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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
27,105 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2003 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #36

Apr 032015


  • 58,000 miles


The steering on my 2003 Camry shakes during high speed. At times, there is a whistling noise coming from the driver front side. I thought it was related to low air pressure or unbalanced tires, but that's not the issues. Secondly, the paint on my car is peeling off, mostly the clear coating layer. I can not verify if there is a recall on this issue or not. Someone had informed me there was a recall. I am unable to locate any documented information.

- Holliston, MA, USA

problem #35

Jul 162015


  • miles
"takata recall" - I am experiencing a clicking noise from the steering wheel when turning the wheel to the left & right, the whole dash board shakes when the ac or heat is on, brakes pedal goes all the way to the floor & making sounds, and when you put the car in park it will move forward.

- Dorchester, MA, USA

problem #34

Jul 172015


  • 33,705 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that when making a left or right turn, there was an abnormal noise emitting from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was diagnosed that the lower steering shaft needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. In addition, the contact stated that when the brake pedal was depressed, the vehicle hesitated to respond. The contact also mentioned that after switching into the park position, the vehicle independently switched in the reverse position without warning. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 33,705.

- Dorchester, MA, USA

problem #33

Apr 282015


  • 51,000 miles


The 2003 camray Toyota has a defective part at 51,000 have had to problems with steering but the dealer tells me it is defective has this been a complaint by other owners at this millage? I is been replaced at my cost today 14 May 2015 because this would be a safety issue. I have owned other cars and at that mileage there has never been this type of problem. Is this a defect. This car was purchased new.

- Lincoln, NE, USA

problem #32

Jul 152013


  • 229,000 miles
Driving on rural highway the car heats up the coolant from the reservoir overflows. In the engine compartment affecting steering and your ability to drive because of the vapor fron the burning coolant. Repair man says head gasket is gone....this is the third time now to replace the head gasket.because the head bolts and threads all stripped due to bad engineering or improper torque by Toyota engineering department....I been rwading about this problem and found out that this is a very common probkem with these cars from 2003-2006... I feel that if it was something simple to fix then Toyota would address the problem but since its seens like a new engine is the only fix for this problem so they are hush hush...because it would be a costly recall for Toyota.

- Detroit, MI, USA

problem #31

May 282014

Camry 4-cyl

  • 107,000 miles
Please add me to other Camry owners complaining about steering noise, either at rest or driving at any speed, steering to the left or right: Clicking sound happens as the steering wheel is turned. The noise is getting louder. Now I have lost the horn, cruise control and the air bag light is on. So, it seems that this problem is affecting some kind of switch in the middle of the steering column! I have checked the fuses which are all fine! reading all the complaints and realizing that Toyota is not owning to the problem with the owners having to pay for the repair, I am truly disappointed. It definitely is a design problem!

- Blomfield, CT, USA

problem #30

Mar 192014


  • 39,000 miles


When I turned the steering wheel left, the wheel turned sharply right instead and I lost control of the wheel. I could not turn it back. The car crossed from the left side of the freeway to past the right side (about 4 lanes), hit a railing, and flipped over.

- Fremont, CA, USA

problem #29

Dec 162013


  • 108,968 miles
Had a problem with wheel bearing front passenger. In February 2013 had a front end alignment and 4 new tires. Starting hearing a banging noise in rearend of car in November 2013. Mechanic said it was a bushing. I have an appointment in january2014 to have this replaced. On Monday December 16, 2013 I was driving on a two lane interstate and had no control of my car. I almost went into a pole and tried to swerve to avoid a passing pickup truck on my left. I felt like I was driving on ice. The car would go over a bump or try to make a corner and it would sway to the left. Drove 15 mph home and drove to my mechanic. He said the steering rods in the rear are just loose and fell out. My car is temporary welded to drive to the dealership in which I still have a note. I purchased the car March 31st 2011.

- Little Compton, RI, USA

problem #28

Dec 012006


  • 25,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that when driving at low speeds and attempting a turn, she would hear a loud squeaking noise from the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic however, they referred her to the dealer. The vehicle was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was contacted and offered no assistance. The failure mileage was approximately 25,000. The current mileage was approximately 55,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Watspingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #27

May 212003

Camry 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
I bought my Toyota Camry 2003 le brand new from koons Toyota dealership in tysons corner, Virginia back in 2003. Few months after the purchase I noticed car always pulling to the left. I went back to dealer but they claim it was just road pulling and that it was normal. I accepted that as an answer from certified Toyota dealer and went on with my life. This was my second car so I was not driving it much at the time but I had replaced tires twice and had done alignment several times in less then two years. I started driving this car more around the time my warranty expired and then realized that this problem requires me to replace my tires after each major trip...we are talking about several thousand miles. I kept on doing alignment and even tried different type of tires, different dealers, etc. I even found a tsb release from Toyota that many claim fixes this problem but dealers claim it does not apply to Toyota Camry 2003 le, the document in question is tsb-ST0002-04. Do this day I have exact same problem and no way to fix it. Simple google search on Toyota Camry 2003 le left pull problem will show how big and widespread problem this is. This is a rather frustrating problem because each dealer claims that there is nothing wrong with the car yet I cant buy enough tires to drive this car.

