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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 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #18

Jul 252004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles

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

1. there were no events that led up to the problem that I have been having.. the transmission on my brand new Lexus rx 330 doesn't shift properly. It kicks when steping on the the gas pedal, there is a hesitation when accelerating from a stop, & between 20 - 40 mph, as the transmission shifts, the transmission has trouble up shifting and engine revs up and down several times before shifting 3. the dealer has tried to reprogram the transmission computer, and has tried switching to high octane fuel. Neither has worked. The dealer is trying to correct the problem, however, I know of several rx 330 owners who are all experienceing simmilar problems with their transmissions. It seems apparent that there is a manufacturing defect in some part of the transmissions used in the rx 330.

- Cooper City, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 062003

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I have owned my 2004 Lexus RX330 since October. I have had the vehicle into the dealership on (4) separate occasions complaining about the problem with the transmission. Upon acceleration after slowing down the vehicle and returning to the pedal to reaccelerate the transmission does not engage. The car has a "dead pedal" at times I have even pressed the accelerator to the floor with no reaction. When you let up on it and repress then it will react. Also the transmission has a "lag" in shifting at low speeds. On several occasions especially when yeilding and starting to proceed, I have almost hit a vehicle from the lag time from when I actually started to accelerate and the vehicle actually beginning to move. I feel this extremely dangerous, as I have come close to hitting a vehicle on several occasions from this. I feel very unsafe in this vehicle even with the overwhelming safety features of the vehicle. I do not trust that when I engage the accelerater to get out of the way that I will actually move. The dealer told me the first time when the car went in for it's mandatory 1,000 mile checkup that the computer needs to learn the driver and this could take the first 5,000 miles. When I returned at the 5,000 mile checkup and it was still doing it. I was told they reflashed the computer to attempt to correct the problem. Then after another 1,000 miles when it still did the same thing, the service manager took the car out and said he flew the memory in the computer and retaught the car to drive again and to drive it very cautiously for the next 48 hours and that would cure the problem. When it got worse and continued to still do the same thing I took it in again and was told it was my car mat interferring with the reaction of the pedal and the transmission and told to remove the car mat. At this point I don't know what to do. The car is going in again for the 5th time to be looked at"?????" someone needs to seriously address this matter.

- Palm Springs, FL, USA

problem #16

Jun 292004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles
The automobile has a latent defect and is inherently dangerous. In November 2003, I attempted to back up in a crowded parking lot, and while in reverse, I pressed the accelerator - there was a lag and the vehicle then accelerated backward very rapidly, striking another vehicle. I assumed the fault was my own (since in moving my foot from the accelerator to the brake, my foot was caught under the brake because the pedals are close together, but that is another item) and after the vehicle was repaired (approximately $7,000 worth of damage) I resumed driving the vehicle. On June 29, 2004, again I was attempting to back up and again the vehicle was in reverse and again when I pressed on the accelerator, there was a lag and then again the vehicle accelerated rapidly backwards, striking a building. It is estimated that the damage to the vehicle is over $10,000, and I do not know what the cost of the damage to the building is. Interestingly, as well, in neither case did the airbags deploy. The second incident received some local press coverage, and on July 8, 2004 I received a call from a visitor to Massachusetts from Florida who had heard about the second incident and who reported that on July 1, 2004 that driver while in a parking lot had also had sudden rapid acceleration and had struck a building, damaging the driver's Lexus rx 330. That driver also stated that she had heard of a third incident in Massachusetts of a Lexus rx 330 striking a building following sudden acceleration. The faulty transmission, coupled with the power and torque of the vehicle and the resulting sudden acceleration, is a serious defect; I will not drive the vehicle again. The response of the Lexus dealer when the incidents were reported to it was silence.

- Duxbury, MA, USA

problem #15

Jul 082004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

Our 2004 Lexus 330 automatic transmission has never worked properly. The transmission hesitates and seems to "bounce" between 3rd and 4th gears. We have returned the vehicle twice to the dealership to no avail. This seems to be a design problem.

- Albuquerque, NM, USA

problem #14

Jan 022004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Since I have owned this vehicle, I have had trouble with rough shifting and a lag associated with a delay in low speed acceleration. Returned vehicle to the dealer and was told it was adjusted. Problem persists. Eventually, someone will be injured or killed by this problem due to unexpected hesitation in acceleration.

- Roland, AR, USA

problem #13

May 172004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When making a left turn or a right turn, the vehicle dropped out of gear then surged intermittently. The dealership inspected the vehicle and determined the transmission performed erratically. The transmission also failed intermittently while driving straight. The manufacturere claimed that this was a charaxteristic of the vehicle.

