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ES300 2002 Transmission Problems

nogermancarnogermancar Posts: 16
edited March 25 in Lexus
I thought it would be worth having a website devoted only to the ES300 2002 Transmission problems. I posted the below in another discussion area.

I took my ES300 YR2002 in the Putnam Lexus in Redwood City, California for the following problems yesterday. My vehicle has about 7,500 miles.
 1. Tire noise
 2. When Braking - Wheel vibration
 3. Transmission problem - shuddering/hesitation 30-42 mph. There are more detailed explanations of this problem in other message posts.
 

They have fixed the #2 brake/rotor problem as discussed in previous messages. The service advisor said it was on the Technical Service Board.
 

However, my service advisor said that they cannot replicate #1 and #3. He wanted me to come in and take the mechanic for a test drive. He said that there is no known transmission problem on the Technical Service Board. They did not hear the tire noise nor experience the transmission problem I was reporting.
 

I mentioned to him that I have been experiencing the problem since I bought that car and the transmission problem is a known issue. I also cannot take time away from work to go test drive a vehicle with a mechanic (he acknowledged and understood this point). I just want the problem fixed and I don't want to keep bringing the car back to the dealership for the same problem. I also provided him the engine computer part number mentioned in akw3's previous message. He said he would check it out and get back to me.
 

He called back 30 minutes later and said this part 89666-33442 is not a Lexus part number. He also wanted me to fax him the information on the internet where I found this part number. He said a lot of information is on the internet and may not be true.
 

Well, I left him a message and basically said to keep my car until they fix the problem and don't call me back until they have it fixed. I don't have time to fax him information from the internet nor give driving lessons to a bunch of mechanics. I also mentioned a dealership has actually had a lawsuit filed against them over this transmission issue and I suggest they call other Lexus dealerships around to figure out a solution to this problem.
 

My wife followed up with another phone call and explained that their mechanics only drove the car once (probably only around the block!) and I have been driving the car for several thousand miles. She has also felt the same acceleration problems that I have and detailed that to him.
 

The service advisor said he would call the manufacturer and try to figure out a solution. He will call around about the part number I gave him.
 

As of now, my car is still in the shop and meanwhile, I have a loaner RX300 which drives very nice which gets me around town just fine. No transmission problems on the RX300 I might add. Drives the way a Lexus vehicle is intended to without Lexus' "secret" ES300 transmission problems we have all been experiencing.
 

However, I am willing to take this to the next level if Lexus does not own up to their ES300 2002 transmission blunder. I would like to explore a class action law suit if this transmission issue does not get fixed very soon. Believe me, Lexus does not want to have the tranmission problem make their company look bad and hurt sales. I hate being taken advantage of and jerked around...
 

I will post the outcome soon.

Comments

  • Yes, please let me know what the outcome is. I am as frustrated as you with the run around Lexus has been giving me regarding the transmission problem. At least my dealer admits that there is a problem but just won't commit to fixing it. If there is something we can do (e.g. legal action or talk to a tv station to get some press), I am with you. I am also a Bay Area resident.
  • Update#1

    I called the Service Advisor back today and this is the outcome of that conversation.

    He said he called Lexus manufacturer and they admited to him that there is a problem with the ES300 2002 transmission and that engineering is working on the solution. They hope to have it out by Fall 2003. He could call me as soon as Putnam has a fix. He said to trust him on that.

    He said he could get a new engine computer but, "To be honest, it probably won't fix the problem since it would be the same part. They haven't fixed it yet. It wouldn't help the issue."

    Also, he said that 89666-33442 is a Lexus part number after all. However, he said that it was a problem unrelated to the transmission issue and had to do with cars in cold weather having problems starting.

    My response was this.

    I do not want to drive the car anymore since it has a known and admitted problem with the transmission. I told him that it causes problems for me when I merge onto traffic and I do not want to put my family in danger.

    I also told him that I do not want to take delivery of the vehicle since it is unsafe to drive. That Lexus knows there is major problem with the transmission but has not and may never have a fix for it. I said that by me taking delivery of the vehicle at this point would admit that I can "tolerate" the transmission problem. I said that since Lexus has known this was an issue at the beginning of last year that they sold me a vehicle that was no good and they may never have a fix. I said I want Putnam Lexus to come up with a solution to rectify this situation.

    He said he will talk to his Service Director and see what can be done. He also said that the Sales Manager may be able to do something but that depreciation would come into play of my vehicle. He will call me back tonight.

    ...I am waiting...

    I would also add that the Putnam Lexus Service Advisor outright lied to me that the above part number was not an actual part number. What is going on here!?!?!?!
  • Update#2

    The Service Advisor called back.

    He said that he explained my concern to his Service Director and that the Service Director understands my concern. He thought the best thing at this point would be to call Lexus @ 800-448-1505 and make them aware that I don't just want to wait for the "fix" later in the year 2003. Also that I have a justified concern for my own and my family's safety relating to the transmission problem.

    The Service Advisor said that they can then get the ball rolling. Sales, Service etc. and that they will call me on Monday.

    I will post an update on my next actions. I'm really disappointed in Lexus at this point and wish I hadn't bought my 2002 ES300. The fact that I have been lied to. The fact that others have been lied to. This is all a bunch of crap and I'm going to get the upper hand...
  • Here are the problems as described by a number of us with the 2002 ES300 (My car has all of the below mentioned problems):

    1) Stumble - this occurs when you quickly accelerate and the car hesitates for 1-2 seconds before it kicks in.

