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Transmission problems with Lexus ES?



  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    jmlaw, I think it best you just read bkinblks case for yourself rather than someone else's interpretation of it. I gave you links. Just go to that discussion, do a search for "bkinblk" and just follow what he says (and by the way, when you find the post where bkinblk says he lost his case because he refused to give the arbitrator a ride, please post the link, because I was unable to find this ;) )
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    is exactly the right suggestion. There's no need to get in any arguments here about what happened when it's all in the other discussion.

  • hylynerhylyner Posts: 216
    Hi Billran.
    IMO, you should refrain from discussion with some evidently here only to promote the hesitation issue.
    First and foremost, comments about the issue by these folks are mostly slanted, misquoted, embellished, or what have you to support the promotional efforts.
    Correcting the deliberate misquotes is a waste of time, and won't change anything. It certainly isn't going to stop.
    Another consideration is the fact that it's really impossible to verify, one way or the other, anything said in these forums--for all intents and purposes all of it has to be considered in that context. This has to be remembered when reports about arbitration are logged in these discussions.
    Also important is the fact that only a small number of actual reports have been logged in these forums; most discussion is by a few individuals going back and forth with endless discussions on the reports, theories, condemnations, etc.
    Regarding the hesitation issue itself, it's a given that it's not a widespread issue, and to date (after two or three years of monotonous debate) there's no agreement on (a) whether or not it's a problem or a characteristic; (b) whether or not all DBW systems work that way; (c) whether or not there's any kind of design flaw at work; (d) that it's any kind of a safety issue; (e) that solutions such as TSBs, gas pedal mods, etc., are worthy of consideration.
    IMO, what's being said about the issue is doing little harm, and it's not worth arguing about because the real proof is the marketplace in general, and everyone knows where that's going.
    Let these folks do their thing--they tell us it's to "help" others, but it seems to me that the "help" being given is a thinly disguised form of brand bashing.
    Folks who are here for that purpose aren't going to be dissuaded by rational debate.
  • billranbillran Posts: 113
    it seems to me that the "help" being given is a thinly disguised form of brand bashing.

    I agree 100%. I believe that the posting of partial facts and deliberately distorted information is misleading and unfair to those sincerely looking for resolution to their particular problem. Anyone considering arbitration would be much better advised to have the arbitrator drive their cars to experience the hesitation first hand, rather than trying to make a case that all two million cars with identical drivetrains are flawed, which is simply not true and bound to fail.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    jmlaw, fyi, bkinblk most recently posted as bkinblk1. Good luck.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    To all:

    We are not going to argue here about what went on in another discussion. As I mentioned anyone can go read it and find out.

    We also aren't going to tell others what and what not to post.

    And we're going to stop criticizing other members for holding different opinions or beliefs. If someone posts something with which you don't agree, certainly you may post a contrasting opinion. What needs to stop is the criticism of the person who made the post that you disagreed with.

    If anyone has any questions or comments on anything I've said here, please address them to me in email and don't post them here.

    Thank you.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    On page 12 look at the "dithering" of the absolute throttle position signal as the pedal goes from idle, fully released, to WOT (or nearly).

    It's very heard to imagine someone's foot doing this so there must be some sort of flaw in the engine/transaxle ECU's signal sampling algorithm.

    This sort of on-and-off, on-and-off, and then on again would undoubtedly be quite confusing to the transaxle downshift control algorithm.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    wwest please post the correct page number.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just checked, page 12 is correct.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    oh yeah, the artifact between 340 and 370sec. now i see the labeling below each plot. please forgive me.

    remember this is most probably throttle position, not accelerator position. big diff right?

    now as the unit shifts up, we are probably seeing the coordinating throttle dither to lessen shift shock or something like that.

    an accelerator position wouldn't revert to 10%/
  • bkinblk1bkinblk1 Posts: 12
    Can't say much, other than a court date has been set for next year. As for some on this forum and similar forums who post ad nauseum with the same arguments and denials, I can only say, God bless you, you've got more time than me.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    other than a court date has been set for next year

    Dang, that's a long time to wait.

    Well, good luck to you and hope you have something else to drive until then.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    Seriously considering trading in my '03 for a new IS 250AWD

    Really tired of the ES transmission performance in "stop and go" traffic. Test drove the new IS and it behaves much differently - didn't have any issue with the "hesitation, harsh downshifting, clunkiness, gear-searching" behavior that has kept this thread going for 4 years now.
    If I do this trade in, I know that I may be reinforcing Lexus' bad corporate behavior for not admitting the problem in the 5speed ES, but they seem to have corrected it at least in the new IS models.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The IS models are all RWD, different automatic transmission configuration, and entirely different driving dynamics for the control firmware to overcome/address.
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I know that you have posted many notes on this website.
    The facts about the new IS that you just mentioned are some of the reasons that I am considering that model. Since I live in the "snow belt" I've decided to try the AWD version. I've driven both the IS350 and IS250AWD. The 350 model is very fast and fun to drive but not very practical in MN winters; being RWD and equipped with low profile "summer" tires.
    Interestingly, the new IS has been out for 8-9 months and I haven't seen anything on that website about transmission problems that have plagued the 5sp ES models. So, I assume that the control firmware is either different in the IS or it's mating to the new IS drivetrain results in a better performance.
    It will be very interesting to see if the new ES350 (despite being front wheel drive, I believe it has the same 3.5L V6 and 6sp tranny as the IS350 ) will avoid the hesitation, gear-searching problems of the 3.3L / 5sp setup.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Also keep in mind that the space available for a transaxle is quite limited in comparison to a RWD vehicle. Taking a transaxle to six speeds will be a lot more difficult than with a transmission.
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    FYI. I know this forum is about the Lexus transmission, but since the Avalons have a similar problem, thought I would share. The two owners quoted in this article both post in the Avalon forum and both have been contacted re. generous offers from Toyota. Makes you think these forums do get Toyota's/Lexus' attention. The article is in the May 2006 edition of Automotive News.

