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Lexus LS 400/LS 430



  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Think of it as an insurance policy. Hopefully you'll never need it but if that moment arises you'll be glad you have it. Plus it allows your car to be tracked should it ever get stolen.

    There's also a famous Mercedes story I read in the newspaper about a woman who was about to be attacked by two men and turned on MB's version of this - teleaid - without saying anything. The operator on the other end heard the trouble, called local police and minutes later the two men were apprehended. Her exact location was known by the transponder. At a minimum it saved her from something bad and at a maximum it may have saved her life.
  • dustbirddustbird Posts: 11
    I just got off the phone with the Lexus Link people. They quoted $215/yr for the basic program (emergency response, roadside assistance, etc.) and $415/yr for the premium (basic +concierge-like) services. I don't know how many golf games, show tickets, or other things I'd need them to arrange in a year, but I suppose it would have to be quite a few to justify the extra $200.

    The other thing I found interesting is that Lexus seems to "repackage" the OnStar system (of GM fame), even using the same phone reps. Unfortunately, Lexus doesn't offer all the services of the use of the system as a cell phone. I assume most LS owners already have cell phones, but a voice-activated hands-free phone wouldn't hurt.

    Thanks ljflx for your help!

    Any other comments would be much appreciated...
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    You can get multi-year Lexus Link service packages at a slight discount. Lexus uses the GM infrastructure, but routes you to their own operators.
    Don't get into the hands-free phone. It has been the single largest area of disatisfaction for the owners. The phone that came with the first 01's had to be recalled and refunds issued. They still haven't come up with a replacement, and most folks have gone to secondary market devices or devised their own solutions.
  • I have a 98 LS400 that I just bought with 30,000 miles. I've been giving thought to purchasing an extended service warranty for the car. Lexus offers one. It will run about $1900 and will cover the car for another 55k. Other policies are available through internet dealers such as Warrantdirect, autowarranties, etc. You can purchase with or without deductables. Although there are exclusions to the list of covered items, it appears that, from reading though these postings, a repair is inevitable. Extending the manufacturers factory warranty seems logical, especially with the ridiculously high charges incurred from Lexus.

    Any thoughts on this and any experience with any policies? I understand that Lexus repair dealers will accept payment from these companies without any problem. Is this true?
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    ljflx is right about the Link service, but I decided against it because I couldn't live with the idea of that voiceover every time I started the car. Have you all gotten used to it?
  • scottphillipscottphillip Posts: 249
    I ignore the message when I start the car. I haven't used the service once. I guess it's nice in case of emergency.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "a repair is inevitable"

    NOT !!!

    I am personally aware of a number of LSes, 91 to 98, maybe as many as a dozen, at least half approaching 100K or over, that have never been back to the shop except for scheduled maintenance.

    That's the primary reason the Lexus dealer service shops are so into gouging customers at scheduled maintenance time, the product line is so damn reliable that absent the gouging their only source of income would be "non-rough service" maintenance work.

    Go to a Toyota shop's financial manager, directly and dicker for an extended warranty, $900, if you really want one.
  • ls430ulls430ul Posts: 15
    I made myself laugh just thinking about these questions..... please don't laugh at me!

    I'm supposed to take delivery of my LS with laser and sonar in a couple of weeks. I've never had those options on a car before.

    Laser-- does turning on the cruise control scare drivers in front of you with radar detectors into slowing down? Does this system jam police laser-radar's?

    Sonar-- I hear there are over 1.5 million bats that live in Austin TX.... Does putting the car into reverse either repel or attract bats to your trunk?

    I'm starting to laugh again! Thanks.
  • ls430ulls430ul Posts: 15
    I am getting excited about taking delivery of my new car in a week or so. I have never driven it or even ridden in a LS430UL.

    What does the Lexus Link say to you each time it starts up? Can you turn it off?

    Did anyone ever post a link to the complete C Best list of dealer settings and options?

