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:
4 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
101,526 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #19

Jul 012016


  • 265,262 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. While driving at various speeds, the contact heard an abnormal noise and the check engine light illuminated. The contact also stated that the engine consumed a quart of oil weekly. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine failed and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 265,262.

- Hollywood, FL, USA

problem #18

Apr 022012


  • 21,000 miles
This vehicle had a transmission replaced.

- Wayne, NJ, USA

problem #17

Aug 212015


  • 124,000 miles
Oil started to leak from manifold, my mechanic said it was a stripped botl. He tried to fix it with silicone and replace the bolt but it is still leaking all over the engine. He informed me this coud cause a fire. Can I hold Toyota responsible for this problem?

- Coplay, PA, USA

problem #16

Jan 312016


  • 85,000 miles


2004 Camry SE car sitting for two days. Car caught fire. Fire department stated that it seemed no foul play involved. To me it look like the origin of the fire started by the battery and wiring was the issue. Interior in good shape no windows busted.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #15

Jun 232015


  • 157,000 miles
I was driving down the road from my home when my car stopped working. It died on me. It just stopped working completely without any notice whatsoever. I was able to maintain control of the steering wheel and I pulled over to the side of the road. At the time I was driving approximately 45 miles an hour (when the car engine stopped working). I turned the key in the ignition to the off position. When I turned the key in the ignition to start the car, the car started up immediately.

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #14

Feb 252015


  • 56,000 miles
Car accelerated by itself when parking and wound up on sidewalk. Could not brake. Car was put in park while moving and then stopped while still applying brakes.

- Bayonne , NJ, USA

problem #13

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 #12

Feb 132014

Camry 4-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
We first noticed coolant leaking on our garage floor after our 20yr mechanic and trusted friend replaced our water pump. We took the car in to have him look at the problem and he told us we had a "pulled" head gasket. He said he could not do that type of work and referred us to another mechanic who pressure tested and ran other diagnostics before hoisting the car on the racks. Upon inspection he saw coolant dripping from the intake manifold and proceeded to remove and inspect that part of the engine. Eventually, the head and other parts to reveal the loose bolts with stripped threads. We believe this is a manufacturers defect and feel some compensation and restitution must be levied. Upon further research from different forums we have documented pages of similar complaints from across the nation. Please make our concerns heard. We currently have no car to drive and $ 0 money to purchase another vehicle.

- Honolulu, HI, USA

problem #11

Aug 242007

Camry 4-cyl

  • 45,453 miles
When I was driving my car from parking lot to go home, I heard loud noise from front of my car and felt stiffness of control of my car. I tried to drive back to parking to take a look, but the car lost of power steering assist. The car was towed to Toyota dealer. The dealer found out the power steering pulley had broken off and the drive belt came off. I was lucky it happened in parking lot, or I may get to a car accident. I have contacted to Toyota, but they said it was not in recall of failed crankshaft pulley because the VIN number does not in the range of recall. But my car has exactly same issue the recall NHTSA campaign id number: 11V539000 has. The car is 2004 Camry.

- Sunnyvale, CA, USA

problem #10

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 #9

Jun 172013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 77,981 miles


17th June 2013 - water splash sound from engine on the right side of car with misfire and engine light on. Took the car to dealer and replaced spark plugs and ignition coils for two cylinders. Flush coolant system. I got the car back on 19th June 2013. After running 10 miles engine light came on again and engine was shivering while starting the car. Next day morning car towed to dealer. Dealer informed that engine blew up and it is beyond repair which needs a replacement.

- Metuchen, NJ, USA

problem #8

May 032013

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles
Purchased car from local Toyota dealer with just over 100K miles. Gas pedal stopped working. Car would not accelerate. Found out it was a failure of the throttle body. It costs over $1000 to fix. There are numerous complaints for this exact part on Toyota Camry's. when is it going to be recalled! obvious design flaw!

- Paris, TN, USA

problem #7

Mar 042013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
I was driving, took a corner and my car turned off without warning or signal, and I lost power steering and hit another parked vehicle. I proceeded to turn my car back on, drive ten feet and the engine shut off again without warning. I went to the auto body shop and they stated it was a code 2112 throttle issue. I researched on the internet and saw several other consumer complaints about this same issue with the same make/model/year and around the same mileage as my car has. Toyota is not recalling or providing free service on the parts and I was given an estimate of over $1300 to fix. Seeing that this is normal wear and tear - I didnt do a thing to cause this to happen, and it's a safety issue, I believe they should be replacing and or recalling these vehicles.

