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.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Toyota Camry Rear Light Wiring Harness May Break
Toyota Camry Problem
Average Mileage: 148,140 mi (50,000 mi - 300,000 mi)
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Camry, 50,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Camry, 50,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 1992 Toyota Camry
lost backup lights and entire trunk hood lighting panel. Also, "defective bulb" indicator stays lighted
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Camry, 120,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Camry, 150,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 1999 Toyota Camry, 148,200 mi
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.
Visitor, 1997 Toyota Camry, 89,990 mi
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.
Visitor, 1994 Toyota Camry, 300,000 mi
back up light harness i fixed
Visitor, 1998 Toyota Camry, 55,000 mi
both tail lights out, fuse shorted
Visitor, 1994 Toyota Camry, 125,000 mi
Fixed once broke twice.