The Toyota nameplate remains one of the most popular brands in the automobile market. In fact, the latest 2021 Brand Finance Automotive Industry report shows that Toyota overtook the Mercedes Benz nameplate to cling to the award as the Most Valuable Automobile Brand in the world with an estimated brand value of about $59.5 billion. Isn't that just cool?
Anyways, the thrust of this article is on one of Toyota's most successful models, the Toyota Camry. Toyota Camry is currently regarded as one of the top 5 mid-size sedans produced to the highest quality standard. In fact, a 2020 J.D. Power mid-size car Awards places Toyota Camry in the 5th position (along with the Honda Accord), with a Quality and Reliability Score of 82/100, only behind the likes of Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat in that order.
However, irrespective of the high rating Toyota Camry enjoys, there are still issues commonly associated with the mid-size sedan that our readers and followers should know about, especially as most Nigerians can only afford to buy fairly used cars. So before deciding on what years model of the Toyota Camry to buy, take a look at these most common Toyota Camry problems we will highlight in this article.
The All-new 2021 Toyota Camry looking fresh
Most common Toyota Camry problems
Some of the most common Toyota Camry problems are usually centred around the following areas listed below. We will now explore these issues in details, even as we highlight the Camry models most affected.
- Engine Problems
- Transmission issues
- Problems with Interior Accessories
1. Engine Problems
Toyota is one auto brand that takes the reliability and dependability of their cars very seriously. That's why their cars, including Toyota Camry, always receive the highest possible ratings in that regard. However, the famous Toyota Camry still suffers from some engine-related issues like.
- Excessive oil consumption
- Oil burning
For excessive oil consumption, the Toyota Camry model years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 are the most prone to this issue. In fact, the 2007 models had the most complaints of excessive oil consumption, closely followed by the 2009 model. Owners of these models complained bitterly of how the engine oil was running out after about 1200 miles of usage.
Toyota Camry 2007 - 2012 models experience excessive oil consumption
Furthermore, the 2007 models mainly were plagued with burning oil issues. Experts believe that defective piston rings are behind these issues. Other issues include unintended acceleration while braking and speed control issues. Owners of 2007 to even 2020 models of the Camry have complained of these issues. A situation where the cars accelerate on their own even when the brake is pressed down. Others complain of slow or delayed acceleration, even when the accelerator is fully engaged.
Thus if you're getting any of these models of the Camry, be informed that you may likely experience some of these issues. Don't forget to factor this into what price you buy a car for when you notice any of these issues provided they can be fixed.
2. Transmission issues
There have been several complaints on transmission related issues (automatic transmission) with the Camry. Several owners have reported instances where the vehicle's gear stick shifted erratically on its own without the driver doing so. Others have complained of their vehicle shaking uncontrollably while in motion, as well as an unexpected surge in acceleration. Other transmission issues reported include,
- Transmission slippage
- Vehicle rolls even after being shifted into the park gear
- Unexpected drop into a lower gear
Below is an experience related by a 2009 Toyota Camry owner,
I just got this car right before new years as a gift from my parents for Christmas. 6 months later, the transmission started acting up. gears were downshifting at random when throttling and even when braking gently. 2nd gear to the first gear lagged and downshifted late causing me to jerk forward a bit. gas on pedal caused RPMs to jump up, yet the next gear was not engaged causing RPMs to shot up without changing gears.
Skipping stopped after I parked with the E brake. After that, the reverse started to not work. I took it to a Toyota dealership, they said it's the start of the wear and tear on the transmission. WTF? I bought it 6 months ago. how the heck could it be transmission issues? I just got this car? they sold me a lemon and I was past the 6 months. I could do anything about it, $20,000 in debt, and I can't even drive my car.
As a result of these issues, some reported that their vehicle's transmission failed and had to be replaced. Interestingly, the models most affected by this problem range from 2007 up to 2018 models. So, look out for these transmission issues during your test drive before making a purchase decision.
>>> We think these articles on vehicle transmission might interest you
- What are parts of automatic transmission? How does it work?
- 5 most noticeable advantages of manual transmission
3. Problems with Interior Accessories
This issue is very much common to (2006 - 2015) models of the Camry. The most common of these interior accessories problem is the issue of melting and sticky dashboard materials. More than that, users of models of Camry complained that the melting dashboard gave off a shiny glare that made it challenging to see clearly while driving.
Melting dashboards is a common problem of early models of the Camry
Other interior accessories complaints by owners of a Camry include the following,
- Dashboard Cluster Malfunction
- Broken Sun Visor
- Defective auto-door locks
Malfunctioning dashboard cluster issues were reported in (2007 - 2008) models while broken sun visors were noticed in every model from 2006 to 2011. The issue of defective door locks was also noticed in (2007 - 2009) models. So make sure to look out for these issues when you're checking out the car. Our advice is that you consider buying more recent models, starting from 2014 models.
The following link highlights some Toyota Technical Service Bulletins for 2003 to 2017 models of the Camry. For more on common Toyota Camry problems, see the video below.
Top 5 Problems Toyota Camry Sedan 7th generation 2011-19
Those are some of the main issues you should look out for when checking out a used Toyota Camry model before buying. Considering that you have known some most common Toyota Camry problems, you should check these issues more carefully if when you are doing the test drive. Make sure to pay close attention to how the vehicle transmission behaves and ask your mechanic to check for the engine issues highlighted earlier. We still see Toyota Camry as a really solid and economical car, especially if you consider its fuel efficiency.
We hope this article will help you make an informed decision when picking a used Toyota Camry model in Nigeria. You can also read our article on How to negotiate a car price with a seller like a Pro.