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Reflected light safety issue on the RX350

rpacrpac Posts: 83
edited July 2014 in Lexus
In December of 09 I purchased a 2010 RX350 that according to the build ID was manufactured in Dec 09. Here is my problem. On darker streets, at night time, not so much on the ordinary brightly lighted streets; I notice a reflection of the bottom ¼ of the Navi screen on the front windshield just to the left of the rear view mirror. Also, if I look out the left window (driver’s side) I see a reflection of the complete instrument panel, just to the left of the outside rear view mirror. Notified the dealer and the shop foreman took another new RX350 out for a test drive at night. He noticed the same thing and is filing a report with Lexus immediately. Have any of you good people driving a new 2010 RX350 noticed this? If you do I suggest you notify your dealer so he can file a report also. The more reports the better, as this is a definite safety factor. It could very easily confuse what you see out of the inside rear view mirror and the left hand side rear view mirror. Thanks for your interest as I would be interested if any of you notice the same thing.
Rpac :confuse:


  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    U know, I am actually fed up now, every forum I visit, I see problems in cars :(

    At least lexus has other strange problems :confuse: compared to engine and transmission problems in other cars like audi and bmw :sick:

    Deciding to buy a car is definitely not an easy task!

    Ur issue is very unique :surprise:
  • jfzjfz Posts: 45
    All interior lights sources will reflect off glass surfaces at night. This is the reason for recessed gauges and monitors. All interior lighting can be dimmed, and seating positions can be adjusted.

    I think that the discussed reflections can be reduced and are not inherent safety issues.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The answer...

    Display OFF...!!

    Nothing but a distraction anyway, especially in gps guidance mode. Or even better, buy a portable Garmin.

    Back when I often used my RXes GPS (before buying the Garmin) I would turn the display off and rely only on the voice prompting. I don't think I will ever again buy a car with a captive gps/nav.
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    I beg to differ with you jfz. I am fully aware of what you speak. However I have owned several models, 3 of the RX350’s to be exact, and the newly redesigned 2010 RX350 does have a problem. The Navi and the instrument panel are not recessed far enough to cut down on the reflection. I don’t think you have driven one, or you would not be saying it is not a safety issue. Both the General Sales Manager, Director of Service, and the Shop Foreman have been friends of mine for many years. They both have test driven the vehicle and agreed Lexus has a problem and they are filing a report accordingly. Trying to change the seat position is of no help whatsoever. I am over 6 feet tall. If I was 4 – 5 feet tall then the navi would not be a problem, but the instrument panel is. Drive the car properly and you will see what I mean. I am not a youngster driving his first Lexus, I am retired and have always driven Lexus cars, and this is the first time such a problem has shown its ugly face. Check it out and then give me your opinions. And incidentally I do know the lights can be dimmed, to no avail. In summing up your comments it is obvious you have not driven the car, or you work for Lexus, one of the two. As you know the Navi has a night mode, which dims it greatly. But it can still be viewed as I mentioned in my original post.End of story!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Personally, although not having seen the actual effect, I wouldn't consider the window reflections as a really serious issue. The windshield is yet another, clearly more serious, matter.


    IMMHO you are being a bit over demanding.

    Of what use, SAFE use, is the nav display while underway...??

    I have long thought that Lexus should have firmware that simply turns the display off after a few seconds of non-use, non-interactive use. That's what they already do with the HVAC and radio display aspects so why not the gps/nav aspects....?

    When I first got my RX300 I often kept the gps/nav DVD door open in order to avoid the "I agree" issue and prevent the continous map display. Within a few years I discovered and installed a remotely controlled relay system that allowed me to "open" and close the DVD door from the driver's seat.

