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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • gambiamangambiaman Posts: 132
    I took my wife's ES300 in today for the 1000 mile check and requested they delete the sunroof opening from the window auto open function on the key. (Had same change made on my MY01 RX300) They said it could not be deleted as it is integrated with the 4 windows. I told them I was able to have it done on RX but they said no way on ES. Anyone else tried to have this change made? Trying to figure out if they know what they are talking about. Also complained about transmission shifting. Service guy said that was a glitch in transmission and that Lexus was working on a fix. Probably just told me that to get to shut up.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I also wanted to disable the moonroof opening from the auto window roll-down feature on the remote. I had the C-BEST sheet for the '02 ES a while back and it didn't look like I could disable just the sunroof, at least not easily. I asked the tech at my Lexus dealer and he told me the same thing your Lexus dealer told you.
    But in the end, I figured the feature is to cool down the car, and what better place to let hot air escape than up through the moonroof (since heat rises).

    >Probably just told me that to get to shut up.

    Haha, yah, I think they do that to me too.
  • mouseonlinemouseonline Posts: 47
    I feel like ride on a boat when drive under 50mph.
    Does anyone else have this feeling?
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    My son had an accident to my wife ES 300 -97 w/ 27,000 miles on it last Sunday morning. The car still under warranty.The impact so bad the whole front and side is gone.Luckily no bad injuries to my family.And so amazing, both airbags,driver and passenger side do not work.Stayed peaceful in their enclosures.It happened once during last year w/ my brother 91 LS 400 accident.The car was totally lost and the airbag still intact.So this time I want talk to the Lexus people before bring it up by my lawyer.Some one have Lexus representative in US email, phone # so I can call or email to them w/ all supporting pics.
    Thank you- Can email me @ :""
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    I am so sorry to hear about the accident. I sure would like to see a digital picture of the front-end of the ES300. If you have a digital camera please post a picture of the damage on this site.
    Here is an e-mail for a Toyota representative. Please e-mail him and he will try to help or he surely will direct you to someone in Toyota who can assist you:
    Was this a direct front-end crash (head-on) or were they hit off-front or to the front side? Airbags are designed to only activate on frontal crashes. Please keep us informed of your progress. Please let me know if you were able to contact the Toyota representative at the above-mentioned e-mail address. Your insurance agent should know if the airbags should have deployed in this type of crash. Please talk to him and I am sure he can help you. You may e-mail me if you wish at
  • sliangsliang Posts: 50
    You said "When accelerating and decelerating between 0 - 40 mph is when I feel the problem the most.".
    This morning when I drove my ES to work, I tried to leave the gear in the 4th gear instead of D(overdrive), the car seemed to accelerate to higher rev. before up-shifting to a higher gear. When the car was slowed down, the transmission seemed to stay on the same gear as long as it could.
    I will suggest you to try it out to see if staying with the 4th gear will fit your driving needs. It seems that the ES300 transmission uses different kind of gear shifting algorithms when the gear is in the 4th or overdrive.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I will let you know what I think.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I know this may seem obvious and like a "duh", but gas mileage is greatly impacted by how often one stops at drive-throughs for fast food!

