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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,332 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.

2008 Lexus IS 250 engine problems

engine problem

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2008 Lexus IS 250 Owner Comments

problem #11

Sep 032013

IS 250 6-cyl

  • 73,000 miles


September 20, 2012 I experienced my first misfire issue with my 2008 Lexus Is 250. As I accelerated to approx 65 mph to entire a busy highway on ramp, I lost all acceleration in my vehicle. As this happened, I had the check engine light flashing, my check vsc indicator displaying, and my traction control light illuminating. I called Lexus, they advised that the car needed be towed in and the began to run the codes that were tripped. It was determined that I had extreme carbon build up in the engine, which was causing my engine to misfire. They did the "cleaning repair" which involved taking the engine apart, and sending a bunch of parts to a machine shop where they cleaned the heads & pistons. In total, I was without my car for over a month! fast forward to September 3, 2013. I now have 73,000 miles on my car, and the same thing happened again this evening as I was accelerating to approx 40 mph. This time I was on a busy 5 lane road, and lost all acceleration and had to essentially "coast" across 5 lanes of rush hour traffic to get to safety on the shoulder of the road. I immediately called Lexus, and once again they advised me that my car needed to be towed in. Today my service advisor contacted me to inform me that once again I have carbon build up in my engine and that it is misfiring. Unfortunately now, my car is beyond the 70,000 mile drive train warranty. He is working with corporate to see what my next steps are, but I refuse to pay for these repairs, and I do not feel that I should have to since it is essentially a repeat malfunction of an existing issue! it should also be noted that my is has been into the dealership 3X for engine noise/rough start up since I had the repairs completed last year. Every time, I was told that they logged the issue, but were unable to replicate it.

- Oviedo, FL, USA

problem #10

Nov 042012

IS 250 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles
As I was attempting to accelerate, the vsc light and check engine light came on, the car lost power, would not accelerate, and the engine started misfiring.

- Kailua Kona, HI, USA

problem #9

Dec 222010

IS 250

  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Lexus IS250. While driving approximately 25-30 mph, the vehicle suddenly accelerated. The brakes were applied but the vehicle would not stop. The contact was unsure of when or how the vehicle stopped but the she ended up in the middle of the road. The contact had blacked out and hit her head. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer but had not been inspected. The current and failure mileages were approximately 42,000.

- Rural Valley , PA, USA

problem #8

May 022010

IS 250

  • 22,000 miles


I was driving my 2008 IS250 at about 40 mph on a two lane roadway when I felt the car accelerate suddenly. I took my foot off the gas pedal but it continued to accelerate to 85 mph. I immediately hit the brake but the vehicle did not stop or even slow down. I had pressed the brake pedal as far as it would go but the vehicle did not respond. The third time I pressed the brake pedal the vehicle began to slow down but would not stop. The speed slowly decreased to about 20 mph but still did not stop. Luckily there was little traffic volume but I was approaching an intersection. The car was slowing down but not stopping. Finally it came to a crawl just as the traffic light turned green. I let go of the brake and the car thrusted forward. I pressed the brake pedal yet again and the vehicle finally came to a stop. I called Lexus dealership to report the problem. They towed the car to their service center. Noone asked for specific details of the incident. It didn't seem that this type of complainant was anything new to them.

- Islip Terrace, NY, USA

problem #7

Apr 112010

IS 250

  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Lexus IS250. The contact was driving approximately 2 mph into a parking space. The vehicle surged over a sidewalk and came to a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and then transported to an authorized dealer to be repaired. The failure and current mileages were 15,000.

- Severna Park, MD, USA

problem #6

Apr 292009

IS 250

  • 17,954 miles
I like to report an incident of a possible manufacture malfunction on my 2008 Lexus IS250. The incident happened on 4/29/2010. I was first stopped for red light in the neutral gear. As I was ready to move forward on green light, I switched the automatic transmission to "drive, " however the car just accelerated uncontrollable forward. I immediately stepped the brake pedal repeatedly (~3 times), but the brake didn't work until my car hit the car in front of me. After colliding with the car in front of me, my Lexus engine shut down by itself. I took my car to magnussen's Lexus dealership in fremont, ca, but they could not find a problem. In light of so many problems reported by other drivers against Toyota and Lexus, I started to think my incident is not an isolated case and may be significant for further investigation. I would like to make an official report to the incident that happened to me and ask you to address the possible safety issue. Best regards

- Cupertino, CA, USA

problem #5

Nov 052007

IS 250

  • 7,000 miles


The contact owns a 2008 Lexus IS250. While driving approximately 5 mph into her garage the vehicle accelerated into the refrigerator door and the garage wall after she applied the brakes. The dealer advised her to take the vehicle to the collision shop to be repaired but the dealer never checked the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified; however, the contact received a recall notice but didn't indicate what component it was related to. The VIN was unknown. The failure mileage was 7,000.

