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.

265 replies
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  1. SSINGH says:

    2012 Camry, heard noise at first service of 5K miles. Complained to Dealership, they stated “if you want noiseless car, get german car”. Summer of 2013, reported to same dealership another location, they took out the headliner and fixed by adding shims. They also messed up my headliner, sunroof shade, A-Piller trims, Center Console trim, and Roof Light trim. Upon complaint, they replaced Center Console trim with another car(used part), and changed headliner. Sunroof shade is pending repair. So far haven’t heard from dealership. Please advise. I have all the proofs, recordings and etc.

  2. brmorris says:

    SSINGH,

    Read through everything here and hopefully it will be of some help. We are in this together all victims of Toyota’s quality problems and their lack of good service to fix it. Some have gone to arbitration and gone silent, which means they settled for something.

  3. KD says:

    Speaking of arbitration – I’m one who filed a claim in Calif. that went to arbitration. It went through the cumbersome process and was determined that indeed there was a defect but I had not given Toyota enough opportunities to fix it. I sure thought 3 times taking my headliner, moonroof & supports apart was ENOUGH! I’ve been out of the country since February, so haven’t driven the car since there last repair but will sure let you all know if it is indeed fixed. My silence is only the result of Total Frustration that Toyota has gotten away with turning out Camrays from their north American plant with the same defect for over 4 years, and are still doing so with the 2013 model. Let’s talk class action suit and not settle for inadequate repairs on $30K cars!

  4. Jane says:

    KD-
    You hit it right on the head — “Toyota has gotten away with turning out Camrys from their North American plant with the same defect for over 4 years, and are still doing so with the 2013 model.” If that’s not fodder for a lawsuit, I don’t know what is.

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT – Don’t buy a Carrier Air Conditioning unit. They have been selling units with faulty parts for over one year. And my unit won’t cool my house to lower than 78-degrees…

    Just like Toyota. Selling products with known defects.

  5. Kristine says:

    I have a 2010 Camry same problem with sunroof. I just took my car in for another noise it was making including this one. Not only do I need struts but they say there is something that needs to be fixed I the moon/sunroof because the screws are loose and I would have to pay approx. $500 because its not covered under warranty. Add that plus the struts at $1300. I have had other multiple problems with this car. Looking at getting a Honda now and will never buy a Toyota again!!!

  6. SGeorge says:

    Just wanted to let you know since you are tracking these popping, clunking noise issues-I have posted a few times-here’s an update. Last time I took my 2012 Camry to the dealer, the field rep came out to ride with me and the technician. He thought we had an issue with the particular dealer and oversaw the repair. This was about the 5th time the roof was taken apart. He also had the dealer replace all the panels that had been scratched in the previous repairs, and fix the headliner which was not put back properly.
    So, I had the car back for a little while and thought the noise was gone, but it is not, and now I think it is even worse. Still need to go over bumps and turns to hear it.
    I also hear loud crackling noises in the dash-this happens when the car is sitting for long hours in the hot sun. I do not notice it when it is cooler. We had a hot couple of weeks here in upstate NY and when I was at work and the car sat in the sun in the parking lot, afterward it would make these noises at times, so loud you had to look at the dash to see if there was damage-until the car cooled off.
    I called the field rep and he suggested I take the car to another dealer. Did these, and of course, they could not duplicate the issues. However, they acknowledged that it needs to go over bumps and turns, and they did have two other customers with the same issue. One they resolved, and the other did not want them to take it apart.
    So far I am thinking about whether or not I want to go through this again, but I was hoping they would just replace the car. Please let me know if anyone has had any luck on this.
    I also feel the tires are lousy that came with the car. Lately I smell burning rubber when I get home from work-commute is 45 minutes. Time to replace at 20k I guess, but seems like they should be in better shape.
    S

  7. brmorris says:

    SGeorge,

    Your story is so familiar to readers here. I think it is time for you to call up some lemon law attorneys. Most that go that route don’t report on what happened, but I know that settlements are happening. I wouldn’t get expectations too high, though.