    Now that I have the Garmin I simply leave the DVD door open all the time.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Not that this is exactly what your dealing with but I know that when the Acura TSX was redesigned for 2009 there was several problems and complaints from driver's that had the navigation system that the plastic screen in front of the nav system to protect it was angled in just away that it reflected sunlight during the day and artificial light, including some of the dash lights/mood lighting, at night into the driver's eyes

    i'm not exactly sure what Acura did, but for 2010, they did something to change the shape or angle that the plastic screen sits in front of the nav screen so that it did not cause the reflection anymore; so far I haven't seen or heard of any 2010 TSX owners complaining about that anymore; I only suggest it because for 2009, Acura got rid of the touchscreen and recessed the 8inch nav screen up high at the top of the dash similar to what Lexus did on the 2010 RX nav system

    even if I'm wrong and it isn't just the plastic cover protecting the nav screen, you might be having a similar problem but with your actual windows!

    just a thought to keep in mind, but like I said, I don't have an RX so I can't be sure if this is the exact cause of the problem but as soon as I read your post it rang a bell with what I remember reading about the 2009 TSX!!

    Best of Luck Getting it Solved with Lexus!!
  • jfzjfz Posts: 45
    The intent of my post was to show that reflections occur in all cars. There are ways to minimize the effect, as wwest and I have pointed out. I also wanted readers who were considering the RX350 to know that many of us owners do not feel that this is a serious safety issue. I hope that we can keep this forum lively, informative, and friendly.

    By way of disclosure, I am not associated with Lexus in any way. I own a 2004 LS430, a 2010 RX350 with Nav, and owned in the past the 2005 RX330. I'd rather not state my age, height, or weight.
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello jfz and thank you for your response. Just prior to owning a RX350, I owned both an LS460 and ES350. I am fully aware of reflections having driven both military and civilian vehicles for 60 years. I understand what you are trying to say but I stand by my original post. Or, why would my dealer consider an issue for Lexus serious enough to report. I invite anyone to drive my car and tell me the reflections are not a problem. When an accident happens due to the reflections on a 2010 RX350, what then? What do you tell people that are dead or dying because of an accident attributed to reflections? This is a serious issue and should be recognized as such. Please, drive my car and tell me I am wrong. Until someone on this forum drives my car I rest my case. I do not believe, as you mention, that I am being unfriendly. Rather I am being lively and informative in hopes that I may save just one life of the driving public.No more posts will be made unless someone wishes to come and drive my car. I live in Los Angeles. Thank you!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Does your RX350's nav system still have the "I agree" message which you must over-ride in order to use the nav...??

    Do you know, understand, why...??

    If you feel the reflection is potentially a distraction or visibility hazard then you have a duty under the "I agree" "terms" to turn the screen off.
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello wwest – Thank you for your post, and no I do not have an ‘I agree’ message that comes up. I start the car and a safety message comes up that simply tells you to watch for traffic etc, do not take your eyes off the road etc. But no ‘I agree’ Message. Let me be clear on this. I greatly appreciate all of the posts I have received on this subject and I thank all of you. During my normal day I have to use the Navi at least 90% of the time. It would take pages to explain what I do, but for me it is not a matter of going from point A to Point B. My day is much more involved than that, and the Navi is really a must. Hence the problem of reflection because I am constantly glancing at the Navi. Once again, I thank all of you, and maybe a solution exists somewhere.
    One of the solutions that the dealer came up with is to paint the area of the windshield right around the rear view mirror with a flat black paint. This would eliminate the reflection on the windshield and would not interfere with your view. So life goes on.
    Thanks everyone!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...I am constantly glancing at the nav...."

    Right after I got our new 01 RX300 w/nav I came to the realization that the very LAST thing I wanted to have happen, even inadvertently, was to be confused upon entering a decision point and (be tempted) to glance over at the nav for last minute corrective guidance.

    I decided that it would be much better, much more safe, to commit to a decision as if the nav didn't even exist. So my solution was to ALWAYS turn off the display when relying on the nav for guidance and use voice guidance only.

    But I have also since found that the Garmin supplies much better guidance, even with the current DVD update for the Lexus.

    I think, were I you, I would buy a Garmin and mount it in a position more in the driver's line of sign. But I would still caution that it would be best NOT to use the display at all while underway.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Oh, FYI....

    My wife has decided I will be buried in our treasured 1978 Porsche 911 Targa.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    "...I am constantly glancing at the nav...."

