really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
13 / 0
Average Mileage:
54,922 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

problem #18

Oct 252011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While the contact was driving approximately 5 mph, the front driver and passenger side air bags deployed inadvertently. There was no personal injury. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician was unable to detect the cause of failure and the vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the problem. The approximate failure mileage was 121,000. Updated 11/29/11 a police report was provided. Updated 12/07/11

- Suffolk, VA, USA

problem #17

Aug 172011

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Car was stopped at a red light and both front airbags deployed with no warning. There was no accident, just sitting at the light.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #16

Feb 032011


  • miles
My husband was driving in a residential neighborhood. He took his eyes off the road and hit a parked vehicle. The airbags in our 2003 Toyota Corolla did not deploy and my husband hit his chin on the steering wheel and his head on the windshield. He received 16 staples and 12 stitches in his head, 5 stitched in his tongue and is being treated for neck injuries. There is significant damage to the front of our vehicle and I presume the car will be totaled. The airbags should have deployed given the extent of the damage and the location that the car was hit.

- Hamilton, OH, USA

problem #15

Aug 022010


  • 65,000 miles


My wife met with an accident on the garden state parkway and the car got crashed. My wife sustained injuries on chest due hit on the steering wheel. The air bags did not open.

- Edison, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jul 102010


  • miles
I was driving on cruise control on a highway (approx. 60mph) in my 2003 Toyota Corolla S. suddenly, it started accelerating on its own and started swerving. I hit the brake pedal and attempted to counter-steer but lost control of the car and crashed front-end into the guard rail, then the car started spinning and I believe it must have hit the guard-rail further down. The front is demolished, the driver side was bent in so could not open the door fully, the back bumper was gone and the passenger side was heavily scratched. The airbags never deployed.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

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problem #13

May 252010

Corolla 4-cyl

  • 200,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. The contact stated that when the vehicle approached a stop sign, both front air bags suddenly deployed and the horn began to sound. The horn stopped for a few seconds and the air bags began to make a "popping sound" and the horn began to sound again. A bystander disconnected the horn and the vehicle was towed to a dealer to be repaired. The driver was injured when the air bags deployed. A claim was filed with the insurance company; yet, it was denied. The failure and current mileages were approximately 200,000. Updated 11/03/10...updated 12/19/12 updated 12/21/2012 updated 02/22/13 updated 02/27/13

- Richmond , VA, USA

problem #12

Apr 282010


  • 28,000 miles


I was parked (motor running) in my 2003 Toyota Corolla in front of a friends house waiting for him to pick me up and go to lunch when my airbags deployed. My windshield was broken and I was hit in the forearm by the bag. I need your guidance on determining the what caused this situation and how to proceed with the repairs. I have talked to Toyota representatives here in puerto rico and they advised me they had no responsibility for the incident and if I wanted to determine what caused the airbags to deploy I would have to do it on my own. I was left with the feeling that ware and tare, mileage and car age are the factors causing the failure. If this is so Toyota should alert their clients to replace the airbag system after a certain mileage and /or car age. Because I am not a mechanic I told the Toyota representatives I would contact you to report the incident and their assertion they have no responsibility at all regarding this matter. I registered a police complaint and it was classified as not due to an accident. Presently my car is at my mechanics garage but no work is being done to it.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #11

Jul 092005


  • 15,000 miles
On July 9, 2005, I was involved in a single car collision driving a 2003 Toyota Corolla type S, in which the air bag did not deploy.

- Chico, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 202008

Corolla 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Corolla have defective air bags. Consumer wants to know about recalls for air bags on his vehicle. The consumer stated there was a loud explosion which startled everyone in the vehicle. They pulled over to the side of the road, but no one could determine the reason for the explosion. However after driving about 20 yards, a second explosion occurred and when the consumer looked over, he noticed the air bag had deployed in an abnormal way out of the steering wheel. It did not fully expand, but simply popped out. The consumer also noticed smoke and a strong odor. The consumer looked at the side of the vehicle and noticed that the passenger side air bag had also deployed. The consumer is seeking reimbursement. Updated 06/17/13

- Kaneohe, HI, USA

problem #9

Jun 022008


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Corolla. While driving approximately 35 mph, the contact rear ended a merging vehicle. The air bags failed to deploy, which concerned the contact. Both vehicles were damaged. There were no injuries. The vehicle was towed to a local lot and a police report was filed. The insurance adjuster has not determined the damage/loss to the vehicle. The vehicle has not yet been repaired. The current and failure mileages were 150,000.

- Azusa, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 162007

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles


I was driving my Toyota Corolla and hit another vehicle when they pulled out in front of me. My vehicle sustained damage to the front and the airbag did not deploy.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #7

Apr 272006

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
On April 27, 2006 my dad started the engine to go to church and the car accelerated in parking position. Car was turned off and started again, once started it drove fine. The same day when my dad was coming from church he started the car and when he put it in drive the car accelerated itself and itt bolted out and went over a pile of sand that was on the side on the road. The car flipped and stopped against the fence of a house. The air bags did not deploy. My dad was taken to the hospital and the car was a total loss. He was lucky to have his seat belt on. I've reviewed other complaints and it seems to me that this has happened too many times to just be a random defect. I hope this accident is investigated to avoid unnecessary deaths due to this problem.

- Trujillo Alto, PR, USA

problem #6

Mar 182006

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,300 miles
While rolling to a stop between traffic signals foot off the gas pedal my vehicle suddenly revved itself up and bolted forward creating a 3 vehicle accident. I hit the brake when I felt the initial surge, but still hit the vehicle in front. Seat belts were worn in each vehicle and my airbag didn't deploy. My vehicle has suffered over $4,500 in damage and won't run while it sits at an auto body shop, the nose and bumper are badly damaged. I was told this sounds like "unintentional acceleration". the vehicle is awaiting the parts for repairs.

- Easton, PA, USA

problem #5

May 182005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,000 miles
I had a substantial frontal collision in which my airbags never deployed. As a result my face and arms hit the steering wheel.

- Douglasville, GA, USA

problem #4

Jun 302004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The driver was involved in a frontal collision, and both frontal air bags failed to deploy. Driver and passenger sustained major injuries, and were transported to the hospital by ambulance. Vehicle was towed to a garage.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #3

Jun 152003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving 30-35 mph, another vehicle cut the consumer's vehicle off, this caused a head on collision. Upon impact, the air bags did not deploy. The driver, passenger and the other occupant in the vehicle sustained some injuries. The other vehicle made a left turn on the consumers right of way. Which caused the accident. The vehicle was totaled.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #2

Jul 192003

Corolla 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,856 miles
8856 miles during a 30mph collision with 2 parked cars, the front airbags never deployed.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 062003


  • 1,442 miles
The vehicle was involved in a frontal collision, and the air bags failed to deploy.

- Manteca, CA, USA

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