hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
94,435 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 Tacoma drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #7

Jul 132016


  • 212,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. While driving approximately 40 mph over a bump and depressing the brake pedal, the transmission jerked suddenly. The failure occurred every day for the past month. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The VIN was unknown. The approximate failure mileage was 212,000.

- Darlington, PA, USA

problem #6

Nov 152014


  • 86,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. While the vehicle was at a stop light attempting to shift into another gear, the shift lever failed to change gears. The contact stated that the ignition was turned off and back on in order for the vehicle to shift. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, where it was diagnosed that the center force clutch failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,000.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #5

May 192014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 236,500 miles
Car stumbles/hesitates intermittently at various speeds. Have spent time/money trouble shooting the problem/making repairs with no affect on problem. Problem appears to be drive by wire throttle body Toyota part # 22030-62020 (Toyota data per VIN shows this part should not be on my car). Toyota has a program to replace throttle body if found to be defective (for a limited time) except problem cannot be duplicated in the shop and it does not cause any codes. On-line research indicated problem is with the throttle position sensor (tsp) or the accelerator pedal position sensor (apps) on the throttle body failing. Research indicates Toyota is aware of this problem as they will replace part free if proven defective and apparently has redesigned their throttle body. Issue is, most of the time the dealer cannot reproduce the problem in the shop and since it does not cause a code they will not honor the warranty program because they will not be reimbursed without proving the part is defective. The problem with this throttle body has been identified in vehicles with as little as 30000 miles to over 250000 miles per on-line research. While riding with me the dealer's technician has seen and felt the stumble/hesitation (RPM drops about 150 to 250 RPM when traveling at a constant speed for no reason) but has never been able to duplicate it in the shop or identify the cause. This stumbling/hesitation occurs everytime the car has been driven for longer than 20-30 minutes since the 1st occurrence. Twice it has stumble while making a left turn at an intersection causing me to almost get hit by an on coming vehicle. This throttle body is a non-serviceable part and cannot be repaired, per the dealer it is required to be replaced as a unit. This part needs to be recalled and Toyota required to replace it at no cost now instead of only when it fails before someone is killed.

- Sumter, SC, USA

problem #4

Sep 192011

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • miles


I am concerned about the rear axle housing on my 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The metal on the reward side of the ring gear housing is very thin and will rust out and begin to leak. I have personally seen gear oil leaking through pinholes in the rear axle on two other Toyota trucks. The thin metal and lack of anti-corrosion treatment on the axle housing creates several significant hazards. 1. eventual failure of the mechanical components if leak is not detected. If the failure occurs while in motion this can cause an accident if it is a severe failure that locks up the rear wheels. 2. structural integrity of the rear axle housing. The metal is weakened due to the corrosion and can possible cause the housing to bend or break. Again causing an accident. 3. pollution. The leaking gear oil through the rusted axle housing causes pollution of ground water and other environmental concerns.

- Warren, VT, USA

problem #3

Sep 012011


  • 106,235 miles
Rust out of the differential cover. All of the oil in the differential leaked out. No parts are available from Toyota. The complete differential must be replaced at a cost of over $ $1,000. This is a major problem as per many Toyota forums on the net. Toyota will not stand by this repair and will not admit to any problem about rust.

- Port Crane, NY, USA

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problem #2

Sep 122010

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Tacoma. Consumer is having a number of issues with the vehicle. Front drive shaft broke due to rust, frame rusting, and transmission cooler was leaking.

- Garrison, NY, USA

problem #1

Apr 042005

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,310 miles
Once in a while when I am driving my 2003 Toyota Tacoma VIN [xxx] it starts going off the lane and requires extra power to get back on track. This has happened 3 time so far on the local surface streets here in tempe. I have not experienced this behavior on highway. Also after that the hand-break light will come on and it will not go off. I did not even put hand break. The hand-break light will go off after a while. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Tempe, AZ, USA

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