really awful
Crashes / Fires:
21 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
17 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,476 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 4 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #3

Nov 292002


  • miles


I bought a new 2003 Toyota Corolla in May 2002. Within a few months, we noticed that on occasion the rpms would surge to over 4,000 while driving on upgrades, and coasting on downgrades. In November of 2003, we were driving up a slight grade getting on the freeway, when the rpms once again surged to over 4,000, and the car would not exceed 60 mph. The engine began to make a fluttering noise and smelled hot. We pulled off the freway and let the engine cool down. It was fine after that. We took the car to chuck patterson Toyota in chico, ca. They told us that they could not find anything wrong, and couldn't do anything for us. In December 2003, we continued to experience the rpms surge for no apparent reason while driving up grades and coasting on down grades. We took the car to northridge Toyota, ca. They also inspected the car and told us that there was nothing wrong. In January 2004, I took the car to thousand oaks Toyota, ca. I took a mechanic for a test drive. When we coasted down a grade, the engine once again surged with the rpms exceeding 4,000. The mechanic immediately told me that the engine was dropping out of overdrive. My feelings of excitement that the car would finally be fixed qucikly turned to disappointment when the service mamager insisted that there was nothing abnormal with the car. They also refused to do anything. I am currently working with the customer relations department. Everyone is very polite, but I am getting the run around.

- Agoura Hills, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 022003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 3,031 miles
The consumer was driving 20 mph when the driver applied the brakes. The pedal had gone to the floor and the vehicle experienced extended stopping distance. The vehicle was taken to the dealer but they have not been able to identify the problem. The consumer turned the vehicle very slowly and heard a sharp noise and the vehicle begun to shake. The motor had gone wild. The brakes had gone out. The consumer tried to shut off the ignition and tried to place in neutral, then park, but nothing happened and the vehicle continued to run with no control. The vehicle ran into a tree. The driver sustained injuries.

- Lauderdale Lakes, FL, USA

problem #1

Aug 262003

(reported on)


  • miles
Consumer states while at a complete without any indication vehicle accelerated causing consumer to loosing control of vehicle resulting into a vehicle crash.

- Elyria, OH, USA

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