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

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Toyota Camry:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 6 of 12)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #123

Mar 122007


  • 103,000 miles


I purchased a used Toyota Camry, 2003 model, from a san antonio, Texas car dealer in January, 2007. At the time the car had about 103,000 miles. I was driving on the highway at about 65 miles per hour when suddenly the car's engine revved up, there was a easily perceptible jolt and the vehicle accelerated by itself. About 2-3 seconds later I stepped on the brake pedal, very hard. The car acceleration rate went slightly down, engine rpms still high, and I could barely keep control of the car, so I became concerned (almost feared) of losing control of the vehicle. After about 30-40 seconds, rpms went back to more normal levels, although the vehicle engine was still accelerated. At that moment I was driving at about 65 miles per hour and if I had let go on the brake the car would have accelerated on its own. Afterwards, and for bout 15 minutes (15-16 miles) I took my foot off the brake and gas pedals and the car cruised on its own at about 65 mph. I finally got home, parked the car and next time I used it experienced no problems. I don't recall if I had similar incidents later on.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #122

Jan 092010


  • 123,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While driving approximately 5 mph into a parking space the vehicle accelerated and crashed into a store. There were no injuries. A police report is available. The vehicle was towed to a dealer, repaired and inspected by a technician who was unable to find the cause of the failure. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 123,000.

- Cleveland, TN, USA

problem #121

Oct 222005


  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact was backing out of her driveway. There was not an application to the accelerator pedal or brake pedal, suddenly there was an unintended acceleration. The driver applied pressure to the brake pedal and was able to slow down. The identical failures occurred on four separate occasions. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunction. The failure mileage was 60,000. The current mileage was 130,000.

- Nutley, NJ, USA

problem #120

Jan 222009


  • 43,587 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While driving 15 mph, the contact attempted to apply the brakes to slow the vehicle down; however, it accelerated rapidly while driving down a hill. The contact and passenger were forced to apply extreme pressure to the brake pedal in order to slow the vehicle down. The vehicle crashed into some small trees which caused damage to the passenger mirror, parking lens, and the washer fluid container. The contact shut the vehicle off for approximately 15 minutes, restarted it and was able to safely drive the vehicle to his residence. The following day the dealer was unable to find the cause of the failure; however, the damages were repaired. The contact is concerned about the safety risk since the accelerator was sticking and caused the failure to occur. The failure mileage was 43,587. Updated 03/04/10.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #119

Dec 182008


  • 52,500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that as she drove through a green light, the vehicle in front of her stopped short and when she applied the brakes, the vehicle failed to stop. She crashed into the vehicle in front of her since the accelerator pedal became stuck. There were no injuries. She also stated that brakes failed intermittently. She has not contacted the dealer or the manufacturer. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was 54,867. The failure mileage was approximately 52,500.

- Stevens Point, WI, USA

problem #118

Aug 012009


  • 102,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact placed the vehicle in reverse gear, slightly pressed the accelerator pedal and the RPM's rapidly increased without warning and continued to increase until the contact shut the engine off. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current and failure mileages were 102,000.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #117

Jan 122010


  • 52,700 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While driving 5 mph the vehicle accelerated across the parking lot and as she depressed the brake pedal the vehicle would not stop and crashed into a tree. There were no injuries. A police report is available if needed. The vehicle was towed to a dealer to be repaired. A claim was filed with the Toyota manufacturer. The failure mileage was 52,700. See ODI 10306036

- Del Ray Beach, FL, USA

problem #116

Nov 012009


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While entering a parking space, the vehicle suddenly accelerated over an embankment, and then into a cement wall. The driver received injuries to the lower part of the body. The insurance company took the vehicle to the body shop. The insurance company also investigated the accelerator, and concluded that nothing was wrong with the vehicle. However, two years prior the vehicle suddenly accelerated several times. When the failure occurred he was able to regain vehicle control, the failure mileage was 55,000. The current mileage was 60,000.

