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Lexus RX 400h Tire/Wheel Questions



  • After going through 3 sets of tires that wore out pre-maturely, I received a recall notice from Lexus regarding the electric steering box and the need to have it replaced. I took care of this recall promptly. Next I bought a new set of Michelin tires at Costco. I asked the Costco service manager to recommend a wheel alignment specialist. He did, and I had the car serviced by him. His equipment for aligning is the old fashioned kind, not a computer. The tires have 13000 miles on them and they look as good as the day I purchased them. There is no wear on the inside of any tire.
    Here is the questions; 1. Did the new steering box cause this positive result? If so, how come Lexus never admitted to the premature tire wear was their fault and why did it take them 3 years to finally change the mechanism? or
    2. Did the guy who did the alignment really do the first real good alignment on this car? Did this alignment result in the positive results?

    Not too clear! But I still see many posts about premature tire wear on the Lexus 400H
  • nmrknmrk Posts: 8
    Brakes--momentary "surge". "Regenerative Braking." ???

    Battery. On life support because it is always dying. Had to buy a -"trickle charger."

    First told I needed new tires at 15,000 miles. Took car in at 20,000 miles and was told the tires were fine. Parked with tires at an angle and my brothers told me my tires were ALL bald on the inside--that they must be out of alignment and I should not be driving the car with bald tires. Also told that tires must be leaning in to cause that "cupping." Service manager said that the Lexus 400H (2006) never needed alignment. I find that hard to believe. Taking car i tomorrow for new tires etc.

    Does this sound like a $50,000 plus car with 21,585 miles on it? I am thinking of pulling its feeding tube.
  • jilly2jilly2 Posts: 3
    msj09 - i wondered if you did buy a 400H? Mine is a 2008 & at 20,000 miles the tires went down to the metal strips on the insides. A technician put new tires on & aligned them. He said after he aligned it that the alignment was good & should not have caused the premature tire wear & cupping on the insides . This seems to be a Lexus problem & not the tire mfg. I wonder if the weight of the hybrid battery has not been properly considered in the design & if the next set wears out quickly - that will confirm a Lexus problem for which I hope they will compensate. How many other people have this problem? Do we need to get legal representation? Jsea
  • I too had tire problems at 25000 miles, and this is after 4 years of babying this car. Look, this is a Lexus issue, that they won't take responsibility for, due to the exorbitant overall cost to them. I've been told by my service ppl, whom I trust, that this is a tire problem caused by excessive weight from the hybrid system which is unevenly distributed across the car, putting stress on the inside of the tires. Sounds reasonable enough to me. So, the "alignment" issue that one would normally expect from this kind of wear, really isn't the issue, and I doubt they can "overcorrect" the alignment to account for this. Hence, it will be a permanent problem with this vehicle IMHO. So, first I'd tel you to plan on buying tires about every 20,000 miles, which is ridiculous but unavoidable. It will take serious class action litigation to get Lexus attention, and these usually don't result in much change to consumers, it's the lawyers who get the money. I am VERY disappointed in this experience, and with the way Lexus is handling it....but maybe less surprised after seeing how Toyota the parent company, mishandled al of those recalls the past year. Lexus really blew a TON of consumer loyalty on this debacle.

    I propose a realistic compromise to Lexus----charge the owner only $400 flat to replace the tires every 20000 miles, using the highest quality rated michelin tires, including balancing, alignment check, etc, for the remaining life of these cars. It's a cost I wasn't expecting and not thrilled about, but this is a high-price, high performance car, and I'd reasonably assume this cost as part of unforeseen "maintenance" for the 400h, if only Lexus would come clean on their end, and provide a reasonable "settlement" of this issue for everyone. If they did so, it would restore confidence in the brand, and as try could also plan on this as a maintenance item, they could negotiate cheaper pricing on the tires and still make a little money on the deal. For our part, at least we'd know we'd be getting new, high quality tires every 20k, at closer to cost, and any Lexus 400h owner should be able to afford this.

  • I have a Lexus 400H and had 4 new tires at approx 50,000 and was just told I need 4 more at 73,000. My service manager told me that I should expect to get 20,000 miles on the new tires. I just called Firestone and they warranty their Lexus 17" & 18" tires for 65,000 miles. Something does not add up here. We need to figure out what the heck is going on as I definitely think we should be getting more than 20,000 miles on new tires.
  • My tires looked OK from the outside & had plenty of tread left, but when they took them off the metal strips were showing & there was severe cupping. on the inside edge. I couldn't believe the deterioration at only 18,000 miles. I waited til 20,000 to take it in to Pep Boys & could have had a tire blow. I only took it in because of the noise, never saw the wear. Lexus needs to own up to this defect & reimburse people or they could be in for a class action suit from some hungry attorney. I'm really mad.
  • bobgailbobgail Posts: 12
    When some lawyer decides there is money to be made with the Lexus rx 400h tire wear issue, have hime contact me on this forum. I cannot in my right mind buy another lexus rx450h until this problem of tire wear is solved.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2010
    Is this by chance restricted to the F/awd versions of the RXh and HH..??

