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Transmission problems with Lexus ES?



  • montiemontie Posts: 10
    It gets better every day Gents. I'll be leaving your fair city of Cincinnati Tuesday and gonna miss this discussion. It could easy get to be compelling. Internet back home is bloody rotten and it takes forever to download a site like this much less have your post sent. I have learned lots in a short time, especially as billran fears I too suspicion a definite bias says against Toyota is alive and well hereabouts. I wonder why this is? Says hyliner, more like somebody's trying to make Toyota look bad perhaps? Too bad, because they sell brilliant cars and trucks where I come from. Good bye all, and thanks for letting me butt in. You have a great country here.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    of the "heap", you're sure to get "rained" on.
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Good point!!!!
  • tmarttmart Posts: 998
    " The PROBLEM is in ALL of them. For those of you who claim not to have the problem, trust me, I could repeat it in YOUR car."

    If your statement is correct, that sounds like the driver is the problem and not the car!
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Another good point!!!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    that would be an erroneous conclusion.
  • well "science says" that a conclusion should be repeatable no matter who does it. Match + gunpowder equals explosion even if the experimenter (gunpowder skeptic) believes otherwise. Of course science presumes gunpowder is not under water.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Well i don't know how well the "Match + Gunpowder" analogy applies in this situation. Person A claims he/she can reproduce the symptom in every test ( in this case that would be the car) while person B, C, and D claims the symptom isn't reproducible in 99.9% of the driving condition. I think all automatic transmission can be made to hesitate under certain extreme driving condition. Being the owner of an 03 Camry V6 with a 5 speed automatic I can claim that the car has never let me down. If i need to speed up right after slowing down to say 15 to 20 mph I give the pedal a firm push and off she goes. Have owned the car for almost 3 years and I didn't ever feel the transmission was unresponsive or anything like that. And yes Toyota does get more publicity than Honda, Audi, BMW, Volkswagon because of its size and success.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    the implication is that it is the driver's fault for not driving in a manner to avoid this behavior.

    if the person was instructed to modify their driving style to accomodate the design of the system (ala much like "stomp and steer" with ABS), then we might point to operator "misuse" of the system at root cause.

    clearly though a number of posters indicate NO hesitation, and a number of other posters indicate that with a number of vehicles and many years of driving experience with AT drivetrains, their vehicle just doesn't operate as expected (for some just an annoyance) or to an extreme, in a manner where they feel safe.

    if the driver should be aggressive with the throttle, or conversely gentle with the throttle and/or avoid manuvers like merging, accelerating quickly to pass during lane changes, or slow and re-apply throttle to cross from a median, then you'd think the manufacturer would prescribe how the vehicle is to be operated in those scenarios.

    but they don't, and never would because it (the hesitation) may not be an intentional artifact of the design or the actions of the driver, but a defect in software, hardware, or both. i wouldn't doubt driving style may contribute to the severity, but not be at root cause of the behavior.
  • billranbillran Posts: 113
    In the past, I have never down played the concerns of those few people who said they actually had a problem. I have said before they seemed to me to be sincere and credible and I have always believed that they were experiencing problems with their car that I do not have in mine.

    If the statement " The PROBLEM is in ALL of them. For those of you who claim not to have the problem, trust me, I could repeat it in YOUR car." is correct however, that would a different situation. I drive my car daily in all kinds of traffic. In addition, I have deliberately tried to duplicate the behavior mentioned here, with no success. My car drives great, with no noticeable hesitation under any conditions. And as I have said before, I have two coworkers whose cars also perform fine. I know that 3 cars is a statistically insignificant sample, but I think it is representative of the thousands of other owners who also consider their car's performance to be fine.

    So, if indeed our cars perform identically to those reporting the problem, then what is the answer? Driving style? Driver's perception? Or then there was one person's suggestion that the people who did not think their car had a problem were not smart enough to know it.

