17th Jun 2004, 12:23

I have the same problem with my RX330. I have had it back three times now and the problem has not been fixed. I spoke to the Lexus consumer hotline and was given the same story that it was operating within design specs, and was referred to mediation. This is my 3rd Lexus and am disappointed at their response. Has anyone had any luck with them or mediation. John.

14th Jul 2004, 08:18

I am having the same transmission problems. Don't even think about quickly passing on a remote two-lane road. There is such an extreme hesitation that you have to just sit back and hope the log truck turns while all the other expensive cars wizz by.

Very disappointing. This is my last Lexus due their attitude toward the problem. Too many other choices! I'm sure they weighed the cost of replacing everyones transmission against bad PR, and it seems they chose living with the bad PR.


31st Jul 2004, 08:14

Lexus has a fix/tsb for the transmission lag that has been experienced by some owners. In fact, all new RX's coming off the line have this upgraded software. I did not experience anything unusual with the 3 2004 RX 330's I test drove in late June. I purchased my Lexus 2 July, 2004; the manufacturer date is June 2004. So far, everything has been perfect. It has almost 1100 miles on it now. I'll keep people posted if anything changes.

3rd Aug 2004, 09:46

I purchased my RX330 in December 2004. In January I complained about the pickup at my 1,000-mile checkup and was told that they would reprogram an EPROM to help. They also recommended that I drive assertively because the transmission was learning my driving habits.

In Feb 2004, I complained again and was told to use premium gasoline.

The problem has progressively gotten worse. At my last oil change in June, I complained again and was told that Lexus was aware of the lag problem and was looking into a fix for the problem. I now have a little over 15,000 miles on the car and am hearing whining noises. I took my car into the dealer this morning and spoke to the service manager and a technician. The technician drove the car and said it is not as bad as some he has seen. He explained the drive-by-wire system and that this is associated with the problem. I was given a loaner car to drive for the day. The loaner RX330 with about the same number of miles drives smoother without the severe lags and jumps I experience when I depress the gas pedal in my car. I don't believe that the loaner is a 4WD like my RX330 and I don't know if that makes the difference.

I called the service manager and he said that he cannot help me and gave me the Lexus 800 number. I called that number and gave them the history of my experience of the transmission problem and URL for this website for corroboration of the description of the problem. They said that they would look into it and call me back in several days. I also talked to the owner of my dealership. I am waiting for a response from him. It is not that I do not want a Lexus RX330, it's that I do not want a car with 15,000 miles that drives as though the transmission needs to be replaced. I would be happy with the same car without the transmission problem.

7th Sep 2004, 06:40

I purchase a RX330 in June 2004 with a build date of April 2004.

Thankfully, I haven't experienced any transmission problems.

Are these problems specific to RX330s manufactured in 2003?

22nd Sep 2004, 11:08

I bought a 2004 RX 330 in September of 2003. After about 3,000 miles the transmission began "lagging" between gears. I notified the dealer, and they performed the TSIB update. The dealer informed me it would take about 5,000 miles before the update would be fully effective. However, immediately following the update, the problem was better, and over the following 3-4,000 miles, the problem got worse. Now, when I roll into an intersection and accelerate as I make a left turn, the engine stalls. I continue to depress the accelerator pedal, and the engine finally responds at near full power. The problem is annoying, but even more concerning is the safety issue. The same phenomenon resulted in a near miss while trying to pass slow traffic on a busy interstate. The dealer, who used to be very helpful, now turns me away stating "the vehicle operates normally per its design". I have called the first 1-800 number and waited three days before I called it again. They informed me they "reviewed my case, and the vehicle is operating normally per its design". No test drive, and no confirmation. I have contacted Lexus arbitration. We'll see how that goes. I am very partial to the Toyota/Lexus brand, but I am very disappointed in their reaction to this "per design" problem.

Other than that and the typical small problems, I love the RX 330.

19th Dec 2004, 13:10

I agree that the RX330 has a transmission problem. It lags in shifting with a definite hesitation between gears. It also has a popping sound when shifting and on pressing the gas pedal. Anyone know of a fix to this? My dealer doesn't know of one.

19th Dec 2004, 19:47

I have a 2001 rx300 and it seems to have the same lagging between gears. Does anyone know if the problem with mine is caused by the same thing as the rx330's? thanks.

12th Jan 2005, 14:45

Hi, I recently bought a used RX300 '99 model, and have run into this problem. I had to get it fixed which cost me about $5k. Has anyone heard anything else from Lexus about it? I am afraid of buying another lexus brand, and would like to know if lexus will ever recall these models or at least somehow reimburse those who run into these transmission problems..

18th Jan 2005, 20:45

We bought a 1999 RX300 new and have 75000 miles on it. We were told today that the transmission needed to be replaced for about $5000. All servicing has been done on time at Lexus dealer. I think that this is terrible for a luxury car to need a transmission at this mileage. Anyone know if this is common to this car, or if there have been any service advisories about this?

25th Apr 2005, 16:28

I have a 2004 RX330. In Oct. 2004 after 6 months with no problem, I was slowing into a parking space, the car surged forward over a concrete barrier and into a building. I was sure I did not hit the gas. Everyone conveinced me I must have just been wrong. After having it repaired and driving for over 6 months... I had the surging happen again while just moving the auto from the driveway into the garage. I had my foot on the break, it seemed to surge forward, I slammed down on the break... it stopped. Anyone have an idea?


5th May 2005, 12:35


I would sue Lexus...

29th Jul 2005, 20:18

I have a 2004 RX330 with a problematic Transmission. This is a safety issue in my opinion, When you attempt to accelerate the car leaves you guessing if it will respond. Poor braking as well. I will be contacting the dealer again for 2nd time.