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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I've owned these high end cars for a Very long time. To clarify, I had to wait TWO Days for a proper diagnosis and only after I telephoned the dealer twice...This much work on a car with this mileage is clearly unacceptable. Being left wandering around the service bays for 40 minutes is also unacceptable especially after I called in advance for an appointment. I don't spend $100/hr on service for charity purposes you know..$1500 for rear shocks sounds extremely excessive. I had that done on my '92 (Rear shocks only) for $335..There is a reason Lexus dealers are one of the most profitable in the industry.

    Lexus peddles its product on quality. Clearly this is not the case. I don't know what everyone is thinking here but High End Marque and Long term durability should NOT be mutually exclusive. Having driven for over 30 years I have never encountered something like this...Even my Buick Park Avenue did not cause these many issues. Frankly rust was not the problem here. The car is flawless otherwise.

    Between my three brothers and I we've owned every High End marque ever made including Rolls Royce, Jaguar, BMW, MB, and of course Lexus. My brother's 1988 420 SE never needed any of this work done. ..I live in the Boston area and it is real hard to get any independent mechanic to work on the car. Half the time they say "Dealer only.." I've been going to the same dealer for over 15 yrs..

    Part of my frustration also comes from my experience with the 2005 as well. The car's Nav system is clearly flawed and the A/C squeaks every time you turn it on..Not exactly impressive for a car with 3700 miles on it...

    SV
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I have friends with MBs, Audis and the like with cars that would sit at the dealer for weeks. A good friend of mine has an '04 Audi A8 that needed a completely new engine. It was at the dealer a lot longer than two days.

    I'm rather surprised at the problems with your '05, my '01 has been flawless, just as my '96 was. I dont know anybody with an S, 7, or A8 that didnt have at least one major problem, and I've had zero in 10 years of driving a Lexus LS. The dealer shouldnt give you any trouble about fixing them though. If they do, find another dealer. My wife's RX300 had one or two relatively minor issues, and Rahal took care of them without a problem.

    Speaking from personal experience, I left M-B for Lexus in '96 because I was tired of the constant repairs, and my Benz was not 14 years old. My current XK is a heck of a lot more reliable than my XJS was, but its still had its share of problems, the supercharger I mentioned before, an airbag warning that took 2 dealer trips to fix, and it also stalled on the highway for no particular reason. All that and its a weekend car, with less than 30K on it.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    (Let me choose my words carefully): I think your reaction to both the way that the dealer personnel acted and their quote for normal suspension work on a car that has spent 14+ years driving over New England pot holes while completely unjustified is not surprising.

    IMHO your reaction is a result of your acceptance of the Lexus marketing idea that if you drive a Lexus , 1) they are built so well that they run forever, and 2) that the Lexus service people are not hired from the same labor pool as MB's and don't have to do the same diagnostic tests that normal techs do because (see item 1) the cars are built so well.

    PS If your brother's l988 MB has been driven in Boston (as your Lexus has) for the last 17 years (at 15K per year, say 220,000 miles +) without this work being done I wouldn't want to even sit in it let alone ride in it. This whole thing is nutty.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Can I make a suggestion and ask that participants in this forum take a moment and add some information to their Forum Profile-- it's helpful in understanding people's perspectives to know, for example, what part of the country (or world) they live in, and what kind of car(s) they have chosen to own themselves. In some cases, I have noticed from postings that people have purchased new cars since they wrote their Profile, so it needs to be updated.

    Adding information to your Profile is very easy and doesn't have any real impact on your privacy. Just click on any of the links at the top or right side of the page that mention Profile, Preferences, or My Account, and follow the directions.

