2012 Toyota Camry roof clunking

In my new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE (here is the first report I’ve seen from a 2013 Camry owner), there is a terrible clunking, clicking or popping noise coming from the roof around the sunroof, particularly when going over bumps or turns, particularly when the car torques. (This is in addition to many loud dash rattles.) The dealer says that Toyota knows about it now and is working on a fix, but no estimate was given for when. I took it to the dealer September 2012 and the service bulletin finally was released in October 2013. Please comment if you are experiencing the same thing and what you are doing about it. (Oh, and I just hit 9,000 views of this post on January 2014.)

Here is a recording I made one hot day. I’d like to make a video of the noise, so if you can capture a video of the sound at its worst, send it to me in an email using the address on my home page or comment.

Here are some reports from other owners of the same thing:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/310-7th-generation-2012/418639-2012-camry-xle-roof-noise.html

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/310-7th-generation-2012/427628-2012-camry-se-moonroof-knocking-noise.html#post4021184

http://www.schiffner.com/my-2012-toyota-camry-is-a-lemon-and-toyota-doesnt-help/

ADVICE FOR UNTOUCHED CARS:

My current advice would be to have the service rep type into your record that you have a terrible clunking noise in your roof at the next scheduled service appointment (as long as you are under warranty for a while). Start a log for yourself to record everything that happens with dates, mileages, names and comments from the dealer.

[UPDATE 3/9/13] Here’s an interesting comment written by the technician working with a Toyota field tech, “found welding slag in between the seam of the moon roof opening and in between the pinch welds. during body roll and over bumps the slag would creek and make noise. removed headliner and moon roof assembly to access and clean out the space between the spot welds on the pinch weld opening of the moon roof. inserted shim stock and in between the space after cleaning out the slag and also installed felt in between the roof and folded over section of the opening. was helped by FTS to properly install the shim stock, reassembled and verified repair”. In my talking with a tech, they don’t provided enough shims for all of the welds, so they can only do some and in some cases they spray foam in the roof, like mine.

[UPDATE 2/1/14] From Toyota Nation forums. Toyota finally released a service bulletin: TSB-0151-13. When you go to the dealer, tell them about this TSB and ask whether they have experience doing the repair. I would only have someone do this repair that has successfully performed at least one or two. It is a long and difficult repair that can go horribly wrong. I would talk to the service manager as well to tell them about what you know from this site and that you would like him/her to supervise the job and make sure it is done right. Assume that your car will be ruined and plan accordingly by protecting yourself and being ready for arbitration. Many have gone that route and have been successful, but you must prepare.

ADVICE FOR “REPAIRED” CARS:

DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Write notes based on every visit, every conversation, every person’s name, every comment, everything. You may need it in arbitration and/or trial. Other than that, I’m not really sure what else to suggest. If it’s not fixed after the first time, there are too many stories on this blog of it getting worse after bringing it back over and back, not to mention the headliner and trim damage. Based on my reading of this article, it looks to me like Toyota could lump this problem into a minor noise problem rather than a substantial defect, which may make it hard to win a Lemon Law case. If we could prove that this is a safety hazard (in the event of an accident), we may have a better chance at winning a trial or getting publicity. I just don’t see any way we could prove that. I think it could be proven that it hurts the value of the car, but that would probably be an uphill battle, too. For some reason, we must go through arbitration before taking Toyota to trial and those that have gone to arbitration that have commented here have gone silent, so a non-disclosure agreement must be forced upon them for any kind of settlement.

FOR 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 CAMRY OWNERS:

Since I’ve gotten some comments about 2007-2011 roof noise, I did a little bit of research. Here is my advice for you: Toyota does know about this problem and they have a kit and instructions on how to fix it (despite what the dealer might tell you). Tell the service rep to look up this service bulletin on Toyota’s TIS website: T-SB-0088-12. It describes the problem well and gives full instructions on how to take the roof apart and fix the problem. I’ve heard that it is a very difficult job and some dealers might not want to do it. This should be covered under warranty if you are under the 36 months/36,000 miles. If the service rep is unhelpful, talk to the service manager. If they don’t help, call up Toyota corporate to complain. Just make sure to get it in the records before the warranty is up.

THE END

I found this whole situation hopeless with the roof problem that seems to be unfixable, the dash rattle that the dealer couldn’t fix, my check engine light came on and my fancy JBL touchscreen intermittently would go dark. My car is A LEMON pure and simple. I traded it in the fall of 2013 for a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion feels like a 10 year leap ahead in technology and interior design, albeit smaller inside. I feel much relief getting rid of this piece of crap. Shame on Toyota for handling this so poorly and slowly and not fixing the problem on the assembly line early.

263 replies
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  1. Kirk S says:

    Have a 2011 Camry XLE V6. Started to hear the popping, cracking sounds in the roof on the passenger side around the moon roof. I purchased this car new and do put alot of highway miles on it. I have 86K on it as we speak. I did purchase the extended warranty on the car which covered (so I thought) the vehicle, bumper to bumper with no deductible, till 100K miles.

    I took the car in for an oil change and reported the issue with the noise in the roof and requested for them to take a look at it and repair it since my car has the extended warranty. They had the car for two day’s and then called to report that yes, they have verified the noice and referenced the TSB and even ordered the kit to fix it. I then, 1/2 hour later, received another phone call stating that the extended Toyota warranty that I purchased when new would not cover the report because the considered it “squeeks and rattles” which are not covered under the extended warranty. I was then told that if I wanted the repair done, it would cost me $1000.00.

    Needless to say, let it rattle away! BUT, this was the 1st and LAST Toyota that will ever be owned by me!

    THEY SUCK!

