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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
13,984 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.

2004 Lexus RX 330 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Mar 052005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles

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

Transmission is hesitant, switches up and down in rapid jumps, is very unpredictable!! almost caused several accidents. Been doing it since I bought it 2 yrs. Dealer claims known problem, and no fix yet!!!

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #37

Dec 012005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The automatic transmission has a lag in it at low speeds. This is apparent when releasing the accelerator to slow down and then accelerating again. In this situation the transmission does on engage or it lags causing an unsafe condition by its unpredictable behavior. This situation happens on a frequent basis. I have seen many complaints about this transmission problem. Is NHTSA going to hold Lexus accountable for putting a defective transmission on the road" I have read that Lexus' repeated reply is to state this behavior is normal. Lexus can not win this argument on repetition, it is defective. If this lag is *normal* why didn't Lexus design this nice lag into all of their cars" I'm sure this would be a feature they would want to run an ad campaign on.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

problem #36

Oct 022004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Around 11,000 miles my 2004 RX330 started having a thumping sound that occurred intermittently while decelerating especially around 29 mph and then again around 19 mph. I took it to the dealer and they informed me that it was my trans cooler line assembly and oil cooler hose which were replaced and the problem was resolved for about one week that was back in Oct. 2004. I have taken the vehicle back about 4 more times for the thumping noise that continues to occur intermittently and now they tell me the noise is normal and that the vehicle is operating as designed. I questioned how can it be considered abnormal back in October but now that the thumping noise can't be fixed they consider it a design flaw. They apparently upgraded it and that should have eliminated the noise but if it didn't there is nothing else to do because this is how the vehicle was designed... I fear everyday that this thumping noise is only the beginning of what is yet to follow as I read all the other transmission problems that have been occuring and some have exhibited the thump sound...Lexus needs to fix the problems and not just put a band-aid on each one that occurs until the next major incident... take this vehicles off the road if so many consumers are putting their life in jeopardy driving a vehicle that was apparently not manufactured properly and should not be considered safe to drive.

- Philadlephia, PA, USA

problem #35

Apr 072005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

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

Engine/transmission hesitation; missed shift points; and stalls in traffic upon acceleration. Using automatic climate control causes all windows to fog up to the extent that you can not see out of the windows. Load engine noises and popping sounds.

- Corona, CA, USA

problem #34

Apr 012005

RX 330

  • miles
2004 Lexus RX330 has problems with transmission shift. The transmission hesitates when pulling out into traffic. The consumer believes that simply upgrading the computer chip would correct the problem.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #33

Oct 102003

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
I have a 2004 RX330. The transmission hesitates terribly, to the point this car is unsafe. I have had it in 3 times, and they tell me that's the way it is supposed to operate. They said, "I'ts trying to learn how you drive" give it time, they say, now I have 10K miles, still same problem. I waited my whole life to get a Lexus, and not they are proving to be lemons, and Lexus of all the companies, should stand behind their product. They are not doing anything. It's going to get someone killed. When are they going to help me and the others that are having trouble? it seems to be when you start from a stop, in the lower gears. Lexus said this car doesn't need the "update".

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #32

Jul 292004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,725 miles

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

Hesitation problems with my 2004 Lexus RX330. At low speeds of 10-15 mph to up to around 40-50 mph. Let off of the gas pedal to slow down & press the gas pedal there is a hesitation. This has happen changing lanes on a highway or turning around a corner. This hesitation has happen many times since the I leased this Lexus from the dealership. I have taken this RX330 back to the dealership 3 times for this problem. The Lexus dealership has called it a situation not a problem. But there is nothing they can do about it. I have voiced my complaint at the Lexus customer relations in California. I have repeatedly called. They tell me how sorry they are when I tell them someone is going to die or be seriously injured in this vechicle I have but there is nothing they can do. I have had at least 4 near accidents with this Lexus RX330 since July of 2004.

