Notes: Beware of the NHTSA complaint data for the 2003 Camry. It is almost certainly misleading.

The problem with NHTSA data for the 2003 Camry is that for months on end, the news media repeatedly told the public that several Toyota models had an unintended acceleration defect, & to go to (the NHTSA's website) to file a complaint.

So, the NHTSA received a disproportionate number of complaints about Toyota unintended acceleration issues because of the national news media attention, to the point where their data is unreliable taken in context with any other vehicle that did not receive national news attention. typically receives more complaints per day about vehicles than the NHTSA does, but the news media did not repeatedly say "go to to report your Camry acceleration problems" like they did about the NHTSA -- so although we have less complaint data than the NHTSA for the 2003 Camry, our data for the Camry is a far more statistically accurate representation of the Camry's reliability than what the NHTSA data shows.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
53,285 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 Camry accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #7

May 062013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 96,495 miles


Driver side door does not open, as lock refuses to move. Initially it refused to listen to power or remote locking, but now it refuses to move from manual locking. This is a huge safety concern and should lead to an investigation and recall. Everything online points to faulty door actuators. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people are having this problem online. The year range is guessed to be 2002 to 2005 or 2007. 14 other complaints exist for this year range with the door actuators not working: 10489801, 10483194, 10479564, 10461669, 10384238, 10369665, 10361184, 10342871, 10308523, 10308206, 10297834, 10284015, 10265333, and 10253429. Please, investigate this problem.

- Moon Township, PA, USA

problem #6

Jan 152011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
The rear passenger door in my 2003 Camry had a failure of the lock actuator. In mid January 2011, it just would not open, not manually unlocking at the door handle, with the lock switch in the car, or the remote unlock. The car was not hit or damaged before this happened. I took it to the dealer, for $90 they took apart the door and said the lock actuator was failing, and it would be almost $500 to replace it. I declined having it replaced at this time, since it worked after the mechanic took it apart and put it back together (it has been one week and has not locked up again yet). I will probably have to have it replaced since my child rides in the back seat, and I consider this to be a life safety problem. If the car were hit in the side that worked, I would be unable to get her out of the car, without pulling her through the front seat.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 072010


  • 67,000 miles
Door locks for 2003 Toyota Camry work intermittently?? there are so many complaints on here now I would have to say there is a defect in the part (actuaries) for the door lock? I do also agree that it could pose a safety problem as sometimes the door won't unlock at all without having to force it and depending on where you are in a pond or ditch filled with water this could be very dangerous!! [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Sarsota, FL, USA

problem #4

May 032010


  • 25,000 miles


The contact owns 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that within two weeks, the drivers side door, both rear driver and passengers side door locks failed. The dealer advised the contact that the failure occurred due to a defective actuator. The vehicle was not repaired. The contact was unable to unlock the doors whenever he was outside of the vehicle. The failure and current mileages were 25,000.

- Statan Island, NY, USA

problem #3

Apr 052008


  • 93,000 miles
In the spring of 2008 the front drivers side door lock on our 2003 Toyota Camry "froze" in the locked position. The door could not be unlocked by any means including the electronic keyless entry, the key in the door or manually from the inside. There was no "warning" that this was about to happen it just couldn't be unlocked. Fortunately we were not in the car when this occurred. The vehicle had to be towed to the dealership for them to see what was wrong with the lock. It was determined that the "actuator" had gone out and had to be replaced, at a cost to me of approx. $380 which I paid. The same thing happened again in 9-09 only this time on the passenger side and again with no "warning". this time we were in the vehicle and didn't realize it had happened again until we parked and tried to exit. Again the vehicle was taken in ( to an independent garage) and the actuator on the passenger side had to be replaced, again at a cost of approx $350. My concern is that with no "warning of when this is going to occur there is a possibility that it could happen while the vehicle is being driven and if there were an accident and the door was unable to be unlocked this could pose a serious safety hazard if a person was unable to get out of their vehicle due to this failure. I asked both the dealership and the main offices of Toyota if this was a common problem in these vehicles and was told that there had been no reports of this sort of problem. I have a hard time believing that I have the only 2003 Toyota Camry in the entire country that has had this problem. I feel this bears investigating for the safety of all consumers who own a vehicle that this problem may occur in.

- Visalia, CA, USA

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problem #2

Apr 142009


  • 29,500 miles
The electric door switch, drivers side, does not always open or lock. Either by inside door lock/unlock switch or wireless/remote control. This has been happening for the last 6 months, on and off. Other doors open & unlock with inside switch and wireless/remote control. But not always the drivers side. This happens on a weekly basis. Most times it corrected, after I turned the locking button manually in, instead of hitting the electronic switch. But more and more frequently, I have to lock the door manually, by pushing in the lock button. Or having to use the key, to get inside the car. The car is a 2003 Camry le, with 29,500 miles on it. Don't drive it that much. The electronic actuator switch, solenoid switch, or perhaps the master lock switch is not working properly. A Camry should not be having this kind of a problem, with so few miles on it!!! especially when the parts to replace them with are so expensive! not counting the diagnosis labor fee, than the actual labor fee to repair!!!

- Nashua, NH, USA

problem #1

Jul 012005


  • miles
Power locks - beginning in 2005, the power locks in my 2003 Toyota Camry began to fail. The driver's door was the first to malfunction, followed by the right rear passenger door and, most recently, the left rear passenger door. The failure begins with intermittent functioning of the locks - the doors will lock/unlock unpredictably. I have replaced 2 of the 3 mechanisms at significant cost. Now the third is failing. I consider this to be a safety issue for a couple of reasons - children in the car and the risk of theft from a car that failed to lock.

- Barboursville, WV, USA

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