really awful
Crashes / Fires:
34 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
36 / 0
Average Mileage:
70,294 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2003 Toyota Corolla Owner Comments (Page 12 of 14)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #51

Apr 102014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 98,000 miles


Accident involving this car rear ending another vehicle. Air bags did not deploy. This car was involved in a recall in early 2013 involving airbags deploying due to faulty electronic control module. We complied with the safety recall notice and had the car repaired by Toyota in 3/2013.

- Ansonia, CT, USA

problem #50

Apr 032014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
The red light for air bags has gone off and on intermittently for several years now. In the past it would only do this for brief period of time. Now it has gone on and stayed on. I have taken car to dealer and called Toyota cust svc. Dealer wants to charge for diagnostic test. Never had accident that caused air bags to deploy. Think Toyota should fix this. They have not offered to fix the problem. Dealer tells me this light being on means the air bag system is not functional. How can this not be their fault?

- Venice, FL, USA

problem #49

Dec 082013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
In November, 2013 the ourisman chantilly Toyota dealer serviced my car for 2 air bag related recalls. In December 2013 my car skid on ice and hit the jersey barrier head on with a significant front impact. The front bumper was all damaged but none of the air bags deployed. I have contacted the Toyota dealer "ourisman Toyota" in chantilly, va where I had purchased the vehicle new in 2003. The manager responded that the recall work was done properly and they have nothing to do with the non-deployment of the airbags in the accident and that I should contact Toyota for any concerns. I have called Toyota and they took the issue very lightly and suggested that their airbags are all tested and if there was no airbag light on prior to the accident then the airbag was functioning correctly. I insisted that something must have been wrong with the airbags and argued that if they are all so perfect then why do you have so many recalls. Finally he asked me to send the photos to determine if the airbag should have deployed. I sent the accident photos in February 2014 and have sent a reminder on March 2014 but they have not responded back. I strongly feel that Toyota is ignoring this issue. Since this vehicle was driven by me and my family particularly me daughter, I would like to know if we were at danger due to faulty airbags or not. If I am going to buy another vehicle then I should have the right to know the pros and cons of the makes and models. Most of all I believe it is a safety concern. I would request you to kindly follow up on this issue and let me know what you find. Thanks

- Chantilly, VA, USA

problem #48

Mar 172014


  • 154,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact was driving 25-30 mph when the front driver and passenger's side air bags deployed inadvertently and without warning. The interior cabin immediately filled with smoke and chemicals that were being released from the air bag, obstructing the contact's visibility. There were no injuries. The contact was able to shift into park and stop the vehicle without further incident. The contact spoke with a local dealer, who advised that it could possibly take over sixty days to investigate the failure. The vehicle was not repaired however, the manufacturer was made aware of the failure. Additionally, the contact stated that the front driver and passenger's side seat belts could not be used, as they were stuck in a locked position. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 154,000.

- Aguada, PR, USA

problem #47

Mar 022014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 174,348 miles
Right after the car was hit, the passenger airbag exploded, breaking the front windshield and hitting the driver in the head causing a cut of 7 stitches, and catching on fire. Airbag never inflated.

- San Lorenzo, PR, USA

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problem #46

Jan 142014


  • miles
I received a safety recall followup notification in early January 2014 regarding the front passenger airbag inflator module issue. I never received the first notice for this recall. I made an appointment with the westchester, NY Toyota dealership to have my car evaluated and dropped it off on January 14th. I got a call the next day saying that I would need to have a part replaced and that I would be given a rental free of charge (besides the $100 deposit) however, I declined the rental. Several days went by without a word from the dealership so I called to followup. They informed me that the part was not yet shipped out and they would call back with any updates. I asked if I could have my car back until the part came in but they informed me that since this is a safety issue I cannot have my car back. The rental was offered to me again. A week later I got another call telling me again that the part was not yet shipped. It is now March 9...it has nearly been two months since I dropped my car off. I spoke to the dealership again and they said the part is on national back order and the do not know when this part will be shipped or when my car will be fixed...I understand they are offering me a rental, however, I am paying to have my vehicle on the road and I do not want the added pressure worrying about having a rental in my possession. If this recall has been going on for so long this part should have been produced in enough quantities to fill the orders properly.

- Hastings On Hudson, NY, USA

problem #45

Jan 092013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles


I met with an accident in January 2013. It was really bad accident and my car got totaled. My air bag didn't open up. Now I am receiving this letter from Toyota that there is some defect in airbags of 2003-2004 model. What am I suppose to do when I already met with this horrible accident? will appreciate your response. Thank you

- Cordova, TN, USA

problem #44

Feb 062013


  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 13V133000 (air bags) but was unable to have the vehicle repaired because the part was not available. The contact stated that the recall repair had surpassed a reasonable time for repair. The contact had been waiting one year to have the recall repair performed. The manufacturer was not contacted. In addition, the contact stated that the check engine warning light was illuminated. The contact was not aware if the failure was associated with the recall campaign. The VIN was not available.

