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Transmission problems with Lexus ES?



  • Test drove a 2005 ES330 last week and noted that the transmission HAS CHANGED. The gear ratios are a little tighter and the final compression ratio is a little higher. The brochure shows the 0-60 at 7.2 seconds whereas the 2004 is at 8.9 seconds (or something like that). Didn't notice much of a hesitation but then again I only drove it for 10 minutes or so. By the way, I test drove this one in Canada.
  • Canada - that's the difference.

    Canadian ES cars are not ULEV - and don't have the problem. Even the '03 and '04 ES Canadian cars didn't have the problem.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    8.9 0-60 time?? I think the last time a magaine tested a ES300 it was around 8 seconds flat 0-60.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Canadian ES330 is ULEV.
  • OK. So it's ULEV II for the US and ULEV for Canada. Anyway, there's a difference in the pollution standards which apparently accounts for some of the problem.

    You can find the details at the Lexus Owner's Club forum.
  • The US version is SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) while the Canadian version is ULEV. Consequently, the transmission and throttle are calibrated differently.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    The US version is SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) while the Canadian version is ULEV.

    That is not correct, as pointed out by a previous poster the US version is ULEV II. See this link ES link
  • The brochure says the Cdn. version is also ULEV II. Has anyone ever asked to see if there were transmission changes for the US version for 2005? The 2005 Cdn. brochure doesn't explicitly state anything. It was the salesman who pointed out the change and the change in the performance numbers in the brochure. It does have a different final drive ratio and compression number.
  • kadskads Posts: 27

    We've got a hesitating Highlander, same 5 speed auto/drive by wire problem as the ES and RX.
    Am very interested in your posts as we're about to file under Texas' Lemon Law.
    Wondered if you could give me any pointers on working thru the system and any specifics of complaint claims that seemed to carry the most weight?

    Looking forward to your reply. Thanks

  • I test drove a 2005 and also didn't notice the hesitation (in the U.S.). Has anyone else purchased/test driven and noticed the hesitation problem? Previously, I test drove a 2003 and did notice the problem. Just curious if the problem might finally be fixed in 2005 models.
  • To Those of You Who Have Been to Arbitration:

    Did you get a decision right after the meeting or did you have to wait a few days?
  • kadskads Posts: 27
    Thanks much for the pointers.
  • davidzdavidz Posts: 35
    After starting my 2004 ES330, putting it into drive and taking my foot off the brake, the car lurches forward big time. Does anyone else have this problem?

    Is this part of the well-known tranny problem or is it something else? It's not so bad as to be a safety issue, but it's pretty poor considering the price of the car and the "pursuit of perfection" blah blah, blah...
  • i have a question i have a 1992 es300 when i put the car in drive it moves put when the rpm falls below one the car doesn't move this just happened two days prior i noticed that when i put the car into reverse it would shake a little but when in drive it rode sweet until today i was driving and the car started slowing down and it wouldn't budge what does that sound like
  • lexuswows---you have a duplicate post here. Try to avoid that if you can. Your question was addressed in the other forum in which you posted.
  • I took my Lexus to another dealer who had no problem identifying the rattling problem with the front seat and replaced it. This dealer listen to what I had to say, checked the seat out, and decided that there really was a problem. The first dealer just put the seat in a position where it didn't rattle and called it no problem.
  • "Upon further review of your service history, Lexus has determined that there is nothing defective with your vehicle's transmission. It is operating as designed."

    Thank you for sharing this documentation from Lexus allig8r. This legally and politically shrewd B.S response is a recurring theme which tells me (as a newbie) they are well aware of the problem, but chose to ignore it. Saying that it doesn't exist doesn't make the problem go away, yet that seems to be their key response.

    I was seriously considering buying a ES330, but am back-peddling after reading this thread. Until an accident or class action suit occurs, the only other action I can think of (in addition to what people are doing, especially in contacting the media) is building power in numbers through protest aimed at their bank accounts.

    I know one person is a drop in the bucket, but I wish to write to them and tell them why I am declining Lexus in the hopes of helping others. I would encourage others in my position to do the same.

    I am disappointed because I really like the smoothness and speed of the car, which I have only found in more expensive vehicles. If it weren't for this one (substantial) problem, my exhaustive search would be over. Further, the "passionate pursuit of perfection" claim is offensive and in my mind, a fraudulant statement, especially given the growing number of complaints over such a long period of time.

    I went to their website, but there is only a PO Box for Customer Assistance. I would imagine that such a letter would get put in the "whatever" file. Does anyone have a name and address for a key decision maker at Lexus?

    My sympathies to everyone who has suffered from this and thanks for all the information.
  • I just got my decison and I lost. They said in a 5 mile test drive my car operated as designed. Did not even look at the evidence that I put on the table for them to review. I went though the NCDS in Dallas. Who did you go through? I need to try another angle to get rid of this very poor automobile.
  • Please let me know how your case goes. I lost mine, but it does not mean I will accept it. They did not even review the evidence I put in front of them and based some of their decision on a 5 mile test drive. You can contact me @ 214-707-8840
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