  8. N Vatca says:

    2012 Camry SE purchased new- I have had the very same problems with the roof making popping and creaking sounds and I did’nt read this post until today. I called the dealer and they told me to bring it in and leave it with them for a day or two to see if they can replicate the noise. Apparently they already knew about this problem before I called. Now waiting to see what they are going to do about it.

  9. Cheryl says:

    An update on my 2012 XLE Camry hybrid repair: First attempt at repairing my sunfroof noise was unsuccessful. Brought car in second time. Field rep was called in, headliner dropped again. Tech drove car drove car
    50 miles with dropped headliner in order to try and detect exact location of noise. Picked up my car and heard a single “ping” 8 times in 500 miles.
    Took a rather sharp turn and the rattling noise was back – for two days.
    Since then I have driven 1500 miles and heard a single pop only occasionally. The repair may not have been 100% but is acceptable.
    Previously, like most on this post, the noise was a daily occurrence. I no
    longer think about it. Here is info from my invoice: “Found rack rail of sunroof system was rubbing against main bolts that are attached to the roof assembly. Tech was able to remove sunroof track assembly, padded between track and roof, and torqued down the track assembly.” The service manager who helped me was extremely helpful and accomodating.
    There was some slight damage done to the passenger head rest and the
    manager replaced it on the spot. Other than that, my car was received in
    good condition. My husband gave me some advice when I was losing
    sleep over this issue. He said Toyota is a huge company, they are
    invested in trying to fix this issue, they don’t want problems. I gave them
    an opportunity, and so far so good. Will certainly post again if anything
    changes.

  10. Cheryl says:

    An addendum to my previous post – I was looking at my first attempt
    repair invoice. Second invoice states “All three layers of the sunroof were padded, washers installed.” I would also like to add that I had a dashboard noise that was fixed and I have not heard anything since. My
    car was driven over 200 miles by Toyota before they released car back to
    me.

  11. Beth says:

    One of my big concerns is that Toyota will not extend the warranty on this repair and told me that they “may consider” repairing if it returns after warranty expires.

    I took a loss and traded it. My husband said I should have printed bumper stickers and sent them to all of you that said “Don’t buy a Camry – the Roof Rattles”.

  12. SGeorge says:

    The dealer where I bought my car told me I would have to keep my Camry until the end of my lease-that’s two more years with dealing with the roof and dash issues. I took it to another dealer, but they would have to start all over again with looking into the issues. I was trying to ignore them now, but since the problem is worse, I should take it in before I reach the end of the warranty. Instead, I may trade it in and deal with the loss so I do not have to be aggravated.
    Question-did you buy another Toyota?

  13. Doreen Jimenez says:

    It is September 24, 2013 and still no fix. My new 2012 XLE has a clunking moon roof. So did my 2006 SE. One week after I purchased this car I called the dealer to tell them about this noise and the sales guy laughed! When is Toyoata going to take care of this!!

  14. SGeorge says:

    New update-Now at the second dealer, they duplicated the noises in the roof-had to keep it overnight and try it in the colder temp. It is being taken apart and the service manager said that the field rep will be out to assist with the latest fix for this situation. I believe this is the 5th time into the roof-now at 28k, and putting new tires on too.

  15. angie yates says:

    I have the sane issue with my 2012 camry. I’m very upset cause they haven’t offered to help with this issues. Noise has gotten worse

  16. Chris Barnes says:

    Please document every visit your vehicle is returned to the dealer for roof repair or failure to repair roof…if you are told by your service advisor… ” we are leaving the repair order open”…demand a service print out. This how dealerships avoid a documented visit. What I “can tell” all is that two separate dealerships tried to repair my car, one with a Toyota FTS present, a field specialist. Both dealerships did their very best to resolve issue, but the problem remained. With no other alternative, I contacted the website, (lemonlaw.com) and found the help I needed. I hope this information will help all of you searching for a resolution .

  17. Karen D says:

    Hi Chris Barnes – I am in CA and filed a claim but it was denied as the investigators stated I did not give Toyota adequate opportunity to resolve the issue (I thought 3 times tearing my roof apart was enough). Good news is they agreed the other elements of a lemon law claim were met. Wondering what state you are in and if you’ve already had the hearing and how it went (if you are at liberty to share).