    Of course, to read any poster's Profile info, you can just click on the blue underlined name in the title line of any post. I find it adds to my enjoyment of the forum to know even just a little bit about the folks with whom we share our opinions and feelings.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi,
    Thanks for your reply...You hit the nail right on the head with your post..I guess my expectations were sky high due to all that marketing...My car "only" has 96,000 miles on it. You made an excellent point about the Boston roads, that's enough to do it to a Hummer let alone a passenger car. Still the failure of the Power Steering Rack is troubling to some degree. Perhaps I have overreacted. But two issues are still bothering me: 1) The lack of professionalism of the Service Dept at Lexus..I've never had anyone accuse me of being cheap for questioning the bill.."Well we have people who spend 9,000 all the time, but you can do what you want..." The second is the issues I'm having with my new 2005 LS..I don't understand how a Navigation System could give me wrong directions to Massachusetts General Hospital, one of America's oldest hospitals. (1811)...I ended up in some satellite office. We'll see how it works out..

    But anyway thanks for listening,
    SV
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Sorry for your problems....around twelve years ago, or there abouts, when I purchased the first Lexus, the dealer was located around twenty miles away...He still is and the facilities are the same...Although we know the advisers well, and consider them friends, they are so rushed with the countless thousands of cars that have been sold over the years that it now takes four or more service advisors to handle the load....That may be the problem with your having to wait around so long.......I find that there has been a general decline in considerations for us lowly customers from almost every business I have done business with over the last few years, and find now to be the worse time of all....Maybe our economy is running flat out and will correct this problem with a coming slow down....In smaller communities they have a bit more time for us, but forget about the large cities...It is incredible Charleston South Carolina Tony
  • Pablo

    I think that the JDP surveys for both early reliability and long term ownership issues are much more relevant to the U.S. than anything from Europe.

    I also don't know how you can draw any conclusions about the kind of problems when saying stuff like "They are final assembly quality statistics more than anything else, and probably reflect overall quality control well."

    How in the world would you know that. What is 'final assembly' quality statistics these days? Is that when Mercedes stuffs the engine in the engine bay or something.

    Mercedes, Audi and most European car companies do very poorly in both short term and long term quality and reliability ratings for many, many reasons - not the least of which are outdated manufacturing technologies and processes, ineffective sourcing and supply chain management and partnerships and a pervasive 'screw the customer' attitude.

    Your suggestion of some kind of metric that measures the full dimension of the cost of ownership in terms of things like 'out of pocket time' is an interesting idea though that deserves a forum on its own.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The service at my Jaguar dealer has been lousy. However, I have been impressed over the last ten years with Rahal Toyota\Scion\Lexus in Carlisle. They are a BIG dealer, a one stop TMC shop, which I understand is pretty unusual. When it comes time for the scheduled visit to the shop, they come and get my car, so it doesnt really matter to me how long it takes them to find the time to fit my car in. On the very rare occasion where something needs to be fixed, they've always been quick to call me and tell me what the problem is and how long it will be before the car is back in my driveway. I dont think you can ask for much more than that.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Lexusguy,
    I completely understand your point of view. My surprise stems from the fact that Lexus of Watertown has been nothing short of excellent over 13 years. I have all of my Lexus cars serviced there. Lexus of Watertown is a pretty big dealer (one of those newly renovated ones)..But ever since the expansion it feels like the quality of service has fallen. Only 18 months ago they were absolutely excellent in handling the insurance company while my 92 was being repaired. My experience this time has been the exact opposite of yours, they don't call, and I have to press them to tell me when it will be done. At least they gave me a RX330 loaner, which rides surprisingly smooth. I was quite disappointed with the amount of rattles a 1 yr old car has though..Are these RX's built in Canada these days?

    SV
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yes, the RX and GX come from Canada. I know Lexus had a few problems with the first model year of the GX470, but as far as I know the '04 and '05 cars from those plants are excellent. Not as good as the cars still built in Japan.. but better than everyone else.

    I am surprised at the level of service you are getting from your dealer. Definitely complain, and let them know they may be losing a customer. I think they'll change their tune in a hurry.

    Lexus has one of, if not the highest retention rate in the industry, so perhaps some dealers take for granted that everybody is going to come back for a new Lexus.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Tony:

    Real sorry to hear about your issues with the '92 LS. Seems like you were more disappointed with the dealer service than a 14-yr-old car's repair needs. My '99 now has 105K miles, and I have not had to do anything to it other than regular scheduled maintainance. The last one at 100K miles set me back $1300 - water pump, seals, belts, plugs, etc... scheduled service at 100K miles. My dealer is OK, no biggie. If I don't like his work or his service, I look elsewhere... There has to be other dealers out there willing to win your business and provide you a stellar service. Let us know how it all ends....

