really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,237 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 Corolla body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments

problem #13

Jun 012015

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Many years ago I received a recall notice for the driver's side floor mat of my 2003 Toyota Corolla. The fix by Toyota was to install floor anchors to hold the floor mat in a stable position so it could not slide around. The fix worked for a few years, then the anchors broke. I paid Toyota for new anchors which again fixed the problem for some time. Recently, the anchors again failed and I will again need new anchors to stabilize the floor mat. I think Toyota should come up with a more permanent fix for this safety issue. Updated 7/20/15 updated 11/13/15

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #12

Jul 012013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Corolla. Consumer writes in regards to paint finish on hood is damaged with rust.

- San Lorenzo, PR, USA

problem #11

Oct 232010


  • 39,097 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact started the ignition and the check engine warning indicator illuminated on the instrument panel. The warning indicator remained illuminated until the engine was turned off. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician informed that rodents had chewed through the fuel tank line. The vehicle was repaired with the replacement of the fuel tank line. The failure mileage was 39,097. Updated 03/08/11 updated 11/22/11

- Brentwood, TN, USA

problem #10

May 012010


  • miles


The interior door handles of the 2003 Corolla S have chrome plating that peels with normal use. The peeling chrome is sharp and has caused laceration injury to those using the handles. The handles need to be replaced which requires taking the door apart. My rear door handles were replaced in 2006 at my expense and now both front door handles need replacing immediately so as to avoid further injury. This is a manufacturer defect and the consumer should not need to pay.

- Grand Rapids, MI, USA

problem #9

Jun 152007


  • 40,000 miles
The metal on the door handles started peeling off. It is very sharp and will slice open skin if not careful. Front two doors were replaced because car was still under warranty. Now back doors are starting to peel and are no longer under warranty. The plastic underneath is very ugly and cheap looking...so have to pay to be replaced.

- East Earl, PA, USA

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problem #8

Oct 282007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
I own an '03 Toyota Corolla which I purchased new. At the 45,000 mile mark my rear suspension collapsed while driving at 20mph on a newly paved city street - there were no potholes or obstructions. The service department at my Toyota dealership attributed the failure to be "climate but no excuses." The rear suspension had "rotted" (rusted) out. They also said that this was not all common. I just spoke to a Toyota mechanic with 20 years experience - he has never seen this problem but said it was possible. He also questioned whether the underbody had been properly treated on the assembly line. He would not expect this to happen in such a young car - more likely with a 10 year old car. I did not get to visually see the broken, rotted parts. Toyota repaired the problem at my expense - $604 - and they recently offered me a settlement for $301. The parts replaced were the rear struts and springs. This issue also raises concern for the front suspension.

- South Dennis, MA, USA

problem #7

Jul 012005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 29,919 miles


I bought a 2003 Toyota Corolla from a certified car dealership, and was sold a car that was involved in a major accident and was not reported. The whole front of the car has none of the original parts to the car which depreciated the value of the car, but it was still sold to me as slightly used in great condition, low mileage and suppose to have never been in an any accidents, I also found out the this car did not pass inspection at the time of purchase, I had to bring the car back to the dealership numerous times starting five days after I bought it. I tried giving the car back and they said that there is nothing that they could do because the contract is already signed, and because of the extensive damages to the car they will only give $6,000 for the car when in fact they sold it to me for over $15,000.

- Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #6

Jul 012006

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
: the contact stated that the plastic footrest on the floorboard fractured off. There was no indication prior to the incident. The plastic footrest went behind the brake pedal which disabled the vehicle from braking until the part could be removed. The vehicle has not been inspected by a dealer.

- Orange, TX, USA

problem #5

Jun 102005

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,270 miles
I purchased a 2003 Toyota Corolla on May 2003. During may - June 2005 I noticed several air bubbles (1.5" diameter) on three door panels skin from inside. The warranty on the car expired just one month before the problem was noticed - on May 11 2004 the car had only 33000 + miles. I contacted and showed the car to brian murray. He promised that he will talk to Toyota and call me back. He never called back, so I called him after one week, he promised the same thing and never called back. I threatened the dealership of going on the internet with the issue. Service manager - chris brown - wrote on 29th and mentioned that brian called my cell phone and left several messages (which is a flat out a lie, I can prove that no one called from the dealership through my cell phone usage records) and asked me to come back to show the car once again. I requested him to talk to brian as he is aware of the problem as that would save time for all involved. Until this date he has neither called nor replied to any of my subsequent emails. I believe that as the air bubbles appeared just in three years time with only 33000 + miles on car it is a defective product and company / dealership should help correcting the problem. I also feel that as a loyal customer for over three years, I was ill treated: No response, lies that they called when they did not, and no response to my repeated emails. See my recent email to them - mon, 12 Sep 2005 10:54:37 -0700 (pdt) from: "sudhakar lahade" add to address book to: "brown, chris", bmurray@group1atlanta.com Mr. Chris brown, it has been two weeks since your last email and more than three weeks since I wrote the first time, more than 50 days since I showed my car at your dealership, and I am still where I was on the issue. In your last email (the only) you mentioned "I look forward to resolving this issue for you" and I believed you meant it. I hope you realize the frustrations!

- Nocross, GA, USA

problem #4

Oct 312004

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 38,800 miles
Paint bubbled and peeling all over car.

- Knoxville, IA, USA

problem #3

Jan 152004

(reported on)


  • miles


Consumer discovered a water leak in the vehicle. When the consumer went to pick up the replacement vehicle, which was a 2004 Corolla, she discovered molding at the base of the driver's door.

- Russell, IA, USA

problem #2

Aug 152001

(reported on)

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer states while traveling during the day, he was unable to read the dash indicator due to sun light. Due to extreme glare, it reduced the consumers visibility while driving. Instrument panel becomes unreadable.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #1

Jan 012003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Complaint concerning additional floor padding added to all 2003 Corolla's manufactured after 1/03 to improve crash test rating. I would like a recall to install this safety padding on all 2003 Corolla's. this is a safety issue which is important to all 2003 Corolla owners.

- Bethpage, NY, USA

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