Print this page 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.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
42,950 miles
Total Complaints:
20 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
  2. replaced steering rack (2 reports)
  3. replace lower steering assembly (1 reports)
  4. replace steering shaft (1 reports)
2003 Toyota Camry steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #20

Apr 272011

Camry LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles


Pearl was bought from Montrose Toyota in Akron, OH in May 2007. I can not TELL YOU how many times I took Pearl there because I kept complaining about the darn steering not being right. Every time I turn to the left or the right then the steering would make some kind of ticking-like noise! I was told that it's some kind of plastic part in the steering that needs to be oiled ever so often! Bullcrap! When I did take Pearl to a mechanic on April 27, 2011 then I was told the whole darn rack and pinion is off and he's seen a couple of them like this and there SHOULD BE SOME KIND OF RECALL on this problem. He did give me the steering part that was sooo bad and it's in my trunk. Come on now! How can there be a steering problem with the 2004 Camry's and not on the 2003 Camry's?

- starlet17, Akron, OH, US

problem #19

Mar 032005

Camry XLE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

If Toyota knows this is a problem, why can't something be done.

- Chris J., Moreno Valley, CA, US

problem #18

Sep 052007

Camry SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I took this problem to the dealership and they told me they couldn't find anything. Warranty I guess was not warranty. It has a a knocking noise and a moaning noise, especially in the winter. It is annoying and scary becuase I dont know what can happen. This should be recalled and fixed ASAP.

- rafael.generation, Bronx, NY, US

problem #17

Jan 122005

Camry LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


i got the same problem when turning the wheel. very unsafe. should be recalled.

- Mike A., van Nuys, CA, US

problem #16

Jan 212004

Camry LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

bought the car with 0 miles. at around 30,000 miles it starting making this noise whenever i turned the wheel. this seems unsafe and someone told me to get it checked before something snaps.

- Mike A., van Nuys, CA, US

problem #15

Oct 052004

Camry LE 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I have this noise when turning the steering wheel. I took it to the dealer and they could not find any issues and said that there is not problems. I took their word for it but now that I am out of warranty I regret it. Noise is still there and it happens all the time now.

- dlazic, Falls Church, VA, US

problem #14

Feb 122008

Camry LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles


knocking noise is aggravating, no one knows what it is, toyota should look into it, what if something in the steering snaps.

- macias, Cathedral City, CA, US

problem #13

Oct 302007

Camry LE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I have been hearing the problem for a long time, and the dealership mechanics couldn't hear a thing. I recenlyt took the car in again for evaluation, and now I find out that there is a problem. I think Toyota should recall the 2003 Camrys if there is a factory defect issue.

- Angela B., Wilson, NC, US

problem #12

Sep 112004

Camry LE 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,000 miles

Toyota dealership told me they greased the steering assembly and sent me on my way my own mechanic thought the problem was in the ignition locking assembly

- Dan D., Pittsbrugh, PA, US

problem #11

May 042007

(reported on)

Camry LE 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Knocking noise can be heard when steering wheel is fully turned in either direction. Easily repeatable, very annoying. Took it to the dealer and they said it was normal so I've been living with the issue.

- Jimmy C., Fremont, CA, US

problem #10

Jan 202005

Camry LE 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles


This is a good website for discussing car problems.

- Shao Z., Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #9

Sep 082007

(reported on)

Camry LE 4 C

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I have always had faith in Toyota and now we have this problem and can't get it fixed. You can't drive down the road without hearing a awful noise when you turn. It doesn't sound SAFE!!!

- Jennifer B., Marion, KY, US

problem #8

Aug 142007

(reported on)


  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

Constant knocking noise when steering have brought into dealership and they can't find anything wrong? Have had to get several wheel alignments also?

- mealeywa, Bremerton, WA, US

problem #7

Apr 092007

(reported on)

Camry LE V6-3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles

I have the same steering problem as many posted with my Toyota camry LE(V6). This clunk noise was noticed at about 30,000 miles when wheel is turning right or left sharply. I had the car checked at a Toyota dealer recently and learned that this was a common problem for 2003 camry. The dealer said it would cost about $400 to fix it. Toyota should have a recall for this problem.

- jimpa, Maple Glen, PA, US

problem #6

Feb 122007

(reported on)

Camry LE V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Apparently, the knocking noise we've all been hearing is a common problem for 03-05 Camry's. Unfortunately, the only solution appears to be replacing the steering shaft. The part cost me $241 and the labor cost me $130, plus tax. According to my dealership, the problem is not dangerous, in that one can continue to drive despite it. This is a good thing, considering that Toyota has more than a one-month back-order on the part in question. This definitely indicates that a large number of people are experiencing the same problem. Someone should definitely consider filing a class-action--the main reason why most Camry owners buy a Camry is precisely to avoid problems and additional costs such as these!

- Emil P., Glendale, CA, US

problem #5

Dec 302006

(reported on)

Camry XLE 2.4 V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

There's a knocking noise when turning the wheel. Toyota sucks

- George G., Dublin, OH, US

problem #4

Nov 212006

(reported on)

Camry LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 73,000 miles

I had notice a knock in the steering during turning and acceleration. The car had approx. 70,000 km when first detected. The Tech at the dealership said I required a new lower steering assembly. Cost for the part $246.00 plus one hour labor and taxes. I was given no explanation for this defect but was told the fix was not covered under warranty. The new part was on back order suggesting this wasn't an isolated problem. My next car will be a Honda Accord.

- Dave D., Cargill, Ontario, Canada

problem #3

Sep 302006

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • 45,000 miles

Steering clunks when turning left or right.

- raven, Felton, DE, US

problem #2

Sep 152006

(reported on)

Camry LE

  • 40,000 miles

knocking noise when turning steering wheel either direction

- Rosie G., Corpus Christi, TX, US

problem #1

Dec 312005

(reported on)


  • 42,000 miles

Metal knocking noise when steering wheel is turned back and forth.

- dhom, Hercules, CA, US

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