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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,236 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 302014


  • 257,755 miles


I have a 2004 Toyota Camry le equipped with the 2az fe I4. At first I started hearing water sloshing from underneath the dashboard every time I stopped. On 1/30/2014 while stopping for a few minutes in a parking lot the cars temperature gauge started to rise. I immediately shut the car off, and opened up the hood to find coolant had been pushed out the overflow container, then I subsequently brought it to a mechanic. The mechanic stated the head gasket was blown. After a few days the mechanic got back to me, telling me the head bolts had stripped and the engine was unrepairable. I would need to replace the engine. This is a major problem, especially if it gave away when going down the freeway. Toyota needs to step up and fix this issue that is now becoming a very big problem. Toyota did release a tsb for dealers about this but it says to use timeserts or replace the block.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #11

Dec 152013


  • 63,700 miles
On my 2004 Toyota Camry le, at the exact moment I applied the brakes at idle speed, there was an extremely loud and high revolution racing sound. This condition was extreme. I changed gear selector from "drive" to "park" and there was no change in racing sound or noise level. However, car did not surge forward and no additional brake pressure was required. I turned engine off and car restarted normally. A mechanic checked out my car and found nothing wrong. A similar incident occurred about 2-3 months earlier while backing up at idle speed. Not sure if it is possible for engine to disengage from transmission, which might explain why car did not surge forward (and backward respectively). This same car in March of 2010 experienced unintended acceleration (parked under a cell tower) which was much worse than described above-I filed a complaint in 2010 for this.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #10

Feb 062013


  • miles
I was driving and without warning the gas petal was no longer working. Then the check engine light came on. Fortunately I was on a side street and was able to pull over. Got it towed and was told that the throttle body was broken and it was a pretty common problem for Camry's.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #9

Aug 042012


  • 103,000 miles


On August 4, 2012, I was driving on the highway when the throttle actuator control on my 2004 Camry broke. My car came to a complete and sudden stop, which I am very fortunate to have not been hit by another vehicle. I was not able to move the car and many cars were forced to swerve around me to avoid an accident. All of the lights on my dashboard were flashing. When I turned the car off and tried to restart it, the engine light stayed on. I was finally able to move the car after approximately 10 minutes, but was only able to drive at 10 mph. My mechanic checked the engine code & found the problem to be the throttle body actuator control. The price for the part was $900, not including labor. I purchased the car from lia Toyota of northampton, whom I have contacted & they will not assume any responsibility. I have also contacted the Toyota manufacturing of North America office in Kentucky and am waiting for a response. This problem needs to be addressed as it is extremely dangerous.

- Holyoke, MA, USA

problem #8

Oct 292011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 37,700 miles
I recently bought a 2004 Toyota Camry with 35,000 miles when I bought it. I started having problems with the car stalling when accelerated, I took it to auto zone to have them check with a computer which it showed that it was a problem with the throtle. I called the Toyota dealer and I have been getting the run around, as days goes by the problem has increased, now the gas pedal doesnt need to be pressed for the car to take off, the RPM goes to 1500 even with the breaks on. I work 6 miles from the house and I had to start the car 8 times to be able to make it to work. I really think this is a safety issue that Toyota should acknowledge instead of ignoring people when complaining about their products. Does the same thing that happened in 2009 need to happen to me before I get a solution or an answer to my questions. Back then Toyota knew about the problem and as usual they swept it under the rug. I owe way too much money on that car. Do I have to spend thousands of dollars to get it fix." As a consumer dont I deserve to know why this vehicle is having this problem" I had an Altima & had to trade it in for this crap of so called car because of economical issues, and I regret it 100%. this is the second time I've got a Toyota and all I've had its nothing but problems and as usual Toyota ignores everything. I need a vehicle that is reliable and that I can trust my familsy to be safe in. I don't feel safe driving it, I can't put this vehicle on the road and jeopardize the live of inocent people. All I want is to have a safe drivable vehicler. Can somebody help before tragedy happens.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

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problem #7

Oct 292011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 37,763 miles
Started the vehicle on Saturday 10/29/2011, put it in reverse and the engine light came on. Backed out of the driveway onto the street and put it on drive. I stepped on the accelerator and the vehicle moved forward about 30feet and stalled out. I tried several times to started and it would not. After I completely turned off the ignition, I was able to restarted it. I took it to get it checked out and I was told it was the throttle body actuator stuck on the closed position. I looked it up on line and found many, many incidents of the same nature. On Monday, I called the Toyota dealer, and I was told that they had never heard of that problem and it's not a recall. The defective factory installed part costs $1000 plus about $300 for labor. I contacted Toyota usa, but they have not acknowledged me, so far. This is a safety issue. When we took it to get it checked out it stalled in the middle of the road as we were crossing oncoming traffic. We could have been killed. And, I guess, this is not a concern for Toyota.