    2) Shudder - with no pattern, the car will suddenly shudder. This occurs with no/little acceleration.

    3) Surging - the car surges approx. 1/2 foot when the air conditioner is on. I have noticed that this problem is intensified when the car is slowly (e.g., in traffic) moving down hill.

    4) Rotors - warped rotors are common in the 2002 ES300. I had mine replaced at 12k miles
  • I would just like to add that the dealership mentioned previously has provided great sales and service. I loved my saleswoman. I would get another vehicle from them anytime. In fact, the new GX looks really exciting and RX330 is very tantilizing. I am just really disappointed that the 2002 ES300 turned out to be a bad seed.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I, too, have all the problems you mentioned except my rotors were not replaced but resurfaced at it's 12K service.

    I received a letter from Lexus a few days after talking to customer service, offering me $2000 towards the purchase of ANOTHER Toyota/Lexus good until Jan 2005. Why not just use that money to FIX OR REPLACE my transmission?! After this bad experience, I don't think I'll ever buy any of their products ever again.

    I called them again yesterday asking about the fix and all they told me it was scheduled to be released this fall. I heard that story before. I bet come this fall, it would be pushed back to fall 2004.
  • I am taking my car in for the above mentioned problems in a few weeks (the third time). I will let you know how it goes.

    Do you live in the Bay Area? If we could get enough of us together, maybe we could take this to the press. They love stories like this in the Bay Area (e.g. how Lexus has been giving us the run around even though they admit a problem exists.)

    Any others out there in the Bay Area with ES300 Transmission issues?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    I was so sick of the transmission issues with my ES300 that I traded it in after two weeks and 500 miles.

    I took a bath financially of course, but at least I am not irritated anymore by that stupid drivetrain!
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I live in Central New Jersey. I think there was a class-action lawsuit filed against lexus from bigclassaction.com but don't really know what became of it. If this could be reported on the evening news, that just might spark the fire under their butts to get things moving along.

    I was at the dealership today and test-drove the RX330 (wife insisted). Salesperson offered $1K off list and $26 for my '02 ES. I think I'll pass. No more Lexus for me (although my wife might try to change my mind - she fell in love with the RX330).
  • Have any of you called the 800-448-1505 number my dealership gave me?

    I also wonder what happened to the class action. I do recall texas83 posting a tidbit that no one would touch a class action unless there are dead people involved. Well we'll see. TV is another option.

    I will post my next outcome soon. I don't want to give away what I'm doing just yet.
  • miller50miller50 Posts: 1
    nogermancar--How's your situation? Have you resolved anything yet? I'm curious to know how Lexus really handles problems with their autos. So far I've not had much luck and could use some inspiration.
  • I called the 800 number (Lexus Customer Care) that you mentioned above. He told me that since my car is under factory warranty he could not help me. He told me to talk to the dealer.
  • I have a 2003 ES300 with 4200 miles. I have had the problem since purchased. My dealership, Lexus of Tampa Bay, also admits to a problem but says a fix is not available and can't give me a time frame when it will be available. She says call back every month. I asked if they would notify those who have complained of a problem and she said no!

    I seem to have 2 problems:

    1) On rapid acceleration, especially from a slow speed, the trans delays a second before kicking in causing the car to die and then lurch forward

    2) when slowing down below aprox. 20 mph and then when I apply th e gas (slow or fast it doesn't matter) the trans will delay before engaging. I don't have a problem from a complete stop or above 20 mph.

    I have also noticed lately when taking my foot off the gas at highway speed the trans does not appear to coast. It feels like the trans is slowing the car down.

    I can cause the trans to shudder by shifting from drive to neutral and back to drive. It shudders under approx. 30 mph when going back into drive.

    It appears these problem arises when the car has to downshift.

    I plan on sending complaint letters to Lexus. Hope everyone will do the same to create some concern. I'm sure the attorneys would love to get involved once someone is injured.
  • You should also post your problem on the 2003 ES300 Transmission Problem discussion. People are purchasing the 2003 thinking that the problems with the transmission are fixed. Obviously they are not.
  • I have a 2003 ES300 with 4200 miles. I have had the problem since purchased. My dealership, Lexus of Tampa Bay, also admits to a problem but says a fix is not available and can't give me a time frame when it will be available. She says call back every month. I asked if they would notify those who have complained of a problem and she said no!

    I seem to have 2 problems:

    1) On rapid acceleration, especially from a slow speed, the trans delays a second before kicking in causing the car to die and then lurch forward

    2) when slowing down below aprox. 20 mph and then when I apply th e gas (slow or fast it doesn't matter) the trans will delay before engaging. I don't have a problem from a complete stop or above 20 mph.

    I have also noticed lately when taking my foot off the gas at highway speed the trans does not appear to coast. It feels like the trans is slowing the car down.

    I can cause the trans to shudder by shifting from drive to neutral and back to drive. It shudders under approx. 30 mph when going back into drive.

    It appears these problem arises when the car has to downshift.

    I plan on sending complaint letters to Lexus. Hope everyone will do the same to create some concern. I'm sure the attorneys would love to get involved once someone is injured.
This discussion has been closed.