    I hear there are about 150 words the car can understand after pushing a button. Is there a list of these words/phrases online?

  • ls430ulls430ul Posts: 15
    Does the 02 LS with Mark Levinson + NAV still have the 6CD changer or do you lose it when you get all the extra "stuff" in the dash?
  • sfmartinsfmartin Posts: 59
    The '01 has it. No reason they should be different.
  • johng14johng14 Posts: 31
    the '02 has the 6 CD changer.
  • rennyboschrennybosch Posts: 329
    I still find the "The Lexus Link is Active" announcement very annoying. When I am sitting in the car listening to music, and decide for some reason to start the car (eg. to run the air conditioner), the sudden interruption in the music can be really jarring.

    My dealer has not been able to turn it off, even though I have not renewed the Lexus Link service when it expired after the first year. So now I have to listen to it lying to me -- for me the Lexus Link is not active and yet it says "The Lexus Link is active". Wonder if I could sue them . . .
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    a fuse somewhere you could pull.
  • feverhartfeverhart Posts: 144
    It's interesting to note that Honda will ship the DVD update for their navigator to Odyssey's owners for $152, including postage. Compare that to the quotes from $500 to $700 Lexus wants for their updates. Is that gouging or what?

    When it comes to customer satisfaction, are you listening, Lexus?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I've gotten so use to it that at times I don't remember if the message played or not. Now don't think I've lost my mind or something but one day last week I actually shut down the car and turned it back on to make sure the link was active.

    CD's - I remember some talk about copied cd's not working in the ML. I've never had a problem with the ones I have but wondered if anyone can post which ones didn't play well. I'm almost out of stock and need to buy new ones. I've made a nice group of my own compilations using the playlist feature in XP and am enjoying my own greatest hits collections. The ML has never sounded better.
  • mheni1mheni1 Posts: 41
    2001 LS 430, ML sound system. For no apparent reason radio/cd/tape sound stopped. Checked/pushed all buttons. When I next started car sound was fine. Has anyone experienced this problem? If so, what was the solution? Thanks
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    I had posted on this right after I got the car last April. My experience is that the blanks with a gold or silver recording surface work well, while those with a blue tint (e.g. TDK) don't.
    I'd also recommend avoiding any stick-on labels. The tolerances in the changer are so tight that the extra thickness of the label can jam the mechanism. It happened to me twice, and they didn't figure out the problem until the second time after they had already replaced the player once. This is especially true if there are any wrinkles left when the label is put on.
  • ls430ulls430ul Posts: 15
    I used to have a GS400 for a couple of years. About a month after I got it, once I started the car and the HID headlights failed to level and I got a headlight warning light; in addition, the stereo and GPS froze up and no buttons/lights would work. I restarted the car and everything was fine for the next two years. I didn't report it to Lexus and didn't think about it again until I read your post.

    I suspect that the power/voltage level fluctuated more than it should during that startup and the complicated stereo electronics failed to boot properly--maybe the anti-theft turned on as default? All this is pure guessing.