  2. Esteban says:

    I have a 2012 Camry SE and it JUST started doing this a month ago. You’ll swear the sound is coming from the driver side door/dashboard area but its actually the moonroof. I went to Toyota and had a tech ride with me and he opened the moonroof sliding door (not the window itself) and the sound was much louder. I was relieved that it wasn’t something much worse mechanically. However, once we got back and estimated the labor and repair costs… it would cost $750!!! I was pretty upset, but not at the people helping me. This is how most dealers operate nowadays so I don’t blame the techs. However, I have decided to live with it and just leave music on constantly as the sound itself gets very agitating after a while. I can’t wait to trade in this car.

  3. AJ says:

    It’s a known problem that Toyota continues to ignore. Luckily my dealer was able to correct it under warranty. Others haven’t been as fortunate with the fix. The duration of the problem is ridiculous as I think it dates back 2-3 years.

  4. Gerald Hutton says:

    Just picked up my 2011 Camry XLE from and independent auto shop where my Toyota Dealer (C&O Motors of St. Albans, WV) referred me to have the sunroof track glued back in place. The noise started at about 36K miles when my normal warranty had expired. It grew progressively worse. I took the car in at 45K and the dealer diagnosed the problem and told me that Toyota would not repair it as the warranty had expired and the extended (bumper to bumper)warranty which I purchased from the dealer does not cover body problems. I should have read the fine print. After researching the problem on this and other sites, I am convinced that Toyota is purposely avoiding an effective “fix” at assembly and playing the odds that most of the tracks will not fail and when they do, most will be out of warranty. I am out $530 for the repair but Toyota is out a repeat customer. I am also a Consumer Reports subscriber and I plan to give this debacle as much public exposure as I can via the CR ratings.

  5. Jose Alvarez says:

    I own a 2011 Camry SE and noise coming from the roof of my car is driving me crazy. I took the car to the dealer in Central Avenue Toyota located in Yonkers. The manager informed me that Toyota knew about the problem. He promised me that he was going to fix the problem, but instead all he did was give me the run-around. He deceived me by taking the car in and saying that he sent the car to be fixed, but instead the car was given to me the same way I left it..

  6. Eileen says:

    Gerald, where did you take the car for the $530 fix, a sunroof place or a body shop? Did it actually fix the problem. I just purchased a used 2011 Camry XLE and am having the same problem with all the annoying sounds.

  7. Amy says:

    Thank god I’m not crazy, I have the same sound that drives me NUTS! I purchased the extended warranty, would it cover that??

  8. brmorris says:

    I read the Toyota extended service plan and it had specifically excluded items, one of which was the roof. I gave up and traded it in for a Ford, which has been fabulous compared to the Camry.

  9. R.DOMINGUEZ says:

    I PURCHASED A 2011 CAMRY AND WITHIN 3 MONTHS HAD THIS PROBLEM TOOK IT TO THE DEALER AND THEY SAID IT WAS JUST A FEW BOLTS ON THE SUNROOF . FOUR YEARS LATER THE NOISE RETURNED AND WORSE I CALLED HEADQUARTERS AND THEY SAID THEY NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING DEALER SAID THEY ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE NOISE BUT IT WOULD COST AT LEAST $230.00 FOR A DIAGNOSTIC . EXTENDED WARRANY WON’T PAY EITHER , SO I AM IN THE AIR AS FROM READING ALL THESE BLOGS IT COULD COST THOUSANDS ! INCREDIBLE HOW TOYOTA HEADQUARTERS WILL NOT RESOLVE THIS ISSUE . I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER TOYOTA AND WILL ALSO SPREAD THE WORD !

  10. Jeff says:

    I just took my wife’s 2015 Camry Hybrid in with the same exact popping noise problem in the sunroof area. Toyota is fixing per the TSB above, about a 6.2 man hr job. $800. covered. The problem is real, make sure you get it cared for while in warranty period of 3 yrs, 36 month. Toyota of Kirkland is fixing this.

  11. Ben Dover says:

    I bought a used 2012 Camry in 2016 with 55,000 miles. Shortly thereafter I noticed the sound. After researching on the internet and with some knowledge, I went to my local dealer. The service rep was sympathetic, knew of this problem and suggested I call Toyota direct. He advised me the repair was labor intensive and would cost about $1200. I called Toyota and the woman who answered my call was a complete bitch. Arrogant, rude and played dumb like she knew nothing about this problem. She advised me that I would need an “official diagnosis” from the dealer but would not guarantee me that Toyota would cover the repair cost once diagnosed. I decided not to roll the dice and just live with the aggravating sound. Shame on Toyota.

  12. Kay says:

    Just bought a new Camry XLE 2017 this week, and there is loud popping noise in both the sunroof and the passenger side door, when going over bumps. I noticed this on Day 1 of buying the car. Dealership won’t take it back – I’m sure because they already know these issues exist in their cars. I’m really worried now as I have noise coming from both the passenger door and the sunroof. Is there any way I can make the dealership take back the car?

  13. SAM CORSO says:

    I HAVE THE NOISE PROBLEM IN MY 2012 TOYOTA CAMRY SE WITH SUN ROOF–THE NOISE STARTED IMMEDIATELY AFTER PURCHASE AS WAS REPAIRED. NOW THE NOISE IS BACK AND THE DEALER STATES THAT THE ROOF INSULATORS HAVE FAILED. I HAVE COMPLAINED TO TOYOTA AND THE DEALER AND WAITING FOR A REPLY. I BELIEVE THAT TOYOTA SHOULD STAND BEHIND THE PROBLEM SINCE IT IS A MANUFACTURING PROBLEM AND DEFECT WITH THE MODEL.

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