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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair



  • It seems to me that if you are so dissatisfied with your RX then you should trade it in for something else.

    If you have something new and constructive to add to the conversation, great. But so far, it seems that you are repeating the same complaints in each message you send.

    As I have stated in earlier messages, I too have had issues with my RX. But, I use this forum to share my concerns AND provide constructive feedback on the steps I have taken to resolve the problems.
  • I am sorry to hear you are having so many problems with your RX.

    I have experienced some of the same problems (including dash rattles in the loaner RX while my dash was being worked on).

    I am not trying to make any excuses for Lexus, but I noticed you took delivery in July on a vehicle ordered in May. This tells me you have an early model (my model was built at the very end of June). My dealer has indicated a number of improvements (and "fixes") are being made to the RX models each month as new issues develop.

    This tells me Lexus is aware of the problems and working to correct them as quickly as possible (but I recognize this doesn't necessarily make your situation any better).
  • With the flurry of complaints filling up this board in recent days, I have to wonder if I and other owners are expecting too much from Lexus.

    Are we holding Lexus to some unobtainable standard because the RX330 IS a Lexus? I am beginning to think the answer to this question is yes.

    Would these very same complaints about rattles, transmissions and engine noise result in the very same passionate debates seen on this board if the RX was a Ford? I'm not so sure.

    I count myself lucky that I have the means to even own a Lexus. At the end of the day, my complaints (as with most of the ones on this board) are trivial in comparison to the real-life issues people in the US and around the world face every day.
  • Glad to see you got and are pleased with the transmission update.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    an '01 ES300. It's been the best car we've ever owned.......only one problem that required service which was fixed in 24hrs while we drove a new Lexus loaner. After almost 3 years it still drives and rides like the day we bought it. No nothin'. Absolutely the best ownership experience ever.
       Our lease is up and we consider whether to keep the car or get a new one. Considering both the RX and the ES. I see all this stuff and wonder......has Lexus really dropped the ball? The ES330 has an equally long thread with message after message complaining about transmission problems. I wonder if it's it partly true.......or is it bull?
        Hard to believe there's nothing to it with all the comments; yet, these cars continue to get the highest ratings in every review I read. Maybe I'm doing too much research.
        My wife drives the Lexus. I drive Tahoes and just traded for a new one a month ago. Did the same kind of research (here and elsewhere) before I bought. There is nothing close to the number of complaints about the Chevy compared to either the ES or the RX. Maybe it's just more fun to hammer the high and mighty Lexus or maybe it's true. Too bad either way. I'm totally comfused.
  • Thanks for sharing that edev31 . You see too many want to marginalize these problems and say your voice doesn't count. However, it does :) I wish you well.
  • Not going anywhere not altering my tone.
  • gardencargardencar Posts: 293
    Just want to let you two know how informative and well thought out your posts are. Thank you for posting helpful and contructive information. I've greatly enjoyed reading posts
    from the both of you, and I'm pretty sure neither one of you is a Lexus salesman!
  • I'm about to take delivery of my new RX330 this coming week and I was wondering since Lexus knows about all the complaints and problems, does anyone think Lexus may have corrected these problems prior to delivery? I was told it was built in Japan on Jan. 16th of this year. Also, is there a quality difference between the RX330s built in Canada and Japan? Thanks in advance!
  • gardencargardencar Posts: 293
    What else can you get? Take a look at the other boards and read those horror stories. I agree with lovemylexus1 and cotmc among others, that we are just plain spoiled as Lexus owners and that in our expectation of perfection, we whine in the midst of mere excellence. With the exception of starforce and edev31, who have had legitimate issues with their vehicles, the majority of owners seem happy with theirs. The other SUV's have stranded their owners with total systems shutdowns, have had not just rattles but parts break off or fall off; alarms, power windows and locks have gone on and off as if possessed, etc.

    If you plan on only keeping your vehicle for four years or less, go ahead and get an ML, X5, or XC90. They are all nice luxury SUV's and when
    you're ready to trade them in, the warranty will be just about expiring.

    However, if you plan on keeping your vehicle longer, I'd put my money on Lexus. In fact, I did, and so did J.D. Powers, and Consumer Reports, and 91,000 other drivers since 2003.
  • I don't think anyone here is holding Lexus to an unobtainable standard. The issue is, at least with me, if I purchase a new car, I expect it to run without any undue squeaks, rattles, clunks, pops, tics, or especially transmission problems. This is not unobtainable. We own a '93 Accord and a '00 Prelude. They are both drive-n-go cars, no undue problems whatsoever. What few problems we had with the Accord were only after we'd put a zillion miles on it. The Prelude has taken nothing but regular servicing. My first car was a $6K '86 Nissan Sentra. The doors could've blown off on the interstate, and I wouldn't have cared. However, they didn't and that car is still being driven by the folks we sold it to.

    If I pay $40k for a Lexus, I expect it to run at least as well as a $20K Honda or a 20-year-old Sentra. If I want to sit in a dealership trying to explain a problem to a service tech who "can't reproduce the problem" or who insists that the car is "operating as designed," I'll buy a Ford. When buying a Lexus (or a Honda for that matter), one is also buying peace of mind. "Peace of Mind" should be on the invoice under standard equipment. Honda and Toyota know this and that's why they can charge top dollar and people will pay it. Once peace of mind is gone, what's a Lexus but an overpriced Pontiac?

