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:
26 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
25 / 0
Average Mileage:
45,695 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

May 012013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 84,800 miles


The passenger airbag cover is been curled up and now it's starting to crack, it seems the airbag will deployed anytime soon. I know there is some issues with airbags deployment in 2003 Camry, I just can't able to find the info and dealer is not the big help either. Thanks

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

Jan 012009

Camry 4-cyl

  • 30,000 miles
I noticed a slight swelling in the area around the passenger side air bag seam. I looked down into the crevice and saw a slight separation. I didn't pay it no mind at the time. Today, the seam split has grown to three inches. I'm concerned that the air bag might deploy and injure a passenger.

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #19

Sep 282012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 109,500 miles
A large gap developed between passenger side airbag cover and the dash board. Inside the gap, a yellow cover, possible airbag, can be seen. No accident involved.

- Exton, PA, USA

problem #18

Sep 072012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 99,000 miles


I am making this report for my mother, who was involved in an accident in which she hit the back of another vehicle. She was going approximately 40-45 mph and ran into a stopped vehicle. The airbag in her vehicle did not engage in the collision. Thank god the seat belt worked. I am filing this report with her name and personal information, except the email address is mine, as she doesn't use email.

- White Cloud, MI, USA

problem #17

Jul 232012


  • 83,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that while driving 60 mph, she noticed that the air bag warning light was illuminated on the instrument panel. Both frontal air bags then deployed erroneously. The contact sustained minor burns to the arms and neck as a result of the air bag deployment. The vehicle was towed to her home and was not taken to the dealer for inspection or repairs. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and the current mileage was 83,000.

- Doral , FL, USA

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problem #16

Mar 012010

Camry 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While driving at approximately 60 mph, the consumer was involved in a crash and the air bags did not deploy. The contact was injured and a police report was filed. The vehicle was totaled. The contact stated that the air bag indicator light illuminated on the instrument panel during the crash and a repair shop informed the contact that undercarriage damage prevented the air bags from deploying. The current and failure mileages were approximately 98,000. Updated 07/01/10 updated 07/02/10. Updated 07/09/10.

- Luna, NM, USA

problem #15

Feb 272010


  • miles


The accident occurred on the 5 freeway going from northern California to southern California, on the grapevine. It was rainy out and during the time of the incident the rain was just softening up. In the far left lane I driven my vehicle at about 55 - 60mph, speed limit was at 65mph. I begin to slow down, and while doing so the car begins to swerve and not react to my brakes. It then turns out to the next lane and begins spinning about 4 times while I pull up the emergency brakes. No car collision happened, but it was headed straight towards the guard rail, where it then hit the left front of the car and then the side left of the car and back left of the car. The car finally braked, with damage to the front, side left, and back of vehicle, blown out both back tires, wouldn't turn on, & no air bags deployed. The accident caused damaged to the vehicle and cracked pavement as well as moved guard reel affected area about a foot in. Passenger had head, neck and back injuries, nothing to serious, just enough to get checked up and sent to the hospital. I believe the speed of the car should have caused the air bags to deploy. Its a 2003 Toyota Camry, I've been the owner for about a year and a half, no accidents prior to this one.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #14

Jan 122010

Camry 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
On January 12, 2010, I had my 2003 Camry detailed (washed inside and out-including the carpet)at a car wash. I proceeded to a nearby mall, where I stopped briefly at a store. Upon exiting the parking lot, I made a full stop at the stop sign. I then proceeded to go by stepping on the accelerator. At this point the car suddenly accelerated to a high speed, and I was not able to stop it, even though I was pressing on the brake. The car went across 3 lanes & up, over, and down a median, continued to go across another 3 lanes and finally came to rest after hitting a tree on another median. To the best of my knowledge, the accelerator became stuck in the down position, and pushing down on the brake to the left of it did not help, nor did the steering wheel turn as I was trying to avoid hitting the tree. Also, please be aware that my front air bag did not deploy. At the time, I had no visible signs of injury, but injuries became apparent soon after, and can be verified by a doctor. A police report is available, if needed. The vehicle was towed to a collision shop, waiting to be repaired. A claim was filed with Toyota manufacturing. The failure mileage was about 52,000. See ODI 10301845

- Delray Beach, FL, USA

problem #13

Nov 012007

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While driving 65 mph, the contact lost control of the vehicle when another motorist cut the consumer off. The consumer could not regain control due to the wind and rain. The vehicle struck the median and was destroyed. The air bags failed to deploy. The police department and paramedic's arrived at the scene. A police report was filed. Three occupants sustained head and neck injuries. The current and failure mileages were 32,000. Updated 12-12-07.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #12

Oct 052007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that the vehicle accelerated at an unknown speed without warning when the gear was shifted into drive. As a result, the vehicle traveled approximately 200 yards and then crashed into a wall. The contact stated that the accelerator pedal stuck and she was unable to depress the brake pedal. The air bag failed to deploy. NHTSA campaign id number 04V346000 (air bags: Side/window) was referenced. A police report was filed. The insurance inspector felt that the electrical system caused the failure. As of October 25, 2007, the manufacturer had not inspected the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 41,000. See 10209036 also.. updated 01/11/08.

