Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,554 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.

2002 Lexus RX 300 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Lexus RX 300 Owner Comments

problem #11

Mar 162012

RX 300

  • 128,591 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Subject: Sudden acceleration Lexus 2002--near fatal crash comments: On 3.16.2012 at 8 :30 am I pulled into a parking spot in a parking garage in baltimore, Maryland. The car was stopping in a parking space. Suddenly, the engine starting revving up and the car suddenly accelerated at such a high speed that the car jumped over the parking barricade and cables, went airborn and crash landed at the opposite end of the garage on the level below. If it had landed 12 inches further, it would have gone over the 6th story of the parking garage. The brakes did not work and prior to this, the car was almost stopped. I have owned this car for 8 years with one previous owner. I always do the recommended routine maintenance. The car was beyond repair and was totaled.

- Timonium, MD, USA

problem #10

Dec 202013

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
My wife was driving in freeway (highway 101 in bay area, ca) around 8:00pm. The car was at a speed of ~60 miles/hr. The car started accelerating independently. My wife exited 101 immediately and found that she could not get the car to fully stop even though she applied the brake fully. The car was still idling full throttle after my wife put the car in park. Then my wife shut off the engine. I had the car towed to Lexus dealer service. The dealer's advisor told me he has not seen this kind of case before and he has to talk to his manager; unfortunately his manager is not available and he will have his manager call me.

- Palo Alto , CA, USA

problem #9

Nov 222011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 135,000 miles
TL- the contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that while parking vehicle, there was an abnormal increase in engine rpms as the vehicle accelerated independently. The vehicle jumped the curb and crashed into a fence before coming to a complete stop. The air bags did not deploy and the contact suffered injuries to the right shoulder. The vehicle was not destroyed. The contact called the manufacturer and the manufacturer sent a technician to examine the vehicle failure. The technician stated that because there were two flat tires on the vehicle due to the sudden acceleration, the vehicle could not be properly examined. The failure mileage was 135,000. Kmj updated 01/13/12 updated 02/01/12....updated 02/10/12 also, the air bag did not deploy. Updated 05/03/12

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #8

Jul 112011

RX 300

  • 110,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While pulling into a parking space in my office parking lot, I had an unattended acceleration while my foot was on the brake. The car lunged over the curb, up a slight incline, hit a small tree which knocked down the perimeter fence. I called the Lexus dealership and they gave me an 800 number to call. I reported what happened and they sent a tow truck to bring my car to the dealership because I was afraid to drive it. At the dealership they indicated to me that I was not suppose to bring it to them so I had the manager drive it to their collision place where I had the bumper repaired. My insurance company did not pay for a rental replacement. The repair cost me $250 (my deductible) + the rental car cost of approx. $210. My insurance paid for the tree and fence repair of about $2,000+. my car was subsequently inspected by Toyota's inspection company. It took about 3-4 hours and the end result was that the car did not have any defects. I continue to be concerned about whether or not this will happen again and maintain a large distance between vehicles. In 2007 my car had a similar problem when it accelerated to a high speed because the throttle got stuck due to a mechanic's service error when worked on the day before. Since Toyota said my vehicle is okay, I had to pay the almost $500 for the repair and rental car and my insurance will probably go up due to the payment made to my company for the tree and fence repair. I think the throttle has a faulty design and I told Toyota that this was my opinion.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #7

Dec 312010

RX 300

  • 159,000 miles
In attempting to park my vehicle at a store parking lot, at very low speed (<1 mph) with my foot on or hovering over the brake pedal, my car lunged forward, jumped the 'stopper' and ran into a handicap parking pole. The car engine continued to race/accerlerate until I removed the key from the ignition. The store surveillance system caught the accident on tape. Had it not been for the upright concrete pole, my vehicle very well would have caused injury to others. Fortunately, neither my passenger nor I were injured. My insurance company found no damage to my brakes; and resulting damage to the front end has been repaired. However, since the accident, I have had my front brakes replaced. I am considerably more cognizant of slight accelleration of the vehicle without my assistance!!