- Falls Church, VA, USA

problem #26

Jul 042011


  • miles


I have a 2003 Camry and when I steer there's a noise as if plastic is rubbing when I steer right or left.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #25

Nov 122011


  • 27,000 miles
Squeaking steering column. Abnormal sounds (squeaking, cracking) can be heard when turning left or right. Toyota says it is not a safety issue and there were no recall for 2003 model, only tsb--0296-08 was issued. Has to pay to repair the defect yourself because car is beyond the warranty.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #24

May 272010

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry le that I bought used in May 2007. I can not tell you how many times I took my car back and forth to the dealership because the steering would make some kind of noise whenever I turned right or left. I was advised by the dealership that there's a plastic part in the steering that gets dry and it has to be lubricated every now and then. Well, needless to say, April 2011 I took it to a mechanic who told me that my rack and pinion is sooo bad and he's only seen this problem one other time. There should be a recall for this problem because the car isn't old enough for this problem to affect the steering this badly. It cost me $553! I do have the steering part in my trunk in case there is a recall.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #23

Dec 212010

Camry 4-cyl

  • 37,451 miles
My 2003 Toyota Camry le with 37,451 miles is experiencing a loud popping noise in the steering mechanism and getting worse. Dealership advised needs intermediate steering shaft. Cost of repair $447.89. Dealership states this is a common problem. This is a potentially dangerous safety defect. Was unable to get any satisfaction through the district or national customer service representatives.

- Candler, NC, USA

problem #22

May 182008


  • miles
When the weather is cool the steering wheel makes a groaning sound every time it is turned. Toyota has issued a tsb on the problem but could only be repaired when under warranty. The car in question is a 2003 Toyota Camry and the tsb was sent out in 2007, one year after the warranty was over. The noise has been getting worse, they claim that this is not a dangerous situation, but I am not convinced. The only comment I get back is that this does not happen on Toyota's.

- Omaha, NE, USA

problem #21

Mar 152010


  • 500 miles
Since the car was new it has had strange sounds in the steering column. The local Toyota dealer dismissed it as normal sounds related to the weather [it is cold out or it is hot outside]. the sound progressively became worse. I had the power steering fluid changed and was told by the repair shop that it had the wrong fluid. The fluid was the product the car was delivered with. I am the original owner of the vehicle. After changing the fluid and having a wheel alignment done- the sounds (loud squeaking) persisted. I took the car recently to a different Toyota dealership and they "greased" the steering column which eliminated the squeaking, but now clunking can be heard from the steering column. The mechanic at the Toyota dealership cautioned me to "keep my eye on this" because it sounds like the steering column is bad. This Toyota only has 28,000 miles on it, has never been in an accident, and has been dealer maintained. I find it suspicious that no mention of a bad steering column was made while the car was under warranty. I drive the car as little as possible because I am frightened to use it. I have also had problems with the brakes on this car. The brake problems date back to the day I drove the car home (new) from the dealership. The steering problems started almost immediately. This car should be recalled and repaired at the manufacturers expense for the steering problems.

- Poughkeepsie, NY, USA

problem #20

Dec 112006


  • 40,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Camry. The contact was driving approximately 60 mph on normal road conditions; proceeding to make a turn. There was excessive force applied to the steering wheel. The failure occurred whenever making a turn. In addition, during the winter months the failure progressed more frequently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer on two separate occasions for the identical failures. The technician dispensed power steering fluid in the vehicle. The failure occurred continuous without no resolution. The contact is waiting on a response for the cause of failure. The failure mileage was 40,000.

- Medford , MA, USA

problem #19

Sep 302007


  • miles
I have a Toyota Camry 2003. Since around 2007 I have noticed that some kind of fluid noise come from the steering wheel area, especially in the morning and when turning to the right or left. Sometimes the noise is so loud that the other passenger can hear it. It sound like a lot of fluid is moving on the dash around the steering wheel. No leak inside the car observed. For several months feel like car steer more/easily when driving.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #18

May 292009


  • 43,000 miles
2003 Toyota Camry V6 xle - skids or spins occasionally and especially in wet weather (not just icy or snow conditions). May 2009 my current 2003 Toyota Camry took a 360 degree turn (I lost control of the vehicle) in a 60 to 70 degree turn at 40 miles per hour. It was raining all day on that day. On that day the care hit the guard rail and caused front and rear bumper and side damages. Also in other situations the car skidded in wet condition when accelerating from a hard stop or taking a turn. This appears to be a common issue with most of the Toyota models. I had a 1994 Toyota corolla and a 1995 Toyota 4 runner. All the 3 vehicles had same spinning or skidding issue in wet condition on rain. Also, I learnt that one of our friends Toyota avalon spun recently in wet condition as well.

- Romansville, PA, USA

problem #17

Mar 232009


  • 52,000 miles
I purchased my 2003 Toyota Camry in August, 2003. Two years later, the steering column started to make noise. Dealer replaced the whole steering column assembly. After 3 and half years, the steering column failed again. I can not believe Toyota built this kind of quality vehicle. It totally ruined their reputation. I will never purchase Toyota's vehicle any more.

- Troy, MI, USA

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