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
#799 of 1407 Lexus ES, Toyota Camry platform sharing
Aug 30, 2005 (12:29 pm)
I didn't intend to upset anybody. I very much wanted to buy an ES. However, after researching the car and learning of the power train issues and Lexus' poor owner relations, I switched my attention to an Acura RL.
Here's what Edmunds has to say about the relationship between the Lexus ES and the Toyota Camry.
"The history of the ES can be traced to Lexus' first year, 1990, when the ES 250 debuted. It was marketed as an "Executive Sedan," though we're pretty sure that executives saw it for what it was: a thinly veiled Toyota Camry with a price premium. Admittedly, the ES 250 was a stopgap plan for Lexus, and an improved ES 300 arrived in 1992. Though again based on a Camry platform, this one had much more distinctive styling, and remained popular for many years. The ES was last redesigned in 2002. The latest version is again similar to the Camry (also redone in 2002), though its appointments reflect the high levels of comfort, convenience and refinement that have become trademarks of Lexus luxury."
If the ES and Camry were less similar, if they didn't share power trains for example, the ES would be much more costly. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
My point is that for a premium price one should reasonably expect to receive a superior product and be afforded first class after sales service. This is not happening according to numerous correspondents here.
#800 of 1407 Re: Lexus ES, Toyota Camry platform sharing [gwestbound]
Aug 31, 2005 (8:37 am)
Even I knew the ES was "paired" with the Camry when I got it, and though the Camry was a very good ride, the ES was just so much more in every way. The smoothness, quietness, quality of leather, finish (inside and out), ... Every time I walked away from the Camry, I thought "gee, what I nice car," but with the ES, it's been "gee, what a really nice car." Perhaps it takes living with them to appreciate the difference, but if they weren't made by the same company, you wouldn't think that one was just an upgrade of the other.
As far as Lexus' response to complaints of its transmission, yes, I too am stunned by it. I can't believe that they'd make it perform that way and strenuously hesitate to offer a "fix". I suspect that they simply meant the docile ES to have a transmission that expects a docile driver, but then why don't they admit that instead of blaming the driver? (As I see it, if you want performance, you're supposed to get an IS or GS.)
I have the previous generation ES, and the only problem is a delay most of the time when I press on the gas after lifting off -- it feels like waiting for a manual clutch to engage. Other than that, I have no problems and therefore cannot justify replacing this beast, and that really bugs me.
#801 of 1407 Lexus hesitation
Aug 31, 2005 (9:22 am)
I have read here that it is a transmission issue?!!! We were told by the dealer that it was an accelerator issue and 20% of Lexus have it. Thank goodness we are only leasing the car!!! How does Lexus get the good ratings by everybody???
Counting down the days until our lease is over.
Sep 02, 2005 (8:07 am)
It's been a few months since I've posted, but my silence is not an indication of satisfaction. I now have 8,500 miles on my '05 ES330. I had the "fix" done on the transmission several thousand miles ago, and it remains almost as bad as before the "fix". The transmission jerks and pauses and surges and hesitates and races and gasps. It is predictably unpredictable, and, frankly, I do not feel safe in the car in stop-and-go traffic because I cannot control it with the basic assumptions of driving: putting one's foot down on the accelerator to go forward, and releasing it to slow down. This Lexus simply doesn't respond in a predictable manner to those basic inputs.
I have filed another complaint with Lexus's customer "service" department, and continue to get their standard stonewalling: assurances that they aim to satisfy, promises to look into the problem, promises that they will call me back, etc. And of course the phone never rings. What a joke.
I share the comments of others that it is disappointing that the major car reviewers -- even Consumer Reports! -- do not mention this transmission problem. It may not affect every ES330, but it clearly affects a lot of them, and even if it is 10% of all ES330s sold (or whatever percentage), it is clear from all of the posts on this site and many other Internet sites that it is prevalent and serious enough to warrant at least a passing mention. Even Edmunds can't be trusted to provide the unvarnished truth.
The ES330 is, of course, wonderful in many ways. The ride is comfortable, the gas mileage decent, the interior beautiful and functional. But that's not enough. Having a serious transmission problem and then stonewalling customers who bring it to their attention and demand a solution definitely isn't worthy of a car company with the tag line of "the passionate pursuit of perfection."
We may be a statistical blip and may be, to Toyota, an acceptable margin of error that doesn't make much impact on their fat profit margins, but I and many, many others will not go away.
Lexus/Toyota managers: if you are reading this, I can tell you that I am doing everything in my power to negatively affect your reputation. I tell anyone and everyone I know -- friends, family, business associates, neighbors -- about my experiences with this lousy car and my experiences with YOU. At least two people have chosen NOT to buy one of your cars based on my bad experiences with you. It is my hope and expectation that, at some point soon, you will wake up and take care of the multitude of problems you have created with this transmission.
#803 of 1407 Re: Fed up with Lexus [sandiegodriver]
Sep 03, 2005 (12:53 pm)
Someone over at the Edmunds Engine Hesitation forum recently reported he went through arbitration after the ECM reprogramming did not cure the hesitation. He is awaiting the final results, but the Toyota representative at the arbitration hearing said that all Toyota's (and presumably Lexus') with this drivetrain all have a 1 sec. hesitation, it is built into the vehicles intentionally to "protect the drivetrain" and it was not the intent of the reprogramming TSB to fix it. I hope the arbitrator is astute enough to read the TSB which clearly states that it is for hesitation problem. It is very frustrating how Toyota/Lexus is handling this issue.
#804 of 1407 Transmission problems
Sep 08, 2005 (7:16 am)
This is unbelieveable. I thought it was just my 96 ES300 having transmission problems. The dealer wants to charge me $4k to fix it. I have high mileage 180k but I was thinking I should get at least 50-100k before the car dies.
I've called Lexus customer service to complain also. I just called on 9/6/05 and I'm still waiting for a call back. Looks like I will be waiting for a while.
What can we do? Is it possible to prepare a list of owners (VIN #) experiencing the same thing? Do you think Lexus cares? It wouldn't hurt to try something.
I was thinking of purchasing another Lexus..I'm I crazy!!!
#805 of 1407 Re: Transmission problems [sderico]
Sep 08, 2005 (9:40 am)
Your vehicle is not having the same problem as most others' on this board. The problem we discuss is a design problem in post-2002 vehicles.
Sounds like you need a new transmission or an individual vehicle repair.
#806 of 1407 Re: Transmission problems [sderico]
Sep 08, 2005 (11:54 pm)
What's unbelievable to me is that you're complaining about a problem with a 9 year old car with 180k miles that's way, way out of warrenty!
#807 of 1407 Engine/Transmission Hesitation
Sep 17, 2005 (7:53 am)
I have a 2005 ES330 and it has the same hesitation problems everyone has experienced. Just wanted to let other owners know that I found by switching to regular 87 octane gas the hesitation decreased dramatically and the car does not jerk/lurch forward....although there is a slight decrease in performance. I'm thinking the problem lies in the transmission not being able to handle the power output of the engine. If anyone wants to try this post your results on here...I saw a huge improvement by the second tankful of regular
#808 of 1407 Re: Transmission problems [sderico]
Sep 17, 2005 (6:06 pm)
You are complaining to Lexus about a tranny issue in a 180K mile car?? come on, get real!! I'm guessing you bought this 96 ES used? And what i'll guess is that you didn't do the proper inspection on the car and the previous owner was not maintaining it as well as he could have.