Last post on Sep 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Transmission, Sedan
#593 of 1407 Re: ES330 was my worst car purchase in 15 years [jragosta1]
Oct 10, 2004 (2:27 pm)
I am scheduled for es 330 arbritration at the end of Oct. 2005. How did your arb. Go? Any advice? Have you seen Lexus Response to arb. manufacturers response form. They outright lie , and they claim the car must be safe and reliable since I have driven 16,000 miles on the car. Funny, I've been complaining about the acc. lag since week one, What was my altenative to driving the car?
#594 of 1407 Re: ES330 was my worst car purchase in 15 years [jragosta1]
Oct 10, 2004 (10:33 pm)
Sorry, My arbitration is scheduled for the end of the month. Any advice on how to deal with them.
#595 of 1407 Re: Arbitration
Oct 13, 2004 (11:56 am)
I don't know if this will do any good since I haven't gotten the results yet, but I would suggest:
Lexus will claim that the car is operating within specifications. Simply ask them what the specification is for acceptable shift time. They will then say 'we don't have a specification, it depends on circumstances.' Point out that this statement is inconsistent with a flat statement that it is with specifications.
Another approach is to ask Lexus to search their computer database to determine how many people have brought their ES in for transmission complaints. The Lexus person said that they had that information, but did not have immediate access to it. She did say 'it's not a significant percentage' which I find very hard to believe. Everyone I know has complained at least once. You might be able to press them for statistics - what percent of all ES owners brought the car in at least once with a complaint of transmission problems?' If you could get this answer, it might strengthen the argument immensely.
The other approach I used was in response to the 'the car operates as designed'. I asked 'did you design the car with a multisecond delay in shifting?' The Lexus person will ALWAYS refuse to answer that - don't let them off the hook. If they say that the car was DESIGNED to have a 2 second delay, they look foolish - and you can then easily say that's a defective design. If, on the other hand, they say that the car should NOT have a 2 second delay, you can show that your car is NOT operating as designed. They lose either way.
Depending on the arbitrator, you may be able to push harder. I asked 'since you don't have a specification, how did you know that my car was operating as designed?' The Lexus person said 'we compare your car to other cars with the same model and year.' I pointed out at that point that by this definition if 100% of the cars had a fatal flaw it would be OK since they're all the same way.
Finally, I printed out about 50 pages of docs from the NHTSA site, this site and the Lexus Owner's club. I had identified several hundred complaints on the issue. That makes it harder for Lexus to say that it's not a problem.
You might also bring in a couple of Lexus ads claiming that they offer 'pursuit of perfection'.
However, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. The arbitrators are supposed to be completely independent and I felt that they were. They asked one good question 'does anyone know of an accident caused by the delay?' Lexus said that there were none and I was not aware of any. That weakens the argument that the problem is so severe that Lexus should refund $35 K. I'm not aware of anyone who's won an arbitration hearing.
#596 of 1407 Re: Arbitration [jragosta1]
Oct 13, 2004 (5:22 pm)
Got my response today on arbitration. The arbitrators unanimously decided that I had not proved that the transmission problem significantly impaired the usefulness or safety of the car.
Given that the Lexus person admitted that they didn't have any specifications and that their 'the car meets design criteria' REALLY meant that 'all of the ES cars do that', I don't think the hearing could have gone any better.
I guess they were swayed by the fact that there have been no accidents reported.
I don't have the time to get a lawyer, but if anyone is starting a class action, I'll join in.
#597 of 1407 Warranty Work?
Oct 14, 2004 (6:45 am)
I am considering buying a Lexus, but the nearest dealer is approximately 100 miles away. Will Toyota do warranty work on Lexus?
#598 of 1407 Re: Warranty Work? [wfj1998]
Oct 14, 2004 (6:47 am)
"Will Toyota do warrant work on Lexus?"
No. I believe Toyota dealers will not honor the warranty.
#599 of 1407 jragosta1 .....................
Oct 14, 2004 (11:48 am)
Now you know why Lexus is not doing anything about the problem. There is absolutely no incentive for them doing so. Also, if you go to trial on this issue, the results from the arbitration can be submitted by the defense.
I think it all depends on which arbitrator you get. I went through arbitration with a dealer because of a faulty transmission on a Toyota Tacoma. The arbitrator didn't even need to take a test drive. He made his decision only on the records I kept(under the Lemon Law) and that was good enough. The only difference is that the Service Manager agreed that there was a problem. The dealer refunded the entire cost of the vehicle on a pro-rata basis. (Six months of ownership was subtracted).
I am not convinced that all of the arbitrators are impartial. We don't know what kind of kick-backs are being passed around.
#600 of 1407 Re: jragosta1 ..................... [georgeb7]
Oct 14, 2004 (1:34 pm)
Yep. That about sums it up. In spite of Lexus admitting that they lied about the car meeting specifications, and the fact that there are hundreds of complaints, and the fact that there was an obvious delay in excess of 1 second when stepping on the gas (I repeated it 4 times for the arbitrators), the arbitrator says that there's no safety issue.
Lexus may have one this one, but they lost the war. We have about 20 US divisions and the Presidents are allowed to spend $35 K every 4 years for a new car. I will make sure that every one of them knows about this problem. There's a good chance that they'll lose quite a few sales from that alone.
Not to mention that I will continue to tell everyone I know who's considering a Lexus - both here and in other forums.
And sure as heck I'm never buying another one. Since I buy 2 cars every 3-4 years, they're losing out. If it weren't for the transmission and the way they dealt with it, the Lexus would have been my choice almost every time.
I wonder why they're too stupid to realize how much their handling of this issue is costing them?
#601 of 1407 Re: jragosta1 ..................... [jragosta1]
Oct 14, 2004 (2:52 pm)
The downshift delay in the ES300/330 is one weak point of this otherwise great car. The shift logic in this transmission will try to keep the car in the highest possible gear for maximum fuel efficiency and lower emission. Remember, this car is classified as SULEV whereas the pre 2002 where classified as ULEV. Also the gas mileage of the post 2002 ES300/330 is 20/29. Whereas the older version only got about 19 city and 26 highway.
Oct 14, 2004 (6:46 pm)
Frankly, I don't care what their excuse is. When you try to merge onto a freeway, the car sits there for a couple of seconds thinking before it starts to move. That's extremely dangerous. The extra couple of mpg aren't going to mean much when I get killed because I'm rear-ended when my car won't get out of its own way.
If they couldn't make it SULEV and keep it safe, they should have passed on the SULEV thing.