really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,675 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2002 Toyota Camry:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

problem #18

Jan 062017


  • 120,381 miles
During recent work under the hood the hood support rod (support cylinder) became noisy and retarded motion when raising or lowering the hood. A serious engine compartment fire occurred when the when the hood support rod became disengaged at the lower end shorting the battery to the rod attached to the hood. The vehicle was parked and the fire was observed upon returning to the vehicle from the auto parts store..

- Merritt Island, FL, USA

problem #17

Jan 082016


  • 125,000 miles
Please help me. I purchased my car from Toyota superstore in hartford ct February 9,2005 new. The car shuts off while in drive.there are 3 light that comes on; check engine light, the battery and the gas light. This problem has been going on since the first Wednesday of 2013. Ti was an intermittent problem. Now it 21016 and it a frequent annoyance. They did not try to help me with any recall issues. My car has 5 recalled items on this vehicle but all of these were issues that I address out of my pocket. You issued those recall after my monies were spent to carry on diagnostics, and the changing of parts that had no bearing on the problem. While customer like myself spend and spend and spend.this car was $30,000 and because I had done a trade in unfairly good condition. I was able to to get it for $2000 less. I need your intervention in the matter. I am certain I am not the only one in America with this issue. It is appalling that Toyota make these defective vehicles and sell them with the hopes that at 100,00 miles you are going to have to get rid of the vehicle because it begins to break on you. No one in America is willing to drive a car like mine, but I cannot do any better. My family keeps saying I should get rid of the car because the money I am spending on it come buy a new one but I cannot afford car payment right now. My economics is not the best. When I purchased this vehicle I did so believing that this vehicle would last a considerably long time. My confidence was based on the reputation of a company that had integrity and wholesome family values. I am reliant on a car to get me from point a to B. I take my client to see houses and I need a good functioning car to conduct business. I need a good functioning car to make money. I need a well functioning car to take care of my safety on the roadway at nights. Please intervene in this matter.

- Bloomfield, CT, USA

problem #16

Aug 172015


  • 45,000 miles
The car now has approximately 80,000 miles on it - for at least the last 35,000 miles, it's had a problem with either stalling or not restarting after the engine's turned off (often, several incidents will occur in rapid succession, after which the car will function properly for months). Stalling tends to occur when the car is decelerating and coming to a stop - if adequate speed can be maintained, the engine will sputter but won't shut down. In my opinion the stalling and failure to restart problems are connected and I've read of other Camry owners who've been confronted with this issue. Unfortunately, after an incident nothing registers on the car's computer, so mechanics really don't where to start in diagnosing the problem and formulating a possible fix. My car's been meticulously cared for and I've put a lot of money into trying to solve this problem, but nothing has worked so far - the car has been taken to a Toyota dealer and to an independent mechanic. I've contacted Toyota headquarters about the problem, but they're unwilling to address it, even though I've told them my online searches have revealed other owners with the same problem. I've also told Toyota that were I to explore trading-in the vehicle (with full disclosure), I have no doubt a dealer would accept it and pass it on to an unsuspecting buyer. I'm convinced there's a fairly widespread problem Toyota's unwilling to address.

- Scarsdale, NY, USA

problem #15

Aug 012014

Camry 6-cyl

  • 89,000 miles
Ignition key was removed with transmission in drive and ignition switch not in off position. This has now happened at least twice.

- West Orange, NJ, USA

problem #14

Dec 232013

Camry 4-cyl

  • 39,900 miles
Components on vehicle dash not operating. Instrument panel stopped working. No temp. Gauge, no fuel gauge, no tach or speedometer. Light on instrument panel not working. Have been to three mechanics who diagnosed but cannot repair. Contacted Toyota and quoted excessive price of $780 plus tax and diagnostic time to repair.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #13

Jun 192013

Camry 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Harsh/hard/delayed shifting between 2nd and 3rd or 2nd and 4th (overdrive) on 1mz-fe V6 engine due to faulty engine control module failing to regulate transmission solenoids properly. This issue occurred on the ECM on rav4 (same year, 2002) and resulted in settlement in which Toyota agreed to repair all.

