Toyota Camry Acceleration Problems – Troubleshooting Guide


Toyota Camrys, for all the accolades it has received, had some serious acceleration problems. A class-action lawsuit identified issues with the car model suddenly accelerating. However, other Camry owners have asked about deceleration or loss of power too. 

Acceleration problems fall into two categories. Those with sudden acceleration were under a recall while those facing deceleration issues could be facing basic mechanical problems that come with any car. Here is all the information you need to know about Toyota Camry acceleration problems.

Sudden Acceleration

Sudden acceleration was attributed to two problems and both issues were under recall as well as class action lawsuits. 

A sticking accelerator pedal was a problem around 2010, resulting in a recall. Several people had accidents because the gas pedal stuck toward the floor, resulting in the river losing control of the car and its speed. 

The problem was in a friction device in the pedal. The throttle stuck instead of operating normally to keep the pedal stable. 

Several Toyota models were affected and certain Camry models from 2007-2010 were some of those with the issue. 

The problem was fixed when a steel reinforcement bar was put into the gas pedal assembly. That eliminated excess friction that resulting in sticking. 

Floor Mat Pedals

A recall was issued on the Toyota floor mats for entrapment in 2009 after some drivers had accidents after their cars suddenly accelerated. 

The problem here was floor mats were incompatible or improperly installed in some vehicles. The mat then interfered with the gas pedal. Both Toyota and Lexus models were affected with Camrys from 2007-2010 on the list.

The problem was fixed by giving owners newly-designed floor mats and reconfiguring the gas pedal so it can become entrapped by any mat. 

Symptoms of an Acceleration Problem

Cars typically give you signals that things aren’t right before they break down. Some normal signs of an acceleration problem include:

  • There’s trouble starting the car.
  • The car backfires when you press the gas pedal
  • It’s slow to accelerate from a start position
  • It moves slower going up a hill.
  • It decelerates even when you press the gas to accelerate on a highway.
  • Dummy lights come on.

Those who experience these issues should immediately address acceleration problems. Fixing problems as soon as they come up will save you money in repairs in the long run.

Checking for Acceleration Problems

Acceleration problems can be the result of many things whether they are happening to a Toyota Camry or some other car. 

One of the most common problems is deceleration. When this happens, the first thing to do is check the engine compression and intake vacuum. Problems could also include:

Other issues could be a defective idle air control valve, a defective throttle position sensor, or a catalytic converter problem. 

Clogged Fuel Injectors

Clues exist that tell you that you may have some clogged fuel injectors. Your car may misfire or runs badly. It may idle roughly. You may also have a “check engine” light on your dash and the computer codes may say P02. 

Some products exist that will unstick your fuel injectors. These products combine detergents that mix well with your fuel to break up dirt and deposits the come with gasoline. All you have to do is put the product into your gas tank and then fill it up. 

You may need to get your hands dirty if that doesn’t work but the good news is unclogging fuel injectors is a beginner’s level task and shouldn’t take more than an hour. 

You will need nitrile gloves, a long-sleeve shirt for your arms, a mask to keep you from inhaling fumes, and clear protective eye goggles. you will also need a wrench set, an air compressor, fuel system cleaner, and a fuel injector cleaner kit.

Using the fuel injector cleaning kit should be done before trying to change out fuel injectors. Take off the cap from the fuel injector canister and fill it with the cleaning solution. Hang the canister above the engine 

Now find the fuel rail test port and attach the canister hose to it with the proper adapter.

Next, find the fuel pump relay. It is in a fuse box. Disconnect the relay and then attach an air supply to the canister’s air port. Adjust pressure to be s little lower than normal in operating pressure for fuel-rail. Start the car and allow all of the solution to flow through until there is none left in the canister. 

Release pressure on the line and disconnect the air supply. Then disconnect the hose from the fuel rail. 

Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter is designed to keep impurities from gas away from the engine so it can get clogged. Those who are handy can fix this themselves while others may want to take their car to a mechanic.

For those who want to fix this themselves, the first thing to do is trace the fuel line from the fuel injector or carburetor to the fuel filter. It is a small container made of either plastic or metal. 

Then use hose clamps and screw them on the line about four inches away from the filter on the entrance and exit hose. Tighten them down as far as they will tighten, shutting down the hose with the clamps. 

Place a jar or can under the fuel filter, unscrew the clamps that connect the host to the filter. Pull the hose off and let the gas dump into the jar. Empty any gas inside the filter into the jar or can. 

Point one end of the filter toward the can or jar. A small red straw comes with your kit. Attach it to the chemical can’s spray nozzle and put the other end into the fuel filter and spray. Let the spray fall into the jar. Do this for the other end too.

Tap the fuel filter with a screwdriver’s handle all over the filter’s surface. Spray it again with the chemical. Let it dry for an hour and then reattach it to the fuel lines, ensuring the arrow for flow on the filter is pointing to the engine.

When To Take Your Camry to a Mechanic

Fuel pumps can be tricky to replace if you don’t know what you’re doing and mass airflow sensors can also be cumbersome to get to fix. Neither is expensive or troubling to fix so that should be some good news. A diagnostic test can find other problems like converter issues.

Acceleration Needed For Safety

A loss of power can be unsafe depending on the situation. You will need power to safely merge onto the interstate and a loss of power going up a hill could be unsafe if you start to roll backward. Don’t let the small signs of trouble go unnoticed. 


Past accelerations issues in Toyota Camrys were contained to certain model years and fixed under two recalls. Today’s versions don’t have those issues.

As with any car, the Camry should have acceleration issues where a loss of power causes deceleration. That is likely related to any number of minor car issues that can easily be remediated by either a DIY kit or with a mechanic.

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