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:
149 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
51 / 4
Average Mileage:
37,070 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 5 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #143

Jun 152006

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles


I have a 2003 Toyota Camry 4cyl, le model. On two separate occasions while the cruise/speed control was on, the car has accelerated quickly. Both times, I was able to turn the speed control off and it went back to normal. Since the warranty had run out and it has not happened since, I did not take it in to be looked at. This happened once in 2006 and once in 2007. I do not remember the exact dates (the month/day below is just a guess), but I did want to get this included in any possible problems other were having.

- Clayton, NC, USA

problem #142

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 #141

Feb 252010


  • 55,000 miles
Sudden increase in rpms as I was backing up my car up to my wood rammed into my wood pile and the wheels were still spinning when I finally turned off the car. Same thing happen when I was coasting up to a stop sign Feb 2010.. both times I put all the strength I could on the brake pedal to stop the car. It never stopped in 2009 but I did get it stopped on the 2010 incident because I put the car in neutral. Some minor damage to the back end of the car on the 2009 incident from the car hitting the stack of wood.. went to the dealer and they said it was nothing they could do about it..

- St. Mary, MO, USA

problem #140

Feb 242010


  • 130,000 miles


Was entering a parking spot at walmart in stafford, va. When gas pedal rev up high in my 03 Toyota Camry and ran over steel pole barriers.

- Stafford, VA, USA

problem #139

Feb 242010

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 99,200 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. Yesterday the contact wife experienced an unintended acceleration. The contact stated that the vehicle was parked and upon putting the gear in reverse, the vehicle accelerated across the parking lot and crashed into an iron fence. The contact had the vehicle towed to an authorized dealership and the dealer has informed the contact that the vehicle was destroyed. The police were called and the contact will be obtaining a police report. The passenger hit her head but did not see a doctor. The manufacturer was not contacted as of yet. The failure mileage was 99,200 and the current mileage was 99,220. Updated 04/09/10. Updated 09/16/10

- Clarkesville, GA, USA

problem #138

Dec 312002

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200 miles
I own a 2003 Camry xle purchased new from a local dealer in carson city, nv. I have had problems with the transmission surging, lurching and hesitating since purchased. I requested the service dept to check it out many times. They always said nothing was wrong leading me to believe I was crazy. After the 4th time I printed out many other consumer complaints, they still told me "nothing was wrong" but they said Toyota is putting in a whole new transmission. That was in 2006. Wow, if nothing was wrong why would they go to that expense? now after all that has come to light with the Toyota problems, I see why. I am not comfortable with this car and know that it has the potential for sudden unintended acceleration. Updated 03/19/10

- Carson City, NV, USA

problem #137

Oct 202009


  • 110,000 miles


I am writing about my 2003 Toyota Camry. I have had the same gas pedal sticking problem. I was turning into a parking space and all of a sudden the car revved up and would not stop. I had to use all of my power to stop the car and it would not stop. I had to turn the key off for it to stop. I would like to know if there is any recourse for me. I contacted my local Toyota dealer and they said that my car was not part of the recall. I would not believe this problem if it had not happened to me. That has not happened again but I am very fearful now that I hear that others are having this problem.

- Grants Pas, OR, USA

problem #136

Dec 282006

Camry 6-cyl

  • 33,692 miles
My 2003 Toyota Camry le V6 inexplicably accelerated while I was driving into my garage on Dec 28 2006. The car struck the back of the garage wall and caused the wall to fail and partially fall into my houses den. At the time I assumed I had hit the accelerator instead of applying the brake. When I think back the car really accelerated hard and when it first hit the wall it stopped then lurched forward again. In light of all of the issues surrounding Toyota and unintentional acceleration I suspect the car actually accelerated on its own and I did not touch the accelerator accidentally. The car was repaired and is still owned by our family. I am reluctant to drive it given all of the issues surrounding Toyota acceleration problems.

- Bath (Adolphustown), 00, USA

problem #135

Nov 102009

Camry 6-cyl

  • 44,000 miles
On 11/10/09, while backing out of a parking lot, my vehicle suddenly accelerated colliding with a parked utility truck. My insurance company paid approximately $9800 for repairs to my vehicle. On 1/4/2010 my vehicle suddenly accelerated, coming out of a parking lot, even depressing the brake pedal as hard as I could would not stop the vehicle. I went out into the main traffic stream. Luckily there was no accident, just irate drivers. Each incident lasted only seconds then went to normal operation. I have a 2003 Toyota Camry, xle, V-6 which I purchased new and the mileage was approximately 44,000 miles. I have experienced no other problems but am wondering if I will and when. Have you had any other reports such as mine?

- Mobile, AL, USA

problem #134

Aug 202009


  • 68,000 miles
On August 20, 2009, started my 2003 Toyota Camry. With gear shift in "park", car engine raced as if accelerator was floored. Engine was screaming, I was afraid to shift it into "drive". shut off car and re-started, car idled fine at normal speed. Proceeded to drive car without further incident. Am sure that problem was not caused by my having my foot on the accelerator at the time.this has only occurred once in 74,000 miles and 7 years of family ownership.

- Glen Ridge, NJ, USA

problem #133

Apr 182003


  • 500 miles


I have an 2003 Camry xle which I purchased new in March 2003, I also have a problem with sudden acceleration. It usually occurs only a couple of times a year. I did not report it to the dealer because it was not a continuous problem and not a problem which could be reproduced on command. Until all the publicity the last few months I assumed it was only a problem with my car which happens infrequently.