- Allison Park, PA, USA

problem #31

Jul 012003

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles
I am leasing a 2004 Lexus rx 330 fwd with about 20,000 miles on it. When I try to apply the throttle after slowing down there is a severe hesitation, usually followed by a sudden surge in power. At times there is an additional hesitation while the transmission is deciding what gear it should be in. This is especially noticeable while making a turn at an intersection, and especially dangerous if there are pedestrians in the intersection. I have had it to the leasing dealer (longo Lexus) and they reprogrammed the transmission, which provided a temporary and partial fix. After a few weeks, aparently the transmission reprogrammed itself and the problem returned. I took the car to a second dealer and he said that they had many similar complaints about that driveline, but there was no factory fix. I called Lexus customer service and they said the same. This problem began shortly after I got the car in April 2003 and still exists. If Lexus truly wanted to fix this problem, it would have already been done. They need a push.

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #30

Nov 202004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1 miles
Toyota/Lexus needs to address their power train problem on the 2004 rx 330 instead of seemingly ignoring it. The reprogramming does not work. I've had it done. Seemed to be a band aid fix for a major problem. Will it have to be a death before they recall these lousy transmissions. I have been in several near miss situations because of this awful transmission since purchasing this SUV brand new April 15, 2003. And after paying cash ($45,000) for their supposed great product I want to sue for my money back. The lag between gears, the high revs before getting into a gear is utterly insane. Can you say recallllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Calabasas, CA, USA

problem #29

Sep 012003

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,500 miles
Hesitation on 2004 Lexus rx 330 transmission. It's unsafe to pull out in traffic with this car. You don't know if the car will proceed or if it will hesitate while in traffic. Lexus says it's a design issue, with no fix. Lexus told us to use premium gas - then did an ECM reflash - then said it's a design issue. This car does this every time I drive it. It's great on the freeway at 60 mph, but from a starting position or a low speed position in the city - it's terrible - more importantly it doesn't feel safe. Today - it even surged when I pulled away from a light.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #28

Jun 012004

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Re: supplement to consumer complaint #10091268 Lexus rx 330 transmission/throttle problems. Automatic transmission hestiates, hunts, shifts inconsistently, hangs in between gears, delayes, etc. The throttle delays at the first application of gas and the rate of acceleration surges up and down unevenly. Dealer could not find a problem.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #27

Sep 052004

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission problems rendered the vehicle completely unsafe, prone to potential accidents. The consumer described the problem as lag or hesitation when the transmission shifted from first to second and or second to third, sometimes the vehicle revved up to the redline with out the transmission engaging. The dealer reset a computer chip that was involved in regulating the power train system. The dealer informed the consumer there was else that could be done. The transmission was the result of the design of the vehicle. (lawyer ira newman on behalf of client, peter janczuk)

- Great Neck, NY, USA

problem #26

Aug 312004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Since I have bought my car the transmission has not been shifting properly. It hesitates in low gears when the car accelerates. The most bothersome is the lack of proper response when the driver needs to slow down and then accelerate (such as turning left or changing lanes to avoid obstacles or double parked cars). In these cases transmission seems to go into neutral, and after about a second goes into third or fourth gear with a rapid, jerky movement of the whole car, which I would compare to being rear ended by another car. It happened to me and my wife 4 times and resulted in neck pain and headache, and almost being hit by another car. Lexus dealer and customer care state that the car was designed to work this way and there is nothing they can do.

- Great Neck, NY, USA

problem #25

Sep 212004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,200 miles
This has been a continuing problem since purchased new in Dec 2003. As has been reported numerous times, my car acceleration hesitates from a stop or from low speeds. Also my vehicle has extensive pause or lag between gears. This has created numerous dangerous situations where I was stuck while other vehicles had to take action to avoid hitting my RX330. Often, while making left turns against oncoming traffic, this lag is so long as to be dangerous. In the past, I have accelerated harder than I feel necessary in order to compensate for this lag. This results in a sudden downshift and forward lurch that is very dangerous. I have reported this to my dealer on 3 or more occasions and their response is that this is normal for my model. They say there is nothing they can do to correct this problem. The dealer did document this complaint on my service record the last time I visited on 8/13/04.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #24

Jul 162004

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Just left my Lexus dealer for my 20,000 service. Finally the service mgr acknowledged my transmission woes. See my previous post. He said Lexus is aware of the concern "nation wide". they changed? the tranny for 2005!!! they are also postponing the hybrid for 6 months due to the concerns of the 2004 rx transmission though we know that's a totally different application. The kicker is though it's still an open case, Lexus at this time does not have a fix. So 20,000 miles later I have a 40,0000 SUV that has a transmission of a Yugo. No offense to the Yugo. I was told how frustrated they are with this. I believe my frustration is greater, seeing how I make the payments and drive this car daily. Also not much they can do right now until Lexus makes a move. Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh. Not happy in the Twin Cities.