    This makes a drastic difference in gas mileage, and depending upon where one drives every day, can have more of an impact than stop and go traffic.
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    Thanks for your thoughts "hyperopt."(a member in LS400 problems)
    As a car owner, I thought when someone purchase the car, he think about safety first by always picking the car w/more safety feature if they can afford it.Basicly seat belt first and after came air bags .Driver air bags,next is passenger side airbags side airbags. No one told me that in order to make airbag working, the car must met a certain parameters as you said.Only they said that to provide more safety for oeople.Luckily no one want have opportunity to test the functioning of their airbag by involving into an accident.If not lucky, during a bad accident like mine, they lost their live and no one complains that his air bag do not meet some parameters to deploy and he not here either to understand why.
    I'm not against Lexus,actually I driving a LS 400, and I still planning upgrade it to LS 430 this coming september.But before that,I will pursuit this matter till it's solved friendly or legally.
    It's nt first time, it happened once w/ my brother 91 LS 400 last year which is totally lost and airbag not deploy.He got a 97 LS and forgot it because may be it's too old so airbag can be mal functioned.
    Mine is different, it had two,driver and passenger side and none is deployed.
    My goal is very simple, just to get the refund of the non functioning air bags when they are not working as advertised , secondly want lexus people provide some place, some way to test the air bag functioning of mine and other lexus owner (including you too,if you own a lexus.) So every one will be sure that their car are reliable and SAFE.
    I don't want make any money on them.We are so lucky that no serious things happened to us.If some one tell me how to post pics in this page I will post them so lexus owner will understand why I wrote these lines. Thanks.
    This accident happened during a curved turn in a 2 lanes drive, to avoid an other car head on us, we moved to the right and lost control, hit to a tree, bounced to an other tree......
    Is it the purpose or airbag to protect us in these circumstances?
    We can test airbags only once not twice.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I am very glad that no serious harm came to you or your loved ones in the accidents that you mentioned.
    Just as mentioned though, certain accelerative (decelerative) forces must be experienced for the airbags to inflate. So, even though you may have careened from one tree to the next, and your car incurred multiple thousands of dollars worht of damage, the forces experienced may just not have been high enough to activate the SRS. I can imagine the incredibly small probability that both you AND your direct relative experienced a Lexus airbag failure, especially since neither of those vehicles have been recalled or investigated by the NHTSA for faulty deployment (or lack thereof), which has happened with various makes and models from time to time.
    In addition, I would agree that the fact that you were thankfully uninjured perhaps speaks to the fact that the airbags did not need to be activated for the car to offer significant crash protection.. it almost seems as though you feel to a degree that they should have inflated just because the car was equipped with them, although perhaps I am not reading your post correctly.
    Had you (God forbid) sustained an injury which the airbag could have prevented possibly, you might have a better case with Lexus.
    Good luck, though, and I hope you dont face the airbag inflation dilemma again.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    I was looking so forward to finally owning a Lexus ES300. The new 2002 with the beautiful new interior. I drove the car and in my opinion, the car is lacking very much in the performance aspect. The pickup was just so-so. My friend has a 1999 ES300 and his pickup is much better than the new model. Not that performance is everything. Secondly, when I went to get a lease payment, I was referred to the manager by a friend (keep in mind, this is the Sales Manager of the Lexus dealer I was talking to)and he told me he'd sell me the car for $32,400...$2,200 off of the list price. I wanted 39 months, total due at start was $1,000 including first month,tax and tag (including any dealer fees or whatever they attribute the difference to). With an allowance of 15,000 miles annually, he quoted me $490/month plus tax. I laughed so hard at him!!!
    After reading about all the problems you Lexus ES300 owners are having with your cars, I am soooo glad I didn't lease one. I am not ANTI fact just the opposite. My parents both have 2001 LS430's and I love the cars. They drive great and are beautiful inside. But I will say this at the risk of offending Lexus owners. They are going to lose a lot of would be owners of their cars (like myself) because they think their cars are made out of gold and are losing the focus of what made their cars such a great bargain compared to BMW, Mercedes and other cars that go head to head at what used to be much higher prices.
    I also looked at the Acura TL, Volvo S80, and the Audi A6. I wound up with the new Audi A6 3.0 loaded with every possible option (Xenon headlights, back up crash avoidance alarm, leather, sunroof, etc...). This car drives like a dream and all scheduled maintenance as well as all repairs are covered for my entire lease...4 years of 50,000 miles (brake jobs, oil changes, even wiper blades). The drive of this car isn't the same "cushiony" ride as the can actually feel the road and it has the German performance to back up the name. Lexus better get their act together!!! Plus, I found out afterward, that Lexus has already had a recall on the 2002 Lexus/Camry for something with the steering wheel.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Many new designs are recalled within their first year- the real question is recall frequency and severity of the problem. No design is perfect. "Lexus had better get its act together" What? The car is very well received by the automotive press and its owners, save for the complaints about the perfectly sufficient 210 hp V6 when compared to rivals. Also, by all profit measures from a sales standpoint, Lexus is doing EVERYTHING right... sales are exceeding expectations, and are at the top of its class.
    If you are looking for a mid-lux car thats perfect, you wont find one, but the ES is close.
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Yesterday I already talked to Lexus satisfaction department and they will send some one to inspect it within 2 WEEKS.I'm not yet know what's decision of my insurance 'bout the car now,only 2 days after the wreck, the appraiser back from towing yard, give me call telling that my car might be totaled.So you can guess what kind of impact the car already suffered.I'm waiting on Lexus inspection results and I guess will be similar with your opinion.Think about Ford Explorer problems , do they accept their mistake ? Obviously,never they recognize their mistake .They afraid of their consequences. My case very simple.Good things ubder God protection no serious things harm us.What I'm asking for very simple and easy too.My goal is for the safety of myself and all other Lexus owners.My self I'm a Lexus fanince 91, my actual car is a LS 400-96, 3rd revised model,my 1st was a 91 LS 400. Because they are so great, I got a ES 300-97 for my wife and planning trade mine in to get a LS430.Never checking paper work to find out air bag problem or some thing else, because I trust on their reliability and their safety.Thanks to GOD.Since 91 till now, no accident to me.And I'm sure that no body wish to have an accident to test the functioning of their air bags,so they can examine point by point as your opinion if they do not deploy.Remenber that, can test once only, second time if they are lucky enough to survive.Last night on TV there is an ad for a car, I forgot the brand name, the car just been hit by an animal, and driver airbag, passenger airbag, side air bag, every thing deployed.They do not mentioned anything 'bout accelarating or decelerating. Just saying to protect people . An other gentleman told me that in order to get it work, the speed must be 15 miles/hr min.Actually on the roads now , none driving that speed, may be in parking deck or garage.
    I want mentioned one more time that never I want make money on this matter.God already gave me enough so I enjoying luxury cars now, not a Yugo.Just to ask Lexus to act now, how? don't know beside What I'm asking.Do not wait until dozen of lexus owner been killed or recall required by National safety Transportation Board or some thing else happened.Do we need bring cars within a certain years old in for inspection or ...
    My ES 300 still under warranty.I copied these line for info to all actual or furure Lexus Owner.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Some responses to your comments:

