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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 1
Average Mileage:
58,485 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #12

Aug 102007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Began to hear rattling noise shortly before taking car to dealer for 90,000 mile servicing. Advised by dealer that intake manifold was broken and needed to be replaced at a cost of $600. Had manifold replaced under extended warranty.

- Brunswick, OH, USA

problem #11

Feb 202007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles
Toyota dealer advises replacement of intake manifold on 2003 Camry 4-cylinder due to loud rattling noise. Technical service bulletin addresses this issue. Many similar complaints noted.

- Bradford, RI, USA

problem #10

Jul 082006

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,600 miles
My 2003 Toyota Camry, which I maintained in a normal manner, w/appropriate oil changes. The oil light came on, I put in 1 qt of oil, the light went off. A short time later, I drove the car and it started making a loud clacking sound, check engine light came on. I drove it home and parked it; called a mechanic to come take a look. He said it was the engine and needed to be taken to a Toyota dealership, and we could not drive it at all. I towed it to the closest dealership, approximately 30 miles away. They checked it over couple of days, then called and said the engine had sludge in it, and needed a $7,000-$8,000 repair. They also said it was my fault, because the oil had obviously not been changed properly. When I purchased the car, the Toyota dealer talked me into a $999 extended warranty plan, which he assured me would cover any major issues that might come up with a car -- their tender loving care package. Now the warranty (which Toyota is distancing themselves from, saying is an outside company, therefore not anything to do with them) company denied the repair. Also, Toyota denied covering the repair, even though I have researched and found tons of material online indicating that they've had an ongoing problem with the Camry engines and sludge issues. It looks like thousands of consumers have had the same problem, and Toyota always says it is the owner's fault. I had regular oil changes, and have some of the records. I do not have all of the receipts, but have well over half of them. The car has 96,000 miles on it, and the extended warranty is for 100,000 miles. Toyota should fix the engine properly at their expense. A $7-8K repair is a monumental expense for our family. This may not seem like a safety issue, but I believe it is, as an engine locking up or stopping cold could present a serious driving issue, and certainly seems to be a very broad problem with the Toyota Camry.

- Apex, NC, USA

problem #9

Jan 052006

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,430 miles


: the contact stated a hissing noise was coming from the engine immediately after starting the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the local dealership, and the problem was diagnosed as an intake manifold leak, and the intake manifold was replaced. Updated 2/7/2006 -

- Valley Stream, NY, USA

problem #8

Oct 152005


  • miles
Intake manifold failure on 2003 Toyota Camry 2.4 engine (Toyota motor co.) will not replace. They know that they have a problem because they replaced them with a new type of intake manifold. My Camry has 65000 miles.

- Stem, NC, USA

problem #7

Oct 052005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Toyota Camry. The engine I 2003 Toyota Camry caught on fire. Had not contacted dealership or the manufacturer. Did not notice anything unusual about the way vehicle was operating before the fire started. The consumer called the fire department. The fire department said it was up to the insurance company to investigate how the fire started. Did not know if it was an electrical or fuel. The engine compartment was burned completely. Vehicle was damaged by the fire. Called the police department, they said it was the highway patrol department who needed to do the report. Took pictures of vehicle at the junk yard. Vehicle had all the original parts. There was no injuries or property damage outside of vehicle.

- Sanbernardino, CA, USA

problem #6

Jul 052004

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


While driving 55 mph vehicle stalled. Consumer was unable to restart vehicle, and had it was towed to the dealer for inspection. Mechanic determined that the engine needed to be replaced, and replaced it. However, the problem recurred.

- Wheaton, MD, USA

problem #5

Jul 162004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,000 miles
The consumer parked the vehicle and the engine burst into flames. Vehicle was totaled.

- Fillmore, CA, USA

problem #4

Sep 152003

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,549 miles
We purchased a new 2003 Toyota Camry le.after about 6 months or so we began to hear a water sloshing sound under our dashboard.we thought maybe it was because our driveway was at a slope and maybe the position the car was in, the fluids were rushing through the we parked in the street.the same noise continued when we braked, turned and stopped.after trying to remedy the problem we took our car to the dealership and they test drove the car and said"oh, that's a normal engine sound" I said I don't think so and went to another dealership who said that it sounds like air in the hoses.they bled the system and it worked for a couple of days and then returned.back to the dealership 5 more times.finally they threw up their hands and said for us to give them 60 more days to try to figure out the problem which it was now in can they try to figure out the problem if we still had the car in our posession? we continued to drive this car putting on miles not knowing that when they buy back your car they deduct the miles from the cost of which they pay you on the lemon law had they kept the car, knowing they couldn't remedy the problem, our monies would have been more.they are buying our car back and we feel extremely cheated.we bought a new vehicle. Not a Toyota.

- Cibolo, TX, USA

problem #3

Mar 262004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30 miles
I purchased a 2003 Toyota Camry on 7/14/03. When my son rode with me on 3/18/04 and 3/26/04, he heard a clicking noise that I was unable to hear. I took it to the dealer on 3/26/04. The car has about 4000 miles. The problem was first diagnosed as a bearing in a rod. They received permission from Toyota to pull out the engine and found another rod to be bad. They then determined the crankshaft was faulty. I have also read the comments on the brakes. Although I have never had the pedal go to the floor, the pedal does depress further than with other cars. These are anti-lock brakes.

- Jacksonville, AR, USA

problem #2

Sep 242003


  • miles
While driving at 40 mph vehicle lost complete power without warning.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #1

May 292003

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
2003 V6 Camry has engine surges/shuddering through all speeds. Is really noticeable AT38-40 mph. Diagnostics showed engine computer needed to be reprogramed - problem was more noticeable when driving in citty where speeds were more increased and decreased. Continued to take back to dealership.

- Ellabell, GA, USA

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