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My 2006 LR3: The Cautionary Tale

This is not a flame. It is a recitation of facts. My lease is up in 7 months. I had intended to do a lease to buy--because I run up a lot of mileage; but instead I will give LandRover of Massapequa back the vehicle and pay the overage. My LR3 sits in the garage and I rent cars to travel on business and to go to the mountains. The saddest part is that once the LR3 was ON the mountain, it was everything a LandRover should be. However, the following components (read: Big hunks of the vehicle) have been replaced under warranty with not even a sheepish look. Getting towed in is a real pleasure.

At two weeks: Entire driver airbag assembly needed replacement. Took 8 weeks and a hissy fit to get one. Had a faulty drivers' airbag in the meantime (that's for caring about my safety guys)

At 7500 miles: air suspension fault leading to highway blowout while waiting for replacement air suspension compressor; Air suspension compressor (and rear tire) replaced.

At 20000 miles, entire fuel assembly/fuel tank replaced due to "known issue" with fuel entering vapor uptake line.

At 30000 miles, suspension settings (design flaw for which there is a class action suit in California) causing uneven wear on two rear tires. Without explaining the problem, LR says "Oh get two new tires and put them on the front". This is because, once the problem begins, it is chronic and the front tires, once rotated back, will experience the uneven wear as well.

I can't get on the road with this vehicle because I no longer have faith that it will get me from NY to VT to MA safely. So I don't. Quality survey's have already rated this vehicle as the bottom-of-the-barrel. And they're right.

Please be forewarned.



  • Oh my God ! You call that a problem vehicle ? You better never buy a Mercedes, Toyota, BMW or some "American" POS - then you'll know real problems. I've had my early 05 LR3 HSE for two years and 22000 miles and have yet to experience anything but complete satisfaction. I've had the "recall" items taken care of even though I had no problems, and that's it. My LR experience has been nothing but fabulous...and this is my third Land Rover.
  • sfmsfm Posts: 8
    I'm pleased for you. Somebody must be having positive experiences because they keep selling. However, a class action suit and a bottom-of-the-heap quality rating are statistically telling. Nevertheless, enjoy your vehicle.

    On the other hand, I don't think it's appropriate for you to make light of these issues, nor to make gross generalizations about other vehicles that you do not own. If you have only driven 22000 in two years, you are not the same type of driver that I am. I put on 28500 in one year. I spend more time on the road. What to a local driver might be an inconvenience that gets serviced and goes away, to a distance driver renders the vehicle unusable over 400 miles of travel at a pop. (And once you leave a metropolitan area, it's not like Landrover dealerships are a dime a dozen.)

    The service manager and I have agreed that this vehicle was, metaphorically speaking, built on a Friday afternoon before a three day holiday weekend and Joe Blogs was well into his first Guinness. Apparently, there are lots of those types at the Land Rover assembly line.
  • It can happen with any make and is not limted to Land Rover alone.

    What made it worse is that you drive a huge amount of miles a year(ever thought of leasing two less expensive vehicles? It might work out better in the long rung)and that there are not many Land Rover dealers around.

    Secondly RE: The fuel system: Are you sure you did not get a 2005 LR3? The fuel tank recall was limted to certain 2005 MY LR3s.

    Thirdly RE: Class Action Suit: Cali's law suit regulations are so linent almost anyone can sue for any reason there. The tire problem has been aknowledged by Land Rover through revised rear suspension settings and a prorated tire program.

    I even posted the details of the prorated tire bulletin on this board once. I could go track it down again if you like.
  • sfmsfm Posts: 8
    Ah, good call British-rover. It was an EARLY 2006 model. Acquired in Sept. 2005.

    And you are right, but I can't afford to do the mileage I do and do the prorated tire stuff--that's just plain silly.

    While bad cars "happen", my need to post this on a board is my only recourse from a dealership that should be working with me to salvage their reputation and get me out of this vehicle. From a sales perspective, they are not smart enough to recognize the value of saving one customer and asking me, in return, to acknowledge their salesmanship/customer service. They are blithely permitting me to wave in the breeze until my lease is up.
    Thus, they deserve their bad press. (And this is easier than me taking out a permit to picket the dealership.)