    I must agree with lovemylexus that we are lucky to be able to afford such luxuries and that in the scheme of world history our complaints are trivial. But we all work hard to be able to afford these things, and when you feel like you've just flushed $40k down the toilet and are getting the cold shoulder from the dealership snots, it's upsetting. You can't return a car like you can a defective piece of clothing or an appliance. Once that $40k is gone, it is gone for good.
  • tcpip1tcpip1 Posts: 121
    I agree with hotinhere. Other cars had problems does not mean a new Lexus RX330 owner has to suffer the same. People less fortunate in other part of the world does not imply RX330 owners do not need to care "small issues."

    Expose the issues/problems so that Lexus can fix them; that will benefit future RX330 owners and Lexus as well.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Gardencar is correct! I am not a salesman, nor am I involved in any aspect of the auto industry. I am just an electrical engineer in the aerospace field. If I appear to read like a salesman, I apologize. My wife and I stretched our budget to purchase the RX330 for her, and thus far, we are very happy with it. Much of my sentiment comes from the unpleasant experiences we have had with other so-called upscale vehicles, as well as because of my curiousity and research with several other discussion topics and forums discussing these types of premium vehicles.

    A small point of irony is that I personally do not prefer any type of SUV for my own daily driver. Don't get me wrong. I think crossover SUVs, such as the RX330, are perfect for small families such as ours; but for my own commute to work, I prefer a small to mid-sized sedan. Ideally, it would be a "sport" sedan. The only Lexus model that I would consider sporty enough, while still within my price range, is the IS300, but it definitely isn't at the top of my list.

    Anyway, I just wanted to make a point on the transmission. This model year, 2004, is the first year that Lexus/Toyota introduced the 3.3L engine, and I believe it is also the first year they introduced a 5-speed automatic transmission to go with any of their V6 engines. Maybe that is why I am willing to cut Lexus some slack for their initial attempt being a little off the mark? However, as I said previously, I am definitely pleased with the shifting after our dealer updated the ECM software. I also promise I am not exaggerating when I say my wife, who is not as performance-oriented as I am, was perfectly content with the shifting before this update was performed.

    Within another Lexus forum (not Town Hall), someone conducted an online poll regarding the RX330 shifting. Of those who responded, I believe close to 90% who had the ECM updated claimed they noticed an improvement. I believe there was also a good percentage of responses claiming they had no plans to have the update performed. They were fine as is.

    I do get the feeling this transmission issue is considered minor, within the managment at Lexus/Toyota, and that may explain why so many sales and service reps are unaware of it. I am guessing there were not enough owners complaining about it to bring significant visibility to this issue. I am happy that Lexus addressed this issue with a new ECM load and a TSB. I think we have good reason to believe this issue is resolved on all new deliveries.
  • edev31edev31 Posts: 41
    I feel exactly the same as Hotinhere. I owned a Mazda 626 for 5 years and had no problems whatsoever-not one squeak or rattle,no jerky transmission, and much less wind and road noise than the RX330. (and for half the price!)I know these things are trivial compared to a lot of other problems people have in the world, but spending your hard earned money, and getting way less than you expected (and something that you can't simply return and get your $$$ back)is very frustrating and disappointing. My husband and I own our own business, and I don't have the time to keep taking my car to the dealer and constantly making lists of the problems that are occurring-and then have the car returned not fixed. I did that with the Ford Expedition we traded in for the RX330, and it had way fewer problems in the 3 years we owned it than the RX330.

    Starforce, thanks for your empathy! Have you gotten any of your problems "fixed" by your dealer?
  • hotinhere, your words get right down to the crux of the matter. With work, family, and other responsibilities, peoples lives are busy and taking your RX330 back to a Lexus dealership over and over again for these problems isn't trivial. I have lost over 20 working hours trying to get these problems resolved and I get paid by the hour. My car has been in the shop for fourdays now because the dealer needs to order a new passenger seat due to a faulty SRS system. I was told these seats were on back order and that leads me to wonder what is causing this back order? If Lexus never built a car without these problems then I and others wouldn't be posting about it. However, truly for 40K the RX should not have these defects.
  • edev31, Nothing has been addressed with my car. Truly, as time marches on I have more problems. Lexus/Toyota isn't very responsive at the corporate level.They give you a toll free number to their customer services department but they never call you back when they promise to or follow up on my problems.
  • I am curious, for the folks upset with the amount of time they have spent or lost dealing with their RX problems, is your dealer not willing to give you a loaner and/or have a valet pick up your vehicle?

    If the answer is no, then perhaps your dealership is as much of the problem as the issues you want serviced.
  • I don't disagree with with you.

    If you read my post #127 you will see that I clearly stated the following:

    "I accept the fact that the issues the 2004 owners raise will only improve future vehicles. "
  • edev31edev31 Posts: 41
    Starforce, sorry to hear that your problems have not yet been addressed by Lexus Corporate. It sounds as if your dealer hasn't been of much help, otherwise you wouldn't be calling the corporate offices for help. Is this the case?

    I have to wait until all of my backordered parts are in, and then see if my dealer will fix all of the other existing problems. If they don't, then calling corporate will be my next move.

    Good luck, and I hope you are able to get all of your RX330 problems resolved.
  • Thank you for your posts and positive attitude.

    Like cotmc, I am not a Lexus salesperson. I am an international affairs journalist. As such, I have spent time in war zones witnessing unspeakable things. This is why I view the problems I have with my RX as trivial in the bigger scheme of things.

    This is not to say that those on this board who are having problems with their RX shouldn't complain. I have aired my problems (and solutions) with this forum and my dealership and will continue to do so. But I firmly believe constructive complaining is much better than an angry rant.
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