15th Nov 2008, 16:55

We have a 2005 RX 330. After we bought the car I immediately noticed something strange about the transmission. I was told by the dealer that it wasn't a problem. With all of the postings, I believe that Lexus does have a problem.

I love the car, but it sure seems like Lexus is trying to sweep this issue under the carpet.

28th Feb 2009, 23:31

My RX330 is 2004, I think 1st year for this model... purchased used at about 50,000 miles... the transmission is odd and not real smooth... I hope it lasts 250k +... only reason I bought a Toyota was for engine & gearbox longevity.

Otherwise love the vehicle, seats are very comfortable... I drive 100 miles a day and always get home pain free. 21 mpg isn't too bad either.

Just beware, rear visibility is terrible.

14th Jul 2009, 14:53

Wow, I felt like I was the only one with a 2005 RX330 with transmission issues, it's brutal. I spent 45K for this SUV from a Lexus dealer (2 years old), and feel they sold me a faulty vehicle and completely ripped me off. They say the clunky transmission shifting is normal, but everyday I drive it, I get angry as I spent big money on a premium product, and it drives worse than a Hyundai. Total scam from Lexus, do not buy any RX330, they should recall them all. They lost a huge Lexus fan for life... beware of the North American auto demise Lexus, this is how they fell years ago...

24th Jul 2009, 06:15

Geez folk... just got OUT of a Landrover Freelander that ate it's viscous coupling... and had a similar shifting pattern for a few years (no LandRover fix)...I just got a 2005 RX330 w/51k kilometers... under warranty so I intend to confront the Melbourne dealer...

15th Oct 2009, 20:42

I bought my 2004 Lexus RX 330 used with 25k miles. It has been a pleasure to drive, UNTIL!! It has just over 50k miles and there is a ridiculous humming noise from the transmission at 40-45 mph, nearly vibrates the whole car. Anyone ever has the same problem or know if there are any TSB's?? Please help, email Nakouro28@yahoo.com.

24th Oct 2009, 01:38

2004 Lexus RX 330, Japan-built - intermittent whirring, rattling noise at low speeds/idle at about 45000 miles. Audible from interior cabin. Dealership replaced carburetor under warranty. There are supposedly two, but they only replaced one. Noise minimized, but still experience intermittent sputtering sounds under similar conditions. Noise hard to duplicate, which is the reason it is tough for mechanics to diagnose the problem. I had to ride with my mechanic and make him slow to a stop along the side of building to have him hear the noise when it kicks in. Noise bounces off the wall and is amplified. Service garages are too noisy for proper diagnosis. Will try again to get this fixed. Anyone with success or knowledge of the culprit?

9th Feb 2010, 13:25

We bought an RX330 in Tucson, AZ on Dec 31, 2003. The car had been driven 1000 miles by one of the sales people. We insisted on buying that RX instead of a "new" one from stock. I guess we have been lucky. Other than new tires at 48000 miles, it has been a great vehicle. Now have approx 77000 miles, and the only thing noticeable is the exhaust system is a little bit noisy.

BTY this one was Japan built in Sept '03. I guess they had problems in later production. I tell people that I'll keep it until I or it dies first. This is the longest, time wise, I have ever kept a vehicle.

Dick Miller

Hot Springs Village, AR.

10th Feb 2010, 14:33

I bought a used 2004 Lexus RX330 with 60k miles.

We noticed the transmission sometimes lurches from a dead stop position, and hesitates and labors when shifting in the lower gears. The dealer provided a computer "update", however the problem still occurs, especially when the car is "cold." I took it back for a test drive with the tech. guy, but couldn't replicate the problem after driving 20 miles to his location. The service rep. still shows it as an unresolved problem. What's the best way to get Lexus to stand behind this vehicle?

Jerry @ wedgwood3@aol.com

11th Feb 2010, 20:14

I also have a 2004 RX330. The dealership had attempted to fix the transmission problem (slips and attempts to find the correct gear) a number of times. No luck. Everything I read speaks to a consistent tranny problem on these vehicles. The latest quality troubles at Toyota are now showing up at Lexus.

Prior to this RX 330, I drove a 1990 LS 400 280,000 miles and the car was almost flawless. This RX 330 has a subpar tranny, and, based on this current experience, this is my last Lexus.

2nd Mar 2010, 22:59

I bought a used 2004 Lexus RX330 in 2009 with about 72,000 miles. I immediately noticed the problem with transmission hesitating and lagging to the point where I have almost been hit when entering freeway and car won't move. Took it in to dealer and they claim nothing is wrong. My brother in law has a 2005 Highlander and has the same problem, so this is clearly another problem with Toyotas.

9th Mar 2010, 21:19

I have a Japan-made 2004 RX 330. The transmission is as described; not smooth, jerky at times and the car is noisy. It has been like this from day one. The transmission ECU has been re-flashed twice. The second time last year helped a little.

My car has the air suspension, which failed at 41,000 miles and 5 months out of warranty. I have gone through multiple recalls, TSBs and rattle repairs. I would never buy a car in its first model year or first year of a re-design ever again. I have driven Toyota products for over twenty years, but I believe this RX was the start of the quality decline. It may well be my last Toyota product.

10th Mar 2010, 16:11

What is up with Toyota? My RX330 has started to have simple problems. I noticed this after six months.

17th Apr 2010, 09:41

2004 RX330 with 90255 miles - Posted April 17 2010.

Mold/musty smell from using recycled air when the air conditioner is used.

When going 40 mph and then braking, the steering wheel rattles and vibrates to the right and to the left, with myself trying to hold it still with all I can, and it still vibrates/rattles 4" in each direction. Also while doing that, I have to press hard onto the brake pedal, and at times it seems or feels like I won't be able to stop in time in order to not hit the car in front of me.

Sometimes after at a red light and you press the accelerator, there is a few seconds of lag, and then there is a boost of power that lurches the SUV forward, and then it goes into normal acceleration. My fear is that sudden unintended acceleration will happen.

Foam under back spoiler is loose.

Roof rack on drivers side has to be pushed back on after driving on an expressway.

13th May 2010, 19:15

I have a 2004 RX330 for about one year now, and have experienced the transmission problems. I've taken it to the dealer, re-programed the computer, but no help. I noticed when I turn off the traction/stability control (button under dash steering column) I notice the vehicle drives like a different vehicle. I don't notice the shift problems, in fact, it shifts very smoothly without hesitation. When I turn it back on, I notice transmission slippage again and rougher ride. Also, when I turn traction off I notice when I take my foot off the gas pedal the vehicle slowly coasts down instead of when it's on, when I take my foot off the pedal it feels as if someone is putting on the brakes, slowing down very quickly.