Notes: Beware of the NHTSA complaint data for the 2004 Camry. It is almost certainly misleading.

The problem with NHTSA data for the 2004 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 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 2004 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:
10 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
34,198 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.

2004 Toyota Camry brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Toyota Camry Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #29

Apr 172012

Camry 6-cyl

  • 144,000 miles


I turned on the motor of my car which was parked at a home depot. With my foot on the brake (and not on the gas), the car suddenly accelerated and did not stop until it had traveled about 15 yards.

- Great Neck, NY, USA

problem #28

Feb 132012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I was slowly pulling my 2004 Camry into a perpendicular parking space in a public parking lot, with my foot on the brake pedal. As I approached the curb to come to a stop, the car suddenly leaped forward at what seemed like full throttle, jumped the curb, lunged up a flight of three concrete steps, and crashed through the glass doors of the entry of the building. More often than not, at the hour of the day when this incident occurred (3:30 pm), there are small groups of young people waiting for rides or chatting in front of this facility. By some miracle there were no people present on the sidewalk in front of the car or coming out of or going into the building when this happened. Truly a miracle that no one was hurt or worse. There were no witnesses. The police had the car removed by flatbed to a body shop yard. I later learned that the police had driven the car in the body shop yard and commented that the car drove without issues. I subsequently received a careless driving citation in the mail. A local media report of the incident, cribbed from the police blotter, stated that the police believed the cause of the incident was driver error. There is not the least doubt in my mind that my foot was firmly on the brake pedal, which went to the floor and did not stop the car! the car acted on its own as if possessed! I will never drive this car again! I bought a new car and took a huge loss on the value of the Toyota by selling it for parts to a local mechanic for a tenth of its retail value so it would never find its way back onto the road to threaten other people with injury or death!

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #27

Jan 032011


  • miles
2004 Toyota Camry. Consumer states that brakes have been squealing for years. He states that the dealer has worked on the vehicle and nothing has helped. He also stated that the squealing is extremely loud and constant.

- Medford Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #26

May 222010


  • 44,600 miles


My 2004 Toyota Camry has started to "hold back" when I drive it. Then the ABS light came on and started flashing and when I stepped on the brakes, the flashing light went off. I called the lancaster pa Toyota dealer and the service department said that as long as it is intermittent and not constant, it is nothing to worry about. But I wonder how many other Toyota customers have had problems with their anti-lock braking systems.

- Manheim, PA, USA

problem #25

May 012004


  • 100 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. While driving approximately 35 mph on wet road conditions and attempting to apply the brakes, the vehicle was moving to the left then to the right. The contact turned the hazard lights on and maintained a significant distance between the other vehicles. The vehicle eventually came to a stop. The contact noticed that the failure only occurred when the road was wet. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer who could not duplicate the failure. She called the manufacturer but received no assistance when the complaint was filed. The contact previously filed complaints for similar models she owned under the same manufacturer regarding brake failures; she could not recall the year, make and model of the vehicles. The failure mileage was approximately 100. The current mileage was approximately 20,000.

- Shreveport, LA, USA

problem #24

Jan 062010

Camry 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I own a 2004 Toyota Camry VIN#[xxx] on January 6, 2010 I was driving up first ave in manhattan going to randalls island. At 1st ave and about 10 St I was driving about 20 miles per hour, pressed the brake approaching a red light. Instead the engine revved (vroom) and car accelerated forward. I floored the brake and pulled up the emergency brake and still I tapped the commercial vehicle in front before being able to stop by putting car into park. 2 hours later I was returning home and driving down 9th street between broadway and university and again approaching a red light braked to slow down the car (I was already going 20mph) again, instead the vehicle revved and accelerated forward and this time no matter how hard I pushed the brake the car wouldn't stop. I slammed the transmission into park, pulled up the emergency brake and that stopped the car. I called aaa and had the car towed to Toyota of manhattan where they said my brake pins were frozen and there was a throttle problem and charged $1300 for repair. (my personal mechanic in NJ later told me brake pins and uncontrolled acceleration were not related. On Monday February 22, 2010 while driving to my summer apartment in ventnor NJ the same thing happened. We were again able to stop the car by pulling into park mode and emergency brake. We restarted the car and drove 10 miles per hour to our parking lot where the car still sits. Calls to Toyota of manhattan simply stated that this model was not under recall and the car was too far for them to send a tow. Attempts to bring the car to a local Toyota (shore Toyota) calls were not answered and I was told I could not bring the car in without an appointment. And I should bring the car back to where the repair was done. So there it sits in a parking lot. I had to rent a car to get home. The repair was clearly bogus and this problem is acceleration upon hitting the brake pedal. Updated IVOQ 09/01/10