  18. Chris Barnes says:

    Brian and I reside in the same county in Pennsylvania. PA law is 3 “documented” visits for the same service without a permanent fix. I documented 6 return visits for my problem. As far as my case, I can not comment on how my problem was resolved, but I “recommend” everyone pursuing the matter before the factory warranty expires.

  19. Sandra G says:

    Anyone go through Lemon Law in New York? I have had I think 5 repairs in my roof and went to two different dealers. Wondering what the rule is in NY-I think it may be 4 repairs for the same issue.

  20. Chad Brown says:

    I recently purchased a Toyota Certified 2011 Camry SE and after reading these posts I guess I feel better. Although I now realize I have an uphill battle facing me in trying to fix this. The reason I bought this car was to have a low maintenance vehicle. I have a popping/clunk noise somewhere in the passenger/passenger rear area of the vehicle when the car “twists”. I will continue to check here to hopefully find a solution. If anyone has any advice on where to start with this please let me know. CWickBrown@aol.com

  21. victor says:

    I have a camry 2012 se v6, at about 11,000 miles the rattling started. Next week I will be back to dealer for my second appointment I am getting a loaner, I am worried for structural problems. Dealer has been very helpful, by the way cold weather has nothing to do with problem, I reside in Puerto Rico (average over 80o ) it is strange that with so many cases Toyota has not come up with a solution. A loose bolt seems strange, I go more with some structural problem, which if right probably has no solution. Hope im wrong..

  22. Jon says:

    In 2012 I purchased a new Camry XLE with a sunroof. Approximately 5 months later the entire sunroof shattered while driving down the highway (fortunately most of the glass got sucked outwards, but much of it landed all throughout the car as well). I was incredibly lucky that my 2 children were not riding in the car at the time. The sunroof was replaced by the dealership given that it was under warranty. The dealership stated they had never seen anything like this.

    Since the sunroof was replaced I, too, have heard the metallic popping noise coming from the roof/sunroof. It happens most often when I turn into a driveway or go up a slight incline. I am terribly nervous that the sunroof could shatter again. There is obviously a huge manufacturing/design flaw in the actual roof/body of the vehicle. I don’t think that the sunroof shattering was just a fluke. I think that it has everything to do with this popping sound that so many people are hearing. People should be aware of the potential for the glass breaking and the safety issues associated with it.

    I have taken the car to the dealership to address the issue and was told they could not replicate the “popping” sound. They tightened the bolts of the sunroof (many of you state the same fix was done for them) but it did absolutely nothing for the sound.

    Again please use caution with this problem and know of the potential for the sunroof glass shattering. I drive with the cover closed all the time in the event this happens one more time.

    I have contacted Corporate as well and they claim they have not heard of this issue. Based on the number of responses on this blog over the last year clearly there is a big problem.

  23. brmorris says:

    You are the second to comment here that their sunroof blew out. That person had to fight to get Toyota to replace it. You aren’t alone despite their claims. Do you have pictures? I have one from the other owner.

  24. victor says:

    Re; Jon oct 24, I would think Toyota uses safety glass on sun roofs. Safety glass would not shatter. this is very interesting and wonder if the noise all experience would cause jon’s problem. I will talk to dealer and Toyota corporate in Puerto Rico so they take note and will ask for extra warranty coverage on this matter. I do not think it is reasonable if after warranty period this manufacturing defect comes back and then we have a huge problem in our hands

  25. chris says:

    I have a 2012 Camry SE with a sunroof, I took the car into the dealer 4 times in the past year with the same cracking/clunking noise that most readers are experiencing from the roof area. I was just informed yesterday by the dealer that there is a service bulletin on Oct,2,2013 that has a fix for the issue. They ordered the recommended kit that is supposed to resolve the issue. I will update this site after the repairs.

