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Lexus RX Transmission Problems



  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    I think one of the important issue here is in regard to the responsibility to the customer or as avery1 said, "they refuse to acknowledge the problems until forced to."

    Whether its Toyota, Honda, GM et al, or a another product area, its a shame that the manufacturer in many cases do not honor their workmanship and at least inform their customers about a defect in their product.

    A long time ago in my law school days, CA at least via case law, made it a duty by the manufacturer to at least make an attempt to contact the owner if their product was defective.

    No I don't practice law, but in the late 1970s case law ala Rose Bird SC, did much to aid the development of products liability law and consumer protection.

    I hope I didnot offend anyone as my law experience is old and limited. I decided to stay in my law enforcement profession and then retired.

    Good luck to all and I hope all enjoy the SB today.

  • I just learned that Stanley Chesley, of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley of Cincinnati, OH, a prominent class action lawyer of Cincinnati, is bringing a class action suit against Toyota for the gas pedal fiasco so I sent him a copy of my letter posted yesterday on the transaxle problem with the RX300.

  • I put my transmission problem story last year. My Lexus 300 transmission started not to engage (from parking positions) or suddenly jerking (during starting or driving) at around 80K miles. It eventually failed. I got it replaced by a Lexus dealer at the cost about $4600. I complained to Toyota US and it originally agreed to pay half-half but later it only paid $1000 citing that I am the 2nd owner of the car.

    I truely believe Toyota should recall and provide free replacements. The sudden jerking problem from no transmission engagement (during the reverse) in parking lots could be quite dangerous to the people passing by.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I complained to Toyota US and it originally agreed to pay half-half ...

    Did you get that in writing? If so, then it's a contract and they should pay what they promised. Otherwise, you and the original owner did get 80,000 miles of use off the old transmission which has got to be worth something and they consider that to be worth about $3,600. A couple more friendly phone calls to corporate might persuade them to move a little further in your direction.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Friendly messages do no good to a company that hides its problems and refuses to deal in good faith with its customers. Daughters RX 300 bought from Lexus dealer and maintained transmission per schedule and transmission still failed. Toyota refused to pay anything on transmission even though it was being replaced by Lexus dealer. Will never buy another Toyota product again. Just watching this blog is evidence Toyota handles their problems with less than integrity. Advertise all you want!! Toyota. . .you are reaping what you have sown.
  • When I researched used cars back in '04 according to Consumer Report there was no vehicle as good as the RX300 (even in the Lexus line), so when I bought a 2001 I thought I had bought an awesome car that would last a long time. In fact 15 months later I bought my wife a 2001 RX300 too.
    At 101K my transmission failed. Lexus Service Manager said, "happens all the time." Lexus corporate said too bad. They don't repair, they only replace. Replaced it. Second transmission developed weird noise after 1.7K. Replaced again. Third developed a slamming of reverse gear. Replaced after 10K. Pray every day for fourth. (Thank you Lexus for trannys 3 & 4, the loaner cars were awesome).
    Now my wife's RX tranny has failed at 147K. Think I'm going to try an independent for fixing. Lexus will replace for $5K but in this economy, would rather eat and pay mortgage.
    So to the guys that think that transmission failures is a small %, I have two cars and 6 transmissions...what % is that? :lemon:
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    Again, refer to the second paragraph in message #365.
  • AAMCO did a great job fixing mine for $2,400.

    What Lexus is not telling you is you have a Toyota not Lexus transmission.. Now let me ask you, ' do you think you were
    defrauded when no one told you your premium priced Lexus
    transmission was actually a Toyota?'

    What no one is saying is that you must replace the transmission
    filter and fluid every 25,000 if you want the transmission to last.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    While the U140E/F transaxle is a derivative of the A140E used in the Toyota/etc's of that era the U140E/F was specifically designed, FLAWS included, for use in the 1st gen. Lexus RX300.

    And I strongly suspect that the burned and dirty ATF you find in '01 and later RX300's and should replace every 25k or so is an indication of a problem, NOT the core problem.
  • As I've learned more about my failing transmission, and talked to transmission shops I'm inclined to believe the failure rate exceeds 10%., but somehow I don't think Lexus would release figures on how many rebuilt transmissions they've sold to date. What is interesting is that with a rebuilt transmission also comes a new computer module ($1200.00), and from what I understand: if you try to run the rebuilt tranny with the old module you'll toast the rebuild in short order. Mine is still running with new filter etc. but I'm on borrowed time, and trying to decide whether to fix or dump it. 80k on the odometer.
    If someone has an email address where I can send a complaint to Lexus please post it.