- New York, NY, USA

problem #23

Feb 252010


  • 112,000 miles


Car:2004 Toyota Camry xle model when I drive on a city road with pot holes/rough surface intersection my brakes does not seems to effective. You almost seems to feels its not going to stop, but when you push hard and keep it eventually stop. Other wise brakes perform as expected in highways.

- Woodbury, MN, USA

problem #22

Feb 242010

Camry 6-cyl

  • miles
Although my Toyota xle V6 is not part of the recall, I have had problems with my brakes since 2004, the year of my Camry. When I'm driving slowly, (approximately 15mph) going over a bump and I need to brake, my brakes do not respond. I have to depress the brakes with great force and the anti-locks kick in.. I brought this to the attention of my dealer in 2004. I was told they could do something minor (of which I couldn't understand) but it would continue to occur. I have been uncomfortable with the braking on this car for years. This is a continual problem. Although this happens constantly, in order to proceed, I need to input a date.

- Needham, MA, USA

problem #21

Jul 152009


  • 50,000 miles
This complaint deals with all Toyota cars with rear wheel drum brakes. On my car and many others possibly the pedal is soft has to go down quite a ways to activate brakes. On several occasions although I drive conservatively I feel my braking was compromised when I need quick braking response. I believe the reason is the automatic adjustment mechanism on my rear brakes was and is not working. This mechanism on all modern cars with rear drum brakes adjusts for wear by bringing the brake shoes closer to the drum when backing and braking. An automatic adjustment. When the mechanism isn't working the rear brake shoes get farther and farther from the drum due to wear and one must push the brake pedal farther and farther down on braking to get the shoes to contact the drums before braking can begin. This delays the braking time of the driver considerably. Recently getting new tires the mechanic noted my soft brake pedal and removed the rear brake drums and manually adjusted the shoes to bring them in light contact with the drum. My brake pedal got hard again and activated at the top. Toyota should bring the cars in to check this lack of adjustment problem as I wouldn't doubt there have been accidents because of it. With the new cars with disk brakes the pads are always against the disk and the is no soft pedal problem.

- Stuart, FL, USA

problem #20

Dec 082009


  • 67,000 miles
I was backing out of a parking space, but saw a car coming, so I stepped on the brake. The car accelerated at a very fast pace out of the parking space, into the road, just missing the car, before I was able to stop it. On December 14, 2009, I had backed up my driveway (to a level spot). I decided to straighten out the car, so I drove the car forward, put my foot on the brake to put it in reverse and the car went speeding down the driveway, the brakes would not work, until I got out into the road, then the car stopped. Prayer kept me safe!

- Scarborough, ME, USA

problem #19

Dec 262009

Camry 4-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


A 2004 Toyota Camry on 26 December 2009 traveling at approximately 5 miles per hour into a parking space in front of the us post office had an un-commanded acceleration. Within a span of four feet into the parking spot, the car accelerated and the brake could not stop the forward movement. The car jumped the sidewalk and drove into the window and corner of the building while the engine continued to race with only the building holding the car as it tried to raced further. Moving the transmission lever from drive to park the doors did not automatically unlock. Turning the ignition key to off position was the only solution to stopping the racing engine. The floor mat was checked on exiting the car and was not to be anywhere near the accelerator pedal..the car was totaled and no life treating injury was sustained. The consumer experienced neck and back pain. Updated 03/17/10

- Manassas, VA, USA

problem #18

Apr 012005


  • 8,100 miles
I bought new 2004 Toyota Camry V6le on March 2004.I noticed the brake fluid keep losing from max level to min level within 100 miles drive after 1year or 8000 miles until today (40200miles). I took the car to the mechanic, no leaking found. I recently read the report by NHTSA that the Toyota braking system could lose most of its power & effectiveness agree because that is the problem of my car right now. I hope this complaint may help you to find way to correct the problem. Thank you

- Anaheim, CA, USA

problem #17

Aug 012008


  • miles
ABS system computer failed. Not discovered until 95,000 mile service visit when complaint raised to dealer of brake noise.

