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LexusRX 400h Hybrid Battery Failure



  • colwencolwen Posts: 1
    edited August 2010
    I'm beginning to think I have the same problem.. I bought our 2006 rx 400h with only 6600 miles on it from the Lexus dealer. It now has about 60k on it.

    It started having starter battery troubles almost immediately. Had to be jumped if I left the four-way flashers on for a few minutes, and would not start occasionally, so I took it in several times to dealer and they said they couldn't replicate the problem, that it operated normally while it was in the shop. Finally, it wouldn't start in their driveway and they quickly put in a new small battery (the starter battery).

    It's been fine now for a couple of years, but last week it started acting funny, wouldn't start first try, and would tell me I needed to shift to "park" before starting, well, I was in "park"!! Then I jumped it and it ran fine a few days. Now it won't start unless I jump it. Am taking it in tomorrow.

    I'm curious, maryland john.... how did you come by the VIN break list? I'd like to walk in the Lexus dealer tomorrow AM, armed with as much ammo/info as I can. I don't want the same run around as I got in the past.... thanks
  • Driving off a stop light and the car just died. Check AWD - CVT - Hybrid system warning lights went on . Towed to dealer next morning and they called to say lucky it is under warranty ( I have 64000 miles , warranty is 70 k ) and it needs a new invertor. I have not seen bill but here it is $ 7 to $ 9000 Yikes ! This is a problem as it shakes my faith in Lexus Bought from USA to bring to Canada and relied on toyota - Lexus brand Will report to NHTSA and Canada Transport as this should not be happening and from what I can see the toyota lexus hybrid system needs a longer warranty !!!!
    Spread the word !!! Complain !!!
  • Kim, What year is yiur RX 400 ?

    Regards , Luke

  • Yikes! $9K for a single bad part on the RX 400h?

    Thought about buying an RX 400h, but now no way!

    Thanks for your info. Wonder if the Prius has same problem?

    Let us know if Toyota changes the design.

  • My RX400h failed last week with same messages - Check VSC / Hybrid System Failure. Thankfully the car was coming out of a parking space at the time. Dec 2005 model with 35000 miles. No power other than from 12 volt battery which rapidly drained. Was towed to Lexus by AA. Diagnosed as a Power Invertor failure (£2800 for parts, ex labour). Thankfully within the warranty period for the powertrain. Very disappointed that Lexus claim this was an unusual case - not so after reading this forum.
  • It was a 2006 lexus rx400h with 60,000 miles . The current inverter blew and the dealer would say exact amount but cost was in $9 to 12000 range. They did say it was replaced with an " Updated Inverter /converter unit " that has a metal body and is heavy duty. Clearly Toyota - Lexus knows this is an issue , ask them . Thank goodness they were decent and replaced it under the 100,000 hybrid warranty. Have not found any other issues with Lexus Hybrids but am keeping on the look out. I am very happy with the car but don't want to have an unreliable car. I did report to NHTSA.
  • voicedvoiced Posts: 8
    Whew! That's an expensive repair part! Glad to hear that Toyota took care of the problem and it's covered under their 100K mile drive-train warranty.

    I have seriously been considering purchasing a 400h (most likely one that is 3 to 4 years. But I have put it off because of concern with this problem.

    Thanks for making us aware that this problem exists. Hopefully Toyota will replace all of these $$$$ inverter/converters in future models. Wonder why it's not a recallable item?

    John in Sunny Southern Cal
  • Like many others on this site, my inverter has just 'gone' and the vehicle warranty only covers it to 60k and I have 70k on the clock - on a 2006 model...... Quote for the job including VAT and labour £3700..... the last time I had a quote for an auto "part" this expensive, I could drive it away! Just waiting to see if Lexus will "chip-in"..... I will let you all know how I get on!
  • I am having the same problems as all the above posters. My vehicle multiple times has had this scenario of randomly shutting down and displaying all dummy lights! with the OBD display reading "Check hybrid system", "Check AWD System", "Check Traction Control" with all warning lights on. The vehicle will have electrical power but motor will not crank or turn over. A few times I was able to disconnect negative battery terminal (to make it lose memory) and it worked. Recently it's happened several times in a short period with this past week several times in one week. The first time I brought it into lexus back in 2009 they said I simply "need a new battery". So I bought one and things were ok for about a year until it happened again. It happens when "seasons or temperature spikes suddenly". Very Odd. Lexus service is telling me to file an "insurance claim" just to begin the "diagnosis". They state they found 1/2" of water near the hybrid battery under rear seat with no source yet to be determined..I'm very unhappy! Will post as details unravel themselves!
  • voicedvoiced Posts: 8