    1. The 2002 ES 300 is faster than your friend's 1999. Maybe your friend drives harder, maybe it's perception. Whatever, the 1999 is slower. And if I'm not mistaken, the A6 3.0 is pretty slow itself.

    2. Lexus cars are still great bargains vs. BMW. I have a 2002 ES 300. I also looked at a BMW 330i. Comparably equipped that car was $44,000. And the Mercedes C-Class goes toward $50,000. What was the price on your Audi? I'm sure as much if not more than the ES 300.

    3. While the Audi's maintenance cost is covered, that does not make up for the inconvenience of servicing the car. Two people in my office have Audis (both bought new). Here's what they have experienced:

    a. 2001 A4 - Car was six months old. My co-worker was driving 75 miles to home from a client when all of the lights, inside and out, went out. Since it was dark out, she called roadside assistance. They would not come out since the car could be driven. Ridiculous. It then took three days to fix the car (electrical malfunction).

    b. 2002 A6 - Car was three months old. Wipers started going beserk when it wasn't raining. Dealer said they could fix it in one day. Gave a Cavalier from Enterprise as a loaner. Dealer then needed one full week to address the electrical issues. Finally car was ready. A few days later the car stopped shifting out of first gear and is now back at the dealer.

    c. Another co-worker has a two-year-old Passat (I know, it's a VW) that has also had numerous electrical problems. And the car has not started on several occasions.

    Getting the service paid for under warranty doesn't help having to deal with the inconvenience of constantly going back to the dealer. Or wondering if your car will start. Or thinking what will go wrong next.

    No question the Audis are nice to look at and sit in. I know this is only based on two examples (and one VW), but that's enough evidence for me to stay away from these cars.

    I am not an Audi-hater, and I do hope you enjoy your car. But it is wrong to say Lexus needs to get their act together. While you may think this, the majority of car buyers in this market think Lexus is doing just fine as the ES 300 is far outselling its Audi counterpart.