- Revere, MA, USA

problem #11

Aug 252007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,500 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. While pulling into a parking space between 3-5 mph, the engine began to rev. The vehicle surged forward when the contact applied more pressure to the brake pedal. The vehicle crashed into a concrete wall and the air bags failed to deploy. Her knees were badly bruised. The hood and front bumper were damaged, but the majority of the damage was on the passenger side of the vehicle. The side panels were moved and misaligned, which impacts the opening and closing of the doors. The purchase date was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 58,500.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #10

Jun 242007


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My passenger side air bag cover looks like is coming apart. I see a good gap between the cover and the dash-board. Inside the airbag cover, I can see a yellow plastic sheet kind of material. I am worried whether it will affect the performance of the airbag or whether if dust or something gets in, it will create problem on its functionality. I took it to the local Toyota dealer, the report says "tech states separation appears to be caused do to excessive heat. Air bags operating as designed. Does not appear to have been tampered with. Cost to replace....". they claim it is not an issue and if I want I can replace my entire dash-board to seal the gap on my expense. 1. it may look fine now what if tomorrow if the cover comes out fully that when I am driving in a highway. 2. anything can get-in in such a big gap. I have photos for evidence. And I have attached it. 3. excessive heat ( the max temperature on this month-June was around 95+) so they mean to say the dash-boards are not designed to withstand that outside temperature ?(probably it will be little more inside). So are they saying excessive summer heat can create a gap between dash-board and air bag cover for any car". air bag is such a critical safety part how can allow such gap between the cover and dash-board for the summer heat?. I am planning to take this to NHTSA to see a pattern. The explanation of excessive heat looks unrealistic. Safety is my first concern not only the person driving or passengers and to the other cars on the road too. If the air bag pops out when I am driving, it can definitely distract any driver. Or if dust gets in it can mal-function too. Whether Toyota is installing a car dash board which cant even withstand sun light temperature ? if that's the case, am I going to see the gap increasing by end of this summer " my incident # with Toyota is : 070625-000298 and my email is documented at their Toyota national headquarters under file #200706260111.

- Wilmington, DE, USA

problem #9

Feb 272007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2003 Toyota Camry accelerated out of control and rear ended second vehicle and then a building before stopping. Operator attempted to stop the vehicle by fully depressing brakes, pumping brakes and shifting to neutral to no avail. Vehicle was brought to dealer for problem in 06/06 and again in 02/07. In 06/06 dealer stated there was a computer problem and an adjustment was made. In 02/07 dealer stated they could not find any problem. Operator state he had four failures before servicing in 2006 and only one failure before bringing it in in 2007. There was direct frontal impact that caused extensive damage, neither air bag deployed. See also 10196913

- Stony Point, NY, USA

problem #8

May 092006

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 44,805 miles
: the contact stated while driving slowly at 1 mph wit foot on the brake pedal, the vehicle accelerated suddenly causing an accident. The vehicle crashed into three other vehicle's causing property damage. The seat belts were in use at the time. The air bags did not deploy. There were no problems prior to this accident. The vehicle was towed to local dealership where they were unable to duplicate the problem. The vehicle has been inspected by Toyota. The police were alerted to the scene and a report was filed. Updated 6/19/2006 -

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #7

Jan 052005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,000 miles
While driving at 35 mph vehicle accelerated without warning. When applying the brakes vehicle accelerated even more. As a result, the vehicle collided into two parked cars and a brick wall. Driver sustained head injuries. The consumer recieved a check $18,636.18 in full payment for auto loss. When the consumer pressed the gas pedal the rpms where high. One airbag deployed.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #6

Nov 292004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,600 miles
I purchased a 2003 Camry new, the vehicle has since been involved in two signifigant frontal collisions in which neither airbag deployed, the latter resulting in injury to myself and my wife. I am alarmed that this is the second occurence of airbag failure on this same vehicle and the degree of injury which could have resulted due to their failure. We are currently contacting the manufacturer to hopefully resolve this matter.

- Mount Airy, NC, USA

problem #5

Nov 012004


  • miles
The vehicle was hit by a semi truck and totaled. None of the vehicle's air bags deployed. The consumer sustained injuries. The headrest was shaped incorrectly for a short person and the windshields reflective properties were distracting when driving on brightly sunlit days.

- Canal Winchester, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 102004


  • miles
While applying the brakes at a toll booth brake pedal went to the floor and vehicle suddenly accelerated. As a result, consumer's vehicle rear end another vehicle. Upon impact, both air bags did not deploy. Driver and passenger sustained head and back injuries, and were transported by ambulance to the hospital. Vehicle was totaled.

- Whiting, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 282004


  • miles
While driving consumer applied the brakes and vehicle suddenly accelerated. Consumer was unable to maintain control of the vehicle, and it hit another vehicle head on. Upon impact, both airbags did not deploy. Consumer had vehicle towed to repair shop, but mechanic was not able to duplicate the problem.

- Waukegan, IL, USA

problem #2

Jan 132004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,980 miles
While making left turns and without any warning steering wheel and brake pedal locked up. As result, consumer was involved in a head on collision, and air bags did not deploy.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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