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Lexus ES 350 Transmission Issues



  • 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: 18,046
    >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.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you stay off the brakes the transaxle WILL NOT automatically downshift which results in engine compression braking and 3000RPM.
  • My dad had purchased a car about 5 days ago, with approximately <100 miles on the vehicle. on 1/1/11 with approximately 260 miles, my fathers 2011 es350 was speeding and slowing down, and was not functioning properly while on the freeway. It was shaking due to the rapid deceleration and acceleration of the vehicle. He had nearly got into an accident (with my grandmother in the car). But managed to get it into manual electronic shifting (don't know what lexus calls it) and the unpredictable movement of the car was less than it was before.

    He had managed to get it to Cerritos Auto square where he had purchased the vehicle. The salesman was skeptical about there being a problem with the brand new car and suggested that it may have been something my dad had done. A bit annoyed my father gave the salesman the keys to go drive the car around.

    When the salesman turned the car on and put the car into reverse, it would not budge. It would wiggle around in place, but would not move. he then proceeded to put it into drive, and it would not budge. The transmission was shot, and eventually the salesperson said they'll have the service department check it out when they open tomorrow 1/3/2011.

    Don't know if anybody else has been getting early transmissions problem but thought it was important to notify those who are potentially buying this car. Maybe it was just this particular car, but it is something that could have been life threatening if there were heaving traffic. :mad: :mad: :mad:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited January 2011
    Transaxle under-filled or over-filled....
  • recently my 2002 rx300 had both the check engine light and the VSC light come on. I took it to my mechanic and he replaced the sensor in the exhaust system. the area was rusted and one of the mount bolts were broken. he did some welding and replaced the sensor. both lights went off and were off for 2 weeks. yesterday they reappeared. I have had no operating problems with the vehicle, unlike other owners i read about above, in fact it has always run beautifully. never any major problems. what does the check engine sensor have to do with the VSC sensor. what should I do... replace the check engine sensor again ( this may require replacing from the catalytic on back)
  • I own a 1999 RX300 with 189,700 miles and I have never had a mechanical problem with my Lexus. I have enjoyed this vehicle for 11 years and can easily take the vehicle to 200K miles. It still drive great and when idling you can not hear the engine. I recently test driving the new 2011 RX350 and the 2011 ES350. After reading your review on the 2011 ES350 I am concern. In viewing the comments on the ES350 it seem this vehicle has transmission problems. I work in the insurance industry and I know that most manufacture always deny responsibility when their productr may have mechanical problems or the problem caused an accident. I have to do more homework on this vehicle before purchasing. I test drove a 2011 ES350 loaded at Cerritos Lexus.
    I do love the Lexus product.
  • wartywarty Posts: 4
    I have heard of no problems with the newer cars. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a 2010 or 2011. My car was fixed by Lexus and I have not had any problems since.
  • My 1999 Lexus ES300 runs good and the transmission shifts good except the it will not go into overdrive. The problem surfaced recently but only after the car warmed up. Any ideas??
  • Hi,

    Im at 140,000 miles on my es350 and just started experiencing flare/skip of gear around 2nd gear. (30-40mph mark) during morning start up. I have not been able to find any memo online from LEXUS. Can you please provide some assistance? Either if you have a link or file you can email me? dagqprince@ aol . com

    any help will be greatly appreciated.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Prior to the RX330, DBW use, VSC/Trac engine dethrottling was implemented via EFI fuel starvation, no way to close the throttle plate. Should you have an inadvertent (aren't they all!!) Trac or VSC activation enough "pure" oxygen might reach the sensor to "spoil" it for the next 100-200 miles.

    "..did some welding.."

    Even the slightest crack/opening in the exhaust and atmospheric oxygen might reach the sensor after the engine is off but while its still HOT.

    For some reason that situation seems to "spoil" the sensor output for 100-200 miles, 3-4 drive cycles.
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