    BTW, I had my dealer upgrade the Nav on my '99 (Sept '98 version) to the 2003 (Sept) version and it works almost flawlessly. I am sure your dealer would be OK to replace your Nav unit to solve the routing problem. Have you asked ?
  • Well...You could look at it another way...The LS is built so well that the Service people (like the maytag repair man) just don't get enough practice fixing them...

    Who knows..You could look at it that way..The Glass is half something?
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    I want to know how often you will be at the MB dealerships or shops even before your MB is even over 14 years old.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    > I think that the JDP surveys for both early reliability and long term ownership
    > issues are much more relevant to the U.S. than anything from Europe.

    That defies logic. The cars are the same here and there. And the JDP statistics on "problems in the first 90 days of ownership" do not sound like a long term reliability study at all.

    > How in the world would you know that.

    It is quite obvious that the number of issues arising in the first 90 days of onwership is pretty good data as far as quality control goes. Any issue that arises as quickly is a quality issue, or permit me to perceive it as such when coughing up up more than $50k for a car.

    > Mercedes, Audi and most European car companies do very poorly in both short
    > term and long term quality and reliability ratings

    I can't recall disputing that. But I'd say that Toyota-Lexus seem to be playing in a different league, and everybody else follows with less of a margin among themselves.

    > Your suggestion of some kind of metric that measures the full dimension of the
    > cost of ownership in terms of things like 'out of pocket time' is an interesting
    > idea though that deserves a forum on its own.

    I doubt it would gain much support from manufacturers. :-)
  • JDP has two very different surveys: IQS which looks at the problems in the first 90 days and then the long term reliability survey. Go spend some time at their site and get informed.

    Plus, if you think the cars are the same between the US and Europe, you should go take a trip to the continent and drive around a bit.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I'm not trying to continue the MB vs. Lexus debate. I'm really not. But it strikes me that despite all of MBs faults--and there are many, at least you are buying a vehicle with some heritage. With Lexus, one is buying a very dependable almost synthetic vehicle complete with overboosted steering, overly done road isolation, etc. Truly, these are different concepts that will appeal to different people. Kind of like do you wear 100% cotton dress shirts or one with permanent press (i.e., polyester) in the cotton.

    On a somewhat related note, many have commented about the over extension of the MB line with many, many models. An ad in this morning's WSJ trumpets 8, count'em 8, different Lexus vehicles. Gee, talk about line extension. I think that Lexus has three AWD SUV or cross over vehicles alone.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "I think that Lexus has three AWD SUV or cross over vehicles alone."

    I'm not sure where you are going with this. Mercedes has M, R, and G and MLK on the way. Thats four. The old guy went nuts trying to throw Mercedes everywhere, in places it shouldnt be. (See: C-class coupe). Thats partly why he's out and Dieter is in. There's not going to be another C coupe.

    Lexus has 5 cars and 3 trucks. Only GS, IS, and RX offer more than one engine choice. Thats not exactly a lot. Mercedes already has 8 cars and 3 trucks, dozens of engine choices, and the MLK on the way, plus the B-class which may or may not show up.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    On a somewhat related note, many have commented about the over extension of the MB line with many, many models. An ad in this morning's WSJ trumpets 8, count'em 8, different Lexus vehicles....

    Let's count them:

    MBs - C, E, S, CL, CLS, SL, SLK, ML, MLK, Maybach, R, G (12)

    Lexus - IS, ES, GS, RX, GX, LX, SC, LS (8)

    Lexus = 8
    MB = 12

    Who is the proliferator ?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You forgot the CLK class. Counting Mayback, thats 13.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    > Plus, if you think the cars are the same between the US and Europe, you
    > should go take a trip to the continent and drive around a bit.

    The cars relevant to this discussion are. I lived in Europe for over 20 years before moving here, thus I am pretty confident to be far better informed about the car culture over there than almost anyone in this forum, thank you very much.
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