- Lake Mary, FL, USA

problem #132

Dec 072009


  • 38,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact was driving approximately 5 mph into a parking lot. There was pressure applied to the brake pedal, followed by an unintended acceleration. The vehicle failed to slow down and crashed into an air conditioner unit outside of her residence. There were no personal injuries. The police was called to the scene. The body damage to the vehicle was repaired for $800. The vehicle has not been repaired at this time. The failure mileage was 38,000.

- Jupiter, FL, USA

problem #131

Apr 102007


  • 50,000 miles
In April 2007 I had an accident with my 2003 Toyota Camry. I was backing out of a parking spot and put the car in drive, it accelerated greatly. I put on the brakes and it would not stop. I hit another car and a fence before I could throw it into park and stop it. Had I gone thru the fence, I would have gone into a deep ravine and I would not be here to tell the story. I told the insurance company that day that there was something wrong with the car; it would not stop. I told them they should contact Toyota about it. They told me not to worry, they would cover the damages - around $6000. I told the garage that repaired the car that it would not stop. He said I had to have had my foot on the accelerator and not the brake. No I did not have my foot on the accelerator and it told him so. I told carson city Toyota service manager that something was wrong with the car and later when recalls started, again told him. He said I could not prove it. Had anyone been listening to me 3 years ago, lives might have been saved. I am still angry about it and am looking to replace the car as soon as I can.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #130

Mar 252009

Camry 4-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact was driving into a parking space and the gear was placed into the park position. Suddenly, the engine surged without warning. The vehicle traveled over a curb and crashed into a tree. There were no injuries sustained during the crash. The police was called to the scene and a report was filed. The current and failure mileages were 79,000. Updated 02/26/10 updated 04/29/10

- Greenville, SC, USA

problem #129

Jan 152010

Camry 4-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
2003 Toyota Camry le 4-cylinder. 66,000 miles. Occasional minor "lunging forward" from stationary position. On one occasion, while sitting at a bank drive-up window, there was a rapid increase in gas feed when I depressed the accelerator pedal slightly but when I depressed the brake it returned to normal idling. I am concerned that the problem is related to the general Toyota accelerator problem and could get worse. No accidents to date. Date indicated is only approximate. I would have made a specific notation of the date if I had known about the general problem with Toyota at the time of the incidents. I reported my concern verbally a few days ago to the national Toyota telephone contact (and was told that my call was being recorded) but have not received a reply. Another concern is the general "check engine light" problem that Toyota have. Toyota says the problem is caused by clicking the gas cap more than once when reattaching it after filling up with gas. This seems to be a rather flakey excuse, and I had to pay the dealer to turn off the check engine light more than one year ago but recently received an offer from the dealer to fix these problems for free. Are the accelerator problem and the check engine light problem related to the Toyota computer system?

- Annandale, VA, USA

problem #128

Oct 152005


  • 60,000 miles
In 2005, I was driving East on U.S. hwy 74 between I-26 and shelby, nc in my 2003 Camry. The cruise control was set for 65 mph, the speed limit. A few minutes later, the car began increasing speed to 75 mph. I stepped on the brake and turned off the cruise control to slow down the vehicle. This was the only time this happened. I reported this to a service representative at my Toyota dealership when I returned to chattanooga. He said to let him know if it ever happened again. This year, I sent my dealership and Toyota E-mails reminding them of the problem encountered in 2005. Neither responded. Then, I went to the dealership and talked with a service representative. The gentleman said that Toyota had been having this particular problem with its cruise control for many years (he mentioned a specific piece that was causing the malfunction), but it was not regarded as a safety issue since tapping on the brake disconnected the cruise control.

- Soddy Daisy, TN, USA

problem #127

May 062009


  • 40 miles
Vehicle accelerated on its one in driveway after shifting into drive.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #126

Apr 032008


  • 44,080 miles
Moving at 1 to 2 mph, with my foot on the brake, I was slowing down into a head-in slightly downhill parking space. Then, without any warning the car launched forward, accelerating on its own at full speed over an embankment, through the air over a sidewalk crashing into the side of a parked vehicle which, from the extreme impact, rammed into an adjacent parked car. My foot was still on the brake, never on the accelerator. There were no injuries. A police report was taken. The incident was reported to the Toyota dealer but they took no responsibility and they claimed there was nothing wrong with the car. The car was repaired. Because of my concern for personal safety the car was not driven again until it was traded in for a new Honda. The mileage was 44,080.

- Orinda, CA, USA

problem #125

Nov 282008


  • 50,000 miles
I was parking my 2003 Camry in a mall parking lot when it suddenly accelerated. I had no control and smashed into a parked car. I never had an accident in 60+ years of driving. Now I know it was the Toyota accelerator that caused the crash. My ed morse Toyota dealer in delray beach fl. Turned me away from service saying it is not their problem but I should contact Toyota. I have not been able to reach anyone there. I know it is not in the recall but I told the dealer I want Toyota to know this happened to my 2003 Camry and I want them to find the cause and remedy it. My wife also has a 2003 Camry and we drive them both with fear.

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #124

Jan 182009


  • miles
Previously reported acceleration surge of 2003 Camry while backing out of the garage. Reports of acceleration surges on your site exceed 140 for the 2003 Camry versus (as best I could identify) 29 for the Malibu, 26 for the Accord and 12 for the Taurus, all 2003 models. In light of recent Toyota findings are you going to reopen investigations of the 2003 Camry?...

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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