    If my car has the identical problem as those who are complaining, then I will tell you that I don't consider it a problem, and I am not surprised there has been no recall. It drives just fine, and I like to think that I am smart enough to recognize a problem if I had it.
  • You know, I am tired of being told that the hesitation problem with my ES 330 is my fault. Let me give an example to explain why some, even many, people do not see this problem. I drive alot in stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic. I also occasionally drive my car aggressively. The hesitation issue usually shows in my 2004 when going at slow speeds (5 - 15 mph) and doing sudden acceleration to change lanes or when driving at higher speeds (50 - 60) and doing sudden acceleration to change lanes. Many people can drive a car for 10 years and never once do this maneuver. Until an emergency. This does not mean that it is a driver problem. The problem is inherent in the design of the car.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Well all I can say is that the NHTSA is the final arbitrator of what constitutes a safety hazard. They have already looked into it twice and concluded that the transmission (as much as you think it constitutes a safety problem) issue just doesn't rise to a safety concern. If you still think the car isn't operating as desired maybe you should think about trading it in for a BMW M5 or Porsche 911 Turbo ;)
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    User777, you stated about my post: "That would be an erronious conclusion"
    To explain, please understand I didn't mean to "conclude" anything in saying "good point" to someone else's comment about "perhaps it might be a driver problem." What was intended is "that point is something which cannot be ignored" in discussing this issue. It may or may not be a factor, and cannot be discounted as a possiblity out of hand. It isn't "erronious" to have it added to the list of possibilities.
    This is not saying everyone who says they've had hesitation is solely to blame for the experience either.
    Since my adventure into this issue two months ago, an impressive amount of rhetoric, theories, speculation, and and MANY emotional condemnations have been posted about it.
    I haven't yet seen any solutions which come close to what could be called progress--other than the human element seems to play a major part in posts condemning it. There always seem to be an abundence of anti Toyota rhetoric which leads me to believe there really are people out there who for whatever reason just want to make Toyota look bad.
    Until I see fewer posts like "this car sucks", or "they screwed up big time", or " I can get them all to do it", or "tired of hearing there's no problem",or "it's in all of them" etc. etc, my thoughts about what's going on here won't change much. To date there has been far too much irrationality associated with this issue to "conclude" anything, other than some people don't seem to like Toyota very much.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    nice post. you seem to be asserting that you've tried a number of times to create the problem and can't, and that you're smart enough and perceptive enough to know you've got hesitation if it existed. you've said you have none, and therefore, someone would normally conclude your vehicle differs in some manner from the vehicles driven by these other people. your style wouldn't be that different from other people anyway, but even if it were, you just can't seem to replicate the issue.

    personally, i don't believe the poster indicating they could make any vehicle do it. i don't believe this is an issue with the inherent design.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    imagine for a moment that the vehicle and the experiences related are yours (not someone elses)... imagine you are reading something from hylynerX and perhaps a few others whose belief requires some threshold of objective information be met, when you cannot possibly provide them with the information at the level they require to conceed the point.

    imagine you've reported the issue to your dealership on a number of service visits who have been told "they all do it" and "this is normal", and you've even gone so far as to pursue arbitration to get out of the vehicle because you know something is fundamentally wrong.

    i don't think ANYONE posting in the hesitation forum which was closed has or had motivation to make Toyota look bad. some of the posters love their toyota except for this, and further, have been long time toyota loyalists.

    this classification of posts (ala rhetoric, emotional condemnation, irrationality) is how we got in trouble before. i'm not playing that game twice.

    theories, speculation... sure, presented in a sincere, open and honest manner may be enough to move the conversation along and for someone to connect the dots and help everyone's understanding.
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Well, I see your point and freely admit if I had been in those shoes I would probably not feel too good about it.
    My way of dealing with those kinds of problems would definitely take a different route than cartalk complaint forums though. I'm decidedly too pragmatic by nature, I guess. Never did like playing games!
    That said, the only posts I classified (as you said): "emotional, irrational, rhetoric, etc" are those which decidedly fit the description, and there have been plenty of them as even you must admit.
    There also has been (as you said) some sincere, open, and honest discussion about this issue. Perhaps I neglected to credit those accordingly, and I apologize for that omission. Generally though, there's been far to little to date, and often when it does happen, the inevitable "make Toyota look bad" posts have come along and derailled many a good discussion.
    All of the above aside, I sincerely hope you don't still feel I was "erroniously concluding" that all of this problem is driver related.
  • billranbillran Posts: 113
    user777, I agree with you regarding whether the hesitation issue affects all similar cars. Based on some of the descriptions provided of the hesitation, I would find it very hard to believe that it is in all similar drive trains. Mine certainly does not exhibit it and I have tried to drive it under the conditions described.

