I love my 2001 RX300, but my key fob also broke. The very same day I got my spare and put it on my key chain, and it happened to that one, which had sat unused all of these years. We got new batteries and glued it all back together.
My 2001 Lexus RX300 came with two keys plus the valet key. The first key broke apart after two years, at which point I started using the second key. As of yesterday, the second key has broken apart, leaving the metal part of the key in the ignition. I have zero faith that if I spend $200 to buy a replacement key, it will last very long. It is unfortunate that a company that prides itself in service doesn't act on this problem, especially since it is obviously due to poor design and/or materials.
Both my keys for my 2000 Lexus RX300 completely fell apart on me recently. Rather than pay the dealer $200, I went to eBay and found the key shell for $13.72 (shipping included). And I found a local key cutter willing to cut the key for me for $40. And it was really easy for me to transfer the electronic piece into the new shell.
Have owned my 2000 RX300 for 2 months--got one master key and one valet. So far nothing has "broken", yet I am not able to any longer use the REMOTE function of the master key, and I have replaced the battery. I think I got it wet inside. Is there a way to get these remote functions fixed without the $200 I'm being quoted by the dealer? Sounds like good replacement parts are available for the casing, but that's not what I need. Boy, I sure will be careful with my keys after reading all this!
If a button in your Lexus key is no longer working, I can most likely fix it for much less than the price of a new key. I've fixed 2 of them so far. I had two Lexus keys - both whose lock button ceased to work. The Lexus dealer quoted me over $200 per key, which he said was the ONLY option other than eBay, which is risky. Instead, I did nothing.
A year later, frustrated about not being able to lock the doors remotely, I took the keys apart and found that both keys' lock button mechanisms had fallen or broken off of the contacts on the circuit board. Perhaps mine were defective, who knows? Regardless, they are VERY tiny mechanisms, which required me to use tweezers to hold. I purchased a liquid solder, which I applied to the contacts on the circuit board, and using the tweezers, placed the button mechanism back into place. Both keys now work.
You can find me at http://tucsonfoodieblog.com
"Lexus tells me that in order to get new master keys made I need to change the whole computer plus order two master keys. This is at a big cost, over $2,000.00."
This is ridiculous. On a Ford, they take your VIN number, make the key off that, and it doesn't cost anywhere near $2000. This sounds like a Lexus rip-off.
The old RX300 keys do suffer from a weak design that cannot handle the repeated torque of turning on the ignition. Both of my original keys broke within a few years. If you have your key pieces (electric transponder and metal key part), ask the Lexus parts desk and they will sell you a $60 aftermarket key and put it together for you. This key has worked well for 5 years and is a good design.
I have now replaced three keys on my 2004 RX330; this is certainly a design problem, and I would think that Lexus would want to face up to it being engineered wrong as a defective design. The dealers seem to think that they can continue to tell you that it is because of the attached keys, but never had this problem with any other cars in 40 years, including other Lexus vehicles.
I have a 2003 ES 300. The key/remote broke in two when I tried to start the car. The key was not "abused", or mishandled in any way.
Corporate Lexus says the car is out of warranty, so it will not accept responsibility.
Lexus dealer charges $50 for a replacement.
Seems that Toyota is acting in a consistent fashion, as it has done in recent months with all of its problems - - deny, deny, deny that it is ever its fault.
Too bad. Lexus was a great car, but we just bought an Infiniti because of the Toyota intransigence on so many problems on its cars.
Another way to fix that broken Lexus key.
Many of you women out there have your acrylic fiberglass nails done. Have your nail technician repair the key with 5 second glue and fiberglass fabric material. The technician must be careful not to get the glue in the switch by holding the key upright as they make the repair.
In a matter of 20 minutes, the key will strong and ready for use again.
Just remember to turn the key as close to the base as possible when turning to prolong the life of the repair.
This repair can save you lots of time and money.
It is completely OK to judge a car by the key fob! If you can't start the car because the key falls apart, you essentially don't have a car! It's like having a dead battery. Except worse, because it's not a common problem, so it's not as easy to deal with. I have never heard of a car for which the key doesn't last the life of the car. It is ridiculous that this key is so poorly constructed, and Lexus is making big money off it. Makes you wonder if they did it on purpose so they get extra cash off their customers. I have had to tape and buy replacement car key houses multiple times for my Lexus RX 300 key, and have been in a situation where I was stranded as well.
Lexus should be providing free replacement keys for this since the poor construction of this key is their fault, not the consumer's fault.
I have a 2005 RX330, and had both remote keys fall apart. The design is ridiculously flimsy. It is held together by a small screw at the absolute edge of the plastic enclosure, which does not give it much support area. This should have been detected by Lexus engineers.
I am amazed that this problem has been occurring since at least 1999 based on the comments I read. This indicates that the kaizen (continuous improvement) that Toyota pioneered has obviously been dropped in order to make more profits. This was evident with the problems Toyota has faced in the recent past, and the admission that they have overlooked quality for the purpose of profit, which is a very short sighted approach.
I have a 1999 Mercedes, and never ever had such simple problem occur on it.
I too had a fob that fell apart on a 2003 in 2009. The inside and key insert was fine, the whole thing replaced would have been over 200 bucks. I opted to buy just the fob housing and key insert for about 80 after the glue no longer held. Seems with a fine car, they would have a bullet proof fob.
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