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Lexus RX Transmission Problems

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Comments

  • REALLY! Would you like to see a copy of the Lexus check?
    Contrary to your thinking, or lack thereof, it appears that
    Lexus made the decision to not appeal as this would have
    only escalated their exposure of both the fraud and the poorly
    designed transmission. Class action attorneys would smell
    blood in the water, if it went to appeal and Lexus lost.

    You should note on the Edmunds blog that there are a number
    of people raising the issue of a class action lawsuit.

    What kind of law do you try to practice?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    What kind of law do you try to practice?

    Did somebody claim to practice law? It would be better to use the "reply" link so people can tell whom you are addressing rather than creating a new thread.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..may have taken the interim measure..."

    I take that back...

    Lexus would have been commiting fraud on the EPA and CARB were they to have substituted the old style Camry transaxles for the newer, more fuel efficient U140E/F.

    Plus the engine/transaxle ECU firmware would not have been able to operate the Camry's A140E transaxle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It just occurred to me that something rather strange (does not compute, need more input) is going on here regarding the use of a Camry A140E transaxle in a Lexus RX300. The A140E Camry transaxle control functions, solenoids, etc, are completely different from the RX's U140E/F RX300 transaxle.

    In order to use the A140E in the RX300 you would have had to also change the engine/transaxle ECU module, along with the wiring harness and connections. Or maybe even the engine itself altogether with the module AND the transaxle.

    103,000 miles when yours failed...bought it new or used..??

    Used might mean a previous DIY owner could have dropped the Camry system in, or maybe even an actual Lexus or Toyota dealer. I doubt of you would have gotten compensation if a third party made the change.
  • Hi,
    Thank you for the great info, I have same problem with my RX300 2000 with 120K and I live in the area,
    Do ou remember rep's name at Lexus of Riverside? or who I should talk to? I'd appreciate it!
    I'm hoping I can get the same treatment. Thank you so much, Justin-
  • When I come to a slow or not so moderate stop i feel a bump int the transmission downshifting into first gear. I have noticed that when i slam on the brakes in an immediate stop it does not bump so to speak. I have recently replaced the front motor mount and had the transmission rebuilt. The tranny guy says its not the transmission. There are no codes stored in the computer. HELP PLEASE!
  • My 2001 RX300 transmission failed at 81,000. I had a local shop repair it for $4000 instead of the $6000 that Lexus estimated. Although the local Lexus service manager knows there's a problem with these transmissions they say that there's "nothing they can do." According to them, Lexus Customer Assistance usually contributes $1000 towards the $6000 rebuild bill. I've added my complaint to the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation list and encourage everyone else to. This is the tool that puts governmental pressure on the manufacture and gets recalls initiated. It only takes a couple of minutes.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/
  • The following letter to the editor will be published in two of our local Cincinnati area newspapers. If more of us do the same it might cause some Pulitzer prize seeking journalist to take up our cause.
    --------------------
    Watching Toyota trying to squirm and spin there way out of the gas petal sticking fiasco I can only say, they are getting what they deserve. I bought new 2000 Lexus RX300 because I was tired of the continue recalls and quality induced failures of the American brands I owned and believed that Lexus provided the best product available. I was wrong. When the transaxle in my RX300 had a massive internal failure at 92,000 miles (not a lot of miles for a Lexus) Lexus, manufactured by Toyota, showed me the same contempt they showed the Toyota owners who complained about the sticking gas pedal. The Lexus dealer wanted $6000 to replace the transaxle but eventually settled for $4000 which is still more then their cost. In researching this failure on my RX300 I found that this is a common problem on the 2000 Lexus RX300 and that Toyota has know about it almost from day one but has stone walled the RX300 owners in our attempts to get a recall to correct the problem. And as part of my claim to get Lexus to replace the transaxle at no cost I presented them with a documented history of this type of failure on the RX300. I reported this defect to the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) at http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/, case no. 10125165. Even though ODI has a significant number of complaints about this defect of the RX300 transaxle nothing has been done about it. I can only conclude that unless someone dies from an event, nothing will ever be done about it, if even then. I also presented Lexus with the results of a search of Edmunds CARSPACE that list hundreds of complaints of the type of failure I had on my RX300 and the horror stories the the owners faced from the all to smug Lexus (Toyota) dealers. My experience with Lexus has soured me on the Lexus and Toyota brands and will drive me back to the last of the truly American auto manufacturers, Ford, for my next vehicle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Would you believe that your experience, premature failure of your '00 RX300, and '99 moreso, transaxle, is the base reason Toyota adopted (under duress and therefore maybe too quickly??) DBW thruout the fleet by 2002. DBW is used to overcome, protect the drive train, once the flawed transaxle design was adopted widely.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    I bought a Lexus for the same reason, perceived quality, and while my transmission failed at 150,000 miles which is a heck of a lot better than 92,000, I still think it shouldn't have. I also have a 2006 Sienna and have been following a thread reporting problems with the side doors in older models. With the number of people reporting the exact same problem there is obviously a design problem. Toyota has done the same thing that they have done with our transmission problem, stonewalled. So I have lost a great deal of respect for Toyota and will probably look very closely at other brands before buying another Toyota product. Any company can have problems. It is how they deal with it that defines them.
  • The failure is due to Lexus using a Toyota transmission not a quality Lexus product. This fraud, you think your are buying and paying for a premium brand is not the case of the RX 300.