  26. victor says:

    here is an update on my car, the problem according to dealer had to do with the alignment of the rails where the glass slides, this is held by several aluminum bolts that have to be tightened in a sequence and with a specific torque. I still don’t have my car, now they are waiting on some clips to hold the cloth panel in place. this clips cannot be re-used and Toyota in Puerto rico does not have them. I have been using a loaner for 16 days and dealer has been very helpful.Car was built in Kentucky it is a camry 2012 se v-6

  27. John Lee says:

    My 2012 Camry SE v6 is making the same clunking popping noise that everyone is talking about. Local dealers won’t offer any solution other than to leave the car for the entire day and have them rip the interior apart.
    Has anyone had any luck??

  28. brmorris says:

    John,

    The problem with this site is that it is mostly the folks that have had a bad experience with the roof fix. I will be writing more about how I had mine fixed, but my sunroof glass rattled after. If you read the other comments above, so many others had badly botched repairs. It’s a big risk, but the alternative of doing nothing isn’t great, either. Thanks a lot, Toyota Kentucky.

  29. Aric Cook says:

    I have a 2012 Camry hybrid xle that has developed a clunk in front left of dash and in rear deck,most of the time when going in and out of driveway at an angle.it started at about 20k and is getting worse but is not there all the time.i am taking to dealer to document noise,hope they come up with a fix soon,35000 on it now

  30. victor says:

    I finally got my car about two weeks ago, so far so good , refer to my comment on
    November 11/ 2013. Toyota does have a fix for this problem . they have issued a bulletin . My dealer in Puerto Rico (autocentro Toyota in san juan) was very responsive

  31. Chris says:

    In response to my earlier comment. The local Toyota dealer made a successful repair to fix the ping/cracking noise in the roof area on my car. There is a Technical service bulletin put out by Toyota in early October 2013 that has a fix for the noise. The reciept from my dealer shows the Technical service bulletin # 0151-13. They had to remove the sun roof and headliner to make the repairs, list on my reciept shows parts – noise kit,silencer sub, flex roof install shims. I will try and monitor this site to answer questions addressed to this repair.

  32. Tom says:

    I finally broke and took my Camry to the dealer for the noise in the roof. They were aware of the problem and, after driving the car, ordered the parts necessary for the fix. The parts appear to be the same as those listed by Chris in the previous post. I will post again when the repair is complete.

  33. victor ushakoff says:

    we finally got our 2012 camary hybrid fixed they installed a shim kit it sounded like it worked the next day what ever they did failed and it is worse they now ordered a new shim kit and if it doesnt work they are turning it over to toyota corp this is victory toyota in seaside ca peter blackstone is the owner

  34. Osama Mostafa says:

    I have 2010 hybrid Camry. Same problem same roof noise

    Please advice me what can I do

    Thank you

  35. brmorris says:

    Osama,

    Read my section in the post above titled, “FOR 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 CAMRY OWNERS:”

  36. brmorris says:

    For all of you following my comments, I finally updated my post. You may want to come back and read it again with all my changes.

    I’m afraid I’ve given up and dumped the car as mine was a piece of crap.

  37. Karen says:

    Sold my 2012 also. At a loss of course, but happy to be free from the headache. Ironically A Toyota dealer bought it from Nissan for $25,000 when
    I bought a new Nissan Rogue. Love the Rogue!!!

  38. Rob says:

    First let me say to all that still have this issue, it can be fixed to some degree. I forced the dealership to pour some major energy into it. But they still came up short. There is rattling above the drivers side roof above the headrest.
    Fortunately last night I had Toyota purchase the car at the Full retail value. The Camry was a 2011 with only 13000 miles on it. My saga has come to an end. I feel like a nightmare has been lifted off my shoulders. Did I mention the engine noise and problems with it starting up and running.
    I do wish you well. Brian thank you for your site and time putting this all together.
    A parting word of advice. Use your smart phone and video tape the noise and document each conversation you have with anyone at Toyota. Merely send an email recapping what you stated in your phone call. Every service writer and manager have email addresses. It holds up in court. Trust me.
    All the best to you all.