    I would just watch and see if it happens again and report it if it does. Or if you are near the warrantee expiry, report it just to get it logged.
  • jbianco12jbianco12 Posts: 125
    Just took my 02 in for it's 5000 mile check up and was given an 02 ES 300 for the day (a nice car). Wow, what a difference between the 2 automobiles!! Comparatively, the ES is a rattle trap. Speaking for myself, I think I got a little spoiled and my expectations went through the roof. Since the LS is so quiet and rattle free, any minute noise is magnified 100x. Guys...get a loaner next time and when you get your LS back, you'll once again appreciate the quality difference.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I still get 01 loaners and there is a world of difference there for sure. But I had read the 02 ES was now more quiet and the ride very smooth and invoked an LS430 feel. So this is surprising. A 6 cylinder will never give you the feel of an 8 so that, size and the ultra lux touch of the LS will always be a major difference regardless. The loaner may have been a bad car. I've never encountered a rattle in a Lexus yet including older ES and RX loaners with 25k plus in miles.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Maybe it was a Camry that the dealer had re-badged.
  • bcleepebcleepe Posts: 53
    I use all kind of home-burnt CD in my 02 LS without any problem, but I don't use sticky label. Instead I use marker to mark directly on the CD.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    We have noticed that some marker pens penetrate through to the music (data, in our case)content side.
  • Tuesday, the LS that I "ordered" five weeks ago finally came in. It was a Platinum Custom Luxury with Ecru leather and grey wood. But I didn't like the interior and my wife didn't like the exterior color (Platinum is a new color for Lexus thie year and is a light robin's egg blue), so we turned it down. But the dealer had just acquired a used Ultra Luxury (less than two months old with 4K miles on it). The original owner had just come into an inheritance and ordered the "Ultimate Car" with all sorts of add-ons. It's got the extra fancy chrome wheels (not the ordinary $1800 chromes, but the really spiffy $3500 ones); DVD player with viewing screens on the back of the front seat headrests; extra wood trim in the interior; and the gold trim package. It's black with the upgraded black leather and nearly red wood. It also has Euro suspension with 16" Dunlop SP Sport 5000 All-Season tires. Original stricker price was nearly $78,000. She took it on one trip and decided she didn't want a Sedan. She tried to swap it for an LX470 (none of those around) and eventually traded it for a Cadilac SUV. I traded in my old GMC van ($5500) and got it for $60,000 difference. Haven't figured out most of the gadgetry yet so I'll have to spend the weekend plowing through almost three inches of User Manuals and "Quick" Reference Guides.
  • c5goldc5gold Posts: 4
    I picked up an LS430 UL a week ago. The car is really quite good. At about 200 miles, a creaking sound has appeared. If I didn't know better, it sounds like the left front ball joint needs lube.
    Sounds like it's coming from the left side of the instrument panel whenever you start the car in motion. Is the steering column noise I've read about or something else ?? Into the dealer it goes tomorrow......the person making the appointment said I wouldn't need a loaner as the fix would take less than 2 hours....either he's
    clairvoyent or this is a VERY common problem. Any info out there ?
    Thanks in advance.
  • dzhangodzhango Posts: 9
    C5 gold/Sorry 1

    I was off the net for a bit and just came across Sorry 1's note from last month, as well as C5 Gold's more recent posting.

    The creaking sound C5 Gold is having may be one involving the back end, which required service on my vehicle shortly after I purchased it. The noise in fact could also be a bad wheelbearing. I also had a problem with a front wheel bearing, which required three trips to the dealer to fix.

    Sorry 1, I have had my steering wheel groan in for service on three occasions. The third visit seemed to resolve the steering wheel groan. However, after the third time in (i.e. after the fix), the steering wheel then began to "move" in the direction of 2:00. I would hold onto the wheel as I drove. As I turned the wheel, it would move up and over in the direction of the 2:00 position. That was fixed during my latest trip to the dealer. (NOTE: The problem with this vehicle is the vehicle, not the dealer.)

    For prospective buyers, I note that I have had my vehicle in for service on nine occasions. I have had two bad tail lights in less than a year; the bearing noise problem; the crunching back end; and the groaning / moving steering wheel. I also developed a noise with my driver's side window, when the window was being taken up or down. I had it adjusted twice. The dealer then took the initiative, phoned me, and had me bring it in a third time. Whatever he did on that visit seems to have fixed the window noise.

    I have made a point of "clumping" problems, as of late. In other words, I take the vehicle in only after a few problems require fixing. The last really bothersome matter was when I pushed the ECT button; the button literally went through the dashboard. A portion of the bracket apparently had broken. This posed no safety hazard and was no big deal, but it certainly was irksome, particularly with a $60K vehicle.

