2014 Toyota Camry AC / heater problems: musty smell from A/C

Musty Smell From A/C

2014 Toyota Camry

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Toyota dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of

9.1

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
15,250 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (16 reports)
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2014 Toyota Camry AC / heater problems

AC / heater problem

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2014 Toyota Camry Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 012016

Camry

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Musty moldy smell from the AC. Mold is a health hazard especially with those who have asthma!

- Michael W., Vancouver, WA, US

problem #15

Jul 042014

Camry SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles

It smells really bad when the air conditioning is on

we complained to toyota and they did not address the problem

- Demetrios K., Staten Island, US

problem #14

Aug 252014

Camry SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

Had the problem with a 2012 Camry. Got so bad we traded it for a 2014 Camry. (Stupid I know). Lost our buts on the 2012 now have the same problem with the 2014. i have sprayed lots of lysol in the air intake

- Lee S., Schofield, WI, US

problem #13

Apr 202015

Camry SE 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

When spring came around and started using the A/C it had a horrible smell when it was cut on. We took it to Butler Toyota and they said that it smelled like an animal urine smell. We had not had any animals in the car and it smelled like a moldy smell. They sprayed something in the A/C but it did not help. We eventually sprayed the A/C unit with Lysol numerous times into the intake vent and changed the cabin filter twice.

- Linton B., Macon, GA, US

problem #12

Jun 012015

Camry 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles

Whenever I use the A/C in my 2014 Camry (with only 8000 miles!), the next day the air coming out of the vents STINKS LIKE MOLD. This problem is HUGE; an overpowering, true mold smell, not just that slightly smelly scent that all old cars get in the vents eventually. The smell is really strong, so bad that I have to open the windows when it's 90 degrees outside because it's so vile. The problem started when the car was NEW, during the first summer when I was using the A/C daily. Now anytime the A/C is used, IT STINKS! It may not seem like a big deal, but smelling mold is bad for health! (And did I mention it REALLY STINKS?)

Then recently I rented a car, and picked a Camry since I know it well. It had the same MOLD SMELL! That's when I realized this problem was more than my car, and I found out about the pending law suits and multitude of complaints!

I used to be a loyal Toyota fan, having owned three Toyotas in the past, my last being a 2003 Camry that was amazing to 170,000 miles, with clear, crisp air coming from the vents. Not so on the 2014! Toyota has lost me as a customer, Too bad I'm stuck with a like-new car where I am forced to breathe MOLD.

- Jenna B., Dallas, TX, US

problem #11

Nov 072016

Camry LX 2.5L L4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,942 miles

I purchased this used 2014 Toyo Camry LE on Nov 4, 2016 based on many good factors,: easy to work on, word of mouth, longevity, etc-you see them on the street rolling along whether old or new. Salesman had the a/c going as the NC weather was quite warm in Nov. I asked what is that smell? He responded with it will burn off car just been serviced. After my purchase I could still smell this odor after turning car off & on-I was running errands, getting in & out. Approx three days later the weather changed to cold. I turned on heat and it was really strong and over whelming. I said aloud to myself-is that pee? that better not be urine in this car. I had thoughts maybe car was involved in a crime or someone was killed inside.I started searching & sniffing the seats and upholstery. I see some type of brownish stain that had been washed over per driver's seat & right back seat, but odor not from the seats I don't think. The smell & odor blowing in my face when use the heat. I tried Fabreeze but it's still prevalent...I drive with my nose turned up and decided I can't take it.

On Dec 24th I return to Toyota of N Charlotte service re this odor and my tire lite came on (2nd time) within 32 days after sale. I explained to sales & his manager tires sound as if wheels about to fall off, pulsating/vibration or something, doesn't feel safe.The service dept explained I have flat spots on rear tires and also the problem with water dripping per HVAC leaving this smell & I need svc for $100. I refused citing approx 30 days from purchase and not my responsibility! I had to talk sales & his manager into realizing they put me on the road inadequately and in danger re tires, car is same as purchased-I asked for 4 new tires and they replaced with 2 new tires which were installed on the front, & fronts became rear tires now.

