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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
15,601 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 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 082010


  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that the dashboard developed a crack, exposing the passenger's side air bag. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 50,000.

- Murrells Inlet, SC, USA

problem #9

Aug 012010


  • miles
I have a 2003 Toyota, Camry with 50,000 miles on it that has been well maintained (at my expense at the local dealership where I purchased it). I live in Oregon where we have seasons so it only gets hot a few months out of the year and I use a sun visor during the summer for protection. In the front passenger side of my car where the airbag is in the dash, the rectangular indentation (like a seam) around the airbag has completely separated at the top exposing yellow foam and has me very concerned about the safety of any passengers or even myself or others on the road should the airbag deploy. My father is terminally ill with cancer and only weighs about 115 pounds and I have to drive him to doctor appointments regularly. I was so concerned when I first noticed what I call a "design flaw" that I made him ride in the back seat. However, since he is so thin, he was very uncomfortable in the back and wanted to ride in the front seat again which I allowed him to do after the local dealership in medford (lithia motors, Inc) guaranteed me "100%" that this is not a safety issue but is purely cosmetic. I have provided proof of similar complaints to lithia and have spoken to Toyota corporate a few times. They still insist it is only cosmetic and I am responsible for replacing the entire dash at a cost of over $2,000. I maintain this is a safety issue and if they can afford to spend a million dollars a day on safety (per their advertisements) and are spending even more on pr, they can do a "good will" repair for a loyal customer. To their credit, I should add that they were willing to pay 50% to repair the dash, but it was determined to be "unrepairable" by their upholstery person. I have been going back and forth with them for months now. I am a very principle based person and believe this is wrong considering the age, mileage, etc and should be corrected at their expense especially when others have reported the same problem. Does customer service still exist??

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #8

Apr 122010

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles
Consumers 2003 Toyota Camry has brake problems, water leaks in the trunk and gas reservoir, doors do not close properly releasing air into the driver side door. Smoke would emit from the exhaust on cold starts. The engine valve stem seals were replaced due to loss of tension and oil was leaking into the cylinders. The strut supports were replaced due them being worn. The power steering rack was leaking, the engine mount was cracked and the battery was leaking. The consumer also stated there was a vibration coming from the brakes when they were applied. There was a hole in the dashboard. Updated 04/223/10.

- East Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #7

Jan 012005

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles


The speaker panel behind the back seat has cracked and this has made holes in this back panel. There has never been anything placed in the back window to have created this to happen. We contacted our Toyota dealer and was told it would cost $500 dollars to fix which in my opinion it was caused by faulty material that the Toyota company used. In all of the cars I have bought over the years many different makes this has never happened. I went into a part site to see if this can be replaced and many other Toyota owners had the same problem with this panel. I love my 2003 Toyota Camry but if I have to pay to have this part fixed I will not buy another Toyota. I also emailed the Toyota Corp office and they did not give me any responds to this matter.

- Chatsworth, GA, USA

problem #6

Mar 012003

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
In 3/2003 I purchased a Toyota Camry. Within 1-2 years I noticed minor cracks developing on the two speaker covers at the back of the car under the back window and behind the back seats. The cracks progressed with time but I had forgotten to bring it up to the dealer because the speakers are located in a place I do not normally look and because I thought they were only cheap plastic covers. By 2006 the plastic was actually disintegrating and falling into the loudspeaker assembly creating an ever bigger black hole. The dealer pointed out to me that this problem exists on Camry and that you must replace the whole back panel behind the back seats not just the plastic cover for $450 plus labor. I was told that other Toyota do not have this problem since they use a different vendor for the speaker covers. Since the car was out of warranty Toyota declined to replace the covers. On the advice of the ca nmvb I searched the internet ( and was surprised to find that owners of 2002-2004 Camry have the same problem. I have discovered Camry in parking lots have the same problem. It now appears to me that this problem is a manufacturing defect which Toyota failed to disclose to new Camry buyers. The Toyota dealer also failed to disclose this problem whenever they inspect the car, including the interior, during service. I am requesting that Toyota repair my Camry and return it to its original appearance. I am recommending that a fine be levied on Toyota for failing to disclose a known manufacturing defect to new and used Camry buyers. I believe Toyota should recall all 2002-2004 Camry. The government should also be concerned for the public's potential exposure in the interior of the car to fine particles/gasses from this disintegrating plastic and exposure to toddlers who place their hands in the loudspeakers and then eat potentially toxic material. (see

- Pasadena, CA, USA

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problem #5

Oct 012007


  • miles
2003 Toyota Camry passenger air bag cover coming apart. Consumer is concerned about this gap in between the dashboard and the air bag cover affecting the performance of the air bag if it is needed. The dealer stated the separation appeared to be caused by excessive heat.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #4

Jun 252007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,009 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that there is a gap in the dashboard above the air bag cover. The air bag can be seen through the gap. He took the vehicle to the dealer who stated that the air bag is in still in place and that there is nothing wrong with being able to see the air bag through the gap. The current and failure mileages were 46,009.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #3

Mar 052007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact noticed holes in the rear speaker covers and pieces of the covers had fallen into the trunk of the vehicle. The failure began in March of 2007 and still persists. The dealer agreed to split the cost for parts, but the contact must pay the labor fees. When the windows are rolled down, the speaker cover fragments float around inside the vehicle. The powertrain was unknown. The current mileage is 45,000 and failure mileage was 40,000. Updated 02-01-08 updated 02/01/08

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Nov 012004


  • miles
The vehicle was hit by a semi truck and totaled. None of the vehicle's air bags deployed. The consumer sustained injuries. The headrest was shaped incorrectly for a short person and the windshields reflective properties were distracting when driving on brightly sunlit days.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #1

Oct 312003


  • 5,000 miles
During the day odometer is hard to view. Dealer states that it is the new design for the 2003 models.

- Cinnaminson, NJ, USA

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