NHTSA — Power Train: Automatic Transmission Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
6 / 0
Average Mileage:
11,675 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2007 Lexus ES 350 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2007 Lexus ES 350 Owner Comments

problem #20

Apr 062010

ES 350

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2007 Lexus ES350. Consumer states unintended acceleration the consumer did receive a recall notice in the mail regarding accelerator problems, but was not concerned, because he never experienced any problems prior. However, on April 6, 2010, as the consumer was about to make a turn, the vehicle suddenly lurched forward and a red warning light illuminated as well as the check engine light. The consumer aborted the turn and went straight ahead and turned into a gas station. The consumer then turned off the engine and after a minute or two he re-started it; both the warning light and check engine light as well as a light indicating loss of traction were on. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where they reset the computer and the consumer was informed everything was fine. However, 4 miles into his trip, the vehicle lurched forward again when it was moving at about 20 mph after a stop sign. The consumer drove the vehicle to the dealership the next day and upon inspection, the consumer was informed the vehicle needed a new transmission. The representative told the consumer there was a mechanical problem with the second gear and that the lurching of the vehicle was related to the computer bypassing that gear.

- New Port Richey, FL, USA

problem #19

Mar 312010

ES 350

  • miles
On Wednesday, March 31 at approximately 5:30 P.M., I driving my in-laws' 2007 Lexus ES 350 North on main road, when the vehicle suddenly began to accelerate. The gas pedal moved away from my foot and the vehicle started accelerating at full power. I immediately applied the brakes, but the vehicle continued to gain speed. I attempted to cut the car off by hitting the start button(it has no key). Again, nothing happened. I was traveling approximately 55 to 60 mph before the acceleration and approximately 80-85 after the engine began to race. The breaks did little to reduce the overall speed; however, pushing the brake pedal seemed to reduce the rate of acceleration. I tried putting the vehicle into neutral but that did not stop the acceleration. I had both feet on the break and was pushing as hard as I could, but it still could not reduce the speed. At some point, I turned on the hazard lights. I kept trying to get the car into neutral and to hit the on/off button but the vehicle was nonresponsive. I was quickly approaching the vehicle in front of me and had decided to hit it rather than run off the road. Just as suddenly as it started, the car just cut off and I coasted to the next side street which was old pond road. It seemed like I was without brakes for approximately 2-3 miles.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #18

Nov 242006

ES 350

  • 1,000 miles
We bought our Lexus 350 on Sep 29, 2006 within 3-5 months we had issues in acceleration pedal. We took to the workshop and stated our complaint on increase is speed the 1st 10 min of driving. The replaced the transmission. But sometimes we still have that issue. But when we take to the dealer they say they couldn't reproduce that. We are now worries about the sticky gas pedal issue. Once we even hit a cyclist is the turn when I couldn't control the speed on the turn. We tried to reduce our speed, but it was kind of accelerated to 40, where as it should be in 25. The incident happened in school zone.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #17

Nov 242007

ES 350

  • 1,000 miles


We bought our Lexus 350 on Sep 29, 2006 within 3-5 months we had issues in acceleration pedal. We took to the workshop and stated our complaint on increase is speed the 1st 10 min of driving. The replaced the transmission. But sometimes we still have that issue. But when we take to the dealer they say they couldn't reproduce that. We are now worries about the sticky gas pedal issue. Once we even hit a cyclist is the turn when I couldn't control the speed on the turn. We tried to reduce our speed, but it was kind of accelerated to 40, where as it should be in 25. The incident happened in school zone.

- San Jose, CA, USA

problem #16

Sep 102008

ES 350

  • 250 miles
Engine surges, unexpected acceleration. Occurs at low speeds, appears to be failure of automatic transmission. Happens every couple of months. Was told it was my fault for not understanding how the "intelligent" transmission functions.