- Stoneham, MA, USA

problem #6

Feb 072013

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that while driving approximately 45 mph downhill. The engine surged at a much higher rate of speed. The brakes failed and the contact was unable to control the steering. The contact was unable to stop the vehicle until she crashed into an embankment. The contact was not injured. The vehicle was later towed to an independent mechanic but was not diagnosed. The manufacturer was not contacted. The failure and current mileages were approximately 108,000. Updated 3/14/13 the consumer stated she had not control over the vehicle. It continued approximately 3/4 of a mile all over the road and surrounding areas, until it finally hit an embankment and the front end of the vehicle went into the ground. And then stopped.

- Morrison, IL, USA

problem #5

Jan 182013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 51,284 miles
After entering a parking lot my mother-in-law was turning into a spot when the car suddenly accelerated thru the spot and was heading for the concrete wall. She was able to turn it to the left, run over the curb and in to a snow bank. She was unable to back the car out and had to be towed out. There was damage to the front end, but the airbags did not deploy. The tow truck driver said that she could drive it home and she managed to do so, but she was scared to do so. It is now sitting in the driveway and will not be driven until we are satisfied with the repairs to the acceleration problem. I am still waiting to hear from the dealer?.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #4

Oct 312012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Camry. The contact stated that there was an abnormal splashing water noise sound coming from under the hood area. The check engine warning light was illuminated and the vehicle began to overheat. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was advised that the engine bolts were stripped, which allowed fluids to mix with the engine. The dealer advised the contact that the engine would have to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileages were 104,000. Updated 12/14/12 the consumer stated the mechanic the bolts could be retreaded, engine rebuilt, or to trade the vehicle in. None of the repairs are guaranteed to repair the vehicle. Updated 12/17/2012

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #3

Oct 192012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 103,000 miles
On Oct 18, 2012, my car started to overheat. We had it towed to our mechanic. On Friday, Oct 19, 2012 our mechanic stated he could not fix it and looks like it is an engine coolant leak. He further stated we needed to take it to the dealership that we bought it from to confirm the engine was none repairable. On Monday, Oct 22, 2012, the service department called us and confirmed the bad news. Our 2004 Camry 2.4L engine is leaking coolant inside the engine and the engine bolts are stripped. They gave us some options. The dealer could try to repair the bolts by retreading them (no guarantee it world work). Replace the engine (rebuilt and not guarantee it wouldn?T happen again). And finally, trade in the car (not enough to pay off my loan). After further research, this issue has been happening to Camry since 2002. One post stated it was fixed with the 2004 models, but in 2004 the same engine is in the highlander and the Camry. The highlander also has several posts to the same issue. When will Toyota take responsibility for this problem and fix it without coming after the consumer! I have contacted Toyota at 800-331-4331 and filed a complaint and was told the same thing the dealer told me, not their fault. I am really hoping the government takes these complaints and forces Toyota to recall these cars and fix the issues.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #2

Oct 012012


  • 114,563 miles
I noticed that white smoke was coming from my exhaust pipe, therefore, I took it to a mechanic to get it checked out. The mechanic simply told me it was due to a bad head gasket. Later on, in the middle of the fix, he told me that the engine was unrepairable, that I needed a new engine. I asked him, "why"" he told me that the bolts that keeps the engine in place can no longer be tighten. The engine can no longer be held in place. He called it, "stripped head bolts." According to the mechanic and his colleagues, it is a design flaw by Toyota. The mechanics went on stating that, "even under normal driving conditions, these bolts will come loose causing coolant to leak in. Which caused the white smoke coming from tail pipe. So, I called up Toyota to see if they can correct their problem. They told me that I needed to replace the engine. If Toyota can't fix it, how would a mechanic fix it? I asked Toyota if there were a recall for this, they simply said, "no." The government needs to step in and take care of this awful problem. It turns out that every 2003-200" Camry owners have or will have this awful problem. Is not just a reliability problem, but is also polluting our home planet. There are thousands of Camry on the road ranging from these years and all of them are or soon will be spewing out foreign smoke. No mechanic out there can fix the problem. All they can do is replace it with the same engine that will soon have the same exact issue. Please step in and make Toyota fix this awful issues with the "stripped head bolt." [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Anaheim , CA, USA

problem #1

Jul 182011

Camry 4-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Head gasket screws are stripped. Engine lost coolant but no leak was evident. After numerous repairs to cooling system, eventually head gasket blew and had to replace the engine with a rebuilt one. Coolant loss continued with second engine. Radiator was replaced. Coolant loss continues with new radiator. Now we know that the head gasket screws are stripped, the original and only source of the leak. Design flaw causes stripped head bolts in this model.

- Clemson, SC, USA

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