- Plymouth , MN, USA

problem #115

Aug 272003


  • 3,000 miles
2003 Toyota Camry xle while stopped with foot on the brake in a line of cars waiting for the traffic light to turn green, car suddenly accelerated and crashed into the rear of the car in front causing significant front-end damage to our car. Again, the driver's foot was on the brake. The floor mat (1) was all the way back against base of the seats and not in the area of the accelerator pedal and (2) the mat is by design, cut back 3 to 4 inches short of the carpeted area under, near and around the accelerator pedal, and (3) the base and rear of the accelerator pedal are suspended 2 1/2 to 3 inches away from the carpeted floor and it is very difficult to press the accelerator to a position close to the floor--and it definitely beyond the pedal travel distance that drivers would/could press on the accelerator pedal. Problem was reported to Toyota dealer service associate who said "no problem found." Problem continues to occur periodically, but we now know to press down harder than normal when stopped at traffic lights and in stop and go traffic. (we also noted a similar problem with our 2006 Toyota Camry xle--but the problem happens when car is in reverse. When starting up in the morning and backing out of the garage with foot covering the brake (and not on the accelerator pedal), the engine rpms suddenly accelerate and if you aren't aware of the problem and don't have your foot on the brake, the car can speed up significantly and go out of control. This problem was also reported to Toyota dealer service associate who also said: "no problem found.") see also 10174244, same complainant, different vehicle.

- Greenwich, CT, USA

problem #114

Nov 212009


  • 70,050 miles
On 2 occasions the gas pedal has stuck on my 2003 Toyota Camry. On the first occasion, it occurred while I was on the highway traveling forward with the transmission in drive. The 2nd occasion was on Saturday, November 21, when I put the car in reverse. On both occasions I was able to get the car under control by forcefully stepping on the brake pedal, but the second time this occurred was a very near accident - came within inches of hitting a parked vehicle.

- Broad Run, VA, USA

problem #113

Mar 232009

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While attempting to turn at 40 mph the vehicle began to accelerate without intention. After repeated brake application he was able to stop the vehicle. Shortly afterwards while reversing out of a parking space, the vehicle rapidly accelerated. He was able to stop the vehicle by using the same method. He was in process of taking the vehicle to the dealer for inspection. The current mileage was approximately 80,000. The failure mileage was approximately 78,000. Updated 2/26/10 the dealer was unable to find any problems/ updated 05/17/10.

- Broad Run, VA, USA

problem #112

Dec 192006


  • miles
First, let me say that I am and remain a satisfied Toyota customer. However, I have experienced the "stuck accelerator" type of incident in my 2003 Camry on numerous occasions. At first, I considered it to be some sort of rare event. It did seem to me that the floor mat and the accelerator pedal were somehow "jammed" when that happened. Currently, with the news about others having the same experience, with newer models of Camry, I want to alert NHTSA that the problem may exist in model years as far back as 2003. Norman F carnahan, PE, phd

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #111

Oct 172008


  • 60,399 miles
This morning I filed a safety complaint about my 2003 Toyota Camry xle due to the sudden acceleration without warning problem. At that time I gave incorrect failure mileage as 50,000 miles. When I checked my records of mileage at gas fill ups I found the following: 24 July 2008: Mileage at time of incident was between 58026 and 58444. 28 Aug 2008: Mileage was between 59090 and 59463. 17 Oct 2008: Mileage was between 60257 and 60540. Mileage at time of accident was approximately 60399. 14 Oct 2009: Mileage was between 64205 and 64532. That is as close as I can pin down the failure mileage. I used the 10/17/2008 date for approx. Incident date because that was the one time that our car hit the vehicle in front of us. The other three times we did not have an accident. I trust you can put this information with the report I filed this morning. Note: My E-mail address may change within the next week or so as I am planning on hooking up to high speed internet access. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Charles & algene ashworth

