I wish to thank the writer of this review for the detail provided. I have to say I was looking very seriously at buying one of these cars, but I am not encouraged by the number of ongoing problems and the time taken to rectify them. I have never in 30 years of driving had to leave my car at a service centre for a week for any repair. I would be very interested in the opinions of others on the LS400. Perhaps I should be looking at a different model Lexus?
Obviously you have ran into a rare case of lemon LS and a bad mechanic too. I have owned 4 Lexus vehicles within the past 9 years, among other cars like Mercedes and BMW. First off, I will never buy another car but Lexus, and second, I have had a 1991 LS400 with 267000 miles on it, and car was perfect in every way. I have personally put close to 80k miles on it with no problems at all. I sold a car to friend of mine and he still drives it without any problems. In my opinion this is the most reliable car I have ever had.
Currently I have 2004 LS430 and it is much better vehicle than a 2002 Mercedes S430 I have had.
Both Mercedes and BMW gave me bunch of trouble; small problems, but I spent more time in dealers courtesy vehicles than my own car. All this ended when i switched back to a lexus.
It may be more conservative looking than a Mercedes or BMW, but it is definitely much better built vehicle than any Merc or Beemer.
I'd like to also add to my previous comment that I strongly disagree with your opinions stating that Lexus is a bad car, those are based on your personal (bad) experience with Lexus.
The majority of Lexus owners will agree that the LS400 is the best bet for used luxury car, and also is the most reliable car ever built.
Would you happen to know that an LS400 engine crank shaft is fully forged, balanced and bolted to the engine block by 4 bolts! Only formula one engines are using 4 bolt mains.
Whoever knows this vehicle, will agree, that these cars were over engineered and built in a short time, compared to, for example Mercedes, which had been on the marked for 75 or more years. Now Lexus gets better reviews everywhere and they have been on the market for ONLY 20 years. That speaks for itself...
Thank you for comments 4. However, the fact remain that I have to pay $12,000 to fix the problems, and NOTHING can change this fact. I am the one who pay the bill and it is not you or any reviewers on earth that write the cheque to Lexus to fix that car. It was me who paid that money, and with that amount of money I can buy another small size Japanese car or medium size Korean car. If you are the one who will pay $12,000 for me, then I will never complain about that DIABOLIC Lexus.
I bought this car because I TRUSTED the reviewers from everywhere, including the infamous Dog and Lemon Guide that recommend Lexus ahead of all brands. I owned that car for 3 years and I ended up spending my time on public transport more than the time I drove my Lexus. Do you know the last word that Lexus dealer told me? They say the reason for this problem is because "the car wasn't serviced properly by the dealer (s) ". Let me ask you this, I bought this car from an import company. The car came with FULL SERVICE HISTORY from Singapore. Then I serviced my car every SIX months with Lexus dealer in New Zealand. Who is the person that DOES NOT SERVICE this car properly? I don't know about that Singapore owner, but the car sold to me at 55,000 Kms after 4 years of ownership (Lexus in New Zealand and Australia warranty their new cars for 4 years and I believe it is the same practice elsewhere on earth, so the Singapore owner must be a real idiot if he serviced the car elsewhere while he still got a free service contract from the dealer). Do you think it's him that caused the problems? May be if he is a real moron, but generally I better give him some credit and I guess he is not that stupid.
Is it me who doesn't service the car properly? I don't think so. I took my car for a service 6 times in 3 years, plus 10+ times to fix all of the problems. I parked my car in the heated garage and paid for the car cleaning company to vacuum, wash, and polish my car by their hand on frequent basis. Then whose problem is it? If you ask me the knife should fall to either incompetent service staffs in either Singapore or New Zealand. Alternatively, it might be the nature of the import cars that are supposed to be diabolic (but a friend bought an import Mercedes Benz from Japan and did not face any problem). Perhaps, it is Lexus that didn't built the car properly.
I am not saying all Lexus are alike. My friend still drives a NZ New LS430 happily around town. But, I am telling the New Zealand buyer not to buy Singapore imports. If you are not living in New Zealand, then it is another matter.
I don't know whether Lexus is good or not. But, my family members always used European cars as we owned 3 Mercedes Benz, 2 BMWs, 1 Audi, 1 Saab, 2 Peugeots, 3 Volvos, and 3 Jaguars in the past 20 years. It is not that I am not familiar with the problems with luxury European cars. Of course, luxury cars are expensive to fix and not that reliable. I used to owned Jaguar XJ6 and Volvo 960GLT, so I know that fact. However, I always expect to pay the price for driving luxury and stylish European cars, but not the JAPANESE cars that are advertised as luxury and reliable. I am the first person in the family that broke our tradition to buy Japanese cars because I trusted the reviewers, and the truth remains that my LS400 gave me the real headache; even more than my 1988 Jaguar XJ6. All of my family members were shock about my Lexus diabolic experience.
How would you feel, if you have to cancel the whole Christmas/New Year break because the car breakdown? I can tell you now, I was really angry. While, my younger brother took his family to their holiday home with the Volvo S80, my family ended up staying at home because of this Lexus. This is the fact that cannot be changed; my family trip was ruined by one car.
Since I sold that diabolic car and decide to go back to Jaguar. My new XJR (bought from a Jag dealer), which received not as good reviews from the reviewers tends to give me a better reliability and money wise than the LS400. The Jag only require to be serviced annually (not 6 months like Lexus) and still never gives me any problems while Lexus gave me problems during the first 6 months. I would like admit that I regret from moving from Jaguar to Lexus in the first place. I should have stayed with my Volvo 960GLT for a few more years and changed to an all new Jaguar instead of choosing Lexus. Well, when I bought Lexus I would admit that I like the service from the dealer, and the feather light steering wheel. But the car always gave me a real nightmare. I have to check the steering fluid every morning before driving to work. Since, I owned Jaguar I have a good sleep and never have to panic about the oil leak ever again. After I struggled with the Lexus LS400 for 3 years, I will never consider using Lexus again.
I am not a snobbish person who is always talking about warm European cars with plenty of personality like Jaguar, Porsche, or Bentleys, I can stand cold, relatively ugly, and unadventurous vehicle like Lexus, Saab, or Volvo, as long as it is reliable and value for money. But I will never tolerate diabolic cars that force me to spent thousands of dollars to fix the problems. I do not say all Lexus are bad. It is just my experience, and I am not alone in this world. Comment 1 faced exactly the same problem with me. He is in a better position, as he has mechanical warranty to cover his expenses. BUT without the warranty I can assure you that comment 1 will say exactly the same thing about fixing prices and how diabolic his Lexus is.
As I said before in my review. I did not say all Lexus are bad. If you live in New Zealand, please avoid Singapore imported Lexus (perhaps, including ex-demo with low mileage). You can try NZ New. I believe the best thing is try to buy Lexus cars from the Lexus dealers, not the Singapore import specialist companies. It might be $5,000 cheaper than the dealer, but you will likely to pay $12,000 to fix your problems. But still I cannot guarantee that it will be good (perhaps comment 4 can guarantee it). As for me, I drove a Singapore import version and I will never buy both Lexus and Singapore import cars again.