- Hopewell Junction, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 202009

ES 350

  • 13,000 miles
Vehicle: Lexus ES350 - 2007 problem: When backing up out of the driveway or onto a busy street, the car stalls when shifted into drive. The computer resets itself which could be 5 seconds and the car needs to be restarted or enough time to be crashed into. I have had three near misses as the car stalled when backed up onto a busy road. The problem has happened to both myself and wife, so it is driver independent. The Lexus dealer said there is no fix. They claim the software is either a yes or no for reverse or forward and the "roll" between the two can not be interpreted causing the vehicle to stall. This is extremely concerning due to the near miss accidents. I understand it is a problem with the ES and is. The problem is very intermittent, but has occurred 6 times within my 3 years of ownership.

- Fairport, NY, USA

problem #14

Nov 192009

ES 350

  • 32,800 miles


The contact owns a 2007 Lexus ES 350. The contact stated that she felt a thrust/surging motion while driving the vehicle as if someone hit her from the rear. She noticed the problem about 6 different times. She called the manufacturer and was instructed to take the vehicle to the dealership. She took the vehicle to the dealership and the transmission software was upgraded. The contact had not noticed the problem since the upgrade. The vehicle identification number was not available at the time of the complaint. The current mileage was approximately 35,000. The failure mileage was approximately 32,800.

- Sunrise, FL, USA

problem #13

Aug 062007

ES 350

  • 76,518 miles
I have an ES 350 Lexus. I purchased my car in May 06. The cars has problems switching gears at certain points when you put your foot on the gas. You could be on the highway or in a residential area and the car rev's and takes off and accelerates forward really hard with out giving the gas pedal a lot of gas. Once this happens the check engine light and also the check vsc light comes on. In the Lexus manual it tells you that its very dangerous to drive your in that condition and it should be taken to the dealership immediately. I took my car to the dealership and I was told that this issue was caused by my car being recalibrated and that the transmission would need to be replaced. My car only has 76,000 miles.

- Chula Vista , CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 312008

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles
The contact owns a 2007 Lexus ES350. While driving approximately 25 mph on normal road conditions, the contact depressed the brake pedal and the engine began to rev, followed by unintended acceleration. The brake pedal required greater force to stop the vehicle. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel at the time of the failure. The failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing and they stated that the failure was contributed to the computerized system in the transmission. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The vehicle is in the process of being repaired. The failure mileage was 18,000 and current mileage was 25,200. Updated 05/26/09 updated 05/28/09.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 022008

ES 350

  • 26,100 miles
My Lexus ES 350 recently had flare problems with my transmission. There is a bulletin out by Lexus which suggest the car's transmission will flare between 3rd and 4th gear. However, what they don't tell you is that the car's transmission will flare, but in my case, take off on its own. In short, early morning I was driving to work and my car's transmission flared and suddenly took off with out me doing anything. Basically, I had to put both feet on my breaks and stand on my breaks to keep the car from crashing into another car. Luckily, I remembered to hit the off button on my car to keep it from ramming into another car. I have never experienced anything likes this before having a car suddenly surge forward with all 8000 rpms blazing. My wife would of never been able to stop this car if she was driving. I reported this to my Lexus dealer in lindon but they refused to write down the complaint after fixing the transmission. Basically, the local Lexus dealer said they would not write down my complaint and suggested I call Lexus corporate....which I did on Friday.

- Orem, UT, USA

problem #10

Jul 162008

ES 350

  • 25,000 miles


I have a 2007 Lexus ES350. When coming to a stop the vehicle slows and then there is a bump as though the vehicle has been hit it the rear. This has happened at least 4 times. Another problem is that when accelerating the trans will speed up causing me to hit the brakes. Lexus stated that this is normal. I think its dangerous.

- St. Clair Shores, MI, USA

problem #9

Jun 012007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
Lexus ES 350 has sudden and unexpected acceleration.

- Elkins Park, PA, USA

problem #8

Dec 312007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I'm having various problems with my Lexus ES350 as follows: The transmission slips and I feel the car accelerates by itself while I'm driving. The parking assistant system alerts me when any obstacles are near my car. The front passenger airbag indication is off when an adult sits there.

