and forward for indefinite time until the throttle pedal is fully depressed or fully pressed. This is an unsafe situation since on the highway the speed cannot be decreased or increased any time. Notified dealer and told that this cannot be identified since there is no error code generated (no check engine light on). Replaced all spark plugs at 108,000 miles on Aug 24, 2007. Problem not solved. Spouse noticed increased bucking while driving down hill. Went back to the dealer. Performed test drive with technician in the car and the diagnose system hooked to the car's computer. Detected some misfires on cylinders 5 and 6. replaced solenoid ignition packs for cylinder 5 & 6 and test drove again. Problem not solved. Technician concluded that fuel injectors are clogged. Performed fuel injectors purge (cleaning). Problem not solved. Technician recommended to replace all fuel injectors and solenoid ignition packs. Car was maintained properly during the ownership. Oil & filter changed every 3000 miles, replaced air filter every 30,000 miles, replaced timing belt and belt tensioners at 87,000 miles, replaced water pump at 87,000 miles, flushed transmission fluid at 87,000 miles. From reading various customers complaints, it appears to be a transmission problem but dealer did not mention anything about it.

- Hackettstown, NJ, USA

problem #30

Oct 102005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
2002 Toyota Camry. Car will not accelerate in temperatures 40 degrees or less. I have spoke with the dealer who says that they have numerous complaints about this issue. I offered to send articles from consumer magazines and they state that they already have been sent info. From at least 10 times different customers.

- Roseville, MI, USA

problem #29

Feb 012002

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,109 miles
Transmission intermittently slips out of gear when driving. Causes the car to hesitate abruptly upon acceleration. The problem has persisted since the car was purchased. No remedy has resolved the issue yet and it seems to be worsening.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Aug 312005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,289 miles
Transmission failed at 75,000 miles even though it was serviced and the transmission was flushed at 30,000 and 60,000. The transmission locked up on the freeway doing 70 miles an hour.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #27

Sep 062005

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2 miles
2nd time in a year that my 2002 Toyota Camry accelerated and jumped the curb. This time the car his another vehicle. Fortunately no one was injured.

- Syosset, NY, USA

problem #26

Jun 272005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
Contact states the speedometer fluctuated while driving and the RPM gauge fluctuated on its own. The first three times this happened the car slowed down. Consumer felt the shift change while she was driving. This last time the speedometer gauge went up to 60 mph while she stopped in traffic, and when she accelerated the speedometer shot up to 80 mph. She took vehicle to a dealership 4 times, and they told her that nothing was wrong. She tried to contact the manufacturer, but has not been able to reach them. This happened since June 2004. They changed the transmission, and the speed sensor in June -2004 after the first 3 times this happened. Currently, they told her nothing was wrong with the car.

- Aiea, HI, USA

problem #25

Nov 142004

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Two complaints: Vehicle shifts very harshly when placed into drive when engine is cold. While the vehicle is moving and applying the brakes, there is a mild to loud clunking sound. On two occasions the noise was so loud, the check engine light came on, and a transmission sensor had to be replaced. Fortunetly, I have a great service dept at Toyota. They understood my complaint and is currently replacing the transmission.

- Freeport, NY, USA

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