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Lexus ES 350 Transmission Issues

rosstekrosstek Posts: 1
I've had my car approximately one year now and drive it regularly. It has about $26K miles, but just recently ( two months) I've noticed some performance issues. Regardless if it was in the morning and the engine was a little cold or in the middle of day, the acceleration would slip. It was difficult to replicate the issue, but it was consistent enough to notice. On several occasions, I would redline or come very close to redline. It was as if the car was in neutral, but then immediately adjust. I took the car back to Lexus twice, but they were unable to identify the problem. Finally, just last week it happened again and Lexus finally decided to replace the transmission. They said they were unable to identify the problem, but would replace it anyway. In lieu of my problems, I was given $1000 in service credits.
Overall, I really like my car, but now I'm somewhat skeptical that I might have more issues down the road. I am leasing, so I guess that helps in some degree. Thought I'd share this information.

Fred
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Comments

  • wrh2wrh2 Posts: 2
    i own a new es350 with about 10,000 miles. at 3000 miles they put a new transmission in my car due to a shift malfunction. my most recent issue was when the car exclareted from about 80mpg to 140mpg. i braken continuesoly for about 10 min while shifting into neutral. i was fortunate not to be killed or kill another. the car slowed to about 60mph and i coasted. the end result is the i recently had knee surgery to repair torn mincus due to the pressure put on my knee from brakeing.

    Has anyone else hada this problem.

    royhaas@sbcglobal.net
  • wrh2wrh2 Posts: 2
    has anyone had an issue with the axcelator locking up? I recently had my car axcelarate from 80mpg to 140 mpg while traveling on the interstate. I braked continuesly for over 10 min. The brakes burned up and I required surgery to repair my knee from the continuous pressure. Has any one else experienced this problem?

    royhaas@sbcglobal.net
  • jaspalbjaspalb Posts: 84
    Did your accelerator pedal get stuck under the All Weather rubber mat? It can happen if it is not properly held by clips?
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I always wonder what the transmission issues are with ES350. It is my second car and first luxury car that I have ever purchased. I had rattle issue which is fixed now. But, can anyone please enlighten me on the issues regarding transmission and what I should look for to check if my car has issues? Thanks in advance.
  • Did you mean 30% of owners or 30% of people on the ClubLexus forum? That could be a huge difference.
  • aek1aek1 Posts: 1
    My ES 350 with 10000 miles is shaking the car between 30 and 50 miles per hour. It sounds like I am going over some small speed bumps . I have balance he tires so that is not the problem. Please help as the dealer is not . Anybody else having problems with the transmission, Also my dash has all kinds of rattles in it. Is this common as this is my first Lexus.
  • ycuycu Posts: 1
    That trans problem that you have > it's not a probem !

    Its just happens when your trans changes major gears as it changes energy output. Most often it occurs when you apply sudden move from over 2500 rpm to 3,000 rpm, and then right away, the rpm suddently move down by a few hundred clicks - this is the slip you described. There is another one between 5,000 to 6,000 rpm. You see this has to happen because the large horsepower (272 hp) and the way the trans is designed. I have them on mine and its completely natural ! It happens everytime when I apply really fast Accell increase from 2500 rpm to 3000 rpm. Also, after this slip, the engine sound changes from a desel to a race car like sound. These things that you experience is all due to major Torque, Horsepower changes with respect to changes to gearshift. Oh ya, it happens again at the upper rpm near the redline and another one somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 rpm.

    The one at redline is due to high fuel input as hp decrease after hp max. at 6,200 rpm. Don't do this to your car - its damanging for your engine because when hp decreases over 6,200 rpm alot of energy is transfered to the engine and not released to the environment as hp and torque. When you have large energy transfer to engine > engine wears.