- No St Paul, MN, USA

problem #23

Jun 012004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
My Lexus rx 330 has had repeated transmission and throttle problems. The automatic transmission hesitates, hunts, shifts inconsistently, hangs in between gears, delays, etc. The throttle delays at the first application of gas and the rate of accelleration surges up and down unevenly. The result is that the car often cannot avoid hazard situations. If one is trying to pull into traffic the delays create hazards. If one anticipates and applies the throttle early to compensate, one sometimes lurches into traffic. When you attempt a lane change the same problems cause the same troubles: Delays and a hazard. The delay also has caused me to be almost rear ended at stop lights. I have repeatedly reported this problem or package of problems to my local servicing dealer and have been told that Lexus knows of the widespread nature of the complaints but that there is nothing that Lexus will do for it (other than one reflash that did not work for the issues). Amazingly, when I raised these issues in writing, the written response on my service records showed "no problems". when I pushed the service personnel on this, they admitted that all of my complaints were found but that Lexus claims these problems are "normal" to the design, therefore, they have been told by Lexus to simply respond that "there are no problems because the transmission is performing as designed. A bad design is just that. Local service people simply throw their collective hands up and say the they know about the gravity of the problem but that Lexus will do nothing about it. I have been told to expect no solution and to just live with it. Significantly, this is the largest selling Lexus model. Therefore, these problems and the hazards that they create affect thousands of motorists.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #22

Aug 242004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission has a serious delay in downshifting when trying to accelerate suddenly. This has caused more than one instance where a collision could have occurred due to inability to avoid faster traffic.

- Searingtown, NY, USA

problem #21

Jul 082004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,200 miles
Acceleration with this SUV is not positive and you never know if you are going to move when you depress the accelerator. This SUV uses "drive by wire" technology so there is no physical link between the gas pedal and the engine. When you depress the gas, there is a delay in the reponse which can cause you to end up in some other driver's path. This car is very unsafe to drive and needs to be recalled and fixed by the manufacturer before someone is killed. I took my SUV to the dealer and he "reset my on-board computer and the computer that communicates to the transmission.......... this did nothing! I plan to take my SUV back to the dealer again and if he cannot repair the problem I am going to terminate my lease!

- Apopka, FL, USA

problem #20

Oct 102003

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100 miles
2004 Lexus rx 330 has intermittant, erratic automatic transmission. Dealer says it is a "hesitatiion issue", but rfeuses to confirm in writing because manufacturer says it's the way the car is designed. Even though countless others have complained, nothing has been done.

- Albertson, NY, USA

problem #19

Aug 132004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles
Our 2004 Lexus RX330 (now about 15,000 miles) continues to have terrible shifting problems with the automatic transmission. In particular, two major issues -- (1) doesn't upshift correctly, usually between 2nd and 3rd gears, but the real concern is (2) when slowing down, coasting anything above 0 mph (even 1), then hitting the gas pedal, the car simply doesn't respond for 3-5 seconds, then slowly accelerates. We've almost been hit 5 times because of the 2nd problem. We've taken the car to the dealer four times to have it looked at. The first time the dealer denied the problem existed. The second time they recognized it (after a test drive with me) and reset the software/driving chip, telling me the car "learns" our driving habits after about 300 miles, so to get the car to respond [the way it should], I should floor the gas all the time for the first 300 miles or so, which I did from every stoplight for 350 miles. It didn't work. Now during my third and fourth visits Lexus has declined to reset the chip or do anything about it. The lead mechanic told me they simply don't have a fix, and he knows it's an issue. In fact, a month ago (service appt #4) they said I would have to pay about $300 to have them reset the chip again (which likely wouldn't work anyway, as described above). I've been told by the service advisor he's heard compaints from many new RX330 owners about the same problem, but short of a recall from Lexus, "that's the way the transmission works on the RX330 and we can't do anything about it". it's terribly frustrating that Lexus denies there's a problem, even though many have reported it, and we've almost been hit by another automobile because of the problem. I just hope it doesn't take a major accident or worse for Lexus or the NHTSA to do something about it.

- Cornelius, NC, USA

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