Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lexus RX Transmission Problems



  • dwise718dwise718 Posts: 1
    Thanks for posting this website to report the RX 300 ('99) problem with its transmission. To add to what I see is an unlimited number of complaints, my transmission just fail after only 60,449 miles. I thought I would have at least another 3 years on my car.

    Does anyone think that we RX owners can file a class action suit against Lexus for selling what seems to be a defective car to the masses. I just went to my local mechanic that I have been using for years, to replace my transmission at a fraction of what I know Lexus would charge. But I think that Lexus should stand by their product and pay us all for this horrible defect.

    I thought the Lexus brand meant reliability. I was thinking about purchasing a new RX in 2010 but I might have to reconsider this decision.
  • accproaccpro Posts: 4
    I have RX 300 (2000). This is my second time that I have to replace my transmission, The first time when it failed, it was a very terrible and shocking experience that I have never went thro. I was driving in the highway with 100 km per hour, a few second after I exited the ramp - collector lane, the LEXUS RX 300 stopped on me. The car engine was running, but the transmission failed. All four wheel locked on me. I could not move anywhere. I had to called a special tow truck to move my car in a safe place. I reported this incident to the head office and The dealer offered me to replace with a new transmission with a lot of free service. Today I have a problem to reverse the car from the garage. I got a special tow truck to tow my car to non-Lexus service station. Because Lexus told me that it is not under warranty and it may cost me around $ 6000 to get a rebuiled transmission. The service guy told me it might cost me around $3800.00 instead to get a rebuilded one.

    I am very very very disappointed about this mulfunction transmission from LEXUS. I would like to know how we can file a class action suit against Lexus. The failure of the transmission almost caused my life in the highway. Luckily, there were no cars behind me when the transmission failed and locked four wheels.

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I noticed your report of another unfortunate 99 transmission failure. I too would find it hard to bear. Yes, there have been a lot of owners who are just now discovering the weak spot, rather than through the longer-than-usual factory warrantee. However there are lots of folks who have had Lexus "stand by their product" including me, but it's rare you hear about us from the sources you've been looking to, where only unresolved complaints are listed..

    Considering it's not likely they will cover the full cost after 10 years of wear, but dealing with them like a valued vendor-client relationship might afford you a reduced cost on a factory rebuild to modern specs, rather than a rebuild of the same old original from an aftermarket source. I hope it works out for you.

    60,000 miles on a ten year old car is pretty severe service. When you get it repaired, check out how other owners are maintaining theres. I won't go more than two years (especially regardless of how few miles you drive it) without changing the tranny fluid with factory "TYPE IV" fluid. I hope that also helps.

    I wish you best of luck with yours.
  • we purchased the suv back in Aug'06. My husband was medically discharged from the military and I knew we were going to need a dependable car to get to and from his dr appts. We got the vehicle at a good deal and there seemed to be nothing wrong with it. We got it serviced at the local Lexus dealership and everything was good. Then November of last year it started to jump in gear then on day when my husband was coming home from the dr office it slipped out of gear and into neutral. We had it towed to the mechanics only to learn it was going to cost us almost $4500 to fix. With me the only one working, hardly a disability ck from the military, living in California with prices the way they are...we had it towed back to the house and there it has been sitting in the driveway. The crappy part is we are still making monthly payments for a car that doesnt even work and we are unable to fix it. We have written a letter to Lexus and even called. They have given us the run arounds and they never even responded to the letter. :mad:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Year, color, model (AWD?), mileage of your RX300, loan residual, and approximate Ca location..?

    I might be interested in purchasing.
  • sijian1sijian1 Posts: 2
    I bought 2000 Lexus RX300 in the summer of 2007. I started to have the transmission problem a couple of months ago. The problem occurred when I tried to use the reverse gear backing out from the garage or a parking spot and the gear was not engaged or sometime it partially engaged causing the sudden jerking during the backing up. In the past two days, thje problem occurred several times.

    It seems that I am not alone for having the problem. I support the class law suite against the Lexus. This is a serious quality problem which could cause the accident in the highway, let alone the Lexus owner paid a lot for better quality which they did not get. We don't have to wait for someone got killed due to the transmission locking up the wheels during driving.
  • It is black, camel all leather interior, mileage is 92k, AWD, 6 disc changer, Nakamichi Audio system, towing package, luggage rack, privacy glass, traction control, dual power seats and dual heated seats. As far as I know it has every option that was available for that year. I owe 9100, but I have a little money saved and I can sell if for 8800. I am in the Monterey area. If you are interested I would love to unload it...I can't afford it since my husband has been in the hospital for the past month and a half.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    RX300 model year..??

    Is it at all driveable...??

    My email is under my profile.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Since you don't mention VSC as being one of the options I initially narrowed my search for "camel interior" to the '99 and '00 models. But even with a wider search I could not find anything like what would be called "camel".
  • accproaccpro Posts: 4
    How do we go about taking the class law suit againt Lexus ?