    Again, I don't want any hard feelings. I'm just stating my opinion. Enjoy your new car.
  • gwn333gwn333 Posts: 1
    2000 ES300 I have a Snapping noise on the passenger side that sounds just like a stone hitting the windshield. Sometimes it is louder than other times. I have had passengers in the car when it does happen and they about jump out of the seat. It can happen daily or go for days. I have noted this on all surveys and requested the dealer to locate the problem each time the car is serviced. I have had no feed back from Lexus. Has anyone had or heard of this problem.
  • karklinkarklin Posts: 15
    Does anyone know how many miles you get on the run flat tires? Thanks Leo-K
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I have driven to work the past couple of days, using 4th gear as opposed to OD IAW your recommendation. It was a huge improvement. Thanks for the advice.
  • sliangsliang Posts: 50
    I am glad to hear the improvement of using the 4th gear for your driving needs.
    Be aware that the gas mileage might drop a little bit because the higher ratio of the 4th gear vs. the overdrive.
    If you have chances to drive on the freeway with speed over 60 miles, try to use the overdrive. By this way, your transmission might "learn" how to shift with your driving habit.
    My ES has over 6K miles, and I am still trying to "teach" the transmission how I want it to shift. The major difference I can feel between now and day one is the transmission can hold one gear up to 3K rpm before shifting up if press the gas harder vs 2.2K rpm when it was 2k/3K miles. And the acceleration of the car is much, much better and smoother now, I can feel the momentum when I press the pedal.
    Although the ES transmission has all these issues, but I can see it will continue to improve when I get to 10K. And thinking about enjoying the luxury interior and many other fine features(NAV,ML,etc.), I can live with the transmission problem as long as it always functions.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    You give me hope that perhaps my car will get close to perfection. Except for the transmission, I'd say the car is just about there now, considering it is a human creation. :-) I currently have 2200 miles on the car, and will monitor the rpms as you have.
  • Visited a Lexus dealer (in the Wash. DC area) yesterday and they offered to sell me a ES300, loaded, for $36,400. It has the Nav/ML audio pkg, leather, heated seats, HID lights, sun shade, VCS, cargo net, trunk mat, wheel locks, and wood/leather steering wheel. MSRP of $39,343 and invoice of $34,342

    I buy a new car about every 7-10 years, so I'm not sure if today that represents a good deal. On paper it looks like the dealer more than split the difference between invoice and sticker. What do you think?

    Also, am not sure if I want the black leather or charcoal. Am a little concern that the lighter charcoal coler will show scuff marks more than the black will. Would appreciate actual upkeep experience from owners with the charcoal color.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I have the grey interior. So far, I have cleaned all scuff marks successfully using Zaino leather cleaner.

    However, I am single and have no children. There have not been many scuff marks. Over the regular mats, I have places those little bathroom rugs, which I purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond. I have sheepskin seat covers on the front seats, and I keep charcoal colored towels in the car, one on the passenger seat, and one on the rear seat, because I fear that something (like the ink from an ink jet printer) will get on the seat cover (front) or the leather (rear seat).

    If I were concerned, or if I often carried other passengers, particularly children, I would get the black, provided it were an option for you.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    If I were you, I'd check some other discussions of price on this site. For example: Msgs 2511, 2517, 2460, 2476. The most difficult thing is to figure out which options were available on the individuals' vehicles.

    I think ramzak got one of the best deals on a loaded car, but he is in the West, not the east as you are. My deal is on msg 2517. But it appears as though I had a different MSRP than you do. Does the vehicle you are looking at come with AVS?

    From this board, it looks as though prices have come down a little in the past couple of months. I think it is because of the shortage because Sept 11 fears caused Lexus to scale down production. Put another way, cars were in short supply back in March. Good luck.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Looks to me like you have a pretty good deal. I contacted 40 dealers in the midwest for a quote and although many wanted sticker or close to sticker, I finally went with my local dealer who gave me a $3,000 reduction off list price on an ordered car....silver with light charcoal and loaded. Outside of that, the best I was able to do was $2,500 off with one dealer and one other was willing to match my dealers $3K off but very reluctantly. All this took place about 6 weeks ago. I more recently spoke to a fellow who has a loaded ES and had nothing but praise for the car. Wished for a little for power but outside of that, everything was great. No tranny complaints either. Dealers are more willing to discount with existing vehicles and now one has to start thinking about how soon the 2003 car will be issued. I doubt there will be much of a change with the 2003 model but there could be a price increase.

    As for color, I wanted something lighter so it would not be so hot during the summer. The drawback is wear and tear will be more visible but I still prefer the lighter interior. Personal preference.

    My car should be arriving in a couple of weeks.

