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:
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.
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.