    Also, Lexus agreed to give you a trans changes just to satisfy you b/c they can't have a bunch of unsatisfied buyers or sales will decrease dramatically.
  • I recently had to run up from FL to near St. Louis for a family funeral, and the temps dropped to a low of 18 and we got 6" of snow. The first morning I started the car without issue, drove to the hotel door, and loaded my wife and some supplies. The car had been running about 5 minutes.We drove to the street and stopped. Upon trying to pull out from a dead stop, the engine revved but the car went nowhere. This lasted at least 30 seconds. This basically repeated every day. The final day, at 36 degs., we got to the entrance to a major highway with lots of large truck traffic. I started to pull out, and the car crept forward at about 2 mph leaving me in the midst of oncoming traffic with no way to move. I stopped at a light that had fortunately turned red for 60 seconds. Upon getting a green, I started up with the car alternately grabbing then slipping through 1st gear. The shift to 2nd took forever and jerked back and forth between being engaged and just slipping every couple of seconds.

    After warming up another few minutes, it ran fine and drove to FL without problems. (There are no Lexus dealers anywhere close to Troy, IL.) I have an appointment with my dealer on Monday, and am curious what their reaction will be. We can never duplicate those temps here.

    Sadly, my disappoinment with this car continues. (I had serious rattles that took three calls to get fixed, I have the engine dieseling sounds at cold for which there is no field fix, I have had transmission flare previously, and the downshifting is horrible.) This is the only one of 6 Toyota products I have had that I would call disappointing. I'll update after the service call. I consider this car to be extremely unsafe in the cold.
  • lmg2lmg2 Posts: 1
    I too have had rattling in my left front (driver) side. Multiple trips to dealer seems to fixed this. last fix was a moon-roof fix (believe it or not) that supposedly made the noise go away. But, now I have a faint whinning noise also in the same area.

    Second issue I have is the sudden acceleration even at low speeds. I have an automatic transmission.