Also sales manager advised ALL cars have this smell and odor. I disagreed & explained while waiting for service I just visit a website (yours) which explains this is a known Camry problem & you all have not addressed and there is no fix...I explain I'm NOT happy and feel taken! Sales tried to up sale to newer car..smh. I explain I no longer want a Camry & Honda was my preference but not in my price range so I thought I was getting the next best thing-its competitor! They offered to flush/service a/c at no cost to me but advised it will come back...I explained just as I read on line. Now I have this disinfected odor blowing in my face trying to mask the the first odor. I see I made a horrible car buying mistake, the original warranty has expired due to miles and the 3mo, 6k warranty is in effect but does not apply to this situation. Car looks good but smells badly, I can't cover and say it's my pet because I don't have one, guess passengers will think I peed on myself & smell too.I haven't had a newer car in years and this is what I end up with-Guess I'm stuck like other Camry buyers and very disgusted!!

- banksnc, Charlotte, NC, US

problem #10

Jul 062015

Camry SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Every time we run the AC there is a musty, moldy smell from the vents. Worse if you run the AC, turn off the vehicle, then after a short period turn vehicle back on and run AC. Smells like mold is accumulating in the compressor/AC unit.

- msond, Fargo, ND, US

problem #9

Sep 122014

Camry LXE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

I have a beautiful 2014 Camry LXE, that is absolutely loaded! Right after the first oil change, about about 5000 miles, I honestly thought one of the dealership's technicians left a molded, wet, mildewed rag under my hood and it was smelling up my car. It became unbearable!

I opened the hood one day and looked for it! There was nothing! I took it in for them to find the mystery moldy odor! I got this crazy lame excuse about the climate, and they acted like it was just a mystery... They did a cabin refresh and changed the charcoal filter FREE and it fixed things for about 1000 miles. THEN IT CAME BACK!

I went back. Then they said they couldn't understand it and said Toyota told them to have me drive without my air on with the outside air circulating for about 5 miles before I reached my final destination each day to try to get the water (which is a manufacturing defect) to drain out... because if not, the water mildews/molds and then blows this horrible toxic stuff into me and my family's face and lungs.

Well, it's about two years now, and about every oil change, the dealership and I go round, but they do the same thing FREE. I just called in, and the service manager is no longer there, and they are refusing to any longer. I am embarrassed. I have had allergy like symptoms since owning the car, constantly had to clear my throat, have nasal drainage (and I don't have allergies!) My mother has asthmatic bronchitis and the beginnings of COPD, and I'm afraid to let her ride in my car, which lease remember is less than 2 years old and stickered for almost 32k!

Toyota is looking into it, but I really wonder if anything will happen. I do see some Class action suits out there, so who knows. They have a major issue that they are refusing to deal with. Come on Toyota, fix this issue, your customers (especially repeat Toyota customers like myself) deserve better!!). I have had to have this odor dealt with 5 times in less than two years and it is horrible.

Signed Sick - figuratively and literally.

- Sherry N., Stokesdale, US

problem #8

Feb 012015

Camry SE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

DO NOT BUY THIS CAR. I've never complained about a car before, but feel the need to warn others. There's a problem with moisture developing on the AC coil. It develops mildew/mold, and it CAN'T BE FIXED. It starts out as a slight musty smell that you notice every now and then, and it just gets worse from there until it just constantly smells bad LIKE PUTTING YOUR FACE IN A SMELLY SHOE. At the dealership they just give you the run around, probably because they can't fix it, or they don't want to acknowledge it's a problem again. Found out there's been the same problem with previous models which resulted in a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT, but that year wasn't included.

The SMELL IS AWFUL, and trying to fix it is even worse because the chemical they spray into it makes the smell worse for up to a week. They charge you $100 each time, and it smells worse after the spray (like a toxic gas which is likely the mold spores dying which can't be good to breath), but then it always comes back. After less than a month you need to repeat. We tried lots of other products and nothing works. The SMELL GETS WORSE over time, and THERE'S NO FIX. It's SO embarrassing I stopped driving other people around. Sometimes when I'm driving it, I get headaches and makes me feel ill. Had the car LESS THAN 2 YEARS, and SELLING IT. IT'S THAT BAD.

- stinky camry owner, Draper, UT, US

problem #7

Oct 292015

Camry XLE 4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,500 miles

Horrible smell in car. Musky stinky like an old wet rag. I don't know if it is from A/C or heater or rain. This car barely has 15,000 miles on it. I see other complaints about the smell. How may do we need before a recall?

- trunk slammer, Carrollton, TX, US

problem #6

Jun 012014

Camry Se Sedan

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

We purchased a 2014 Camry in December 2013 and the first summer is when the air conditioning started to blow mildew and musty smell. We complained to the dealership and the technician told my husband to make sure we ran the air conditioning on uncirculated cabin air so the vents would dry out from the moisture of being on max air cabin circulation. Needless to say that has not done anything and I just had my cabin air filter changed last month and it did nothing either.