    Small claims court is the only remedy Lexus understands. The ydeny and stonewall as they have doen for years and now is coming to light.
    You have been defrauded so the warranty is not the issue.
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    I have no doubt that many of the first generation RX owners are having these issues. I apologize for not knowing where I read this, but it has been said that approximately 10% of RX owners (in this case the 1999 RX300) for instance have had problems. Again for this model year, with a little over 90,000 of these cars made, that would mean that that around 81,000 are not having issues.

    I am not defending Toyota/Lexus, am merely trying to note that the majority of owners are not having issues.

    Just the other day I actually stopped someone in a parking lot and asked them what year and how much...it was a 99 with 170k on it and they never had transmission problems with it.

    JBL
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    10% with catastrophic failure is unacceptable in any business. The cost of replacing the transmission is close to 50% the value of the car for a '99. Again, it isn't that they had problems it is that they refuse to acknowledge the problems until forced to.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..not a quality Lexus product.."

    I thought we had put this issue to bed...

    The Camry A140E transaxle cannot be used in the RX300 without a complete swap of the engine, transaxle, engine/transaxle ECU control module, and the entire wiring harness.

    The U140E/F ("F" for F/awd) used in the RX300 from the "get-go" has a completely different transaxle control setup, solenoids, etc, plus the transaxle internal structure is quite different mechanically.

    My guess is that if you found an A140E transaxle in an RX300 it wasn't shipped from the factory that way.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Again for this model year, with a little over 90,000 of these cars made, that would mean that that around 81,000 are not having issues.

    I agree with avery1. A 10% failure rate of an essential component with a huge replacement cost is unacceptable and rather astonishing, IMHO.

    Just the other day I actually stopped someone in a parking lot and asked them what year and how much...it was a 99 with 170k on it and they never had transmission problems with it.

    That is certainly impressive but a sample size of one is just too small to be meaningful. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..not knowing where I read this.......10% of RX owners....had problems..."

    Wouldn't it be just as valid if I stated that I had read "somewhere" that the actual number of premature transaxle failures for the '99 RX MY was closer to 50%...??

    "..trying to note..."

    Good try...But....
  • Whether 10% or 40% failure rates is not the real issue.

    Fraud is the question. Where Lexus buyers who thought they were paying for a luxury car defrauded by being sold toyota major components like the transmission which then failed. AT $40,000 +
    plus for an RX 300 that sure sounds like a luxury price to me.

    Who can trust Toyota anymore after they spend years denying they had an accelerator problem and tried to off load it on a floor mat!
  • 3 years ago I bought a 99 RX300 with 68k on it. It had been taken care of (all service etc) at the Lexus dealer for it's life. With 88k .... on Friday all of a sudden I was hearing the transmission pump whine, and lost all power, no reverse, nada. After cooling off for two hours I was able to drive home before the whining started up. Dealer quoted 6000.00, independent quoted 8k - something about a new ECU? Transmission fluid had been changed at 68k...dealer said they don't bother to replace the screen cause if it's clogged the tranny's dead.
    Long story short.... Bought a Fram filter kit, 5 qts Valvoline MAX... the magnets looked like flowers, and the screen was full of gunk. Car drives fine again, so I'm looking to trade it in.... I think I'm on borrowed time. Thoughts anyone?
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    I agree with avery1. A 10% failure rate of an essential component with a huge replacement cost is unacceptable and rather astonishing, IMHO.

    I don't necessarily disagree.

    Just the other day I actually stopped someone in a parking lot and asked them what year and how much...it was a 99 with 170k on it and they never had transmission problems with it.

    That is certainly impressive but a sample size of one is just too small to be meaningful.


    I guess what I am trying to say is that this is the answer you will get with the overwhelming majority of folks with regard to their RX300's of that year.

    If we had all of the folks that came to this and other boards to express how they have NOT had problems with the transmissions in their 300's, your server just might crash...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    this is the answer you will get with the overwhelming majority of folks with regard to their RX300's of that year.

    Isn't that exactly what you would expect with a 10% failure rate? 90% might be regarded as an "overwhelming majority" but that does not make the 10% figure acceptable.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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