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LexusRX 400h Hybrid Battery Failure

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Comments

  • richb39richb39 Posts: 1
    June 12, 2011. I too have a 2006 RX400h and the inverter failed 2 days ago. The Lexus dealer quoted me $10,252 to replace it... I have 112k on it and had purchased the 100k extended warranty. I am in contact with Lexus Corporate and they will be getting back to me sometime next week. The car is virtually worthless at this point. Any strategy you used would be appreciated. Rich
  • This just happened to my 2006 RX 400h (140k miles) last night. Spoke with the dealership this morning and the cost is $11k and there was nothing they could do for me. I talked to Lexus customer service and they will have a case manager review with the dealership in the next 3-5 business days. Any info you have is greatly appreciated.
  • skycaptainskycaptain Posts: 33
    Here is my take. I had a 1986 ford that had a 12000 mile warranty. At 13000 miles the alternator disintegrated. "Too bad" said the dealer the warranty is up. I said "No, This alternator had a manufacturing defect the day I bought the car and it took 13k miles to finally fail. I called Ford Corporate customer relations and they agreed and that they would provide a new part and I would only pay for the labor to replace the alternator.

    I suggest you call or write Lexus of America and let them know that you know that the 2006 inverters had a known design defect(which they corrected in 2007)and the inverter failure was a sure thing based on the design defect. It was just a matter of time. They really should have had a recall on the inverter. Thank god it didn't fail while you were making a left turn in front of oncoming traffic!

    If Ford can do it, surely A Highline Auto manufacturer like Lexus can do it as well. Lexus should agree to supply a free replacement for the defective inverter and you pay only the labor for repair. Call them and give it a try.

    :shades: Regards, Luke
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    Also, make sure you talk to Lexus corporate. The dealership is not the one to approach. Call the 1-800 number.
    1-800-255-3987, #3 (dealer,customer experience), ask for a department specialist.

    Don't give up, leave the car there, until resolved.
  • This is unbelievable! My fathers 400h died this week while getting on the interstate and he nearly killed himself getting off the on ramp.

    Granted, his 400h has 200K on it, but it has always been Lexus maintained and is great shape. Our family's other high end cars (Lexus, Mercedes, BMW) have all gone well into the hundreds of thousands of miles without becoming a non-functioning "paper weight".

    We contacted the dealer and were told the same thing all of you were...basically $10K or a worthless piece of sh*t and almost no trade in value.

    We contacted Lexus corporate and they opened a case, blah, blah, blah. No dice. You are on your own.

    We have bought three cars in the past four years from our dealer and I absolutely love our dealer but this is crap! It will be a long hard thought before we buy another Lexus and I can tell you, we will never buy another hybrid.

    No single part should ever make a car completely non-viable.
  • jennk1jennk1 Posts: 2
    Looks like this is becoming a club! I too, was "invited" into the 2006 Lexus 400 club on June 15th 2011. My lexus has 106,000 miles. I too, was driving on a busy freeway in San Francisco when my car completely shut down with the check VSC message. Very little brakes, no power steering. I was lucky I made it to an exit ramp and coasted down to the stop sign. I shutter to think that this could have happened to me on my normal commute to work at SFO. I live 40 miles from the airport and drive between the hours of 2:45AM-3:30AM. Of course my warranty just expired a couple of months ago. I will be happy to take anyone's advice as to how to proceed with this awful mess. I am quite sure Lexus knows this problem exists but isn't talking. Maybe it's time to take this to the news. jennk1
  • All 2006 RX400H owners read this post!

    I posted on 6/14/11 the issue I had with the hybrid inverter and the response from the dealership. I contacted Lexus corp. at the 800 number and explained this is a defective part, the Class Action suit in Cali. and the NHTSA had initiated an investigation earlier this year into this apparent safety issue.

    I received a call from the dealership this morning informing me my RX400 was ready and there was no charge!

    Thank you mfranzoia for your post as I would not have contacted Lexus corp. You saved me $11k!!!