  • I have an '01 and have had it since 1/08/10, so anyway Im driving to school (PSU) and while on one of the back high ways doing 45-50 MPH my cars trasnmission just died. I wait till the cars stops moving and get it towed. My dealership that im financed through tells me to basically go f' my self, as is. I'm broke and lost in a hole I called BBB and attorney general and some attorneys one who is going to write a demand letter. I fear the price of what its going to cost to get fixed so I called Lexus and they to go to a dealer and get it checked out, and they will call me back and possibly give a 'good faith' repair. I still gotta pay and wait 2 days for lexus to call me after the diagnosis.
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    I am sorry to hear about your ordeal. Can you let us know how many miles you had on it, and assuming you bought it used, did you have the service history on it as well? I am curious how it was kept up before you had it.

  • I bought it with 128,000, there is 129,095 on it now. I Car fax is clean, 3 previous owners. carfax clean bill of health. I've been going over the day I bought the car remember that the car didnt have the paper on the window and when we asked about the car transmission on the test drive he said it was nothing ( a rough shift from 1-2 and 2-3). This is driving me nutz
  • #1) Try adding two quarts of transmission fluid. Frequently that is all you need to do.

    #2) Unfortuantely your transmission was a Toytoa not a Lexus design. If you have AWD these transmissions cannot handle the torque

    #3) AAMCO fixed mine, replaced everything for $2,700
  • Ill take note of that, $2,700 sounds managable but I wanna see where this goes with the laweyers. Ill keep everyone updated :(
  • I have a 2001 Lexus RX300 with slightly over 76K miles on it. After crossing an intersection on Sunday night my car jerked a few times, the wheels locked, and it came to a stop. I have had it towed to 2 different locations. Apparently it needs a new transmission. The Lexus Dealership in Tulsa, OK has given me an estimate of $5500 to fix it.
    I bought this car thinking that this was a reliable company and car and that I would get well over 100k miles on it. My father has a lexus and 2 of my aunts have RX models as well.
    It is clearly evident with recent events that Toyota/Lexus is more concerned with their bottom line than safety, quality, and customer satisfaction.
  • First, you can have your car repaired successfully at AAMCO for
    about $2,400.

    Second, these transmissions are toyota transmissions not a Lexus.
    Finally, Toyota is being exposed for their failures. You need to go into smalls claims court and argue you were defrauded. You thought you bought a Lexus, which is a premium priced car, but you were in truth
    sold a transmission that is made for a toyota which is an economy car.
  • The transmissions in the RX 300: #U140 F , #U140 E and #U140 U
    are toyota transmissions. Ask you lawyer why you paid for a luxury car but in reality got an economy car transmission???
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    "It is clearly evident with recent events that Toyota/Lexus is more concerned with their bottom line than safety, quality, and customer satisfaction."

    I am sorry this happened to you but in this sentence you just described just about EVERY COMPANY ON THE PLANET. Don't be naive, Toyota is really one of the better companies in the world. If they are truly at fault, then their luck just ran you really think that other car companies don't skirt the rules and the laws to maximize profits??

    I know life stinks for you now but Toyota really is one of the better companies, it's easy to kick her when she's down. The transmission problems on the 1st gen RX's is a whole nother can of worms. I personally think the problem is with a smaller percentage of the cars least that's what I'm hoping because I own one.

    One more question...the Lady in front of congress yesterday from Tennessee who's Lexus sped to over 100 mph on it's own...when exactly did she find time to call her husband using the bluetooth in her car while it was wildly out of control????
  • I bought the very first 1990 Lexus LS 400 it was the best car I ever owned. The 2000 RX 300 AWD with a toyota transmission was an
    attempt to cut corners to maximize profits.

    Now let's look at Toyota's last decade. Poor quality control, across multiple vehicles and management's failure to be honest and forthright with its customers. Hell, these people are qualified to run for political office!

    I hope a class action attorney jiumps on RX 300 tramsmission problems.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    edited February 2010
    the Lady in front of congress yesterday from Tennessee who's Lexus sped to over 100 mph on it's own...when exactly did she find time to call her husband

    I read that all she had to do was push a button on the steering wheel and say "call home" and then she was connected. Bluetooth is supposed to be hands free, right?

    Check out Toyota on the mend for 2010? for more stuff about SUA.
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    Bluetooth is supposed to be hands free, right?

    It's hands free after you push a button and calmly say "Call Home", or in the case of some cars where you don't activate voice, you have to push the button on your display OR call on your cell phone as you would normally.