    It's the newest excuse. :-)

    Semi driver blames GPS for missing low-clearance trestle (KTVB)
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello Steve – Nice to make your acquaintance. I don’t really know what you are getting at, I am just trying to be the utmost in friendliness and thankfulness for what I consider valuable and well thought out posts. I’m sorry; sir, but I repeat, I do not really know what you are getting at. In 60 years of driving I have had NO accidents, NO moving violations and 2 parking tickets which were rightfully my fault. I am now working very closely with other people on the solution to my problem, and it looks like all will come together soon. Once again, I thank all of you for your good time in trying to assist me with my problem. It is very gratefully appreciated. Now, can we call it a day?
    Thank you all once again.
    Hope you all have a wonderful day!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I glance at my nav now and then too, but my point is that it's probably a better practice to plan your route at a standstill and then depend on the voice commands of the navigation system.

    I don't go so far as Wwest's recommendation and turn the display off, but the kinds of reports like the one I linked are becoming more common (not to mention the ones where people drive onto snow covered forest service roads because they relied on their navigation system to send the most direct route to their destination).
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Hi, Pac!

    Steve was simply linking to an interesting story where a driver had an accident and ends up blaming it on his NAV system. Essentially, the driver is saying "I was looking my NAV and didn't see impending disaster right in front of me." Obviously, the driver was at fault for the accident he caused but he tries to shift blame to something else.

    A careful driver, like yourself, would never put himself into such a situation.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..working very closely with other people on the solution.."

    The solution..

    You may note that once the vehicle is undeway at a relatively low speed the Nav firmware is programmed to disallow new directional inputs.

    So don't be too surprised if "the solution" becomes simply blanking the Nav display in the same manner/time. Easy and inexpensive to implement ("reflash") and retrofit in the field.
  • rlm51rlm51 Posts: 21
    I was able to "recreate" the problem. (Was not sure if any of the other responders said that they actually found the reflection of the Nav screen.)

    I was driving home from work last night and at a stop light, I looked all over trying to figure out where such a reflection might be. And lo and behold, there it was, just as you said, up and to the left of (more or less) the rearview mirror.

    I never noticed the reflection before, having driven my 2010 RX350 about seven months now. I don't believe that I would have ever noticed the reflection during normal driving because to see the reflection, I had to concentrate while looking up and to the right, taking my eyes completely off the road (and everything else) for several seconds.

    I'll admit that it could be a bit distracting if you focus on it, as I found myself doing later on the drive home (is it still there?). I wonder if the fact that it is there and you know that it is there is affecting your driving now? I mean, like a subliminal message ("look at me ... look at me"). Seriously though, if the Lexus people are taking this seriously (and I believe that they tend to take almost everything seriously), then you are probably on to something. Please keep us posted. Thanks!

  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello rlm51. Thank you for your post. At last someone can see my problem. I think the fact that you have to look up to see it is based on the fact that I am so tall and due to a bad back I have to sit up very straight which puts it right in my line of sight. Now take a minute and look out your left window and you will see the reflection of the instrument panel.
    Anyway, many thanks for your input. Lexus is being very cooperative and I do have great faith in them.
    Now, I must say this. This old guy is more than a million times grateful for all your posts. Especially the fact that Hosts, Steve and Tidester have entered the forum. I do not have words to thank you for all your genuine concern for me as an individual.
    Thanks to all of you and will try to keep you posted. :)
  • rlm51rlm51 Posts: 21
    Hi rpac,

    I checked but did not see a reflection in the left window.