- Richmond(Henrico), VA, USA

problem #110

Oct 172008


  • 50,000 miles
Sudden acceleration without warning: 2003 Toyota Camry xle: Four incidents to date: While driving car it began to accelerate rapidly without warning. Taking foot off accelerator and putting onto brake did not get the car slowed down. Had to cut off ignition at the key switch. The only thing in common was that each time this occurred it had been either damp, misty, raining or raining hard. This is not an accelerator pedal/floor mat problem. It is a throttle problem! our floor mat was locked down and did not get near the accelerator pedal but we removed the floor mat anyway. Incidents as follows: 24 July 2008 - traveling to roanoke va South on I-81. Female owner driving. Cruise control on. Daytime. Raining gently. Car made a roaring sound (like revving the motor while in neutral) and suddenly increased speed rapidly. We got the car stopped without an accident. 28 Aug 2008- traveling to roanoke va South on I-81. Female owner driving. Cruise control on. Night. Raining very hard. Car suddenly made the roaring sound and the car accelerated rapidly. We got the car stopped without an accident. 17 Oct 2008 - on a city street in lynchburg va. Male owner driving. Cruise control off. Daytime. Had been raining hard all day. Driving slowly in heavy traffic. Car made roaring sound and accelerated rapidly. Car hit vehicle in front of it. No serious damage. 14 Oct 2009- traveling on city street in henrico va. Male owner driving. Cruise control off. Slowing down to make a left turn. Morning and just starting a misty rain. Car made roaring sound and car accelerated rapidly. No accident. Mcgeorge Toyota, broad St., henrico(richmond)va has made every effort they know to try to find out what caused these incidents, without results. They kept the car and drove it in good and rainy weather and did not duplicate the problem. They called the engineers in California who don't have answers.

- Richmond (Henrico) , VA, USA

problem #109

Sep 192009


  • 30,000 miles
I was slowly pulling into a parking spot at the mall and the car suddenly accelerated and I crashed into a tree. The engine sounded like it was driving 100mph. I called the Toyota dealer and they said it was probably due to the car mats. I don't believe that because my mats were in place after the crash. There was major damage to the car and the tree.

- Skokie, IL, USA

problem #108

Jun 202009


  • 84,900 miles
2003 Toyota Camry involved in an 8 car accident on 6/20/09. Car accelerated uncontrollably and driver was unable to stop car.

- Warrington, PA, USA

problem #107

May 052008


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. When the contact started the vehicle. Suddenly, an unintended acceleration occurred without application to the brake and accelerator pedals. The engine RPM's began to increase. The contact could not stop the vehicle with applying pressure to the brake pedal. The identical failure occurred on a separate occasion while at a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The vehicle has not been repaired. The contact had concerns of the safety risk involved. Failure mileage was unknown. The current mileage was 81,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #106

Aug 312009


  • 34 miles
I purchased a 2003 Toyota Camry in the fall of 2002. One week after the purchase I was at a stop sign, with my foot on the brake, and the car suddenly accelerated. I tapped the accelerator but the engine continued to accelerate with the tachometer reading nearly 9,000 RPM's. I turned the engine off with the ignition. The next day I called my dealer (fitzgerald Toyota, chambersburg, pa.) and reported the incident and it was suggested I had stepped on the accelerator vs. The brake. I didn't argue the point and the car performed fine up until two weeks ago when the same thing happened twice within three days. I spoke with fitzgerald Toyota yesterday (jay newcomer) to ascertain if anyone else had reported a similar problem. I was told "fitzgerald hadn't heard anything about a problem with sudden acceleration. This morning I checked on the internet and found this problem was fairly common with Toyota's of that year plus other year's models. Is the NHTSA aware of a problem with Toyota's and sudden acceleration?

- Waynesboro, PA, USA

problem #105

Aug 152008


  • 37,335 miles
I backed out of my driveway, and while stepping on the brake, preparing to shift to drive, the vehicle suddenly accelerated and the car backed at high speed into my neighbor's driveway, and would only stop after crashing into a brick wall. The car was towed to a body repair company, and was repaired at great cost. Toyota inspected it and found no defect. Since then the car has started accelerating several times, when my foot was not on the gas pedal, but I was able to slow it down.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #104

Aug 152008


  • 130,000 miles
My wife was pulling into our daughters daycare to drop her off as she does every morning and while pulling into the parking spot and when applying the brake the vehicle surged forward at a high throttle speed jumped the curb and went crashing into the building. Even pumping the brakes didn't stop the car. The only way to get the vehicle to stop going forward was to jam the gear selector into reverse and then the vehicle went backwards at a high rate of speed (brakes still didn't work) and then had to jam the gear selector to park to stop the vehicle. Update as of today. Our vehicle is currently at a Toyota dealership and service center and the service manager said there is no problem with the brakes, and we are scared of the through of driving this vehicle again. It seems to be a electronic issue and connected to the speed control. I have found a message board on the internet where 97 other similar incidents have been reported. And Toyota does a recall on the floor mats? hmm I smell a cover-up and a possible class action lawsuit.

- Saint Johns, FL, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?