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Toyota Camry Reliability and Common Problems

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You can never go wrong with a Toyota Camry. Its agile handling, superb engine, and comfortable interior make it one of the most reliable cars in its segment. But just like any other vehicle out on the market, it isn’t perfect. Whether you’re planning to buy a Camry or already driving one, it’s helpful to have an idea about its reliability ratings and the common issues you may encounter with it as it gains mileage.

Is the Toyota Camry Reliable?

The Toyota Camry has a good reputation in terms of reliability. RepairPal gave an above-average rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 3rd out of 24 midsize vehicles. Older generation Camrys also scored well in this category. For instance, RepairPal gave the 1998 Toyota Camry a reliability score of 4.0 out of 5.0. Meanwhile, JD Power named the Camry one of the best consumer-rated sedan from 2014 to 2016.

2021 Toyota Camry XLE
The 2021 Toyota Camry received a 5-star rating for both the front and side crash safety categories from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Image Source: Toyota

Aside from topping the reliability charts, the Camry also has great safety ratings. For instance, the 2021 model received a 5-star rating for both the front and side crash safety categories from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Previous models also scored well in safety ratings. For instance, the 2019 Camry earned a 5-star overall safety after getting perfect scores for all the safety categories.

The Camry can have a service life of up to 200,000 to 300,000 miles. With proper care and maintenance, it can last up to 15 to 20 years. All these data prove that the Toyota Camry is one of the best in its segment.

Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry Reliability

The Camry and the Accord are both outstanding midsize sedans, which is why they are often compared to one another. They both top the list in terms of quality, value, popularity, and, above all, reliability. RepairPal rated the Accord 4.5 out of 5—while the Camry, as discussed, received a 4.0 rating. The most obvious differences between these two models are the Accord’s sportier feel and wide rear seat area. 

Top Toyota Camry Problems

There is no doubt that the Camry is one of the best-selling Toyota vehicles on the market. However, just like any other sedan, it isn’t uncommon for it to develop issues as it gets older. Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems that Toyota Camry owners have encountered through the years:

AC and Heater Issues

Several owners of the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Camry reported smelling something musty coming from their AC vents. In fact, a class action lawsuit was filed alleging that 2012 Camrys have faulty air conditioning systems that cause mold growth. Most complainants had their vehicle’s AC serviced in an attempt to solve the issue.

Some Camry owners also complained that their AC compressor stopped working or that their AC heater stopped blowing air. Luckily, these issues can be fixed by replacing the faulty component.

Torque Converter Failure 

Torque converter failure is the most common problem involving the 2014 Toyota Camry. Owners of the affected vehicles said they experienced symptoms at around 69,350 miles. Some reported that their sedan suddenly shudders at very low or high speeds. Thankfully, this issue can be solved by getting a torque converter replacement or, in some cases, the transmission.

Door Lock Malfunction

Common Toyota Camry 2011 problems involve the model’s interior accessories. Some Camry owners complained that their door locks malfunctioned at around 85,000 miles. A door lock actuator replacement is usually the solution to this problem.

Aside from door lock failure, there were also several complaints involving other interior parts and accessories. Some owners complained of sticky or melting dashboards and a defective sun visor. Fortunately, all these issues can be addressed by replacing the faulty components.

Rear Window Damage

Meanwhile, some owners of the 2010 Camry reported problems with their rear window. Most complainants said that their rear window shattered. Based on the data from the reports, this usually happens at around 47,750 miles. The average repair cost for this issue is around $480, which includes both the replacement and labor costs.

Excessive Oil Consumption

This problem seems common across several model years, and it is most prevalent on the 2007-2009 models. In fact, excessive fuel consumption is on the top list of the 2007 Toyota Camry problems—making this year one of the worst for the Camry.

Excessive fuel consumption is one of the top 2009 Toyota Camry problems registered in CarComplaints.com, which recorded at least 219 complaints regarding the issue. The solution varies depending on what caused the problem. Common fixes include replacing a faulty engine block oil pistons, and/or piston rings.

Toyota released a technical service bulletin (TSB) in 2011 to acknowledge that some Camry models were indeed consuming excessive oil, specifically those released between 2006 and 2011. Aside from replacing faulty engine components, this issue can also be addressed by rebuilding the engine.

Transmission Issues

Just like most vehicles out on the market today, the Camry isn’t spared from transmission-related problems. Some of the issues reported Include transmission slipping, gear shifting issues, and delayed engagement.

These transmission problems may vary per model year. For instance, Toyota Camry gear shift problems for the 2002 model were only a few. Meanwhile, hesitation when accelerating is on the top list of the 2003 Toyota Camry problems.

These issues are not exclusive to Toyota Camrys. They also affect other Toyota models and vehicles. If you’re in the market for a Camry, know that there’s little risk to buying one as long as you’re aware of the potential problems that it may have or develop. Check out the NHTSA website or use our guide to find out if the model you’re eyeing is affected by any recall.

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