- San Lorenzo, PR, USA

problem #43

Jan 312014


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While driving 40 mph, the contact stated that the driver's side air bag inadvertently deployed. The air bag deployment caused the driver to rear end another vehicle. A police report was filed. The vehicle was not inspected nor was the failure diagnosed. Both the driver and passenger sustained bruises. The manufacturer was not made of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #42

Jan 242014

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
I was driving and was in the process of coming to a stop when the airbags deployed and I was knocked out. I was the only one in the vehicle when both airbags deployed and caused extensive damage to the car.. I ran into something which caused me.to.stop.. and caused more damage on the outside and right tire.. I have never been in any accident before or have I had issues with the car prior to this.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #41

Jan 132014


  • 165,040 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact was driving 45 mph and crashed into another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy however, no one was injured. On a second occasion, the contact was completing a turn and crashed. The air bags failed to deploy and two passengers sustained injuries. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was not taken for inspection of the air bag failures. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the recurring air bag failure. The failure mileage was 165,040.

- Woodstock, GA, USA

problem #40

Dec 012013


  • 164,000 miles
The contact owned a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact was traveling 35 mph and became involved in a crash. The air bags failed to deploy. The driver sustained bruising from the crash. The vehicle was towed to a salvage yard but was not inspected or repaired. The vehicle was deemed as destroyed. The manufacturer was not notified. The approximate failure mileage was 164,000.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #39

Sep 012013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Corolla. Consumer writes in regards to defective air bag recall notice. The consumer stated she received a recall letter regarding an air issue. The air bag light had already illuminated. When she arrived at the dealership to have the problem rectified, she was informed in order to correct the problems, she would have to pay $384.16. The consumer provided an invoice, that showed the sensor and harness were replaced. However, the air bag light was still on. According to the invoice, the spiral cable needed to be replaced.

- Austell, GA, USA

problem #38

May 012013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 299,999 miles
This is the second recall notice that I have received concerning the air bag recall. I immediately responded back in the spring 2013 (apprx.) when you sent the first recall notice. I called the dealership namely, jim bishop Toyota located in tuscumbia, Alabama at the following address; 122 highway 43 South, tuscumbia, Alabama, 35674; phone number (256)383-3611. I called and set up an appointment to come in and have them fix the problem. This vehicle is my sole mode of transportation so I was hoping that the problem would be resolved quickly. I left my vehicle early one morning and it stayed overnight and late into the evening this next afternoon. Basically 2 days. I called to check to see if my vehicle was ready. They had not even touched my car. Two days without ones vehicle for it to not even be looked at. Really" the only time it was moved I believe in those 2 working days was when they pulled it out of the bay in order to move in newer vehicles ahead of mine. I went to the dealership and picked up my vehicle. Then, on top of that, they seemed to care less that I was not getting my vehicle air bag replacement. They said they had ordered it and that it was on back order. Without a phone call to say as much. They said they would call me to let me know when it came in. Today is October 26, 2013. Its been approximately 5 months and not a word. I go to my mailbox this morning and there is my second recall notice for my airbag. What is a person to do when they try to do the right thing as far as taking their vehicles in to have the repair done and the dealership drops the ball" I want this to serve as an official notice of complaint. I trust that you will, after receiving this complaint, contact them and ask them why my vehicle was not repaired. Thank you in advance for you prompt attention to this urgent matter.

- Tuscumbia, AL, USA

problem #37

Oct 092013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 106,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that the vehicle was serviced under a manufacturer's recall for the air bags. The airbag warning lamp illuminated shortly after having the recall service performed. The vehicle was not taken for diagnosis or repairs. The manufacturer was made aware of the incident. The approximate failure mileage was 106000. Updated 03/31/14 the vehicle is being repaired by the consumer. Updated 04/01/2014

- Covington , GA, USA

problem #36

Oct 182013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 245,000 miles
The vehicle in front was turning to the left and decided to make a U-turn and hit front to front left.

- Campobello , SC, USA

problem #35

Sep 262013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 13V133000 (air bags) in the mail several months ago and stated that the dealer informed him the parts were not available for the repair. The manufacture was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. Updated 11/15/13 the consumer stated the dealer fixed the vehicle. Updated 11/21/13

- St Cloud, FL, USA

problem #34

Sep 142013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
Leaving a stop light on a highway going approximately 30 to 35 mph. The driver and passenger airbags deployed with no collision, bumps, or road construction.

- Goose Creek, SC, USA

problem #33

Jul 202013


  • 115,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign number: 13V133000 (air bags) and the vehicle was taken to the dealer for service. The air bag warning light illuminated after the repair. The vehicle was not repaired and the manufacturer was notified. The approximate failure mileage was 115,000.

- Saugus, MA, USA

problem #32

Aug 202013

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
I received a recall on my airbags a few months back. I took it to dealership last week and was told that there were two parts recalled. The dealership fixed those but then told me that my airbag light will stay on because I also need a new spiral cord which is not recalled. They wanted $500 bucks! after reading multiple complaints for the same thing, I am outraged that people have been hurt over this issue. The airbag either won't go off when needed, or it can deploy at any given moment. As you can imagine, I am terrified to drive my car knowing that it could go off at any moment. I feel like its a ticking time bomb. I have always raved about Toyota and what great cars they have and that I would never drive anything else. After calling the customer care line, I soon realized that they don't care at all. The rep was rude, and basically said that there was nothing she could do. This is a safety issue and can hurt people! I will never purchase another Toyota again..and I have informed my family that if I die in an accident from this issue, that they go full force after Toyota. They don't care for the owners well being. I am not the first to complain about this and won't be the last. Lets pray nothing happens to me or anyone else.

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

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