    Also, bear in mind that, acknowledged or not, there ARE gender issues when assessing the reliability of a vehicle for a person who travels a long route on a highway. I don't care if the recalls/roadside assistance/accommodations are top notch. I do not want my safety compromised in anyway by being on the side of the road. I was dreadfully disappointed to discover that a Jiffy Lube in New Hampshire didn't stock the oil filter for the LR3. And I posted, when it happened, about my horrid experience trying to find a replacement tire in Hartford on a holiday weekend. These types of little inconveniences render the car only appropriate for soccer moms and the Joneses. I, honest to goodness, got the vehicle to climb Killington, stick to a wet highway in the Northeast, and handle sand in Montauk. In addition, the seat was far more comfortable than the XC90, as I'm short. My point here is that, if I had purchased the car with faulty criteria or on a whim, I'd just chalk it up to an error in choice. But I'm doubly determined to post this message because, other than knowing what I know now, by my buying criteria alone, I'd be at risk to make the same choice again. And statistically, there are enough lousy Land Rovers out there, that it should remain a car of only enthusiasts and soccer moms in my (newly derived) opinion.

  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    its obvious you are a lr hardcore, but to slam other companies for no reason is a bit silly. Every car manufacturer has its share of problems. Just like you have had a great experience with your land rover, others have had them with mercedes, bmw, toyota and i daresay some american vehicles! :P

    It strikes me as a litte weird that you would read that post and still have the gall to say, 'you call that a problem vehicle'?, like if its normal for a vehicle to have to have that all replaced and the companies you listed afterwards have the same things happen to THEM ALL the time.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    nor to make gross generalizations about other vehicles that you do not own

    To be fair, neither should one make generalizations about a model based on a single ownership experience.

    tidester, host
  • sfmsfm Posts: 8
    Your point is taken, tidester. But please note that these issue are not unique to my LR3. They are all well documented "known issues". It's just that while some people have experienced one of them, I seem to have a hat trick. And the net net is that I can't do anything with the suspension except keep replacing the tires. I assure you, I am envious of happy LR3 owners everywhere. But LR3 potential buyers deserve as much information as they can get.

  • I have a RR. I LOVE my RR. I DO NOT like the amount of time is spends in the shop. When it is in the shop, I always get an LR3 loaner. When I return the loaner, I always ask the LR folks "how on the planet could anyone actually think the LR3 is a good purchase?" That truck is a piece of dudu. I had a laoner about 6 months ago, it had 700 miles on it when I picked it up. It had 720 miles on it when the flatbed came and got it. A main oil seal let go.
    I had one last month with 19k on the clock. It reminded me of an Explorer my buddy once had with over 150k on the clock. It was that noisy and loose.
    As far as "they all do that"??
    In the past year, my RR has had over $8000.00 in warranty work done on it.
    My sister bought an LX470 at about the same time. Her warranty bill over the same time period? $0.00.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    But please note that these issue are not unique to my LR3.

    Of course. I wasn't taking a position. :)

    Click on the "Consumer Rating" link near the top of this page for additional perspective.

    tidester, host
  • woodywwwoodyww Posts: 1,797
    This is a really old story with Land Rovers. I loved my '98 RR, when it wasn't in the shop, but I bailed on it (at a big loss) after a year because of way too many problems.

    There was a L-T test in Car & Driver on a Disco I in the mid-nineties--I think they needed almost every single component on the vehicle repaired or replaced in the time they had it.....
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,613
    you didn't really go to jiffy lube, did you? that is just plain scary(going to jiffy lube with any vehicle).
  • boy land rover owners can be a whiney lot,yes its true there are often issues,but as we say in the is what it is! these are a nich vehicle and really need to be recognized as such,yes they are getting better in many ways,but with all the high-tech things to make it the most capable luxo-4X4 offroad and on road,the drunkin brit. quality just is part of the charm shall we say.if you wanted a lx470 lexus than you would buy one.its all in the charm of the LR brand.
  • picard12picard12 Posts: 55
    Thank you for your warning Sherry. Your LR3 problems are typical of incompetence of British engineering. I only look at Japanese brand names when buying new a new car.