  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello rlm51 – Thank you for your response. Do me a favor. On a dark street look to the left, out your side window. The reflection appears just above and out to the left of the outside rear view mirror. Like it is sitting out in space! If you still cant see it something else comes to mind. My car was built in Dec 09; the glass is tinted all over the car. Of course more so on the back windows, but to a lesser degree on the side windows. I am beginning to wonder if that has something to do with this problem, because my side driver’s window is factory tinted as are all of them. Strange, but I slowly seem to be finding resolutions to this problem. Thanks to all of the good people that have posted on this subject. By the way, I noticed the other day that my Navi is Version 09.1. The latest that actually calls out street names. I also opted for the ‘traffic information’ because in Los Angeles it is worth its weight in gold. When I am in heavy congestion it gives me the option to reroute around the congestion. I have tried it several times and it works wonderfully. Is yours the same?
    Thanks again for your most welcome post rlm51, it is most appreciated. And I wait to hear if you are able to see anything out your driver’s window. If not, then it is the tinted glass causing a reflection.Thanks so very much!
  • rlm51rlm51 Posts: 21
    Hi Rpac,

    Now I can see a reflection of the dash objects in the driver's side window above the outside mirror at night. And as you say, to a lesser degree than the Nav reflection on the front.

    I do not have the Navi Traffic, which I think requires XM. I have Sirius, the remainder of a subscription that was moved from my trade-in vehicle (Honda Ridgeline).

  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    While driving my wife's 2007 ES350 without navigation, I noticed the same reflection of the speedometer, etc in the same location outside the driver's window about the outside mirror; had never seen it before.
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello rparis – Thank you so very much for your recent post regarding the ES350. I did own a 350, but I believe it was an 06, not sure though unless I check my records. I personally now think that Lexus has a safety problem that is quietly being swept under the carpet. At my dealer they have TV screens all over the place showing how they go to great lengths to make sure everything is perfect on the Lexus cars. Also, I have to be honest with you at this time. I presently own a 2010 RX350, as you have probably read in previous posts. I have had the car barely a month, and compared to previous models of the RX350, I think this one is way over priced, the quality is poor, and they produced a cheap car and are selling it at exorbitant prices. Might I ask you please, if you have any friends driving a Lexus car, I would be interested if they have any type of reflection problem? This just might be a problem that is bigger than what we thought, but as I said, Lexus seems to be ignoring it. ‘The Pursuit of Perfection’ Yeh right!
    Thanks so much for your post.
    PS: I heard something today from a friend of mine. Said he read somewhere where 4 people were killed in a Toyota because the accelerator 'stuck'. Investigators found all of the car mats in the trunk of the car while investigating the accident. As you know, Toyota makes Lexus. I am beginning to wonder!!! :mad:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Perhaps there was a terrorist, or GM "plant", in the software development group at Toyota that managed to get a "trap door", or deadly embrace, incorporated into the DBW firmware...??
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I can't believe you said that.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • rpac: This has been one of the most...DIFFERENT threads I have ever seen. Your magnanimous responses in the face of somewhat harsh criticism have been remarkable, almost unseen in the world of message boards.

    You have me paranoid now...I have an '08 RX400h and now I'm going to be looking around for any weird/distracting reflections. Can't say that I recall any to this point after almost 19K miles. On my '04 Maxima under certain circumstances I could see a reflection of the RED light (that was behind the speedometer illuminating the needle) in the side window and it freaked me out the first time. You know how it is, whenever you see a RED light, it gives you pause.

    I'm reading this forum because my lease is up on the 400h in November and am looking to see what's going on with the latest generation RX. I have to say, so far I am not blown away. Harsher ride, NAV still sux, no touchscreen, styling is not an improvement IMO... I may have to REFLECT on this further... :)
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    edited February 2010
    I own a 2010 RX350 with Navi, Version 09.1. I am fully aware that you can not program it or use it while driving. However, last night while driving home I turned it on and to my surprise I could use any of the addresses that I had programed into the Navi at an earlier date. The menu was not 'grayed out' and I could use the Navi as if I was standing still. My question is what happened? - that suddenly I can use the Navi while driving? I am not a techy and have done nothing to the technical aspects of the car. Has anybody else had this experience? Thank you. :confuse:
  • bobbassbobbass Posts: 34
    Maybe the lawyers gave the go-ahead for Toyota to allow that function in the latest version. I know you cannot do that in my '08 RX400h. You can hit "HOME" and "I think) five other presets, but not the "previous addresses" while under way. Very annoying.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I'd have to check to be sure but I think that is SOP even for my '01 F/awd RX300.
This discussion has been closed.