  39. Sandra G says:

    Hi, Back again, and I feel really stupid. I had spoken to Toyota corp about my 2012 Camry issues and they said to file either Lemon law or arbitration and were going to send me the paperwork. I was not sure I wanted to bother because the last repair was better, but I still heard a popping noise from time to time. Before I could even complete the papers, I heard back from the headquarters denying the lemon law claim I never filed myself.
    I had already decided to pursue trading it in for a used Rav since I used to have one and it did not have problems. I traded in the Camry for a 2011 Rav that had 29k miles. Within a week I had a rattle on the passenger side. took it to the dealer and they found the issue-a clip came apart in the roof. They fixed it. Next day I heard a rattle on the driver’s side-then noticed the panel coming loose. Took it back-dealer left out a clip. next issue-rattling behind my head in roof. Had to drive around again with tech. He said that when the first repair was made, the glue must have come loose from the plastic panels in the roof and he could make it as tight as the other side. I was like, “Would ya?” When I picked it up I still heard a rattle in back of me and the tech said he knew that was in the back door and when it warmed up that would go away-he could not really fix that. I asked what is the problem with Toyota that these cars have the roof issues-is it inferior parts, inferior design, not using a strong enough glue, what??? He said he thought it was more like some have it some don’t, so the ones with it are at the end of the assembly line. So my question is when they get to the assembly line, does that mean they ran out of glue, parts, etc?

    Has anyone gone to the Attorney General? I feel like I have been through the ringer with these issues now with two cars, and I am not sure it is over yet. I do really like that I have a Rav to drive in the snow, but seriously, should we accept that we have bought a rattle trap?
    BTW-the salesman that sold it to me said oh, you had a Camry with the roof noise too? He had one!
    I do not blame the dealership-this is the second one-the first one was not as helpful-but once the shorter warranty is up on this Rav I am stuck. This dealer has made attempts each time and been nice about it, but I really feel like they do not want to see me again!

  40. Jorge H says:

    I feel very disappointed with my 2012 Camry LE (No Moonroof) for the last 6 months started with an “trembling” engine when I stop on a red light and now this clunking near the sun visor two weeks ago. This vehicle is a lease and is up in October, I was hoping to keep this car with the option to buy, but now after reading these complains absolutely NOT

  41. Alan J says:

    Headache Anticipated. 34000 miles on 12 XLE popping noise started early 3000mi has been tolerable but has increased and seems to be temperature sensitive and torque. This blog has been an excellent source of information. I will be taking it for repair before warranty expires. After all the reading it probably is a design flaw so I am not optimistic. I have had 4 excellent performing Camry’s with 250-350K miles BUT the exception is that I made sure these were imported from Japan. I decided to tak a chance and try the American made version as they stopped importing the Camry’s and I can tell you there is a big difference. I could have bought GM. Will I buy another, probably not unless I can import it.
    To the shop for the sunroof saga…will keep you posted.

  42. Rene says:

    As an update on my ’12 Camry roof noise, after local dealer dropped the roof liner and did their repair, I eventually started to hear some different lite creaking noises near the top again at random moments, but consistently. My husband applied some white moly lube on the sunroof shade tracks. We haven’t heard a noise since then….that was several months ago. Funny that the Toyota guys couldn’t figure out such a simple solution to a major nuisance! Loving my Camry again!!

  43. victor says:

    my car was fixed by my dealer in Puerto rico about 6 months ago and it has been ok.. Toyota has a fix with some parts supplied by Them. .

  44. Tom says:

    I had my 2013 Camry in twice for this problem. The first visit didn’t resolve the issue. I received an invoice indicating they had installed a silencer kit. The second visit took care of the problem, the sound is completely gone, but I received no invoice and was given the key to my care outside, not at the desk. I believe the dealership initially tried to fix the problem without installing the parts listed on the invoice and did so later only after I insisted the problem still existed.

  45. Alan J says:

    So far so good. I had the shims installed for the popping noise in the sunroof and haven’t heard anything in a week.
    Before the work, I spoke with the service manager who new of the problem and explained to me what they thought was the cause. They had repaired previous ones and stated none have been returned.

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