Since I have researched this problem it appears there is a terrible problem with Toyota Camry and also Lexus is having this problem. I have only found a class action lawsuit out of California and no solution on that case that I know of. It appears from everyone else that there is not a fix and Toyota needs to compensate or recall.

Anyone else know of a solution that has been met? Before I pay any more money to try and fix a problem that is unfixable, does anyone know of any other law suits on this problem? Since the problem is so dominant in the Toyota Camry I will not buy another Toyota. Very disappointed in my new car, wish I could get rid of it.

- Maryann C., Gallatin, TN, US

problem #5

Jul 152015

Camry ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,000 miles

Same problem with the bad odor coming through the AC/heat vents. It began just before the car turned one year old. Toyota's solution is ridiculous: Run the fresh air only (no A/C) for 15 minutes before you turn the car off. Yeah right! Especially when it's 95 degrees outside and you're running a 10 minute errand. Plus, there is no logical reason that would work. They claim it reduces moisture in the condenser but, when the outside humidity is over 80%, seems like you're only introducing more moisture into the system.

We had a cool enough day this week to run only the vent air, without A/C and not on re-circulate. Still smelled when we turned it on. So, I think this problem will only continue, even into heating season. Maybe there is something in the hoses that connect the vents to the blower unit? Right now the odor dissipates after a minute or so but it sounds like this is only going to get worse.

I guess we are lucky. Our local dealer did the prescribed clean out of the evaporator, injected some kind of disinfectant and installed a charcoal cabin filter instead of the paper one it comes with. They said they ran it quite a while until the disinfectant odor went away. All of this for no charge. Unfortunately, it didn't help much. They also tried to convince me that the charcoal filter kills bacteria, which is b.s. It is a better odor absorber but it doesn't kill anything. I called to complain again and have not yet heard back.

I wish we had known about this before buying the car. We've been loyal to Toyota and haven't bought a brand new car since '93. It might not have been this one. So disappointing to learn they have known about this problem for several years and refuse to do anything about it.

Still trying to convince everyone that it is normal for the A/C system to emit odors.

- Nancy W., Fayetteville, AR, US

problem #4

Jul 152015

Camry SE 3.5L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

Here I was basking in the glow of buying my BEAUTIFUL Camry, waxing it seemingly every other month (not really) when BAM the A/C vents start blowing this foul smelling odor. Thinking this was going to go away in a couple days I waited to report it to my dealership..Not only did it not get any better it got worse..I took it to the dealership and was told to change the cabin filter and have the A/C "refreshed"!! They showed me TSB -0142-13 which essentially said the same thing and not covered by the warranty (nice) ..I know from experience that that is a band-aid fix that is not only dangerous (mold) but also to prevent the cost of a recall..I hope everyone will complaint but regardless I plan to contact everyone I can because breathing mold spores cannot be good for your health!!

- ad313w, Millers Creek, NC, US

problem #3

Mar 232015

Camry SE Sport 2.4L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,800 miles

Car has a very strong B.O. type smell coming from the A/C ducts when the recirculate is on. I've sprayed with a duct cleaner and deodorizer but the problem persists.

Update from Apr 3, 2015: After taking it into Toyota they suggested that some mud buildup within the wheel wells was likely causing the odor...They recommended I purchase a carbon-type cabin filter for $60 to help (not eliminate) the smell. I've tried dousing the intake at the cabin filter with Lysol but the smell still hasn't improved. I've also checked the drain line but it appears to be free and clear of any buildup. The next step at the dealership, I'm told, is to contact Toyota engineering for a recommended fix. On my invoice a service of 'Foam Flush Evap Coil' was marked as 'Declined by Customer'...this was done by the service manager because it wouldn't be covered by Toyota at this time. Only thing left to do now is use the recirculate less as suggested...

- Ben K., San Antonio, TX, US

problem #2

Dec 012014

Camry LE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,500 miles

Ok now I'm really getting sick of the awful musty, sour, BO smell. Don't even feel like getting in the car anymore. Every time I turn the A/C on it stinks!

- Jordan M., Lancaster , CA, US

problem #1

Jun 182014

Camry LTE V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles

No surprise the 2014 Camry has the same problem as previous years. Sure wish I had investigated prior to purchase.To have purchased a new car and get this problem so early prior to 7000 miles is totally disgusting. The dealership has changed cabin filter, inserted some solution somewhere and recently sprayed foam in the lines. Then they spray some disgusting perfume that they think will cover the smell. No a happy camper.

- Jan W., Suwanee, GA, US

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