    Land Rovers look good on websites and at autoshows. However, their reliability is on par with the Russian automobile, LADA.Why can't the British learn engineering skills of Japanese?? Land Rovers has been in the business longer than any Japanese car makers yet, they can't design simple things. These are disposable vehicles for the rich who want to dump their cash into the sewers.
  • This kind of attitude and lack of reliability will keep most reasonable people away from Land Rover. I am hoping that the "charm" of serious malfunctions/poor reliability is something that is on the way out, especially since I am interested in the new LR2. The LR2 is going to appeal to a new customer base, consisting of busy professionals that use their car to get to work and then play on the weekends. I can tell you that many will not put up with poor reliability, especially when the market is so competitive, with cars from Acura (RDX), Toyota (RAV4 V6), even Mitsubishi (Outlander) that can match the performance and features of the LR2. I will probably wait a year to see how reliable the LR2 turns out to be.
  • sfmsfm Posts: 8
    Thought I'd share that I used my head and found someone who would be vested in getting on my side--turns out the owner of my LR dealership also owns the Volvo dealership next door (my other car is a Volvo--we're on #5 in my family). While the XC90 was too large for me to drive, my DH would love an XC70. So I told the general manager that if he went across the street and got me out of my LR lease and made the mileage overage go away, he moves an XC70 here and now.

    Well bless his little cotton socks, the GM ate 7 months of lease, $2500 in mileage and moved a car. (Which just serves to point out that there's no money in the individual cars--just the volume and the financing.)

    Older and wiser for my experience. Want to give a great shout out to Volvoville in Massapequa NY.
  • Tire problem at 12,000 miles rear tires have cupping. No support from Land Rover of Naperville.

    Parking brake solenoid failed and burned up the rear brakes.

    Sun roof drained into car and carpeting now has mold and smells with no dealer help. Dealer has automatic car wash and washes car every time you take it in. However it doe not get the tailgate of the LR3 and the wash guys just dry the dirt left into the paint!
  • I bought an LR3 in early 05.In less than 9 months the air compressor pump went out 3 times ,once in n.o.,la.,where i was stranded for two weeks while they got the part from the U.K. Of course trip interruption paid for everything,2700.00$ lodging meals,etc. Then back in ca. two more failures .Unable to file ca. lemon law because all three repairs must be done in ca. to qualify. Well being a third of a monk(for those of you who watches The Monk,(tv series). I cound'nt wait to sell this lemon on craigslist as quickly as i could,fortunately i sold it within 3 calls. Happily driving 07 Toyota 4runner 4x4 now, with piece of mind.
  • gsapnargsapnar Posts: 5
    Do you still own the LR3? I have a 2007 and I wish I never bought it! I have the same problems with the tires. And, recently while driving home from Vermont in a snow storm with 4 kids the car, had a system engine failure and the car stopped working while on a busy highway. Land Rover isn't taking any responsibility.

    Is the class action suit in California settled? I'd to find out more about it.
  • koeslerkoesler Posts: 57
    My god, the "whaaaaa crowd" on here is almost funny except it's so sad. My 05 LR3 HSE is at just over 30,000 miles and has been perfect. Just like my 2000 Discovery II. I've had numerous Toyota trucks, Mercedes', BMW's, and other junk vehicles (34 total) and the LR's have been the best of all by far. I've done my maint. as it should be - every 3750 miles - and even though I've had "recall issues" taken care of, they were not done because there were any problems. My tires have at least another 10,000 miles left, the brakes are only 40% worn, and there have been no glitches. WHAT A WONDERFUL VEHICLE !!
  • morocco2morocco2 Posts: 43
    Totally agree. I have a 2007 LR3 HSE and it has been a pleasure to own such a solid, versatile and reliable vehicule :shades: I have 40,000km (27,000 miles) on it I recently change the front and rear break pads but that was expected on such a heavy vehicle (I changed them on my Ford minivan at 50,000km) Tires are due in a few months. The only draw back presently is the price of fuel.... :cry: So far no recalls and two minor issues promptly fixed by dealer. 1st day I picked it up I noticed condensation in one headlamp assembly. They promptly replaced the entire head lamp assembly and the problem was gone. The other minor issue was one of the door trims was loose the fixed it during a regular maintenance visit. This winter has been brutal up here in Canada's National Captial with close to 15 feet of snow over the winter. The LR3 was flawless and got me and my family where nobody dare to go. ;)

    My lease is up in 16 months and I am looking at repeating or upgrading to a Range Rover Sport HSE
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