- Dearborn, MI, USA

problem #12

Dec 032012

Camry 4-cyl

  • miles
2002 Toyota Camry. Consumer writes to request a full investigation against a local dealer for fraudulent and deceptive business practices related to their vehicle not starting

- Florence, MA, USA

problem #11

Jul 072012

Camry 4-cyl

  • 156,000 miles
My son was making a left turn off brown rd onto amber glen dr in charlotte, nc when the cars steering wheel locked up causing the car to go out of control. When he tried to press the brakes to stop the car it would not stop. The car hit a tree that cause major damage to the vehicle. Thank god no one was hurt/injured or killed. But my 2002 Toyota Camry is totaled and cannot be repaired. I just bought this car in April 2012 from the Toyota Scion dealership in huntersville, nc and was not made aware of any problems or recalls with the steering wheel locking up. This is a very serious issue that could have caused someone to lose their life. I feel like I have been mislead and cheated out of my money to purchase the vehicle. This car should not have been sold to anyone and why was the dealership not aware of the problem and made the customer aware or did they just not care. Toyota has left a bad memory that I will never forget and that is definitely a bad way to run a business. I have not even had the car for 3 months and this is what happens. www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2002/Toyota/Camry/steeringhttp://www.carproblemzoo.com/Toyota/Camry/steering-wheel-problems.php.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #10

May 112002

Camry 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles
My car alarm goes off during the night and will not reset. This has happened periodically.

- Il, IL, USA

problem #9

Dec 282010


  • 104,100 miles
On Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at approximately 8:30 pm, (AZ-gmt) I was driving my 2002 Toyota Camry SE 4-dr in a road construction zone at 15 miles per hour. I came to a stop at a red signal light when I smelled the odor of an electrical fire. I started checking the dashboard for any warning lights on, which there were none lit. A/C and heater switches were in the off position. As the light turned green, I went through the intersection and pulled over immediately. I started looking around the interior to see if something was burning. As I was checking the back seat, I saw black smoke billowing out of the rear bottom of the car, thinking that it was something burning in the trunk. I used the trunk lever to open it, got out of the car and noticed that nothing was burning there, and went back to the drivers door. I then noticed flames coming from the bottom of the engine compartment. I realized that the engine was still running. I turned the car off and ran a safe distance away from it. I dialed 911 to report the fire. I was less than a half mile from home and called my husband, who responded in less than 5 minutes with a large fire extinguisher. He did not open the hood, but tried to extinguish the flames from the front end, but was unsuccessful. The fire spread rapidly into the front seat area before the fire dept arrived. The car was a total loss. There was nothing wrong with the Toyota as it was in good operating condition and serviced regularly. Previously that day, I had driven the car approximately 10 miles without any issues or problems. Just before the fire, I had driven the car for approximately 4 miles on surface streets at 25 miles per hour. The car was running just fine, and there were no indications of problems like a loss of power, and no warning lights had come on at all. I was the second owner of the car. My mother bought the car brand new in 2002 in mesa, AZ from superstition springs Toyota. The car was always maintained.

- Lake Havasu City, AZ, USA

problem #8

Aug 022010


  • 60,468 miles
One of two electronic accelerator position sensors malfunctioned on my 2002 Toyota Camry. I experienced a sluggish response to pedal action (I.e. I had to push the pedal farther than normal to gain any acceleration - check engine light was also illuminated). I immediately drove to my mechanic's shop for evaluation and repair. After running diagnostics, he determined that the sensor had malfunctioned and advised me not to drive the car any further until it was repaired. As I understand it, from my mechanic's explanation, the sensor determines the position of the accelerator and sends a request for acceleration as a voltage ranging from 0-5V, where 0V is no acceleration and 5V is full-throttle. Through further testing, he determined that the sensor that had malfunctioned was reading 5V. I find it very concerning that in the event of failure the sensor does not "fail safe" (I.e. fail to 0V, rather than 5V). The technician explained that the second sensor was there as a safety redundancy, but either way, "fail safe" is one of the most basic design concepts in an application where safety is critical as is the case here. In my conversation with Toyota, they would not stand behind the part (my warranty had expired and it was not on recall), nor could they give me any assurance that the replacement part had been redesigned in such a way that it would "fail safe." I am a wife, mother of two small children, and the primary income generator for our family. I do not feel good about what I now know about the safety of my car and do not feel that Toyota took my concerns to heart. I would appreciate anything you could do to help. I suspect I may not be the only one to experience this safety failure.