    Sorry1, your point regarding your expectations with an expensive vehicle is well-taken, at least by me. (When I first noted some of the problems I was having with my vehicle on this board, about a year ago, ljflx went so far as to question whether my submission was a phony.)

    Two other things bother me about this vehicle. The thermometer is consistently three to four degrees higher than it should be. Two service departments advise that plus or minus five degrees is acceptable. This is a little thing; I know how to subtract three or four degrees from the displayed value on the vehicle's thermometer. But I would expect more from a $3 thermometer from Walgreen's.

    What really irritates me is Lexus's attitude. I have a lemon. Lexus's attitude is that the purchaser of a $60K vehicle which is a stinker is entitled to more than that to which the purchaser of a $15K vehicle is entitled, i.e. the bare legal minimum. For $60K, the purchaser of a vehicle which is a lemon should receive better treatment.

    I have no doubt that by and large Lexus makes a reliable vehicle. My 1998 Toyota Avalon, which my sons now have the pleasure of driving, required exactly one service visit, that for a bad thermostat. That was at about the 25,000 mile mark.

    This vehicle, which I purchased in March, 2001, has been nothing but a headache. Compounding the headache is Lexus's blase' attitude in making the customer pay for its mistakes. I expect that most people in business who purchased the LS 430 provide far more responsiveness to their customers/patients/clients.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The outside temperature reads on the high side because the sensor is located behind the front bumper and just in front of the A/C condensor and engine radiator, 190 degrees F that.

    Radiant heating from the radiator will affect the sensor reading, moreso if the vehicle is stopped or moving slowly. On my 92 LS I moved mine into the right front fender well to solve the problem.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    We bought our cars at the same time, and other than recurring visits for the groan (which has me doing a slow burn), I haven't had a single problem. I agree that you seem to have a lemon. The experiences you describe (things falling off etc) are exactly the same things that forced me to sell our Volvo V70 T5 back to the dealer and buy our RX. I was furious, the dealer couldn't care less, and that lead to even greater aggrevation. Ultimately, I spoke to the owner of the dealer, who was sympathetic and bough the car back from me for retail value (a very good deal, I think). To whom have you complained and what were you asking for? I would just keep going higher in the chain of command at the dealership until I got what I wanted (within reason).

    wwest, you never cease to amaze me. Can you come stay with us for a week? There are a dozen aggrevating things around my house that need your touch.
  • When I took delivery of my LS earlier this week, I had a chance to talk to the regional Lexus rep about things to expect in the future for the LS. He said that there would not be any major changes in the LS430 until the 2005 or 2006 model years; until then, just some minor engineering improvements that you would expect each year. He is also not expecting a major price bump in the next two years. He did say that they are considering a fourth trim package in addition to the current Base Lexus/Custom Lux/Ultra Lux lineup. There are several popular options that they would like to put together in a package priced between the Base and Custom Lux. He also said that the Lexus Link is very popular and we will see it as standard equipment in most trim packages throughout all Lexus models. I asked if there would be a power increase soon for the LS, particularly a V-12. He said there will not be a major power boost until the 2005/2006 model and even then it would still be a V-8. He said there is some talk about a "Super Lexus" that would have a V-12, but that would be an entirely new model above the LS. That one wouldn't be offered until sometime after 2006 and would be in the $100K-$120K price range. (There is a top-of-the-line Toyota (I believe it's the "Century") currently sold only in Japan that fits that discription which they may make available to the American market, but I don't have any details.) The next new gadget is Night Vision (a wide-angle FLIR that projects an HUD on your windshield.) Lexus thinks its primary use is picking out deer beside the road beyond the range of your headlights. As such it will initially only be offered on their "off/back-road" utility vehicles, the GX/LX. (I'd like to shake the hand of the man who takes a $70,000 luxury SUV into the woods,...and after dark, at that.) What I would like to use the thing for is to try to spot kids on bicycles and joggers on the shoulder of the road in my neighborhood an hour after sunset.
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