    Year 2000 Lexus RX300 is unsafe to drive. It almost caused a chain reaction accident when the transmission failed on me in the highway :mad: exiting the ram. It locked all four wheels. The second time, it happened exactly the same as your case just 3 weeks ago. I could not use the reverse gear to back out from my garage. I had to get a special tow truck to drag the car the parking spot. I costed me over $ 4000 to fix the transmisiion.
  • Well I don't even know what VSC means. Camel is not the "official" color. But it's tan, beige, camel, light carmel.... hopefully you get the picture of what the interior color is. If not, then I really don't know what else to tell ya.
  • I have no idea how a class action law suit begins... but if you need people to back you I am there. Why in the world they would put such a piece of crap out there for people to spend a small fortune on then most of them have the same common problem with it is beyond me.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I currently have a 2001 AWD RX300 with the "ivory/beige/tan" interior so yes, I now know EXACTLY what you mean....

    I was simply confused by your use of "camel" to describe the interior.

    But what model year is your RX300..??
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Hey, this "problem" pertains to the ENTIRE Toyota and Lexus FWD and F/AWD "fleet". Started out with the '99 RX but has now propagated to all the others.

    But finding a lawyer, or legal office, wherein someone in that profession even begins to understand "this" issue is, has become, a REAL challenge. Absent understanding the issue quite comprehensively and completely no lawyer would approach this issue with a ten yard "stick".

    Like trying to find a patent attorney who can understand automotive electronics patent potential seems almost out of the question.

    Still looking though.....
  • its a 2000. and you can some what drive it but highly not recommended-it slips out of gear and then you can turn the car off for a while and then you could drive it for another block LOL! So it has been parked in our driveway. HA!
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Thank you for sharing. I am and I'm pretty sure we're all sorry you're having problems we've all heard about and experienced firsthand, just what this forum is for.

    Please tell us more... What color is the tranny fluid? How translucent is it? Does it smell burned? From what little you've described, I'm guessing your fluid is getting contaminated from the failing part(s), immediately causing big problems for the whole unit as the pressurized contaminated fluid tries to circulate through clogged tiny passages, and mechanics are guessing your inevitable need for it's replacement will demand premium price.

    It's great news your car's mobile right now (even though it may not be reliable), because you still have the opportunity to call around and shop around for the rebuilt transmission.

    Since your cost of the replacement seems to vary depending situation, my advice is to let them know you can still drive it wherever you want. Get it where they can assure you it was Lexus built to more modern standards than the original, perhaps a factory rebuild.

    But get it from an expert; Lexus made many changes to them, but the transmission's always been the weak spot for the type of use the whole RX package encourages, and not originally designed to standards buyers expect. You may want to research for Technical Service Bulletins (TSB's) for your VIN, and politely/kindly let them know you feel (like your fluid) burned and disappointed at the poor durability, but you are looking for a reason to remain loyal. If Lexus makes you an offer of "goodwill" because of your established patronage, maybe they will come down on the price to keep you a happy camper, enough to make things more economical..

    '99 (from early '98) 2WD I had a factory new (not rebuilt) unit replaced by Lexus under warrantee in 2004, and it's been flawless. My original was clearly flawed with shift/durability problems from the beginning, like many others. On the other hand, my good friend's '00 4WD has been fine from the beginning, and has OOODles of miles, and the fluid's great.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I may have said all this before, probably have, but.

    When the RX series was being designed initially the decision was made to use the Camry/ES300 engine and transaxle as the starting point. The engine..., no problem. But, the transaxle.....BIG problem.

    RX was to be a MUCH heavier vehicle and with "AWD" to boot.

    So the transaxle HAD to be upgraded, made more "robust".


    A sideways mounted engine and transaxle didn't leave much room for increased "robustness". So something had to give, GO...

    The ATF fluid pressure holding accumulator was chosen.. it was discarded from the design. Think of that accumulator as a windup rubber band in an old flying model you built many years ago. When the engine is running the ATF pump was "whirring", pumping ATF fluid to the tune of 3000 PSI. Now if the engine RPM were to drop to idle not much fluid would be pumped. But that was okay if you had an accumulator to "store", at 3000 PSI, some of the previously pumped fluid.

    Big deal, who cares, the clear majority of time ATF fluid pressure is needed is for upshifts and those occur as the engine RPM climbs, typically WELL above idle.
  • mule47mule47 Posts: 1
    I just had my RX300 tranny go out on my 2001 model. Just over 100,000 miles. I serviced the tranny at 50,000 also.

    The dealer says the rough cost is $5,500.00. A third party says around $4,500.00.

    I spoke to the national Lexus customer service and they are looking into it. The local dealers head of service says he doubts seriously they will do anything to help me out.

    This is a total outrage given the number of posts that I have read here and on other sites about problems with the 1999, 2000 and 2001 RX300 transmissions. I checked the nhtsa site and there are complaints for these years and I filed mine. Apparently there are just not enough for the nhtsa to force a recall.

    Any thoughts or ideas?

    Any suggestions how I can influence Toyota to give me some help with this problem?
  • What is nhtsa? Do I need to file a complaint there too?? Anything that will help out trying to get a recall started or a law suit.
  • fordfan_17fordfan_17 Posts: 175
    national highway and transportation safety administration
Sign In or Register to comment.