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:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
28,688 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #52

Dec 012011

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles


I was approaching a stop sign getting ready to stop when I realized I was unable to stop. Finally after really pushing hard I got stopped in the middle of the street and I heard the gas accelerating. I almost hit a back end side of a car without the people even knowing what happen.

- Mineral City, OH, USA

problem #51

Jun 132008


  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that he experienced brake failure several times while driving 60 mph, causing him to be involved in three vehicle crashes crashing into the rear of two vehicles and the driver side of another. There was one reported injury. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but the dealer did not perform a diagnostic test for the brake failure. The manufacturing engineer examined the event data recorder but there was no recorded brake failure. The vehicle was not further repaired. The failure mileage was 87,000 and the current mileage was 191,600.

- Kansas City , MO, USA

problem #50

Jul 312010


  • 80,000 miles
I got in the car and attempted to move it from the garage to my driveway. When I stepped on the accelerator the car surged and spiraled out of control. The accelerator 'locked' and I was unable to stop the vehicle as the brake would not work. The car crashed in my neighbor's yard against his tree.

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #49

Jul 252010


  • 88,500 miles


I have a 96 and 03 Toyota Camry and my wife was driving and she hit the brakes and could not stop. She continued hitting the brakes and lost control of the car and hit a beam under a bridge. I am glad she didn't get hurt but the front of the car was badly damaged. This has been going on for a while. I have had different car mechanics tell me there was nothing wrong with the brakes. I would like to know if anybody has an answer on what I can do.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #48

Apr 282010


  • 54,465 miles
For over four years I have been asking Toyota dealer to look at the brakes on my 2003 Camry. The brake pedal depresses over half way before it grabs. I had to stop fast two months ago and the pedal was to the floor and I skidded to the side before the brakes grabbed. The dealer inspected the brakes and they were fine, they said that the pedal was working just fine and they could not adjust the pedal free play. I feel that this is a dangerous situation and they won't do any thing about it. They said there is no recall regarding the brakes or pedal on a 2003 Camry.

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

problem #47

May 132010


  • miles
When I apply my brakes on ice, my ABS system immediately activates and slows my 2003 Toyota Camry down. When I apply my brakes on dry roads, (coming up on a red light for instance), and hit a bump or pothole in the road, the brakes immediately release. After a 1-2 second delay, the ABS system activates. Those two seconds have nearly caused numerous crashes over the life of this vehicle.

- Oconomowoc, WI, USA

problem #46

Mar 152010


  • 500 miles


Since the car was new it has had strange sounds in the steering column. The local Toyota dealer dismissed it as normal sounds related to the weather [it is cold out or it is hot outside]. the sound progressively became worse. I had the power steering fluid changed and was told by the repair shop that it had the wrong fluid. The fluid was the product the car was delivered with. I am the original owner of the vehicle. After changing the fluid and having a wheel alignment done- the sounds (loud squeaking) persisted. I took the car recently to a different Toyota dealership and they "greased" the steering column which eliminated the squeaking, but now clunking can be heard from the steering column. The mechanic at the Toyota dealership cautioned me to "keep my eye on this" because it sounds like the steering column is bad. This Toyota only has 28,000 miles on it, has never been in an accident, and has been dealer maintained. I find it suspicious that no mention of a bad steering column was made while the car was under warranty. I drive the car as little as possible because I am frightened to use it. I have also had problems with the brakes on this car. The brake problems date back to the day I drove the car home (new) from the dealership. The steering problems started almost immediately. This car should be recalled and repaired at the manufacturers expense for the steering problems.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #45

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 #44

Mar 182010


  • 44,000 miles
My wife's was driving our 2003 Toyota Camry xle to store when coming to casual stop hit brake pedal and had lost all braking power while merging onto exit. My wife kept pumping the brakes until after 8-10 pumps of brake pedal car finally regained braking power. She was telling me she was almost prepared to run the car off the road into ditch to avoid rear-ending cars in front of her. My wife was scared and upset and said she won't put our 2 year old daughter or 7 years old son in this car ever again. I have had intermittent loss of brakes problem since new. When we take it to the dealer the tell us that there is nothing they can find wrong. This has happened 10 times since new, but this event being the worst. I am calling dealer tomorrow morning to get this problem resolved. My wife does not want the car and strongly believes the problem won't be fixed because it is a engineering problem not a maintenance problem. I am sure of all the times we took the car to the dealer for this issue that they cannot find a problem with the brakes when it was under warranty. I am sure that when I take it there tomorrow not under warranty they will turn this engineering problem into a profit maker. The car is a garage kept car with 44,000 mile and new front and rear brakes pads at 40,000. My wife and I read many of the complaints on braking problems and are exactly what we experience on our Toyota Camry xle. I was not in the car so I'm not sure it was brakes or accelerator. My opinion is it has something to do with the antilock braking system. When car was new I had a panic stop on highway on a hot summer day. I hit the brakes hard and rear tires locked up and skidded all the way down to 30 mph from 65mph. If this car has ABS how can you skid the rear tires at anytime. Dealer claimed to find nothing wrong every time. Tomorrow at the dealership should be interesting, my wife wants me to trade it in and swears she won't drive it ever again.