- Williamsville, NY, USA

problem #4

Jan 012010

IS 250

  • 9,900 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Lexus is-250 which was purchased in October 2008. He stated while traveling at speeds of less than 25 mph on a two-lane street, the vehicle accelerated uncontrollably. He attempted to depress the brake pedal; however, the vehicle continued to accelerate. He then utilized the emergency brake yet the vehicle continued to accelerate. The contact was able to force the gear shift selector into the park position and shut the vehicle off. When the vehicle came to a complete stop, he noticed that the driver's side floor mats were stuck under the accelerator pedal. The local dealer advised him to remove one of the floor mats from the vehicle. There were no recalls on his specific vehicle to date. The current and failure mileages were under 9,900.

- San Juan, PR, USA

problem #3

Feb 042009

IS 250

  • 5,000 miles
In early 02/09 I was driving home on interstate 695 N in Maryland. I was traveling about 50 mph, when all of a sudden the car suddenly accelerated to about 95 mph through no effort of my own. I did not engage the accelerator pedal to increase the speed of the vehicle. I immediately engaged the foot brake to decelerate and but the car would not slow. Eventually after several attempts I was able to slow the car with the brake but the engine continued to violently rev. As I released the foot brake, the car once again accelerated without engaging the accelerator pedal. Even after engaging the emergency brake, the unaided acceleration and my attempt to decelerate the car continued. I was finally able to slow the car enough to pull out of traffic and over to the emergency lane and eventually stop the motion of the vehicle. Although I was able to bring the car to a stop, the engine continued to rev violently, the back tires spun out of control and the back of the car started to fish tail. I tried a number of different tactics to stop the car completely including, attempting to manually shift gears, putting the car in neutral etc. Finally, after several minutes I was able to turn off the ignition and bring the car to a complete stop and the ordeal came to an end without damaging the car and more importantly without injury to me or others. I had the car towed to dealership that night and explained the situation to the service organization the following day. The service team conducted multiple diagnostic tests but was unable to determine or explain the cause of the unintended acceleration to my satisfaction. One service rep suggested that the floor mat was the cause but I had checked immediately after the ordeal the night before to ensure that the floor mat had not become lodged under the accelerator pedal. Since the dealership was not able to determine the cause of the problem, I decided that the best course of action was to return the car and lease another car.

- Glenwood, MD, USA

problem #2

Oct 312009

IS 250

  • 9,800 miles
I was driving my wife's Lexus 2008 is 250 out of a parking lot when applying my foot on the brake the car accelerated. I now slammed my foot on the brakes and the car continued to accelerate. The only thing that stopped my car was the car in front of it with very little damage. If the car was not in front of me I was accelerating faster into on coming traffic. My floor mat is not on the floor as after the san diego incident that was Toyota's reasoning. We were told roughly a month and half ago to take the mat out, which I did right away. They can deny it all they want this car was accelerating and getting faster when applying the brake. The policeman at the scene instructed us to not drive this vehicle and to get a loaner which we did. The car was picked up and sent to Lexus in freehold. First we were told nothing is wrong and they test drove it and such. They were keeping it for 3 days now they are telling us they are keeping it for 3 weeks. There are reports all over the web on this with over 2000 complaints. It is obvious there is a major defect in their computer system. They really need to stop covering this up as 16 people have died. Fyi, this has happened to people in Lexus loaners and loaners do not have floor mats. Again, luckily the car was only 15 feet in front of me what if it was 100 ft!

- Freehold, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 072009

IS 250

  • 12,000 miles
I was pulling into a parking space with my foot on the brake, almost to a complete stop when the car suddenly accelerated & I went up over a curb & hit a transformer. The distance was only about 8 feet. I do not know how fast I was going probably about 15 - 30 mph. I moved the transformer about 3 feet. (the transformer weighed about 1/2 - 1 ton)9I I do not know how the car accelerated.

- Waltham, MA, USA

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