    It is my understanding that these vehicles automatically apportion drive torque to the rear in a pre-emptive manner during low speed acceleration and turning.

    In a more "standard" AWD or 4WD when the opposite drive is engaged the entire driveline and the tires are subjected to the stress and heat from driveline windup and/or tires scrubbing.

    With the RXh and HH only the tire scrubbing is present when the opposite drive axles are engaged. That might well result in premature tread wear.

    Go to the Highlander hybrid thread and search "tire wear".
  • I'm at 17k miles & need to replace my tires. Grrrrrr. :mad:
  • roman7roman7 Posts: 15
    edited December 2010
    I have 34K on 400H AWD. Original Good Year. The lexus dealer said needs replace soon, however Ok to drive 5000 ml more.
    I also have 2008 lexus LX 570 - Michelin lattitude HP tires - 35000 miles on those. Dealer said I have to replace soon.
    My Toyota Sienna 2002 had 65000 miles with firestone tires when I replaced them.
    I can confirm : original tires from the factory run around 30K in average!
    The tires from the stores are better for some reason and last longer!
  • Hope everyone LOOKS really well at their tires - on the inside rim. Mine looked fine outside & still had good tread left, on the inside they were down to the metal strapping & severly cupped. Only 17,000 miles old. I still think it's defective engineering. The test showed I didn't need alignment on the old tires, so what made them wear unevenly?? Cambre? Check them tires & be safe.
  • Regarding RX400h tire wear.

    From all the issues you have all spoke about in reference to tire wear it comes down to "Under Inflated Tires". If you go to the goodyear home page and search for "recommened tire preasure" you will find the goodyear engineers won't take a stand. They say follow the OEM tire preasure on the door jab lable. On my 2008 it says 30psi. I know from years of messing with tires on water trucks, 5th wheel trailers, Chevrolets, Fords and motorcycles that if the side wall of the tire says 44 psi then I know that the tire manufacture has built that tire to withstand 44 psi with the determined pounds that tire will hold. So I determine the load "Weight" that will be on that peticular vehicle "Tire Load" and Adjust psi. So, in the case of the lexus they say 30 psi, goodyear on the sidewall of the 235/55r18 99v says 44 psi with a load range of "1700 lbs" each, then here is the "MATH"
    1700lbs ea. x 4 = 6800 lbs total load these tires can handle, then the "Gross Vehicle Weight" (GVW) RX400h = 5520 lbs plus add the weight of 4 adults "800lbs" plus some bagage to get a total weight on all 4 tires to equal 6600 lbs then divide this by 4 = 1650 lbs per tire, Thus, I run my Lexus 400h tires at 40 psi and I have no tire issues. The stock tires have 16000 miles with normal tire wear with 60% tire tread left. Don't forget about the spare. My lexus monitors the tires which includes the spare. If you follow the above and you still have inside wear with standard rotation policies then you do have an alignment issue. Remember, an under inflated tire will wear on the outside/inside and an over inflated tire will wear in the middle. You must determine what works best for you and 30lbs of air preasure is not going to cut it.
    take care...
  • Under-inflation and alignment were likely the FIRST things that most buyers, and Lexus service hands, addressed to fix this problem. It sounds nice, and looks more sophisticated with all of the load weight math, etc., but the simple fact is, if the problem is simply under inflation caused by using the tire pressures indicated on the door jamb, then 95% of all cars on the road today would be experiencing this same that is what dealer service shops use....AND the "solution" would not only be much more well-known, it would be effective. Ditto for a simple alignment issue. Lexus isn't stupid, it's not trying to create a huge issue here, they just have refused to take action to minimize, with due respect, I'm not buying it at all. I suppose it's possible that if the vast majority of problems are being seen on Goodyears, they might be an accomplice with an inferior tire, but I much more likely suspect a design/weight distribution problem, and time will soon tell. Enough people have since switched to michelin, increased tire pressure, and had alignments. My bet is, the problem will persist with the next set also, and with that, there will be class action litigation. I've already spoken to a law firm who successfully prevailed against a tire company in a national claim. If that's how Lexus wants to go, fine....they're destroying a highly loyal customer base. Stay tuned, and owners, please keep posting your experience, especially with your tires and early wear, for this next next time around when you have to replace them. Thanks.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 793

    There are a couple of things wrong with your math. No, the math was done correctly, but it's the logic.