- Cape Coral, FL, USA

problem #6

Feb 222011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles


1. there was no event the car went into a idle in the middle of the road. There was no acceleration. Took my car to the local Toyota dealer and they found a bad "throttle body". I'm finding out this is a coming problem for 2004 Toyota Camry's and what's amazing, the Toyota parts manager said this should be a recall item. Please note this item costs over $1000 to replace!! this is uncalled-for!! thousands of people on line are complaining. Something has to be done. 2. this problem only happen once (Feb. 22nd, 2011) 3. Toyota repaired the problem by replacing the throttle body. (dealer name: Bernardi Toyota in framingham, MA 508-766-2463).

- 01749, MA, USA

problem #5

Aug 232010


  • 100,006 miles
Moved vehicle forward to position it to back it into the garage; when ready to put my foot on the brake to engage the reverse, heard a "click" under the hood and the car took off at high speed, applied brake, car would not stop, went into the neighbor's front lawn, damaged the grass and cracked the front bumper in the car. The manufacturer contracted an engineer to inspect the car and the engineer pronounced the car safe and sound.

- Silver Spring, MD, USA

problem #4

Sep 202009


  • 52,000 miles
The key in my Toyota special edition 2004 Camry is designed to be removed only when the gear shift is in the park position. However, mine can be removed regardless of the position of the gear shift. Ex: once the car is stopped and shut off and should it still be in the drive position, the key can be removed. This should not be.. as a result, I had an accident as the car rolled down an incline and struck another one was in the car at the time, but a child could have been in a car seat in the rear and I would not have been able to stop the car. I T has happened at least three times while under warranty, but I thought it was my fault for not placing the car in the park position before exiting the vehicle. Didn't realize it until the accident that it was not designed that way. Notified the corporate office of Toyota and they responded with the fact that the vehicle was no longer under warranty and would not acknowledge any safety problem. World Toyota in atlanta will repair the problem for approximately $424, but I feel it should be Toyota's responsibility and definitely a safety issue.

- Dunwoody, GA, USA

problem #3

Jan 152010


  • 96,705 miles
I have experienced sudden acceleration in my 2004 Toyota Camry and Toyota does not have a plan to correct the problem because this model has not been recalled. One incident happened in early December 2009 and the last incident occurred on January 15, 2010.please help. This is too dangerous. I have tried desperately to avoid accidents and do not want to hurt myself or others while Toyota wait on enough problems to recall the 2004 Camry le. Please mandate that they repair my car and others that are experiencing the problem.

- Conley, GA, USA

problem #2

Aug 132005


  • miles
Problem: 2004 Toyota Camry shift gear from overdrive to neutral without pressing gear button. Over the weekend, I was driving the car going uphill with left turn, the passenger at front was trying to reach napkin box at the back seat, he accidentally hit the gear with his elbow, even though very lightly, the shift gear suddenly shifted from overdrive to neutral gear while I was making left turn uphill and suddenly lost power. I have Ford Taurus that does not have such problem. It always requires pressing the gear button to shift gear. I sincerely request Toyota manufacturer to fix current design flaw to prevent future accidents.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #1

May 282005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,200 miles
Recently I brought my 04 Camry to my dealer because of sulfur smell and rattle at light acceleration. The dealer verified the problems and replaced the converter and intake manifold according to the tsbs. They said they also had to re-program the ECM. Then after I picked up the car, I found everything is harder: The acceleration, steering, and braking. I found it is hard to maintain a speed whether on local or highway. On May 28,2005, while I drove the car on highway with 4 persons sitting in the car (including me), I found the steering was very hard and felted like it was locked, and I found it is very hard to accelerate to hwy speed and hard to maintain it. I brought the car to the dealer again on May 31. After having a technician test drove it, they told me it was similar to other Camry (normal) and wouldn't want to solve my problem. I believe they never tried to reproduce my problem (by having more people sitting in the car). I think this problem is a safty issue so I file complaint with NHTSA. I also feel the car doesn't shift right and engine is noiser after the convert/intake change and re-programming.

- Sterling Heights, MI, USA

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