    So I ask again, where do you find the time at such a terrifying moment while trying to supposedly control your car from being wildly out of control and thinking "He I think I will call my husband". First of all, if she did have voice activation set, the system would never have understood her if in fact she was in distress since her voice and speech would have been impaired.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    "Wildly out of control" could really mean she took off after merging into the freeway and hit 100. Traffic around Knoxville can be pretty bad but it's a bit better since they fixed Malfunction Junction a few years ago. I drive through there twice a year usually and there's plenty of stretches out where you could "cruise" at 100 and use a regular cell phone, traffic permitting. A Bluetooth would be lots easier I think.

    But we're really off-topic in here - try that link above please.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " I ask again.."

    The real question is why are you taking such pains to disparage what the lady did.

    I have little doubt that my wife would do exactly the same thing after exhausting all the remedies she might think of.

    "..What do I do now.." would be the gist of the initial contact.

    Oh, just what would be YOUR first action after exhausting all your known methods and none 911..maybe...??
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    Look this is the last time I will write about this even if Steve doesn't allow it through.

    My position is this: I drive a lot for my job and have done so over the past 20 years. In that time I have seen people do some galactically stupid things behind the wheel. The problem I have with the lady in front of congress is that everyone believes what she says carte blanche...

    Too many people want to blame someone or something else for their mistakes or shortcomings, and the chances of this lady's story being 100% true is just not that good in my opinion.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    And many of us, most of us probably, saw no reason to disbelieve anything the lady said.
  • p8ret1p8ret1 Posts: 1
    We have owned our 2000 RX 300 for 8 years now and bought it from the first owner who was turning it in on lease. The couple we bought it from were senior citizens and the car had all service records and it was in meticulous condition. My husband has always done oil changes on time and had the transmission serviced when recommended. Last week the transmission went out (104,000 miles)and we had it towed to a transmission specialty establishment that came highly recommended. After inspection they told us the transmission was totally destroyed with metal shavings everywhere. I decided to research if there was any other owners who had the same experience and what a surprise! We did have the transmission rebuilt to the tune of about $3800. I want to know if Toyota has shown any accountability and if there is any recourse for reimbursement due to the seemingly faulty transmission of this early model RX? Has anyone else been successful in recouping their losses and has a class action lawsuit been thought of or started?
  • mrbostonmrboston Posts: 43
    My wife drives her RX 300 AWD gently and we have owned it from day #1. After five years we had the
    transmission pan removed and low and behold it was
    filled with metal shavings. Our transmission failed at 103,000 and again was filled with an incredible amount of metal shavings. A metallurgist told me that using softer metals reduces machining cost and is confirmed by all the metal shavings and wear.

    This transmission I discovered is a Toyota not Lexus, we were all deceived and defrauded I believe. Another example how Toyota over the last ten years cut many corners and it is now coming back to bite them. I would advise considering suing in smalls claims court.
  • I have a 2000 Lexus RX300 which I bought new from the dealer. Always had service done at the dealer. In October of 2008 the transmission went out, 104,000 miles. It took me over a year (with the economy being what it is) to get it into the shop for a rebuild. Lexus wanted over $5,000 so I went with a local business that rebuilds on site. They've been in business over 30 years, great reputation, slightly less than Lexus dealer but a 3 year warranty and the money stays in the states. So, went with them. 3 weeks and 3 transmission rebuilds later, I'm having it towed tomorrow into the Lexus dealer for a control unit/computer failure. Seems that each time the shop rebuilt the transmission and took it out for a test drive, the computer caused the transmission to mis-shift and tear itself up again. Of course, Lexus is saying that the transmission shop "rebuilt it wrong" and "the control units just don't go out". Will keep you posted on this one. Not sure if anyone else has had to replace a control unit or computer.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not surprising...

    The engine/transaxle ECU control module's firmware is often revised, changes from year to year, and sometimes even during a year's production run. So if the transaxle itself isn't well matched with the firmware version......

    On top of all that there is a well known design flaw in the transaxles for the early RX300 production series, '99 & '00, so there was likely quite a few "running" changes to the transaxle control firmware. From an outside observation, while both years seem to have an unusually high failure rate, the '99's seem to have an extraordinarily high failure rate in comparison to the '00 series. So my guess would be that somewhere around mid-year of the '00 production run a "final", more "robust" firmware fix was instituted.

    But a "true" fix, workaround actually, wasn't arrived at until DBW was adopted for the RX330 series. The very same design flaw is now incorporated throughout the Toyota/Lexus "fleet", but very well "plastered over", virtually hidden, by various firmware "fixes".
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