    Please let me know what Lexus agrees to do to fix this problem. It sounds like a design flaw.

    My wife and I had decided on purchasing a low-mileage Lexus 400h but after hearing this we definitely will not purchase a 400h.

    Wonder if the Prius has this same problem? If anyone knows, please advise as that will be our next choice.
  • Friends, It appears that most of these Hybrid electrical and battery failures are occuring in 2006 RX400's. Later models may have had a fix. Nevertheless, Please report these failures to the NHTSA. Enough compaints and they will force a recall ....

    Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) click the link
    link title

    :shades: Luke
  • My car died the other day...I rolled backwards in drive, down the hill..Had to be towed.. I have a 2006 lexus .Quoated $8,000.00 ..just read that the NHSTA is looking into the Highlander 2006 hybrid inverter failures.. I believe they use the same inverters!!! html
  • What happened ..the rest of the story..
  • Follow up on my replacement current invertor for my 2006 Lexus RX400h. New invertor was installed Sept 2010 at 64000 miles and I now have 71000 miles. Everything has been smooth and love the car. Would buy it again provide the invertor was updated . From what I can see this is a product defect on the 2006 Lexus RX400h and the Highlander hybrids. A plastic part that gets updated - changed to a metal one. The Prius uses a different part.
    This is definately a NHTSA recall item if they can get it together and push enough paper to get it done.
    So far no other issues with the car and I do drive lots . We will see when the hybrid battery get older if my faith is shaken or wallet stripped bare but hopefully not if they want to keep me loyal Lexus fan.
  • I did have one issue ? maybe ? The highbeams did not work. I checked fuses ect and nothing. Took it to the dealer and believe it or not after they checked it found both bulbs burned out at the same time so no high beams. Strange I don't think it is a defect but weird they burn out at same time .
  • Kim, Interesting side note. I have a 2007 RX400 and was having difficulty with the rear hatch motor stalling and not opening the hatch. I took it in twice for the same complaint. Turned out that my 2007 had the same motor on the rear hatch that had been recalled in the 2006 Hybrid for a defect(goes by part #) .

    My service tech said that some of the early build 2007's had the old motor design installed. hey replaced my door motor under warranty. Now , of course, since I realise my 2007 was an early build, I am concerned that I may have a 2006 design inverter. Basically an accident waiting to happen. Is there any way I can find out if this is so?

    Luke :shades:
  • We have a 2006 Lexus RH 400 hybrid as well and are having problems. Ours is leaking coolant and causes the hybrid system to fail. Dealership says it is a transmission problem and not the hybrid. The coolant Obviously affects the hybrid system. I don't trust the dealer at all and of course no one has ever heard of a problem like this. The hybrid is still under warranty but since we are third owners, they will not honor it. Do not buy this vehicle. Hopefully all these 06's will go away.
  • exdetroitexdetroit Posts: 2
    edited April 2011
    We woke up a couple weeks ago after a night of hard rain to several inches of water on the floor of our rx400h. Came in through the moonroof. Dealer says he's seen a couple of these and we should call insurance. $8k + in damage, plus mold. Totaled as far as we're concerned. Anyone had this problem?!!!
  • Do you have a moonroof? I just posted a message. A couple weeks ago a hard rain left several inches of water in our RX400h, basically ruining it. Dealer said moonroof drain. We think it's reasonable to expect you can leave the car outside in the rain without it being totaled with electrical and mold issues. Figuring out next move. Pissed!!
  • texsooner5texsooner5 Posts: 2
    I wondered the outcome of your problem with water and your hybrid inverter. Unexpectedly, water leaked in under the dash on the driver's side, told the ecu was fried and not sure if the inverter was damaged or not. Basically they have to fix the ecu first, (3-4K) then will be able to figure out the inverter which would then be another 8k or so. Thanks for any information you have.
  • texsooner5texsooner5 Posts: 2
    Just told a moonroof leak fried my ecu and not sure if it damaged the inverter. Have you had any resolution to your incidence? Thanks.
  • Hi, this is MrLexusLover with the 06 RX400h that had the leak and various codes issue. After hours of speculation and investigation, it was pinpointed as a rear trunk seal and the right rear door "out of alignment due to previous body work". I had two qualified bodyshops inspect the door and state it was within spec. I seen no problems to the rubber trim. But a good method would be a gallon of water to recreate the issue.

