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:
2 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
82,750 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #13

Sep 252015


  • 110,000 miles


Today I pulled over to drop off child at school, was already to park and car accelerated and hit the car in front of me. My foot was clearly on brake as I was already going no more than 5 miles an hour to park. It was not driver error. That feeling of the car thrusting forward when my foot was on brake was something I never felt before. I called Toyota and checked the recall list the car is not listed. I am sending it tomorrow to Toyota for service. The impact was so hard, my body is completely tense even 5 hours later. The thrust was not driver error, thank god for the car in front of me that I hit or else would have been worse. All I could do out of panic was put the car in park but I think it stopped because I hit the car in front of me.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #12

Feb 282015


  • 180,000 miles
Car had been driven to get gas 1/2 mile down road. When returned from gas station we pulled onto property, turned off car and there were flames coming from the hood. Fire dept arrived and put out the fire. Total loss for car.

- Hixson, TN, USA

problem #11

Jul 162014

Camry 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
While driving the car, the engine and electrical components suddenly shut off. The first few times this happened, I was able to simply re-start the car with everything working again. I then brought the car to 3 different mechanics who could not find anything wrong with the battery or alternator (or anything else). The problem was erratic so it never occurred with the mechanics. Now the problem occurs occasionally when I turn the headlights or brights of the car on. The last time it happened (10/11/14) was while I was driving about 60 mph. The engine shut out, the dash lights went off (as well as all the other electrical things: Gps, ac, radio, etc). Even the flashers would not turn on. Then, in a matter of moments, everything turned on again. The car's engine did not even need to be restarted. I was able to keep driving without incident for 20+ miles. This incident has happened a total of about 3-4 times in the past, however, it was not triggered in the past by turning the lights on. There was no apparent trigger at all. The problem is erratic and does not happen all the time.

- Milledgeville, GA, USA

problem #10

Sep 232014


  • miles


The low beam headlights don't work as they should. Have adjusted them, installed new bulbs as well as installed the brightest bulbs available with no success at getting them to illuminate the highway at night as they should. I have also polished the lenses to verify if that was the issue as well, but with no improvement. They are very low intensity and not safe at all the Toyota dealer said there was nothing they could do and the repair manager said his venza has the same issue. I must use the bright beams to drive at night. On another note, I was not aware of this website until recently, or I would have reported this a lot sooner.

- Oak Hills, CA, USA

problem #9

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 #8

Sep 102012


  • 143 miles
I heard about the recall that Toyota had on or about Tuesday 10/9/2012 on the pwms drivers side last month I starting having this problem and all of a sudden there is a recall, so I E-mail Toyota to let them know that my Toyota was having the same problem and wasn't it included the auto button starting sticking and the window sometimes sticks trying to go down, they stated that my car was no longer in warranty I didn't think a recall had anything to do with a warranty, my 2003 means the same to me as a person who has a 2007 that may not still have a warranty. My window had not done this before this time stated, my last answer from ask Toyota stated that the 2003 is not included so I did ask them to let me know who the reporting Agency was but I started to do a little research on my on and I found your Agency. I paid for my Toyota the same as a person with a 2007 or 2009. Please help with some info.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #7

Jun 132012


  • 71,003 miles


The key is unable to manually open the drivers' side door. The key fob still is able to unlock all doors. However, there is no way possible to use the key in the key hole to open the door. The key will not turn and disengage the door lock.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #6

Apr 062012


  • 139,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While parked, the check engine light illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostics where the technician replaced two oxygen sensors. After the repair the check engine light illuminated intermittently and the contact noticed that the interior lights, radio and the mileage on the instrument panel continued to illuminate after the key was removed from the ignition. The contact replaced the battery but the failure continued. On another occasion while driving approximately 10 mph the vehicle stalled without warning. There were no further repairs performed to the vehicle. The approximate failure mileage was 139,000.

- Mclean, VA, USA

problem #5

Apr 102010

Camry 4-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Defective throttle body after starting the car and putting the car in gear, the check engine light appears and the gas pedal has no effect on the engine. The car will idle along while in drive; however, pressing the gas pedal does nothing. The check engine error code points to the throttle body. My mechanic says that the throttle body is stuck in the "closed" position when this error happens. I've read about the numerous Toyota Camry owners who have all experienced problems with the throttle body on their vehicles at -- -- it seems that Toyota dealerships all state that they have never heard of this problem occurring and continue to charge upwards of $1200 to replace an obviously defective throttle body with a new throttle body that still has the same defective design. Essentially, the dealership wants to swap out one defective throttle body for another defective throttle body. Similarly, Toyota corporate in torrance, ca denies that the throttle body problem is caused by a product defect. Most likely this is due to the high cost of the part and expense to institute a recall of the throttle body. A cursory review of the online message boards concerning the throttle body failures for Toyota Camry owners shows that this component in particular is failing too often to be chalked up to bad luck or normal wear and tear. A consumer class action is appropriate for this sort of defect. I would assume that an expert witness could testify as to the defect and opine as to the statistical significance of the throttle body failing more than any other component in the Toyota Camry.

- Los Alamitos, CA, USA

problem #4

Mar 252009


  • 79,000 miles
2003 Toyota Camry xle 4-cyl with 79,000 miles. I was pulling into a parking space, car started revving. When I shifted into park, it revved out of control, jumped a curb and sidewalk, and crashed into a tree. That was the only thing that stopped the car. Bruised and shaken but no lasting injuries for me or passenger. Toyota claimed they never heard of sudden acceleration and closed my inquiry.

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #3

Feb 022010


  • 29,110 miles


Car accelerated, could not stop in 5 different incidents. The latest one was on backing out of garage. Pressed hard on brake and car stopped just short of hitting another car.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #2

Apr 012007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that there is a glitch in the computer that prevents the vehicle from stopping safely. The failure has occurred twice while driving 35 mph. The vehicle will be taken to the dealer. The current mileage is 90,000 and failure mileage was 87,000.

- Las Cruces, NM, USA

problem #1

Sep 102004

Camry 4-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Engine light has been coming on frequently for the last 30 to 35K miles and headquarter Toyota has charged me too replace several different items related to the computer code given, totaling some $1,200 and now they have had my car for nearly 1-month and now says they can not fix the problem we went today too pickup the car, of course their is no further paper work except that they checked the car in back in September/2006. I have been charged for all types of cures for which they too did not work, not afforded a rental replacement but for 3 prior days "??"

- Miami Gardens, FL, USA

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