- West Chester, PA, USA

problem #43

Feb 272010


  • miles
The accident occurred on the 5 freeway going from northern California to southern California, on the grapevine. It was rainy out and during the time of the incident the rain was just softening up. In the far left lane I driven my vehicle at about 55 - 60mph, speed limit was at 65mph. I begin to slow down, and while doing so the car begins to swerve and not react to my brakes. It then turns out to the next lane and begins spinning about 4 times while I pull up the emergency brakes. No car collision happened, but it was headed straight towards the guard rail, where it then hit the left front of the car and then the side left of the car and back left of the car. The car finally braked, with damage to the front, side left, and back of vehicle, blown out both back tires, wouldn't turn on, & no air bags deployed. The accident caused damaged to the vehicle and cracked pavement as well as moved guard reel affected area about a foot in. Passenger had head, neck and back injuries, nothing to serious, just enough to get checked up and sent to the hospital. I believe the speed of the car should have caused the air bags to deploy. Its a 2003 Toyota Camry, I've been the owner for about a year and a half, no accidents prior to this one.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #42

Dec 282009


  • 88,000 miles


Twice last year the car just took off accelerating on its own and when I tried to use the brake to stop the car it just kept going. The first time I could not control the car by using the brakes and it finally stopped after it went down the street a ways and over a curb. The car had been parked and I had just started up the car putting my foot on the gas pedal when the car went out of control. The second time I had entered a parking garage, stopped to take a ticket from a machine and when I applied the gas it took off. I applied the brake and tried to steer the car out of danger. It finally hit a cement block, bouncing back going forward again before it stopped. Both times I took it to the Toyota dealer and they checked it out and could not find anything wrong. The second time in December 2009 they told me of the problem regarding the gas pedal and the carpet, which they said was ok on my car and told me if it happened again to put the car in neutral and the wheels would stop turning. They also said they were working on a recall but that my car would not be a part of it as the problem did not exist until 2005 on Camry.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #41

Dec 012007


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The driver stated that when she drove on uneven pavement, over a bump or down a hill she tried to apply the brake pedal in order to stop the vehicle and was unsuccessful. The driver stated that it felt as if her wheels were bouncing. The driver also stated that it sounded as if it were coming from the right side of the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The failure mileage was 47,000. The current mileage was 60,000.

- Philadelphia, PA, USA

problem #40

Oct 012009


  • miles
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry. I frequently experience excessive engine acceleration when initially putting the car in drive. Also, on occasion, the brake and accelerator pedals engage at the same time, which may or may not be an operator issue. I brought the car in for repairs to Toyota service center last year but they said it involved the electronic controls and there was nothing they could do. Seems that the Toyota repair people knew about the problem already.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #39

Dec 122004


  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. Whenever the contact attempted to apply the brakes at any speed he had to pump the brake pedal several times in order to slow down the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the vehicle was performing normally. The contact noticed the failure since the day the vehicle was purchased. The current and failure mileages were 90000.

- Reisterstown, MD, USA

problem #38

Jan 312010


  • 96,000 miles
2003 Toyota Camry le we have a 1999 Toyota Camry and a 2003 Toyota Camry. My wife generally drives the 2003 Camry. I have always felt that the brakes were unresponsive or pressing the brakes would generally cause the car to skid irrespective of road conditions - wet /dry. I have taken the care to the shop to check if there was a leak in the brake system, ensured that the brake pads were new etc. 3 weeks ago I was in a rear end collision - I had plenty of room to stop and hit the brakes and the car did not slow down and continued to skid. I used the car in front to effectively halt our car. With all the discussion of the Toyota recalls, I believe there are more cars that Toyota is not revealing. After the accident, I drove the 1999 Camry and there is definitely a difference I the responsiveness and performance of the brakes/braking system.

- Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #37

Oct 172009


  • 65,000 miles
I have a car Toyota Camry 2003 and had two car accidents (crash) in the past five years because of the brake failure.

- Garnet Valley, PA, USA

problem #36

Sep 242004


  • 16 miles
2003 Toyota Camry. We have had the car since new. I always thought there was a problem with the brakes-the pedal nears the floor before braking action begins. Reported to dealer numerous times. They maintain the brakes are fine and up to specs. I had the front rotors and pads changed along with new shoes on the rear-even though the original parts were not worn out-and stopping improved although there is still an awful lot of pedal travel before braking takes place. I feel there is a problem with the master cylinder that should be rectified by Toyota motor co. I think the recent events with their vehicle recalls is just the tip of the iceberg.

- Ladysmith, 00, USA

problem #35

Oct 232009


  • 118,000 miles
I have experienced braking problems similar to those prompting the prius recall since approximately October, 2009. If the brake is engaged on rough pavement (bumpy, potholes, etc), it shudders and does not engage for several seconds even when the pedal is depressed completely to the floor. I have had the rotors and pads replaced within the last six months and have had the ABS sensors cleaned and lines inspected with no improvement. The problem occurs on both wet and dry pavement.

- Commerce, MI, USA

problem #34

Jan 072010


  • 1,500 miles
I watched the cnn evening news coverage yesterday, February 9 on the prius recall due to a brake problem. The cnn news reporter actually owns a prius and was relaying her experience. Her story resonant with me because I have continually had the same problem with my 2003 Camry. Though I have taken it back to the dealer a number of times and the technician has examined the vehicle, including road tests, no mechanical problem is found.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #33

Nov 132009


  • 60,000 miles
I am finding that the brakes on my 2003 Camry le do not slow the car when I hit a pot hole or defect in the road. This has occurred more than 5 times in last year when I brake while going over a pot hole

- Allendale, NJ, USA

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