- Riva, MD, USA

problem #16

May 102008


  • 50,000 miles
I bought a 2004 Camry about a month ago from my local Toyota used car dealer. A week later I told them front-end felt funny and needed to be checked. They said I needed an alignment. Had that done. Called them last week and said I still feel like there's some sort of front-end problem. My brake pedal is spongy and almost to the ground. Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm going to stop in time. Also told them my steering wheel was shimmying. I was told that the steering wheel was probably indicating a tire balance issue and they would charge me $50 to balance/rotate my tires. I decided to put the money toward new front tires instead hoping that would also reduce road noise. As for the brakes.... I was told that was standard for the Camry models and was a known design issue but no corrections were in place that they were aware of. Last weekend I was in a crash. My brakes failed! my ABS did not engage and my airbag did not deploy. I was traveling about 30-40 mph on a highway when the person in front hit their brakes. I hit mine and continued to skid into the back of their vehicle. I had plenty of room to stop. There's no reason other than brake failure for me to have crashed.

- Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #15

Apr 092008

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2004 Toyota Camry, has had spongy brakes from new, dealer said this was normal. The problem has gotten worse, and if you pump the brakes and hold them you go right to the floor. If you are stopping slowly the brakes respond very poorly.

- Agawam, MA, USA

problem #14

Dec 042006

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,705 miles
I have experienced severe brake difficulties with my 2004 Toyota Camry. The brakes have been repaired at least three times by the houston dealership, and the problem still exists! the dealership told me that repairing it was the best they could do, and nothing else can be done. Whenever I stop, my brakes will only completely stop at almost 1.5 inches from the car floor. I need safe and reliable transportation, and I never want to experience the brakes failing to stop or only stopping once it hits the floor. I am 85 years old, make weekly doctor visits on heavily congested houston freeways. I need my car to work properly every time.

- Prairie View, TX, USA

problem #13

Aug 232007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. While driving 55 mph, the contact stated that the brake pedal depressed approximately two and a half inches before the brakes made hard contact. There were no warning lights, noises, or leaking fluid present. The dealer adjusted the rear brakes, however, approximately 3-6 months later the failure recurred. The current and failure mileages were 47,000. Updated 01/02/08. The consumer stated the brake pedal travels before it starts slowing down. The consumer further stated if the back brakes are tightly adjusted then there is not a problem the defect is called soft brakes. Updated 12/12/07

- St Peters, MO, USA

problem #12

Aug 042007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. While driving 5 mph she applied the brakes however, the vehicle would not stop. The vehicle accelerated which caused her to crash into a parked car. She also ran over the curb and crashed into the corner of the shopping center. The contact sustained minor injuries. She felt that the electronic throttle control system caused the failure. The current and failure mileages were 76,000 miles. The VIN and engine size was unavailable.

- Morristown, TN, USA

problem #11

Dec 282006

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I own a 2004 Toyota Camry le. The brakes are much too soft and are extremely dangerous. In the last 2 1/2 years, and on numerous occasions, I have taken my car to the dealer, name brand and unknown mechanics-all to no avail. I've spent a small fortune in an attempt to correct this situation. I believe this problem will be the root of an accident waiting to happen. Please see to understand the magnitude of this complaint.

- Bohemia, NY, USA

problem #10

Aug 092006

(reported on)


  • miles
2004 Toyota Camry brakes spongy. The consumer felt that the brake were spongy since the date of purchase. The dealer indicated that this is a characteristic of the vehicle. The brake pedal travels 3" bringing the pedal to within 1" of the floor.

- Rochester, NY, USA

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