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:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
16 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,011 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

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

problem #17

Aug 012010


  • miles


I have a 2003 Toyota, Camry with 50,000 miles on it that has been well maintained (at my expense at the local dealership where I purchased it). I live in Oregon where we have seasons so it only gets hot a few months out of the year and I use a sun visor during the summer for protection. In the front passenger side of my car where the airbag is in the dash, the rectangular indentation (like a seam) around the airbag has completely separated at the top exposing yellow foam and has me very concerned about the safety of any passengers or even myself or others on the road should the airbag deploy. My father is terminally ill with cancer and only weighs about 115 pounds and I have to drive him to doctor appointments regularly. I was so concerned when I first noticed what I call a "design flaw" that I made him ride in the back seat. However, since he is so thin, he was very uncomfortable in the back and wanted to ride in the front seat again which I allowed him to do after the local dealership in medford (lithia motors, Inc) guaranteed me "100%" that this is not a safety issue but is purely cosmetic. I have provided proof of similar complaints to lithia and have spoken to Toyota corporate a few times. They still insist it is only cosmetic and I am responsible for replacing the entire dash at a cost of over $2,000. I maintain this is a safety issue and if they can afford to spend a million dollars a day on safety (per their advertisements) and are spending even more on pr, they can do a "good will" repair for a loyal customer. To their credit, I should add that they were willing to pay 50% to repair the dash, but it was determined to be "unrepairable" by their upholstery person. I have been going back and forth with them for months now. I am a very principle based person and believe this is wrong considering the age, mileage, etc and should be corrected at their expense especially when others have reported the same problem. Does customer service still exist??

- Medford, OR, USA

problem #16

Jul 262010


  • 105,900 miles
Seal around front passengers side airbag separating from dashboard causing danger of spontaneous airbag deployment.

- Falls Church, VA, 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 092009


  • 101,590 miles


The front of my car hit head on into the drivers side of another car. I was going approx. 35 TO40 miles per hour and my air bags did not deploy on either side, driver and passenger. In turn, my car was a total loss. I do have several pics.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #13

May 012008


  • miles
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry and you can see where the heat from the summer has caused a large gap in the dash where the airbag on the passenger side is. You can see a yellow cover inside which I am afraid is the airbag.

- Apopka, FL, USA

Search for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #12

Aug 052008


  • 98,000 miles
My passenger side air bag cover looks like is coming apart. I see a good gap between the cover and the dashboard. 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 gene messer Toyota in lubbock, Texas, the service advisor said "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 dashboard 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. 3. excessive heat ( the max temperature on this month-June was around 98+) so they mean to say the dashboards 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 Toyota allow such gap between the cover and dash-board for the summer heat"

- Potomac, MD, USA

problem #11

Dec 282006

Camry 4-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles


The contact stated the front airbags did not deploy. The vehicle has 54,000 miles. There were four passengers all were wearing seat belts. The driver and passengers sustained minor injuries. The contact was traveling 55 mph on the highway. The traffic was heavy and the road conditions were dry. A vehicle merging onto the highway cut in front of the contact's vehicle. The driver swerved to avoid hitting the van and lost control of the Camry. The vehicle was traveling North after losing control the front passenger side hit the cement median. The passenger rear door was the only door that would open after the crash. The passenger side of the vehicle was up against the cement median. The vehicle came to a stop facing southbound. The vehicle was towed away. The repair shop stated the airbag sensor was completely smashed. The contact has been told the vehicle was totaled. The only recent work done on the vehicle was an oil change. The police came, but no report was filed.

- Spring, TX, USA

problem #10

Mar 012006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles
I rear ended another car in my mom's 2003 Toyota Camry. Although my mom's car was totaled, the air bag did not deploy.

- Pleasanton, CA, USA

problem #9

Dec 082004

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles
Approaching intersection the traffic light changed and attempting to stop vehicle, the brake pedal went to the floor board, but the vehicle did not stop before impact with another vehicle. Speed at impact was approx. 20 mph and neither airbag deployed. Just recently had vehicle at dealership to have soft brake pedal checked, and was told of similar complaints concerning problem.

- Columbus, GA, USA

problem #8

Sep 092004


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,500 miles
While parking vehicle accelerated and crashed into a wall. Upon impact, air bags did not deploy. No injuries reported.

- Lomita, CA, USA

problem #7

Sep 152004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles


I was driving North on route 93 in my 2003 Toyota Camry during rush hour traffic when traffic went from approx. 40 mph to a sudden stop. The cars in front of me all jammed on there brakes and successfully stopped, but when I stepped on my brakes, I could feel the brake pedal compressing and doing something, but I was unable to barely even slow down from approx. 3 car lengths away. I hit the car in front of me and my car crumbled. My 2 complaints are that the brakes definitely have a malfunction along with the air bags not deploying. Luckily, I had my seat belt on. The road conditions were dry and weather was sunny and clear. After this accident and my car has been repaired, I will be trading my car in and never buy a Toyota again.

- Salem, NH, USA

problem #6

Aug 092004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While applying the accelerator pedal vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. Consumer was not able to maintain control of the vehicle and collided with the vehicle in front. Upon impact, both frontal air bags failed to deploy. Driver sustained minor injuries, and was transported to the hospital by an ambulance. The vehicle was towed to the dealer for inspection.

- Wheaton, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 262004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When the consumer attempted to park, the vehicle surged forward. This caused the consumer to lose control of the vehicle and hit a tree head on. Upon impact, both air bags did not deploy. The vehicle was almost at a complete stop, in which the consumer had her foot lightly resting on the brake, when the sudden acceleration occurred.

- Brandon, FL, USA

problem #4

Jun 142004

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While pulling inside of a parking space vehicle suddenly accelerated. Consumer was unable to maintain control of the vehicle. The consumer placed both feet on the brakes, but the vehicle continued to accelerate. It jumped a curb and collided with a glass window inside a store. Upon impact, both frontal air bags did not deploy. However, there were no injuries.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #3

Feb 022004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer stated the brakes locked when he attempted to stop at a toll booth. This caused a rear end collision upon impact, air bags did not deploy consumer sustained a bruised chest, and consumer's wife sustained 2 two broken ribs. Consumer stated that when he hit the vehicle in front it was as if the vehicle accelerated, and even though he had feet on the brakes, vehicle kept going. He states that he pushed the vehicle in front of him, immediately cut the ignition off, put on emergency brakes, and coasted to the side of the road. Vehicle came to a stop on the shoulder. He says that the only thing that saved he and his wife was the seat belts. Consumer stated he saw on tv that Toyota was recalling 2002-2003 Camry for excessive acceleration.

- Manchester, NY, USA

problem #2

Feb 172004

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,200 miles
As I was driving up the driveway of my home/house and in the process of applying the brakes to my 2003 Toyota Camry the car surged forward impacting the from of my brick house and going into the master bedroom causing extensive damage to the house and to personal property inside the bedroom, also the car suffered great damage to the front up to and including complete brekage and collapse of the winshield for a total car damaged of close to $80.00 dollaras and over $5,000 damage to the house not including the damage done to the interior of the bedroom and its contents. Extimates of the cost of repairs still going on.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 082004

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,000 miles
Failure of airbags to deploy during a serious accident. Vehicle totaled with major front end damage.

- Joliet, IL, USA

Not what you are looking for?