    As for my issue, they said it was not their fault and i filed with insurance. Insurance said it was pre-existing and would only cover the initial diagnosis which was about $373. I brought the car into the body shop 7 weeks ago, had the entire body sanded, blocked, all dings/dents fixed, all body work redone and complete new paint job. I'm hoping this should solve the problem. We found a very subpar repair to the quarter panel (where tail lamp mounts).

    The hybrid system has a built in mechanism to shut down if submersed in water which is what it was going they state. The hard days of rain previously allowed the entry of water thus shutting down the system. When it dried out, symptom went away. Viola!

    I will post a status update in a few of luck to everyone
  • For the record, I have Moonroof, Leather, 18 Wheels, Xenon Adaptive lights (AFS, Nav, AWD, rain sensing wipers w/heated seats)

    I do not have- Mark Levinson/rear entertainment system; nor the laser cruise control.
  • voicedvoiced Posts: 8
    The more I read about the rx400h inverter replacement cost ($8k), the more I realize that a used vehicle is not a good choice for the cost-conscious consumer unless the vehicle is covered by an extended Lexus warranty.
  • The "cost concsious" should not consider ANY Lexus. A Honda Civic suits that crowd. A Luxury car commands expensive repairs, no ways around it.
  • skycaptainskycaptain Posts: 33
    Mrlexuslover, My credit union(as most do) has an extended extra 48k 4 year warranty that will cover my hybrid I bought used. That is the way to go
    It only cost $1014.....
    :shades: ...Luke
  • mfranzoiamfranzoia Posts: 12
    Lexus RX 400H Inverter- replaced out of warranty.

    My 2006 Hybrid has 175,000 miles on it. Way out of warranty. The inverter was replaced by Lexus corporate, two weeks ago. Lexus picked up 100% of the cost after inspecting it at the dealership. I used the information on this site, plus the links on this site to aid in my argument.

    You need to talk to the corporate 1-800 number, and get to customer Satisfaction (the dealership can do nothing for you). I believe Lexus knows there's a problem with this first generation 2006 Inverter. I'm certain that the 2006 Highlander used the same power inverter. And there is a class action lawsuit in L.A. over the highlander's inverter. It was smart on their part to replace it. Lexus can't stand to have this part re-called.

    I can post my story, when I have time, and show just how I did it. Let me know if your interested....I thought about not saying anything since they took care of it. But I was fit to be tied, and I don't want to see anyone else in that situation. It would have cost me $9,600, and I could not afford it. (The part alone, "the Inverter", cost $8,500). I did, however pay for a new car battery $177.00, and I was happy to pay that! I felt like I won the lottery...

    Let me know if your interested......

    Nothing like a $50,000 paperweight...(I told them that too)
  • ndabunkandabunka Posts: 24
    You DO realize that these inverter problems occur on the "cheaper" Toyotas as well, right? However, the issue is ONLY with a FEW early model Hybrids that used an inferior cooling system that Toyota has already recognized had a problem (with their Prius recall). So, expensive is not an exclusive domain of Lexus or "high-end" vehicles.
  • ndabunkandabunka Posts: 24
    Thanks for reporting your efforts. I have copied this and will store it in the (unlikely) event that my late year '06 model experiences any issues later in life.
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