    Thank you Lexus for doing the right thing.
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    It' a great feeling isn't it? I can't find all my links that I posted, so I may repost them for others here. I wonder if the moderator pulled them off?

    Again; for anyone else with this problem Google: Lexus RX 400h inverter, and Toyota Highlander inverter. Armed with that info, call Lexus USA corporate- customer satisfaction. Complain and let them know that there is a class action suit with the Highlander inverter. Read some quotes from the articles, and stick to your guns. Your Mantra, "People need to know about this. This is a huge safety issue." I had 175,000K on my 2006, and they replaced it for free. Everyone should be able to get the same replacement.

    Good Luck!
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    Lexus replaced the inverter on my 2006 400h, with 175,000 miles on it, for free. (A $10,000 repair) Remember talk only with Lexus corporate (Lexus USA), dealerships can do nothing for you!

    Lexus 400h inverter failure, First course of action let them know:

    1) I could have been killed in this vehicle, I bought Lexus for itÕs safety and reliability, I was on the freeway with no warning, and almost got hit by a truck trying to get off the freeway in rush hour, with no power.
    2) My 50k car is a 50k paperweight.
    3) This is a huge safety issue, and people need to know that, ÒLexus has to let people know this car will fail at anytime, with no warning.Ó ÒWE need to let people know thisÓ (this was my mantra).
    4) Keep hammering the safety and reliability issue, and ask if the NTSB knows about this Òsafety issue.Ó Lexus/Toyota does not want another recall on an $8,500 part; this is why they will fix it. This vehicle has had two recalls already.
    5) Arm yourself with the information below, goggle ÒHybrid RX400h inverter, or Highlander inverterÓ
    6) Each time you talk with Lexus corporate, let them know that they have a problem. Read a few quotes from those articles. ÒYou know they have a lawsuit because of a defective ÒHighlander inverterÓ. You know that the 400h has the same inverter. (ThatÕs a fact)
    7) When consumer reports emailed me, like they do each year, to participate on their survey. Now what do I tell them? That I had a 10k repair.
    8) I use my vehicle in the outback, Death Valley- Utah-New Mexico; IÕm usually 40 miles or more from civilization. This could be a life-threatening situation in this car. From now on do I travel with a sleeping bag and a weeks worth of water and food at all times?
    9) Remind them, this flaw needs to get out there, so people can make an informed decision when they buy this Lexus. ÒPeople need to know this.Ó And of course Lexus knows there are many ways to do this: Set up a web site, a Blog, twitter, you tube, a Face book page, all dedicated to getting the word out. You get the idea. Stay calm, and stay on point. And by the way, Òmost of my friends and family have a Lexus too.Ó

    Recall Study Finds Flaws at Toyota
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/business/global/24toyota.html

    Toyota Highlander Hybrid Class Action Lawsuit
    http://www.topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/1074-toyota-high- lander-hybrid-class-action-lawsuit-
    Even though Toyota knew it had installed defective inverter assemblies in the Highlander HVÕs first generation of vehicles, it did not recall or otherwise replace or repair the defective assemblies. Instead, the class action lawsuit says, Toyota issued a secret Technical Service Bulletin that advised those servicing the vehicles about the existence of the defective inverter assembly and recommended that they be replaced with an updated assembly Ð but only in response to a ÒcustomerÕs specific complaint.Ó
    California Class-Action Claims Toyota Knowingly Sold Defective Highlander Hybrids
    http://www.aogllp.com/_blog/Class_Action_Blog/post/California_Class-Action_Claim- s_Toyota_Knowingly_Sold_Defective_Highlander_Hybrids/
    A class-action lawsuit that has been filed in California claims that Toyota Motor Corp. sold several models of the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vehicle; even though the company was aware that the vehicles came with defective inverter assemblies that caused the vehicle to suddenly lose all motor power. However, the company failed to recall the vehicles or replace or repair any of the defective assemblies. All that the company did was issue a Technical Service Bulletin that advised technicians about the defective inverter assemblies, and recommended that the electrical inverter assembly be replaced with an updated assembly, but only if the customer complained.
    Interestingly to California product liability attorneys, the inverter assemblies that have been used in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid mentioned in the lawsuit are the same ones that were used in the Toyota 2006 Lexus Rx400H hybrid sports utility vehicle.