    Hope this helps.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    In the collision such as you described, often times the hitting car is damaged to a higher degree because the person realizes at the last minute, and hits the brakes hard, which causes nosedive and a bumper height mismatch. Even at lower speeds, significant damage will result to the car that does the striking. When I had my Civic (94), I was rear ended with a loud, scary thud by a newer Civic (98) on Rt. 18 in NJ... the newer Civic had both headlights busted and the hood began to crumple, but no damage to the front bumper. My rear bumper was a bit worse for the wear, but I elected not to fix it. (My car had some mechanical issues at that time and I subsequently sold it as was).
  • terry502terry502 Posts: 2
    I have a 1997 ES300 that also occasionally makes
    the same snapping noise. when it first happened
    I thought a stone hit the windshield. I checked
    with the service manager and he said the noise comes from the dash. I kind of think that this popping noise is fairly common with the ES300 model. After a while you get use to it....ha

    Just got a letter today from Lexus Division saying that engine damage can occur if oil isn't changed often enough. Engine can become damaged from "oil gelling" or sludge. They stated that engine will be covered for eight years (unlimited miles) against any oil related damage. Everyone should change their oil at the recommended intervals.
  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    I am reading this forum with incredulity. A new Lexus has snapping noises you must get used to? And a transmission that may or may not shift when it should?? I have a 2002 Camry LE4 - that is, the cheapest Camry, costing just over half the price of a Lexus - which is so quiet I have to look at the tachometer to see if the motor is on, and shifts so smoothly that gear changes are almost imperceptible. The seat is not comfortable enough, but I sat in an ES300 which, though leather, was about the same. That the Lexus is more luxurious-seeming is undeniable, but there's nothing luxurious in a car that makes funny noises and doesn't know when to shift. I don't want to offend anyone, but in light of these problems, why would anyone buy a Lexus instead of a Camry?

    I should add that I am not asking this rhetorically: I sat in a Lexus because I hoped it would be MUCH more comfortable, and if it was, I would consider buying it now, and take the trade-in loss, as I am tired of trying to fix my Camry seat. Incidentally, I also sat in a Mercedes C class - the seat was so hard and ill-shaped (for me) that I didn't even take it for a test drive. The new CTS Cadillac was similar. The Accord was more comfortable than the Mercedes or Caddy, but less so than the Camry/Lexus. In this regard, three different auto upholsterers have told me that they get all makes in for seat problems, and that the fault is in the new style of preformed foam seats with few or no springs which are used in virtually all cars now.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Given the obvious biases (I already have an '02 ES, you already have an '02 Camry), we need not get into why one would buy one over the other. Both cars are selling well and for good reason.

    The snapping noise comments were for the previous generation ES, not the '02.

    I have not had any issues with the '02 transmission personally, although I wouldn't mind getting a code update if they ever release one. =) My friends with the same '02 ES don't have any issues with it either. I wonder what % of '02 ES owners have to complain b4 Lexus takes some action.

    I find the seats in the '02 ES to be very comfortable. I'm sorry to hear the Camry and ES seats don't suit your body. The front seats of the ES supposedly have an active suspension system.

    On a side note, I like the Camry they sell in Asia. They've made it more upscale for the Asian market.
  • coolguyky7coolguyky7 Posts: 932
    The Asian Camry (like in Thailand) looks very sharp. I hope the refreshening of our Camry will include some of those styling cues. I like those BMW/Avalon tail lights.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I agree with kreativ. It's silly to start up.

    I will say I have had no problems whatsoever with my 2002 ES 300. The car shifts very smoothly and the seats are among the best I've ever sat in.

    I find the ES to be a great car.
  • george00george00 Posts: 81
    I appreciate the responses to my posting. Looking back, I see that the owners complaining of snapping sounds have late model ES300s (1997 and 2000) but not 2002. Perhaps, then, Toyota has fixed the problem in the Lexus - and perhaps Camrys of those years also had the problem and Toyota fixed it for the 2002 Camry, too, which would explain why my 2002 Camry is so quiet. I like to think that when you pay an extra $20,000 for a somewhat similar car, you are getting something for your money. (I drove a Buick Regal, for example, which listed for $3,000 more than the Camry list, which wasn't in the same class as the Camry - in that case, one didn't get anything for the extra money, quite the contrary.)

    As for the seat, several of you say you find it very comfortable. That suggests to me that it is different from the Camry seat - I am by no means the only Camry owner complaining about the seat. Can you tell me if Lexus offers different seats for different models of the ES300? Perhaps I should try it again. Also, does anyone know if a Lexus 2002 ES300 seat - that is, the entire assembly, not just the foam insert - can be installed in a 2002 Camry LE? After all, there are many structural similarities between the cars. Thanks again.
This discussion has been closed.