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #6

Aug 042010

RX 300

  • 110,000 miles
I experienced sudden unintended acceleration in my 2002 Lexus, RX300 on 4 Aug, 2010. I was in a parking lot making a left turn into the parking area when the vehicle revved full throttle and surged forward. I applied the brakes fully and when the vehicle did not fully stop I put the vehicle in neutral while still applying the brakes and stopped the vehicle. It was still idling full throttle. I shut it off and let it sit a few minutes and started it again. It went to full throttle and would not throttle down. I then went under the hood and tried to jiggle the accelerator linkage but to no avail. I called the local Toyota service department and they told me to get the vehicle there. I had it towed to the service center. They would not do any work on it or even look at it because it was a Lexus and they had been instructed not to do anything with unintended acceleration problems on any type of vehicle that was not a Toyota even though Lexus is manufactured by Toyota. I had to get it to a Lexus dealer in tucson, AZ (~80 miles away) for diagnosis. The Lexus dealer service center diagnosed the problem as a bent throttle cable. Some how a cover had come loose and the cable was exposed from its sheath and bent. I am sure the Lexus of tucson service manager, Mr. Paul minor could explain it exactly but that is my interpretation of what he explained to me. I asked him how this could have happened and he said he did not know. The repair was accomplished for ~$365 parts and labor. I will have the car back on Friday 20 Aug, 2010. I will have the old/bad parts on hand. I feel this is a problem in design that Lexus should take responsibility to reimburse me and to issue a safety release and recall. There should be a fail safe if the throttle cable should bend. In my case the bent cable caused a full throttle condition and sudden unintended acceleration. I was fortunate that I was aware of what to do in that situation and that a pedestrian or another vehicle.

- Sierra Vista, AZ, USA

problem #5

Feb 072009

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 174,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. Whenever the contact attempted to come to a complete stop, he noticed that the RPM's suddenly increased causing the vehicle to lunge forward even when the brakes were applied. The contact previously noticed that all of the dashboard warning lights illuminated for several days and then shut off without being serviced. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 174000. Updated 3/24/10 the consumer stated he experienced sudden acceleration several times. Updated 06/17/10

- Wellington, FL, USA

problem #4

Dec 202009

RX 300

  • 120,000 miles
Whenever at a stop or going at very slow speeds (less than 10mph, for example), gas pedal sticks. I have to apply pressure or stomp on the pedal to get the car to move, then it often lurches ahead. This does not happen if going at speed (25 + mph) when take foot off gas pedal nor does it happen when putting car into reverse. At times have to apply excessive pressure to get the gas pedal to move, other times not as much pressure. So far have not done anything to repair the sticking gas pedal. Problem has been getting progressively worst since late last year.

- Oxnard, CA, USA

problem #3

May 262009

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
I owned a 2002 Lexus RX300, which was totaled in may of 2009 due to a sticking accelerator. After I started it in my garage, the very second, I engaged the drive gear, with my foot securely planted on the brake, my vehicle took off like a rocket. It crashed thru my garage door, proceeded about 20 feet across my driving pad, crashed thru a brick retaining wall and did not stop until it hit my neighbor's house next door. My vehicle was totaled and collision resulted in massive damage to my home and my neighbor's home. Toyota inspected my vehicle and advised that my incident was not the result of a manufacturing defect and that they were unable to determine the cause. My vehicle had 61,000 miles and was in mint condition, at the time of the crash. I reported this incident to NHTSA on 6/1/09. There has been no mention of later model Lexus in any of the conversations. IżD like for someone to address my issue as well. Thank you.

- Crestwood, KY, USA

problem #2

Jul 012004

RX 300

  • miles
While driving came to a complete stop. Then, vehicle surged forward. Took the vehicle to the dealer.

- Winnetka, IL, USA

problem #1

May 042003

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,500 miles
Throttle became stuck on 2002 Lexus RX300 while car was being driven causing it to rapidly accelerate. Car had to be turned off before it could be stopped. Car was towed to Lexus dealer. I was told it was just a "freak" accident that a tiny piece of plastic had gotten sucked into throttle. I want to be sure this was an accident and is not a defect.

- Sand Springs, OK, USA

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