    1) The GVW is the maximum weight the vehicle was designed to weigh - and that includes passengers and baggage.

    2) Vehicles don't typically weigh the same front to rear - even fully loaded.

    3) The tire load - while a function of inflation pressure - is not necessarly referenced to what is printed on the sidewall.

    Given all that, there is nothing in your "math" that is helpful in determining the proper inflation pressure.
  • I think Lexus has a problem on their hands. My 2008 rx400h came with the Michelin energy tires that are worn out at 26,000 miles. I keep the tires rotated and the alignment checked every 5,000 miles. I usually run about 35 psi and monitor tire wear and adjust pressure as needed to prevent inner, outer, and middle wear. The tires have worn evenly yet are worn out. They have pulled at every imperfection in the roadway since about 18,000 miles. I should hope Lexus would run a better quality tire on a $50,000+ vehicle than what a buyer might find on a $30,000 or less vehicle. I can't believe there would be that much difference in tire mileage whether supplied by Lexus or any Michelin tire dealer. I visited with a Firestone dealer a few days ago who claims he has dealt with the complaints of several rx400h owners because it doesn't appear any tire brand runs beyond around 30,000 miles, if that. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has run Firestones or Bridgestones on the rxrooh.
  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 793

    First, when you say the tires are worn out at 26K, did they wear evenly or was one side more worn than the others? If it is the latter, then there is an alignment issue that needs to be addressed. Some vehicles are spec'd out with lots of camber to help the handling, and that is not a setting that is conducive to even tire wear.

    Second, do all 4 tires exhibit the same condition? If not, then I would suspect that tire rotations were not taking place.

    Third, you have to be careful comparing tires supplied to vehicle manufacturers to what is supplied to the tire dealer. Vehicle manufacturers typically specify tires with low rolling resistance characteristics - and in order to get LRR, traction and/or treadwear are sacrificed - where tires delivered to tire dealers are either designed for good grip or good treadwear - and they typically do not have great RR properties. Tire properties can vary widely even within the same manufacturer.
  • jaybee2ujaybee2u Posts: 6
    Ok, so I've posted here before, I too had to replace my OEM Goodyear tires at 20-25k due to excessive inner wear. I've never had a tire issue before on any car, in fact, I typically can get every bit and beyond out of tires and brakes. On the 400h, I still have plenty of original brake left, so it's not that, and I haven't changed my driving habits.
    It's a question of the vehicle and how many revolutions the tires make over time---which seems to be a common experience. I replaced the OEM tires with dealer installed Michelins at 20--25,000 miles. 10k miles later, I have even wear but wear, and was told by the Lexus service dept. to never expect to get more than 20-25k out of ANY tire on this vehicle.

    I've never experienced this, am not a car enthusiast, so I don't know if it's normal to expect this type of performance on such a vehicle. I DO know that such a characteristic should be part of an INFORMED BUYING PROCESS, and it's grossly disappointing, especially since it's such a surprise to so many people. Whatever the culprit, in the end, I believe it is Lexus' HUGE failure to not jump in and provide a rational explanation, AND to have made some "gesture" toward acknowledging the issue. There are a number of things that come to mind that they could have done to mitigate and resolve the issue, and/or expectations.

    This is my first Lexus. I knew I was paying more, and in fairness I love the vehicle's quality, and my dealership experience---other than the tire issue---has been the best I've ever had. I'm at a point in life where I didn't mind paying a little more for what I considered to be premium service.
    But this tire experience has been abysmal, and not just to me...there are many folks who feel the same way. If I were to go looking for a new car today, I'd start at the same place...looking for what I want, and choosing the best overall quality, but now I will always carry this experience into my next decision, to Lexus' detriment. I can't say I'd never buy another Lexus , but they've certainly added a hurdle to that decision, of their own making. It seems recklessly foolish for them to stick their heads in the sand over one manageable issue, after all they've invested over YEARS trying to build an image, and a practice to encourage repeat business.

    So Lexus, if you're out there, I feel you blew it big time over this manageable issue. If someone were to ask me right now about buying a Lexus, i'd tell them to expect what you'd obviously expect from the car, but that the company was worse than any other carmaker i've experienced when it came to responding to this issue, and that leaves me with little to no confidence in them as a company---exactly the opposite of what they've invested to build.

    And to my fellow 400h'ers, expect this to be a fatal flaw of the vehicle, and to pay for it several times more over the vehicle's life. My only recommendation is, whatever tire you get, I'd buy them independently and take advantage of better prices AND free rotations. One thing in my control is, i'll never give Lexus another dollar on this issue that they refused to acknowledge. I think it would make quite a statement to Lexus if we could all adopt this same practice. It would also surely save you money. It may not fix the flaw, we'll still have to keep replacing these tires, but just imagine if every Lexus 400h owner went in To their Lexus dealer right now and said, "put it in my service record right now...don't EVER rotate the tires or ask me to buy them here. I've already taken care of that myself---as a matter of principle.". If we did that in numbers, I think we'd get their attention.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited April 2011
    "..question of how many revolutions the tires make over time.."


