Rear Light Wiring Harness May Break on Toyota Camry

The rear light wiring harness can break where it attaches to the trunk hinge. As a result, the reverse lights or the shift indicator may not work and the rear bulb fault indicator may stay on constantly. The harness can be repaired and does not have to be replaced.

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Average mileage: 146,451 (20,020–300,000)
10 model years affected: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, more1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
51 people reported this problem
27 people shared problem details
1997 Toyota Camry50,000
follow up on " 1997 Toyota Camry, 50,000 mi " - I found two broken wires after unwrapping a lot of tape. I replaced about 8" of wire with 12" in case there were other stress points neaby, for all four wires (ground is heavier gauge) and made a loop to reduce the stress from opening and closing the hood. I added some harness shroud and taped it up. Looks like it will work okay.
1997 Toyota Camry150,000
Happened to me, easy fix, just spliced the wire and now I dont slam the trunk so hard. My reverse lights were intermittent due to the break.
1997 Toyota Camry50,000
2001 and 2013, maybe also 2005 -- The wiring harness on this 1997 Toyota Camry failed at or near the trunk hinge junction in 2001 (about 50,000 miles at that time) due to flexing when the trunk is opened and closed. It blew fuses so there were NO rear lights. Toyota National paid about $170 for a local dealer to fix it. However, in 2013 a similar problem came back and there may have been an undocumented repair in 2005 too. The current symptom is that the lights mounted on the trunk sometimes go out - 1) sometimes when simply driving, and 2) usually when the trunk lid is raised (then they come on when it's lowered and closed). There are at least two broken wires as sometimes the license plate light will stay on even when the tail lights go out, and sometimes all will go out. I think it also affects the back-up lights. I looked at the harness when open and closed, and took pics. The way it was repaired left two likely stress points, one severe and one less so. Since Toyota won't fix this at their cost, I will attempt to open the harness, find the already broken wires, and check the other wires to see if they are about to go. It is not clear how to wire this to prevent recurrence without adding a long loop of wires to greatly reduce rotational and bending stresses (which should have been done in the first place). I notice that the trunk lid release cable housing shows stress where it is mounted there too, and it is a bit stressed when opening and closing the lid.
1999 Toyota Camry73,000
problem with the rear light wiring harness will also cause hesitation when the automatic transmission shifts gear.
1993 Toyota Camry147,000
My brake light fault indicator has been on for a while on my daughter's camry. I thought it was just a bulb but all of the brake lights are at fault currently.
1998 Toyota Camry55,000
both tail lights out, fuse shorted
lost backup lights and entire trunk hood lighting panel. Also, "defective bulb" indicator stays lighted
1993 Toyota Camry20,020
Tail lights don't work tail lights don't wwork
Left stop and tail light were brighter than the right side, and then when step the brake paddle the right side look normal is go brighter but the left side the stop light go dimmer. And, when the first start engie the tail light on dash board not show yet but after release the parking brake or step the brake paddle the tail light failure will show immediately. How ever, even I disconnected the tail light housing and test it still on.
1995 Toyota Camry139,603
It hasnt been fixed. The brake lights stay on constantly unless i unplug the battery
1993 Toyota Camry100,000
the dashboard warning light was stuck in the on position, because the rear brake lights didn't come on when they should have. Also the reverse lights don't come on reliably. Had to have light wiring fixed.
1993 Toyota Camry192,000
I have the same problem as what was described. The lights dim when they short and the problem is causing it not function properly
1993 Toyota Camry142,000
right brake light randomly went out, but when I move the wiring around the bulb will come back on until the wiring gets moved again
2000 Toyota Camry70,000
Rear break light repplaced but indicator still on continuously.
1994 Toyota Camry230,000
Trunk wiring finally broke down and it was patched up. The reverse light didn't appear at first to be a problem which is why they looked at the wiring. The problem seemed fixed for a few weeks. We replaced the reverse light switch and now it is back to normal
brake lights out, just found out
1997 Toyota Camry120,000
Ground had broken under wire loom between trunk lid and trunk. Did a repair to ground and a connector to a 10mm bolt at hinge.
1999 Toyota Camry148,200
Lights are fine during the day, when lights go on at night or are turned on brake lights and back up lights go out and indicator on dash illuminates for taillight out. 6 months before the Trunk lights began to go out but could be lit if the truck was opened and shut a few times. Now the taillights will go on but only when the trunk is open. Will check the the wire going across trunk there is a place at the hinge of the trunk lid i suspect is the culprit.
1997 Toyota Camry89,990
Inherited the car from my mom whom was given to her by my grandfather. My reverse lights never works and when my brake lights went problematic, the indicator lamp would not go off and all my bulbs were good. All said and done i had to repair each wire at the trunk hinge right at the pigtail. I used solder and shrink tubing and looks like the plastic wire loom has cut through. Indicator has come back on, but all seems to be working back there for lighting.
1994 Toyota Camry300,000
back up light harness i fixed
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