    2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Class Action Lawsuit Complaint Filed Over Inverter Assembly
    http://classactionlawsuitsinthenews.com/class-action-lawsuit-complaints/2006-toy- ota-highlander-hybrid-class-action-lawsuit-complaint-filed-over-inverter-assembl- y/
    (A link to the actual suit is at the bottom of the story)

    This car has no alternator, the inverter takes the place of an alternator! If this part goes, your car will not move until the inverter is replaced.
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    I took mine to Putnum Lexus in Redwood City CA, talk to Brian the service manager, they replaced my inverter. He knows the routine. I wonder if Brian will admit he has had experience with this before? Someone from corporate will come out and inspect your car, you have to call corporate first. The dealership can do nothing unless Lexus USA tells them to replace the inverter for free. I live in the Bay area too... Good luck...(I live in San Carlos)... Read my previous posts on how to handle this....Reply to this post if you need more help...You should be fine in the end..
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    My post was pulled:

    While I understand that you are trying to share information, the Edmunds forums cannot be used to organize legal actions. that includes posting links to sites to connect people to attorneys for class action lawsuits.

    PF Flyer
    Host - Hybrid Vehicles Forums


    My links are only made for reference to a specific problem that others have had. There is no lawsuit on this vehicle, and that is not my intention. I never mentioned legal action. I have only posted links as a point of reference to a very specific problem that renders an expensive vehicle useless. The manufacturer has a problem with a very expensive part, and they will repair it for free, only if people request it. Edmunds is a good source for people sharing common problems and resolutions. The information on Edmunds has helped me and other's get a $8,500 part replaced by the manufacturer for free. Thank you Edmunds, you helped me Save 10,000 dollars! I am not an Attorney, nor do I recommend legal action. Lexus has stepped up, and I am happy they did.
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    Read my post,

    They pulled the info before. Just in case, here's a dumbed down version I hope they won't pull. (there are no links here)

    Lexus 400h inverter failure, First course of action let them know:

    1) I could have been killed in this vehicle, I bought Lexus for itÕs safety and reliability, I was on the freeway with no warning, and almost got hit by a truck trying to get off the freeway in rush hour, with no power.
    2) My 50k car is a 50k paperweight.
    3) This is a huge safety issue, and people need to know that, ÒLexus has to let people know this car will fail at anytime, with no warning.Ó ÒWE need to let people know thisÓ (this was my mantra).
    4) Keep hammering the safety and reliability issue, and ask if the NTSB knows about this Òsafety issue.Ó Lexus/Toyota does not want another recall on an $8,500 part; this is why they will fix it. This vehicle has had two recalls already.
    5) Arm yourself with the information below, go0gle ÒHybrid RX400h inverter, and Highlander inverterÓ My links to these references have been pulled in the past, you can find them on google try: (ÒRecall Study Finds Flaws at ToyotaÓ; ÒToyota Highlander Hybrid Class Action LawsuitÓ; ÒCalifornia Class-Action Claims Toyota Knowingly Sold Defective Highlander HybridsÓ. (These are not links moderator, only information the others are having the same problems)
    6) Each time you talk with Lexus corporate, let them know that they have a problem. Read a few quotes from those articles. ÒYou know they have a lawsuit because of a defective ÒHighlander inverterÓ. You know that the 400h has the same inverter. (ThatÕs a fact)
    7) When consumer reports emails me, like they do each year, to participate on their survey. Ask them what do I say, That I had a 10k repair?
    8) I use my vehicle in the outback, Death Valley- Utah-New Mexico; IÕm usually 40 miles or more from civilization. This could be a life-threatening situation in this car. From now on do I travel with a sleeping bag and a weeks worth of water and food at all times?
    9) Remind them, this flaw needs to get out there, so people can make an informed decision when they buy this Lexus. ÒPeople need to know this.Ó And of course Lexus knows there are many ways to do this: Set up a web site, a Blog, twitter, you tube, a Face book page, all dedicated to getting the word out. You get the idea. Stay calm, and stay on point. And by the way, Òmost of my friends and family have a Lexus too.Ó
  • jennk1jennk1 Posts: 2
    I just picked up my 2006 400h last night from the dealer. They did fix it for free, but would not have done it without my request through corporate Lexus. Although I appreciate not having to pay for this fix, the point is that it should never have happened in the first place. Lexus needs to step up to the plate and initiate a recall before someone gets killed, if that hasn't happened already and they didn't live to tell about it. Fill out the paperwork for the NTSB to save others from this immense inconvenience. A recall is necessary and Toyota needs to "suck it up" and possibly save a life!
  • voicedvoiced Posts: 8
    Glad that Lexus Corporate is taking the right action by replacing an obviously defective $8k part.