    I see that AP just put out a report that says that the Camry is the best selling car in America for the fourth year in a row, and has been for 8 of the last 9 years. I don't know what the sales ratio of 4 to 6 cylinders is, but either way there are a lot of the V6-5 speed drive trains out there. And, since the drive train we are discussing is on several of Toyota's top sellers (ES330, RX330, V6 Camry, Highlander and Sienna) I would hazard a guess that there may be more cars on the road with this specific drive train than any other single drive train made by any other manufacturer.

    It is hard for me to imagine that all of these hundreds of thousands of cars built over the last few years could have a serious design/safety flaw without an enormous uproar. In addition to my limited sample of three, I recall one poster saying that he had surveyed several owners he spotted at gas stations and other places and was not able to find a single person who said they had the problem.

    So I believe that indeed it is a real problem for real people, but a fairly small percentage and by no means the widespread safety issue that some would contend.

    Wwest, I believe your "top of the heap" comment is right on target.,0,2800194.- - story?coll=sns-ap-business-headlines
  • Trust me, I have seriously thought about getting rid of the car. I would love a 911 Turbo, but do not trust myself enough to drive one. I do have one question, though. If this problem does not exist (and Lexus/Toyota have repeatedly said it does not), why did Lexus/Toyota come out with a fix? When I had the Firmware upgrade done on the car, it corrected alot of the problem. But if there is no problem, why fix it?
  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    If this problem does not exist (and Lexus/Toyota have repeatedly said it does not), why did Lexus/Toyota come out with a fix?

    Shocaser, please consider this answer to your question--it has been raised by others.
    First, Toyota/Lexus has acknowledged the issue, and publicly notified the World that a TSB is available. A press release was issued about it last year. Basically in layman's terms, what they said was that it is a normal characteristic of their DBW systems; it will feel "different" and may take getting used to for some; it is designed that way to protect the engine; and for those who want it done there's a TSB which can be applied to modify the characteristic.
    Second, you should recognize the difference between a TSB and a Recall. TSB's are simply a service bulletin to dealer service personnel to define a specific service procedure they should use if a customer reports a problem or wishes an adjustment to be made in some system or component. Examples of TSBs would be window adjustments, body part fit and finish corrections,etc. TSBs are usually created to provide service personnel an approved method to repair or adjust assembly line problems. Sometimes they are created as an approved way to replace defective components also. In the case of the hesitation TSB, there is no "defect" involved, it's an "adjustment" issue.
    If there was a defect in every vehicle produced, there would be a recall campaign. In this instance, only a very small number of complaints are involved, and many of those are apparently being corrected through the TSB you refer to.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Okay, over the next week or so as you drive along, pay attention to how many drivers rest their left foot on the brake pedal while cruising along. Now, for the following week pick any one of the more popular marques and do the same thing, how many of the drivers of that marque do you see resting their left foot on the brake pedal?

    Relatively small number overall, right?

    Now lets say that the manufacturer of the marque you picked realizes that this practice is rather foolish (fuelish??) and decides to disable the accelerator pedal any time the brakes are applied.

    Guess how many, and which, drivers would immediately notice...!!??

    And now...

    Where would the fault lie?

    The manufacturer modified the engine control firmware in a perfectly logical and reasonable way. Will the owners affected scream and shout or will they adapt their driving style?

    I'm not by any means trying to remove or allay responsibility for the engine hesitation symptom from Toyota or Lexus, I still quite firmly believe their engine/transaxle firmware design has an inherent flaw that will or can be hazardous under the right (WRONG) circumstances.

    Their 5-speed transaxles must work reliably for 100% of the owners, not 99.99%
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