    Third isse is that the motor idles very high .... sounds like a diesel to me. Not the quite Lexus that I am remember.
  • wartywarty Posts: 4
    Yes, I had the same problem last week. I mentioned it to the dealer and they wouldn't acknowledge it or write up a complaint. They had me call in to Lexus corporate to voice a complaint. Evidently, a number of people have had this problem so the local dealers won't deal with it. In short, the car taking off is probably due to the transmission flare that happens between 3rd and 4th gear. If you gas pedal is pressed down it will take off and you lose control. I believe someone is currently suing lexus over this issue. If you complain Lexus will most likely say your winter floor mat is the problem because it slides up over the gas pedal.
  • Car is a 2007 ES350 with about 15,000 miles. About a week ago, I started to notice the tachometer would rev about 500 rpm's when the transmission would shift between 3rd & 4th gear and sometimes between 4th and 5th gear. It was in intermittent problem. Luckily when I took it to the dealer, it DID exhibit the problem. I left the car, took the loaner home and about a hour later, Dealer called to say I needed a new transmission. All under warranty. Very disappointed. Car is supposed to be bullet-proof. Isn't.
  • rhtransrhtrans Posts: 84
    Unfortunately nothing man made is bulletproof...doesn't matter who makes it.
  • I have a 2007 ES350 with approximately 80,000 miles on it. I know it is a lot of miles for 2.5 years having the car, but I commute 110 miles per day for work. I bought the Lexus for the purpose of reliability. In December 2008, I was driving home from work and started to notice some jerking with the car. After a few miles, I pulled off to the shoulder and turned the car off. I turned it back on after a few minutes, put it in gear, and nothing. The car would not move. Because my warranty had expired, I called a tow truck and had the car towed to my local auto repair shop. The transmission was shot. I had to put in a brand new transmission and because I was 10,000 miles over the warranty on it, Lexus would pay nothing. The tow and the transmission was approximately $6500, and the new Lexus transmission I had put in is only warranted for one year. Saying I am disappointed in my Lexus is an extreme understatement. I am planning to write to Lexus to express my extreme dissatisfaction, but I am not sure it will get me anywhere.
  • I have experienced the same exact problem twice now over the last three weeks. I have a 2008 ES350 with about 30,000 miles. Have not taken it to the dealer yet and wondering what they will say about it. Reading from other messages, sounds like a transmission issue. Both times it happened when car was cold and I had just started driving.
  • dlosddlosd Posts: 1
    This is my first luxury vehicle and I will never purchaser another Lexus again. This is unbelivable. I've had fords, hondas, nissans and have never had as many problems. I purchased my car May 06 . I have been asked by the Dealer here in my town of San Diego CA, to call the Lexus Manufacture to open up a case. I noticed my transmission slipping gradually. Then one day I turned a corner the car could not shift from one gear to the next and and the car jerked very hard and immediatly the CHECK ENGINE light displayed and also the CHECK VSC light displayed. They cleared the code and said they did not know what the problem was which I can see now was a lie, because I know they have had many reports of this issue happening. After the second time this happened the Service Tech called me and said the Transmission needed to be replaced. How is a Transmission Blown at 76,000 miles that's ridiculous. I've also heard noise from the brakes once they changed my brakes pads the first time. There has been a loud clicking noise coming from my brakes when I put my foot on the brake pedal. My driver side car door handle pulled off the door so beware. I went to open the door and the door handle pulled away from the door. The entire door handle mechanism pulled away from the door. The Lexus dealer had me call the manufacture for the door handle and they did replace it. For the clicking when I press on the brakes, I have taken the car to the dealer at least 6 times they can not find the problem. What a piece of trash.
  • I purchased my ES 350 in June of 2007. It drove smoothly until around 3,000 miles when I noticed that the car would make an upshift with a loud thud/kick. Although It would happen once/twice a week yet it was so annoying that some of my friends/family, riding at the time, felt that there was something wrong with the car. I took it to a local Lexus Dealer. They said that they were aware of similar problems with other 2007 model year vehicles. They kept the car for 1-2 days and told me that they had 'Changed some data' in onboard computer and that will fix the problem. For next few months, the transmission seemed to be shifting smoothly until the problem returned and this time even worse than before. The car had less than 15,000 miles on it. I took it back to the dealer and was told this time that it was happening because the transmission fluid was little low and they replenished it. I don't get it because as per the Lexus Manual, the transmission is sealed and the oil does not need to be changed as often as older model year vehicles. Anyways the car now has 36,000 miles and the problem has only gotten worse. My wife, who mostly drives this car, complains about it almost every day.We have tried to be easy on gas pedal to allow the transmission to shift smoothly, but this has not worked. From my experience and after reading all the posts on this website it is clear that the Lexus dealers as well as the Lexus seem to be in complete denial of the problem. Their attitude is that tell customers that it is minor thing (which is caused by low transmission fluid/computer settings) or it is not a problem at all, then wait until the transmission warranty expires and then walk away. I am taking my car 3rd time to the dealership for this problem and expect the same. But at least I would have documentation to prove in court that I had a 'lemon' all the time and that the problem started when the vehicle was brand new and continues to exist. This is my first Lexus and bought it at the recommendation of consumer reports. I traded my 2003 Camry for it, which had 82,000 miles and still used to shift gears so smoothly that you could not feel. I have been always a Toyota person but my experience with this ES 350 has made me think whether I should buy another Lexus in near future. Its not just the car that bothers me so much but also the customer support that comes with it when you need it. Toyota/Lexus forget that customer service issue made Electronics Giant like SONY to loose its No. 1 spot to Samsung. Toyota/Sony products are not 100% perfect and they need to accept that. They should respect and address concerns brought forth by consumers and not try to downplay problems. I studied automotive technology myself for 2-3years. I know for sure, that my car has a transmission problem, regardless of what the dealer/Lexus tells me. I don't know if there is any kind of Class Action Lawsuit being/been filed against Toyota, but i would definitely want to be a part of it.
  • tom5314tom5314 Posts: 20
    I just bought a 2007 ES350 3 mo. ago (Sept.30th) with 47k mi. on it at Lexus dealer. The tranmission is very smooth when shifting. It's now has 50K mi. on it and I didn't see any problem like you declared in your threat. Your car is definitly have a tranmission issued or may be its computer that control the transmission.
    I'm sorry to hear, but you should not give up on this matter.
    Can't they dubblicate the problem when you leave your car over night?
  • wartywarty Posts: 4
    Yes, they did finally duplicate the problem and it was solved when the reset the computer and updated the software again. I have not had a problem since they have reset the transmission computer.
  • I also purchase my 2007 lexus es350 in June of 2007 nd have had transmission problems. I have had it in the dealer complaining of this issue since the begining and they fluffed it off by telling me that this is the way the newer lexus's shift. I dint agree. My car has 6,000 miles on it and just last month they put in a new trans. Again Iam still having the same problem. I took it back once again and they had their service manager go for a test ride with me with his diagnostic lapto attached to under my steering wheel as we took a ride. He agreed that this was happening and told me that he was going to be honest with me, that he cannot fix this car and that he doesn not like the new trans that were put in these newer lexus's. I also have a 1998 es300 lexus, never had ANY problems with it. Just this Friday, I was pulling onto a major highway at night, as I began merging onto the highway, my car would not shift into gear and hesitated a few second before it moved. Talk about scared, these cars were traveling at about 60 miles an hour, and I cant get out of the way fast enough. Iam in the process now of looking for a lemon law attorning in the state of NJ. I would so appreciate it if someone can offer some suggestions to this problem
    Thank you...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..hesitated a few seconds before it moved.."