    While this is good news, I'm not sure I want to own a 400h where the cost of replacing the inverter is left up to the whim of Lexus.
  • Thanks to your VIN # information I was able to pin point what was wrong with my car while on vacation last month (2006 RX 400-51,000 miles) when the inverter failed. We had the car towed 150 miles to the nearest Lexus dealership (Winter Park Fl) and the dealership covered the entire repair at no charge. They also gave me a loaner car to return home for a couple of days (another 80 miles). Appreciate the info...
  • fredhungfredhung Posts: 2
    My inverter also failed on my 2006 Lexus RX 400h about a year ago. I was not aware of this forum at the time but was lucky enough that I thought to call Lexus Corporate to complain about my $50K paper weight. Lexus Corporate call back within 48 hours and said they would take cover the part but NOT the labor. At the time I was happy that I wouldn’t have to fork over $2K for the repair rather than $12K.

    I was curious if the rest of you had to pay for labor as well??? Given the recent recall I have every intention to go back to my dealership for a full refund.
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    I paid zero, no parts or Labor. However, I would have been happy to pay $2K considering the alternative. That was my experience. You can ask corporate if the dealership was supposed to charge for labor when replacing the part. Maybe the dealership was double dipping? It's possible. In the end, 2k is a lot better than 12k.
  • I am having the same trouble with my 2006 400h 62K miles. I'm glad I found this post. I called the dealer two times and took it in once, I was told they have never had a hybrid failure everything is fine.
    Today I received the recall letter. Lexus has recalled the inverter and on the recall notice it says they will also reimburse prior repairs. Thanks to all of you who helped get it recalled for all of us. Good luck for those who paid hope you get your money back.
  • voicedvoiced Posts: 8
    Not trying to be a doubting Thomas but can someone (Lexus?) post a copy of the Lexus rx400h inverter recall letter?

    Does the recall only apply to 2006 vehicles or all rx400h vehicles? Are the Prius hybrids also covered and are all years covered or only selected years?
  • fredhungfredhung Posts: 2
    I placed another call to corporate regarding the expenses I incurred for the now recalled inverter. Corporate was more than accommodating and is in the process of refunding me my money. I suggest others follow suit if you came out of pocket for an inverter related issue!

    Out of curiosity, did anyone else’s engine battery die when your inverter failed? Mine did and they are saying that the two issues are unrelated but I kind of find it hard to believe that it was just a coincidence that they both failed at the exact same time.