- Rowland Heights, CA, USA

problem #7

Aug 162007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,450 miles
I purchased a 2007 ES350 Lexus April 20, 2007. The transmissions began surging and flaring up on the RPM's when accelerating, the gas mileage dropped to 14 miles a gallon in July 2007. I brought the car to the dealer and the first time they upgraded the computer software and replaced a chip. On August 16, 2007 the transmission started revving up and shifting hard and a rattle developed in the roof. The dealer put a whole new transmission in the car that time and took the sunroof apart because a part was loose. The same day, the car started doing the same thing on the way home from work and I took it back to the dealer. I filed a complaint with Lexus usa and they would not offer anything other then putting a third transmission in the car. 9/18/07 back at the dealer, it is running and the test drive with the mechanic the car shift slow and is not flaring as bad and the gas mileage is 14 miles a gallon again. The roof is rattling again and I need to have the sunroof worked on again. The car failed on the interstate the 2 time and I almost got killed in the high speed line since the car would not go over 50 miles a hour at rush hour in atlanta, ga. Lexus is aware of the transmission failures and the safety issue but refuse to recall or buy back this car. Thanks

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #6

Aug 162007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,080 miles
Unexpected acceleration and erratic shifting; failure of automatic transmission and related systems; proposed replacement under warranty of the transmission;

- Andover, MA, USA

problem #5

May 182007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,700 miles
I own a 2007 Lexus 350 purchased in Sept of 2006. I have experienced problems with the transmission, at 3,000 miles which resulted in Lexus replacing the transmiion. Most recently I was driving on an interstate and while passing a car my car accelerated on it own to 140mpg. I was braking continuously for seven to ten minutes. I shifted from drive to neutral. This did not help. The car only slowed down with the pressure on the brakes. I contacted the dealer who picked up the car when I returned home and I was told that it was a floor mat issue my floor mat was put in by the dealership. I was injured and have since required surgery. In my opinion there is a serious safety issue with the vehicle.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #4

Mar 272007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
My car has a commonly known problem with the transmission where it slips as much as 1000 RPM when shifting from third to 4th gear. When I reported it to Lexus, they immediately replaced the transaxle. Now it flares even worse.

- Cromwell, CT, USA

problem #3

Apr 252007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 225 miles
I purchased a new 2007 lexux ES350 on April 12, 2007. In a right hand turn, the vehicle severely oversteered. Immediately the check engine light came on, with an error message to check vsc. As a result I returned the vehicle to the smithtown Lexus service department on Apr. 19, 2007 with 244 miles on the odometer. They took over twenty-four hours to diagnose the fault. They allege that the failure is the result of a defective sensor in the transmission. Although I have requested corroboration of the cause from a Lexus factory representative and confirmation of the inability to obtain a replacement part for a week, and inspection of the defective part as removed from the vehicle none of these requests have been met as of April 25, 2007. As the defect is a safety related issue of vehicle stability I am concerned that the car poses a potential safety hazard to the public.

- Oakdale, NY, USA

problem #2

Mar 072007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 274 miles
I purchased a Lexus ES350 on 2-16-07. On 3-7-07, I experienced a gear shift failure resulting in a near rear end situation. I feel this problem is a serious safety issue and has been a ongoing problem that Lexus has not corrected. My car was towed to the dealer for repair of the transmission. I do not trust that it will be reliable.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #1

Jan 212007

ES 350 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,100 miles
My car developed the flare/slip (1000 rmp gap) cold start first shift from 2/3 gear. It happened 2-3 times out of 7 days I sent the car to dealer, they keep telling me that they were not able to duplicate or verify the problem, I video tape the problem show it to the dealer however they told me that they have to duplicate the problem first in order to start to repair. After I pick up the car back from the dealer for the first time the flare/slip (1000 rmp gap) happened again, it happened 3-4 times out of 7 days, I sent the car back to dealer to check the problem. Again they said that they were not able to duplicate or verify the problem.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

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