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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
76,622 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (6 reports)
2003 Toyota Camry engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #6

Mar 022016

Camry LE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,729 miles


On 3/2/2016, I had an accident with injuries and extensive damage.

I had just turned off a busy street onto a parking lot. Another car on my driver's side was at the edge of the parking lot waiting to turn onto the street that I was turning off of. As I eased passed that driver and was preparing to park, my car went into a sudden, unexplained acceleration. My car jumped the parking space curbing, hit a green utility box on the ground and then the back end of the car that was waiting to enter traffic. After hitting the other car, my car eventually came to a stop.

The other driver, an elderly lady, ended up going to the hospital by ambulance. This was a terrible, terrible experience. I had never had a vehicle accident before and I take the Driver's Safety courses for seniors regularly. My brakes and acceleration had done this once or twice before when turning. At those times, I wasn't sure what was happening, so I just decided to be extra careful. Even a few years ago, when going downhill or on uneven pavement, my car would skid before stopping. Either my brakes were new or in good condition, at those times, so I took my car back to the shop to be checked out. No problems detected.

Strangely no one can ever detect a problem after these incidents happen. Yet, after talking to my other friends who own Toyotas, they have experienced some of the same problems. Like me, they too assumed it was something wrong but there seemed to be no answer or solution. WHAT! NO RECALLS? THIS SEEM TO BE A COMMON PROBLEM. THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH! SOMEBODY WITH AUTHORITY NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING!!! ONE LIFE OR EVEN ONE INJURY IS ONE TOO MANY!!!

- , Sherwood, AR, USA

problem #5

Nov 222011

Camry XLE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles

I was sitting in traffic at a long stoplight. The light was still red but cars were intermittently inching forward to close gaps. The car in front of me inched a few feet forward creating about an 8 foot gap. As I eased off the brake to roll forward, the car suddenly accelerated very rapidly as if the gas pedal had been floored----but my foot was still on the brake. The car bolted forward and I slammed on the brakes while steering quickly onto the left shoulder trying to avoid the car ahead of me. The car braked normally but was going so fast that my center front bumper hit the left rear corner of the bumper of the Jeep ahead of me before the car could be stopped. The plastic Jeep bumper did not dent but the flexing of the bumper caused paint to fleck off in several one-inch sections.

I have driven in freeway stop-and-go traffic in my daily 2 hour commute for a year and a half in this car and have done the brake foot-maneuver hundreds and hundreds of times a day without incident. Accident-free driving record. I've put nearly 30,000 miles on this car and never experienced this sudden acceleration problem. The experience was bizarre! I am the second owner of the car and it has been an absolutely superb car until this incident. I am astonished that Toyota is claiming 'driver error' for this sudden unintended acceleration. After this experience, I know it is NOT driver error.

- , Arvada, CO, USA

problem #4

Dec 252009

Camry ES V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

My mother started her 2003 Toyota Camry, put it in gear and the car surged forward without any accelerator input causing her to run into her home. She was injured and was in the hospital for two days. I have seen pages of complaints regarding this same problem. Why is the NHTSB not investigating this accelerator issue? Does there have to be a death before they say "hey" this might be a problem?

- , Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #3

Jun 032008

Camry SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,000 miles


This was the 4th time the car accelerated without warning. I started the car after work, backed out of the parking space, put the car in gear, and roar went the engine and the ca shot forward. I braked as hard as I could, nearly hitting a colleagues car, and put the car in park and shut off the engine. After sitting a moment and restarting the car was OK. This as happened several times since. HELP!

- , Ellington, CT, USA

problem #2

May 272008

Camry SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Drove to doctors office approximately 10 miles. Was in the office for about an hour. Came out and started the car. Upon putting the car in reverse, the car flew backwards, the engine roared, and I had to brake heavily and put the car in park and shut it off. After a minute or so I restarted the car and it was OK.

- , Ellington, CT, USA

problem #1

Mar 042008

Camry SE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 53,000 miles

This was the second time the car accelerated backwards out of my garage upon starting the car and putting it in reverse with my foot on the brake pedal. The engine roared as if to explode, the car shot backwards, and I had to slam on the brake, put the car in park, and shut it off. I nearly hit the side of the garage and was very shaken up. Upon restarting the car, it was OK.

- , Ellington, CT, USA

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