    Thanks everyone’s for your input so far!
  • I don't know how to post a copy of the letter. The letter says Intelligent Power Module (IPM) part of the Hybrid System Inverter in certain modle year 2006 and 2007 RX400h. The phone number to call is 1-800-255-3987
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    Yes, my Battery was dead too. It's my third one. I had replaced it 3 years ago. They said it was not caused by the inverter failure, but I know I used everything I had to get out of traffic. My hazard lights ran the car battery to failure, waiting for the Tow Truck. The dealership charged me $177.00, but I was happy to pay that at the time, having saved about 10k. Still, I know that it wasn't dead when I was driving it. Cha-Ching!
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    edited July 2011
    Call any dealership, or corporate, they will verify it. You will receive one in the mail too, if they have your address on file. No need to doubt, just look into it.

    2006 and 2007

    Why did every Lexus mechanic tell me they never had a problem with the inverters before? Two dealerships told me that I was the first one they heard of. And now a recall notice ? Seriously, are you kidding me? No more LEXUS MECHANICS FOR ME. My 76 station mechanic knew that was Bull Shot, and he's not a Lexus certified mechanic.
  • skycaptainskycaptain Posts: 33
    edited July 2011
    Do you know how to scan a letter? If so, scan it to a file and you can send it as an attachment in an email to me. My email address is lukskybiker@aol.com. I have a 2007 RX400h. Did you say the recall covered 2007 RX400's as well? I never got a letter.

    Thanks, Luke" :shades:
  • mac117mac117 Posts: 5
    I am looking at purchasing a Lexus RX 400H, with 36,000 miles, for sale by owner. ( asking 25,000). No warranty on this vehicle, and I am very concerned about the posts I have seen on the hybrid inverter. Any advice, suggestions? When did the recall come out?
    Thanks!....
  • mac117mac117 Posts: 5
    I am looking at purchasing a Lexus RX 400H, with 36,000 miles, for sale by owner. ( asking 25,000). No warranty on this vehicle, and I am very concerned about the posts I have seen on the hybrid inverter. Any advice, suggestions? When did the recall come out?
    Thanks!....
  • skycaptainskycaptain Posts: 33
    edited July 2011
    Mac,
    Yes you should. If it has only 36000 miles the inverter is warranteed until 70,000 miles by Lexus.
    As of now it also appears that Lexus is replacing the inverters regardless of mileage..basically a recall.
    Anyway, the inverter problem only applies to 2006 models and some early 2007 models.

    Regards,

    Capt Luke :shades:
  • mac117mac117 Posts: 5
    this is what I found online as far as the problem and the matching VIN numbers:

    #31 of 91 '06 Highlander and Lexus Inverter Problems by maryland_john
    Jul 13, 2010 (6:04 am)
    I've have found the VIN break for the change from the defective inverter to the new part. Before the break you may experience total power failure, engine, steering and brakes. After the break the new part does not have any failures I can find.
    Toyota 06 Highlander Hybrid 2wd - Ending in 60009725
    Toyota 06 Highlander Hybrid 4wd - Ending in 60019910
    Lexus 06 Rx 400h 2wd - Ending in 60002207
    Lexus 06 Rx 400h 4wd - Ending in 60036526

    My dealer did the right thing and brought my bill from $9000 to $1200, but how many owners are still driving these dangerous cars??
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    I just (two weeks ago) received the recall notice... sounds horrible, but at the same time the letter mentions that the replacements will likely occur around January 2012 as parts are available.... what can be done in the meantime?

    From what I've read, there are no warning signs... just a stalled car. I will give Putnam a call (we live in Belmont). The sad part is this my wife's car, and I am concerned that this stall may occur with her and my two year old daughter in the car.
  • tripleltriplel Posts: 1
    Hi,

    You must call 1-800-25-lexus and ask for a supervisor. Tell them your concern and that your wife does not feel safe driving the car and demand that they either find a part or give you a loaner until the part comes in next year.
    They will tell you production in Japan was hindered as a result of the tsunami and there is nothing they can do. Do not accept no for an answer. The dealer cannot help you but if you are persistent with Lexus (it took me 2 weeks and multiple calls) they will find an inverter for you. I was particularly sensitive when I received their recall notice b/c my inverter failed once already as I was getting on the freeway with my young daughter in the back seat. It is very frightening and dangerous. Good luck.
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