    Question of how many STRESSFUL revolutions the tires make over time.

    RX400h and I'm guessing not F/awd...

    The front tires absorb ALL of the stress for regenerative braking. Unless you transition to frictional braking mode during the braking to a stop or slowing the rear tires contribute NOTHING to the effort.

    Without F/awd the front tires are used SOLELY for engine/electrics acceleration torque levels. Are you fully aware of the level, EXTRAORDINARY level, of torque those electric motors produce starting out from a stop or at lower speeds...?

    If your RX400h has a "Snow Mode" or such you might want to make it common practice to switch to that mode each and every time you fire the ignition.

    And lastly:

    You purchased a hybrid vehicle designed for and better known for low 0-60 times rather than decent FE, live with it.
  • jaybee2ujaybee2u Posts: 6
    Thanks for the reply, I think. I'm not sure why people have to respond with sarcasm or nastiness. This is a discussion board for Lexus owners with tire and wheel problems. That's all I commented on. If you're thrilled with the performance of your vehicle, I'm not even sure why you're on this problems board. Unless you are a Lexus bigwig or dealer. Then I might understand your frustration of someone complaining, or not understanding things like torque. But even then, it's not an effective way to make a point.

    You ask if I am referring to a 400h, my answer is YES, that is what this particular forum is covering. I have AWD. I'm not really sure what f/awd is, unless you're asking if it's either of those, in which case, YES it is. And, admittedly I don't know anything about "snow mode" especially in an awd vehicle. If you're asking if the 400h has one, then you probably aren't an owner. Even with your knowledge of torque on a hybrid.

    I admitted before I'm not a car enthusiast, but I understand the basics. I don't understand how I'm supposed to "transition to friction mode"...a driver simply applies the brakes. And while the front tires may absorb all of THAT friction, it's never the only thing doing the braking, now is it? I also understand that the front tires may absorb all of the stress of the starting out torque. Perhaps you are well-informed as to a reason why those tires DO wear out faster because of this. But it still doesn't explain why the tires on most vehicles wear out unevenly, does it. All tires wear out---properly maintained ones wear out evenly. My tires are regularly inspected and maintained by Lexus, so I'm going to assume on their behalf, that their work is proper.

    To be complete, I'd admit that I would have accepted an official Lexus answer at any time of this ilk, meaning, if they said "be forewarned that 400h tires wear out faster than normal due to hybrid motor stress" then fair enough...if you know that, just tell me when I'm buying the car. If Lexus only found that out now, then just tell me now. If Lexus believes not only this, but adds that "and be forewarned that due to things like TORQUE they also wear unevenly, and the inner tires may wear to the steel belt before you notice any outer wear", then just tell me....even if you don't want to admit this is an engineering defect or oversight...which to us consumers, it would appear to be.

    Informed Disclosure could have been an EASY SOLUTION for Lexus. It would have cost them nothing. They haven't done that yet.

    Empathy for a buyer who now faces this issue, after the fact, would have also been an EASY SOLUTION for Lexus. It too would have cost them nothing. They haven't shown that yet.

    Making any kind of a "we'll meet you halfway toward a solution" might have cost Lexus some $$$, but it would more than be offset by the goodwill and maintenance of it's reputation as a top automobile company. In my humble opinion, they've been penny wise and pound foolish.

    Which leaves me with you my friend, and your condescending conclusion to tell me to "live with it". I've calmly replied to your other thoughts without insult. I've even thought, if you own the Lexus company, are a frustrated Lexus dealer who has listened to what are numerous customer complaints, or are the design engineer who invented hybrids and regenerative braking, then perhaps my prior discussion of this tire subject was personally insulting to you. That was not my intention. What's yours? You don't seem to be a 400h owner, or at least not one with a problem with your vehicle. Why not consider yourself lucky? If you wanted to impress us with your superior knowledge of all matters torque-related, ok, you've made your point. If you're just someone who trolls message boards looking for the right opportunity in which to insult people, ok, ya got me, are you willing to move on?

    Why not identify, if not your name, at least your purpose or contribution to this message board?

    You've won your poker hand, even if it was a bluff, that you're an informed expert. I'd leave it at that. Because in the matters of understanding people, customer loyalty, or even a simple battle of wits, against me, my friend, you will surely lose.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Let's back of the personal edge that's starting to sharpen here. No need to turn this into a personal beef.

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