    #12217 of 12293 Re: Quality Article today [captain2] by joe369 May 01, 2006 (12:45 pm)
    Reply | E-mail Msg
    Replying to: captain2 (May 01, 2006 12:26 pm)

    Here is the article

    LOS ANGELES -- Alan Seider has owned 11 Toyotas since 1982, but his 2006 Avalon likely will be his last.

    He says quality glitches have bedeviled his Toyota sedan, which he has driven less than 6,000 miles since he bought it last July. His dealer could not solve the car's problems. Toyota headquarters stonewalled his appeals, he says.

    "There have been significant throttle control and transmission hesitation issues," says Seider, 45, a computer consultant from Roswell, Ga. "I've isolated 15 different rattles in the body work."

    Seider is far from alone. Internet chat rooms such as Town Hall are littered with complaints from Toyota loyalists about the redesigned Avalon, which went on sale in February 2005.

    The Avalon's launch problems point to a larger issue. To meet demand, Toyota has added factories in North America and thousands of new employees. Executives are worried that Toyota's rapid growth may dilute its quality standards.

    Toyota and Lexus divisions still exceed industry averages in various studies that measure quality. Toyota predicts that the Avalon will score well in J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study, to be released in June.

    But the quality gap is closing. And Toyota recalls have spiked in the last two years.

    Every production line produces its share of lemons. But Toyota already has issued a string of technical service bulletins to dealers to fix Avalons on the road. Changes are being made on the assembly line. Toyota representatives acknowledge there are some teething problems, but decline to call the Avalon a problem car.

    The Avalon is the Toyota brand's most-expensive car, starting at $27,355 including destination charges. The redesigned 2005 model was embraced by consumers; Toyota sold 95,318 Avalons last year in the United States, up from 36,460 in 2004. Avalon sales peaked in 2000 at 104,078 units. It is assembled at Toyota's Georgetown, Ky., plant, alongside the Camry and Camry Solara.

    It's a car-buying axiom that one should never buy a car in its first year of production, before the bugs are worked out. But in recent years Toyota and Honda largely disproved that old saw, delivering nearly bulletproof vehicles from Job 1.

    Now the Avalon redesign is showing that even mighty Toyota can slip up.

    Kevin Clingenpeel, a 37-year-old insurance litigator from Fort Mill, S.C., loved his Avalon for the first 2,000 miles. Then the transmission shifts became erratic, especially in cold weather. The engine developed a persistent knock, which could not be cured by changing grades of gasoline or by using a fuel-injector cleaner.

    "I pulled up next to a Ford F-350, and I could hear my valve train clicking louder than his diesel," said Clingenpeel, whose Avalon is his family's third Toyota.

    Clingenpeel says his dealer gave the car "a wink and a nod" when he brought it in three times for repairs. Clingenpeel then appealed to Toyota headquarters to send out a district service manager. Toyota refused. Now Clingenpeel is looking to sell the car.

    "It's sad because there's a nice car hiding behind all this," Clingenpeel said. "But this is not up to snuff from what I would consider from Toyota."

    The Avalon's problems have drawn notice from Consumer Reports magazine, which has for years given the Avalon high marks.

    While still giving the 2005 Avalon its highest scores in most categories, the magazine's overall quality rating for the car was average because the Avalon scored below the Buick LaCrosse, Kia Amanti, Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego.

    Anita Lam, data program manager for Consumer Reports' auto test center, said problems with the Avalon cropped up in steering, suspension and body integrity.

    "These are first-year teething problems. We anticipate the second model year will be much better," Lam said.

    Toyota spokesman John Hanson called the Consumer Reports ratings "the sum of small irritations more than anything else."

    But Hanson acknowledged that Toyota has been concerned with the initial wave of quality problems for the car. Toyota's priority has been to find and remedy problems, get the fixes to the production line, and issue technical service bulletins so dealers can fix the faults on vehicles already on the road.

    "The Avalon is the most complex vehicle Toyota Division sells, so just by definition it's a problematic vehicle," Hanson said.

    The Avalon's transmission lurch is especially noticeable in low-speed crawls during rush hour, Hanson said. Previous Avalons had problems shifting smoothly at high speed with high engine revs. Toyota fixed the high-speed lurch by changing software algorithms, but the adjustment caused a low-speed lurch.

    The low-speed problem "is all software," Hanson says.

    Some customers are voting with their feet. In Seider's case, he replaced his wife's Toyota Sienna minivan with a Honda Pilot. He doubts he will replace the Avalon with another Toyota.

    Said Seider: "I am so disappointed in Toyota. I've had previous first-year vehicles, but nothing like this ever happened. Toyota's build quality has declined in recent years, and there seems to be nothing the dealer can do. Toyota has reached a size that they've lost sight of the individual customer."
  • shepalishepali Posts: 72
    Just wanted to let everyone know that I am very happy with my transaction whereby Lexus (the manufacturer) and I came to a settlement and they took back my ES in exchange for a Lexus of my choice (for a calculated purchase price difference).

    I have had my GX470 for a month now, and it has no hesitation issues whatsoever, and I am very happy with the vehicle. My ONLY complaint is that it has a really hard time at highway speeds in cruise control - it consistently downshifts then upshifts when most cars don't do that. But, that is something that I can definitely live with.

    Anyway, thought I'd give you all an update! And thanks again for all your support and input here!
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    good for you! yeah i wouldn't sweat the cruise control - just keep it off. still seems like that should work smoothly though.
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