    SOP, Standard Operating Procedure, beginning with the adoption of DBW, Drive By Wire, back early in the century. DBW, in turn, was adopted as a "fix" for a design flaw incorporated in the U140E/F during its development for the new RX300 introduced in '98.
  • kwb2139kwb2139 Posts: 1
    I had the SAME EXACT problem with my 2007 ES350. It's in the shop now, and they are replacing the transmission. Don't let them fool you with "it's just a computerized transmission problem we can fix it by hooking it up to our diagnostics computer". Fortunately I saw a leak stain on the carpet where I park my car in the garage. And told them to look further into it. 5 hours later...they said they would replace the transmission.
  • jatsjats Posts: 1
    I just got off the phone with my mechanic and was told that my 2007 ES 350 that has less than 70,000 miles on it needs a new transmission! I had the same experience that others have described. Turned a corner on Friday- heard a noise and engine light came on along with VSC lights. Had it towed in- did not drive any further. There is no way a car this old should be having to have a new transmission. I have taken good car of this car. Have maintained it as suggested by manufacturer. It seems from what I have read on this forum that it is a common problem with these cars. Any class actions being started against Lexus? Has there been any recalls on these cars for transmission problems? I will NEVER, EVER buy another Lexus and would recommend that all others avoid them as well. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • lexhoulexhou Posts: 81
    two points....
    1. it is widely known that the initial 2007 es350 model had transmission problems and Lexus did some remodification. If you ever visit any lexus forum...clublexus forum, etc they will mention to stay away from certain manuf built dates with es350--2007. I beleive it was an isolated situation and has been corrected for some time now. I owned es330-2004 for 6 yrs no trans issue....just purchased 2010-es350 and it is truly a well built car and superior driving veh......I test drove many vehs to compare. Many members on lexus forum have purchased 2010 after owning 2007 so Lexus is doing something right.

    2. It is unfortunate you have had such bad experience with your Lexus but to make such a blanket statement for no one to purchaseLexus.. is kind of foolish because inspite of few issues it is still a very well sold vehicle. I will never purchase a Ford....never owned one either but not going to tell everyone they shouldn't purchase Ford product because of my feelings.

    I would suggest to cut your losses and sell your Lexus and buy something else so you can sleep at nite. good luck
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,078
    >If you ever visit any lexus forum...clublexus forum, etc they will mention to stay away from certain manuf built dates with es350--2007.

    That is not a good answer for a car that presented itself as being reliable and of consistent high quality. If there was a problem, they should have recalled the problematic cars and replaced the transmissions.

    Instead we find something similar to the unknown computer problems, or sticky accelerator pedals, or the floor mats, whichever excuse is the current one from toyota where toyota has had a problem since 2002 and used NHTSA and misreporting techniques to avoid close scrutiny.

    The similarity is that the problem wasn't fixed the way a reputable company would have done immediately. Telling an unfortunate owner that they are at fault for not having read fan forums to determine the car they were buying has problems isn't a good explanation.
  • recently bought a 2007 Lexus ES 350 certified pre owned with 9,500 miles on it. I now have 26,000 miles and my transmission is being replaced by the dealer this weekend.