- Prairie Du Chien, WI, USA

problem #7

May 112009


  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Camry. She stated that while driving approximately 30 mph, the electrical system failed causing the vehicle to lose power and the ABS system failed. The dealer advised that the vehicle computer system was damaged causing the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer would not provide any assistance. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 30,000 and the current mileage was 50,000.

- Upper Montclair, NJ, USA

problem #6

May 052010


  • miles
On driving, smoke and fire from passenger side door, 2002 Toyota Camry le.

- Madison, AL, USA

problem #5

Sep 032009


  • 75,000 miles
2002 Toyota Camry xle comes to a stall (engine stops running and car does not restart for a few minutes) on red light and stop sign. Many parts have been replaced or fixed but does not fix the issue. The car automatically restarts in a few minutes in most cases. It is very dangerous for a car to stop suddenly at red light or stop sign.

- Herndon, VA, USA

problem #4

Apr 152003


  • 50,000 miles
2002 Camry le,50K miles always pulls to left. Has been to dealer and various shops. Steering wheel shudders and vibrates at any and all speeds. Problem is structural. Brakes are constant problem. Sunroof will not seal correctly therefore rear floor is now wet. Now experiencing electrical problems. Would have been better off buying a 1950 studebaker! and GM is in trouble? last Toyota for me. Car is unsafe.

- Bellerose, NY, USA

problem #3

Feb 182007

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Toyota Camry le 2.4 L winter weather cause to vvt on auto to fail and stall engine. Stalled engine caused lost of controls, steering, brakes, etc..parts replaced were oxygen sensors, cat.convertor, etc.. the vvt is variable valve timing control along with ocm, PCM, throttle sensor, mass air sensor which regulates the engine performance.

- Mckeesport, PA, USA

problem #2

Jun 272006

Camry 4WD 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
The car would not start. Jump started it. Drove around but just stalled after 2 miles. Again tried to start but could not. Battery ok. Called tow company and put the car back in my garage. Again jump started it to pull back into garage. Let the car remain started in parking position. Engine again died after 5 minutes.

- La Mirada, CA, USA

problem #1

Dec 312005

Camry 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,300 miles
On 12/31/05, during a rainstorm, the hazard lights on the vehicle started flashing while the vehicle was parked at our home and not running. The only way to turn off the hazard lights was by removing the fuse. The next day, while driving the car, we found that we had no turn signals as the fuse removed also controlled them, and we discovered there was about an inch of water on the floor on the driver's side of the vehicle. We replaced the fuse, and although the hazard lights were no longer constantly flashing, when a turn signal is activated both lights go on causing a driving hazard. At our earliest convenience (on 1/17/06), I drove the vehicle to the closest Toyota service and dealer (modesto Toyota, and hour and a half drive from our home). After checking the vehicle I was informed that there was a leak in the firewall near the driver's side door and that water damage had caused the electrical damage. Furthermore, they (modesto Toyota) could not repair the damage; we would need to take the vehicle to an auto body shop. We next took the vehicle to the dealer where it was purchased, merced Toyota, on 1/25/06. The results were the same, and we were also informed that there was a technical service bulletin regarding this problem (although no one ever offered to give us a copy, or even allow us to read it). We were also told that Toyota would not fix this problem, although they know about it, because we were past the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. The possibility of a water leak that can cause major electrical damage is a hazard. Because of this problem, we have been driving our car, with our 5 year old and 2 year old daughters in the back, with no working turn signals for almost two months. Toyota is aware of this problem as evidenced by the tsb (I believe it is #B001503, NHTSA# 1000348), yet they have not made consumers aware of this potential hazard and the need to have this seam repaired before it leaks.

- Sonora, CA, USA