Which Toyota Camry Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Toyota is a well-known automobile manufacturer. The Camry sedans have a stellar reputation for quality and dependability. Even yet, there are a few Toyota Camry years that you should steer clear of.

Recalls have been a concern with some models. Engine issues, interior accessories problems, transmission problems, faulty brakes, and damaged wheels are some of the most common problems with many Toyota Camry years.

I’ll tell you which ones are worthwhile and which you should avoid at all costs in the sections below.

Toyota Camry Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Toyota has been selling the Camrys abroad since 1982, across many versions. The majority of older and modern models are considerably superior to certain notable models.

The Car Complaints website got a lot of complaints about these cars. The following years should be avoided at all costs:

  • 2002 Toyota Camry
  • 2003 Toyota Camry
  • 2007 -2012 Toyota Camry

Throughout eight generations, the Camry has seen significant changes. If at all possible, avoid purchasing any of the models I’ve just cited. Thousands of complaints and difficulties have burdened these years.

The years 1999, 2005, 2014, and 2018 all got a significant number of complaints. These, however, are not as terrible as the worst.

Worst Years of Toyota Camry:

There were far more complaints in these two years than in the others. These are the following:

  • 2007 Toyota Camry
  • 2009 Toyota Camry

Both years had a terrible issue with oil consumption. These years needed more oil than any of the previous years. The Toyota Camry 2007 received total of 1017 complaints on Car Complaints whereas the 2009 year received 475 complaints.

What Makes These Toyota Camry Years’ Worth Avoiding?

The Toyota Camry is often considered to be the company’s marginalized model. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevalent challenges that these Sedans face.

2002 Toyota Camry Problems:

The Toyota Camry 2002 mostly had problems with the engine and the transmission. It received 75 engine complaints and 47 transmission complaints.

After 130,000 miles on average, the head bolts on the 2002 engine were prone to stripping. The most usual treatment was to replace the engine or the head gasket. The engine overheated as a result of the problem. Sometimes threading the head bolts again fixed the problem.

Every 1000 miles, the Toyota Camry 2002 used one quart of oil. Because this was one of the “features,” there was no way to solve this. Aside from engine problems, transmission failure was a common occurrence for 90% of the 2002 year owners.

The condition could occasionally be solved by rebuilding the transmission or replacing the clutches. However, in the majority of cases, the transmission had to be replaced, which cost more than $3,000.

Furthermore, shifting the vehicle’s gear would cause it to jolt for no apparent reason. There were likewise also no solutions to this problem.

2007 Toyota Camry Problems:

This is the worst year for the Toyota Camry with 590 complaints only on the engine! The most prevalent concern was the rise in oil use over time. People were required to check their oil levels regularly and keep spare oil on hand.

Some individuals claimed that changing the piston assembly reduced the amount of oil used. For a limited time, replacing or rebuilding the engine would cure the problem. Toyota acknowledged the problem and attempted to address it with their latest models.

Oil burning was also one of the most common problems. This issue received a total of 236 complaints. A popular option, which costs about $2,000, is to repair any oil leaks or pistons.

Many customers had to redesign the sun visor to prevent them from breaking. Some issues worth mentioning are dashboard metal melting, ABS failure leading dashboard buttons to malfunction, brake lights being illuminated, booster not operating, and rotors getting deformed.

2008 Toyota Camry Problems:

The Toyota Camry 2008 also had the most problems with the engine. It was, in particular, the same problem that plagued the 2007 year, excessive oil consumption.

Owners reported that their engines were fast depleting their oil supply. 1 quart was required every 1,200 miles. Surprisingly, changing the piston and rings cured the problem this time.

This year, the same issues with the accessories were still prevalent. Apart from the melting dashboard and shattered sun visor, passengers also experienced dash cluster failure, broken armrests and doors, defective door locks, and other issues.

Transmission problems, damaged interior, brake failures, and several electrical troubles were present with the Toyota Camry 2008.

2009 Toyota Camry Problems:

Even though only 475 complaints were received this year, which is 542 fewer than in 2007, Car Complaints ranked this year as the worst. The ranking was based on problems that appeared at lower mileage and a substantial repair cost.

Toyota still failed to solve the oil consumption issue. Other engine issues such as engine failure, vehicle surging forward while braking, rough idle, and defective oil line were also seen in many Camry 2009s.

The melting dash problem was rectified this year by using a color-matched coating. The covering stopped the leaky glue from spreading to the dashboard’s surface. There were also complaints about defective radio, loose floor rug, and sticking accelerator pedal along with many other interior problems.

The defective exterior paint, squeaky brakes, warped rotors, malfunctioning water pump, clunking sounds from the steering, pulling to one side, erratic shift, and a strong odor from the air conditioner were just a few of the aggravating issues.

2011 Toyota Camry Problems:

The Toyota Camry 2011 suffered from interior accessories problems, body and paint problems, transmission issues, and engine issues the most.

Although there were fewer complaints this year (166), there were numerous reoccurring concerns. Water leaks, faulty door locks, melted dashboards, and sun visors that refused to stay upright were all common events.

The 2011’s paint was of very poor quality. The majority of folks had to spend $150 on repainting the automobile. Other severe external faults included a loud popping noise from the roof, chrome cracking, misaligned doors, and corrosion.

Which Toyota Camry Years are Safe to Buy?

The Toyota Camry has experienced relatively fewer troubles in recent years. These are the safest Toyota Camrys to buy:

  • 2017 Toyota Camry
  • 2019 Toyota Camry
  • 2020 Toyota Camry
  • 2022 Toyota Camry

The 2017 Toyota Camry boasts a big, comfy cabin with powerful V-6 and hybrid engine choices. The 2019 Toyota Camry has been redesigned. This model comes in five different trims, all of which have a lot of clean, energetic revs.

The 2020 Toyota Camry is available in 10 distinct trim levels. The model has a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine. A 3.5L V6 with 301 horsepower is also offered.

The 2020 Camry is equipped with several fuel-efficient powertrains. It also comes with a slew of conventional driving aids.

From the Car Complaints website, the following graph depicts the overall number of complaints and recalls:

Model YearComplaints RecordedRecalls
20021934
20031481
20051255
2007101710
20082538
200947510
20111665
20121442
2013542
2018787
2019156
202072
202210

Conclusion

I’ve given you all of the details you need to know about the Toyota Camry years that you should avoid. Excessive oil use has been a problem for many years.

If you want to buy any of the vehicles that I’ve rated as the best, follow my recommendations. I hope this guide will benefit you in deciding the proper Camry for your needs.