    The first time it was brought in for transmission problems, they said the transmission fluid was low (hmm--its a sealed system) and that the software needed to be reset. I picked it up the next day and drove it home. Took the car out to go to work and 12 miles into my trip the master warning light, along with several other warning lights and a VSC message. The transmission started up with the jerky acceleration and stumbling deceleration. This time they agreed it was faulty and would replace it.
    Will keep you posted on the new transmission.
  • Bought a new 2010 ES 350 in July 2010. A few weeks later noticed driving down the hill approximate 35 to 45 mph and when slighly applied the brake to slow down, the transmission hesitated not sure what to do and the RPM goes up to 3000 instead of between 1800 to 2400. This does not happen every time when going down the hill. First took the car to dealership was advised found nothing wrong with codes. Took car back a week later , get a loaner car for 2 days, had to call them for status and was advised after test drive, they found nothing wrong. Car has only 5000 miles. Will try to video the problem and show them. It's getting annoying when driving down the hill. This is absolutely not normal.
  • I had the same problem with my brand new 2007 Lexus es350 which had 3000 miles after 3 years of me owning it. Looked like the day I drove it out of the showroom.
    Bring it back to the dealer at least 4 times and have them give you a reciept that you have brought this same issue to their attention without satisfaction. When this is done and you are still having the same transmission paroblem, contacy Kimmel and Silverman PC in Cherry Hill, NJ ...They deal with lemon laws, I used them and filed suit against Toyota for that same problem. My car was not shifting and Lexus insisted that there was nothing wrong. Needless to say I won! Recieved full payment back and now I am diving a E class Mercedes.....I love Lexus however until they fix the kinks, I am taking a break from them..Good Luck!
  • wartywarty Posts: 4
    This happen to me too with my 2007 ES 350. This is what I did to solve the problem. A few years ago Lexus put out a memo to their dealers talking about a transmission flair that happens when you first start the car early in the morning when approaching a hill. As in my case, I live 60 seconds from a small hill. So every morning I would approach the hill when the transmission fluid was still cold and I would get a transmission flair between the first few gears. I would take my Lexus to the dealer and they would simply tell me they can't duplicate it. However, after extensive searches on the web I found an official flair memo from Lexus corporation online and took it into the dealer. Then they said, Oh...that problem and did a complete electronic refresh on my car and it never happen again. In short, they are aware of the problem. It is a transmission flair that only happens when you first drive your Lexus early in the morning before the car gets warmed up. In my case, one morning it even took off on me. My report is listed on that issue 7 months ago. If your transmission RPM goes up like you are suggesting then your car is a good candidate for one that can take off on you. Believe me, it is a frightening thing when it takes off. Make sure you find the memo on line. Search for flair up problems with the Lexus transmission. You should find the exact Memo I found. Hope this helps. Make sure that Lexus documents your problem when you talk to the dealer. Often they won't even write down on your Lexus file that you are experiencing the problem. They know this opens them up to legal issues. I couldn't even get them to write down the reason why I brought the car in to fix.
  • Warty,
    Thanks. It's a great info. I'll look into it. My car is still at the shop and hope they will send someone out soon and test drive where I live and hope they can duplicate the problem. Just like you, I live 60 seconds from the hill and it has been happenning often but not every time. I even test it when engine is warm and surely the trans. shifted up and down (undecided) too. Sometimes I feel the car wants to take off as well. I brought in twice and they documented exactly what I told them. It's been almost a week I drive the loaner 2009 ES 350 and not happy with the trans. but has not shifted strangly like my new ES ">350. I am anxious but worry they will do nothing.
    Will give an update later hope the sooner the better and get more help from this forum. Thanks again.
  • I was able to locate TSB for transmission flare 07 model and gave them TSB number. Shop foreman test drove with service advisor and they were able to duplicate the problem by going down hill and RPM sharply increased to 3000. They also drove one of the loaner and said that it's the same. They said it is normal and it's the intelligence of the vehicle. I am getting my car back today but not sure what the next step I will take. Calling Lexus may or may not help but will try. Hope Lexus knows the problem and will come out with a fix if they choose to.
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