- Oro Valley, AZ, USA

problem #12

Apr 142003

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

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

I too have had ongoing problems with my 2004 Lexus rx 330. I have had my car in the repair center three times already for hesitation and lagging between gears and vibrations noises throughout the car. I personally do not feel safe in this car because it drives inconsistently and on several occasions, I have almost been rear-ended or have stalled in an intersection because the car does not properly accelarate. I have written a letter to the dealership and have contacted Lexus customer service numerous times. I am being told that this is normal. Normal to who? it is obvious, by many comments I have reviewed by other owners of this same vehicle that there is a serious issue here that Lexus is choosing to ignore because they do not have a solution. I wonder how long they will continue to turn their heads. I drove an rx 300 for several years and it was completely different. I bought another Lexus for safety and reliability factors and I do not feel either in the new rx 330. Please investigate this problem before someone gets seriously hurt.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #11

Apr 092004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My rx 330 has a transmission lag at 20-25mph. The car just doesnt go and it is extremly dangerous in intersections. Someone is going to get killed and I hope it is not me.

- Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #10

Apr 022004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
Transmission shifting erratic at low speeds. "clunk or muted "clank" heard and felt under closed throttle dowshifts while slowing to a stop. Most noticeable during the 5-4 downshift (37 mph) and the 4-3 downshift (25 mph). Service manager claims it's a normal operating condition for Lexus. Technician who rode with me disagreed. Vehicle only has 5100 miles. Problem began at 2000 mile mark.

- Clovis, CA, USA

problem #9

Mar 232004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,900 miles
Transmission problem: Serious lag between gear shifts. If I push the accelerator down to accelerate to get out of a dangerous situation: Nothing happens. The car seems to stall, slows down and then once the ECU has determined which gear to selectit accelerates violently taking the driver by surprise. Altogether the response is far too slow. Transmission is not smooth. This is a safety issue. Dealer checked transmission:"working according to specifications" ?! also "thump" "clunk" noise when decelerating from 50 mph to lower speeds, occasionally. Aa.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #8

Mar 022004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,700 miles

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

My 2004 Lexus RX330 AWD has a problem with the transmission "hanging" on the 2-3 upshift. The car hesitates then roughly shifts into the next gear. It has never shifted as smoothly in any gear as other Lexus and Toyota products I driven. I went to the dealer and the dealer reprogrammed the engine management control. The net result has been that the engine shifts at a higher RPM than it did before, but is still not smooth. The hesitation between gears was less frequent for a week or two after the reprogram, but has now returned and there is an increasing lag or hesitation in shifting in the 2-3 and 3-4 upshift. Last week as I was merging into expressway traffic, I pushed down the throttle and nothing happened. It almost seemed as though the engine died. I released the throttle, pushed again and the transmission engaged a lower gear and accelerated. The behavior of the transmission is unpredictable. Sometimes, but not always, the engine feels like it stalls when turning a corner. The hesitation on downshift has occurred four times now since the reprogram. The car has less than 6000 miles on it. The dealer seemed to try to be helpful, but can only pass on what the manufacturer provides them, so I think the resolution lies with Toyota and Lexus in developing a fix for a potentially dangerous problem.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #7

Jul 012003

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Lexus 2004 rx 330 - transmission. Shifting hesitation, Lexus has addressed the problem with a change in computer shifting points but it has not fixed the problem. They now refuse to help further saying only that it is within design standards. Many complaints on this problem in Lexus owners forum web site, but no help from Lexus.

- Katy, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 202004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When I drive my 2004 Lexus RX330 manual on 4th, speed is around 40 mph, and left off the throttle, I can hear a whining noise from rear. Once I push the gas paddle, the noise is gone. It can be duplicated on D when I slow down from 50 mph. This also happens to the other three Rx330S (two loaner cars and one brand new car).

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #5

Jan 262004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The RX330 has a transmission problem that affects the safety of the vehicle. There is a serious lag between gear shifts. The engine will rev up but the car doesn't move. This happens when starting from a stopped position and also when merging into traffic, changing lanes, and passing traffic. I have narrowly avoided being hit in the rear twice because of this behavior. When slowing down the car doesn't downshift into the proper gear at times and it is very difficult to stop. I am very concerned about my safety driving this vehicle. I have had the vehicle to the dealer 3 times and was told that it is "operating as designed". the dealer acknowledges the complaints that I have but tell me that Lexus has not come up with a fix yet. I have contacted Lexus customer service about this issue only to be told that it is "operating as designed". this vehicle is dangerous to drive and I fear a serious accident because of the transmission behavior. Is there no recourse for a consumer who has been sold an unsafe vehicle?

- Estero, FL, USA

problem #4

Jan 032004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
My RX330 has just come out of the dealer service for the second time due to a complete failure to downshift when necessary. Especially as I slow down to about 20 mph, and the try to re-accelerate, the RPM's go to 5500 but the vehicle does not move and the clutch never engages. You have to let off the gas pedal and let the RPM's come back down and try it again. This has almost got me hit by another vehicle at least 3 times. On the first service call they tried to do a transmission "reset" I have driven the vehicle 2500 miles since then and it might even be worse. This time it went to the shop and two technicians, one manager, and one customer service rep all told me that they have been able to simulate the problem on test drives but that it is "normal for this vehicle", however, they are still going to report it to the manufacturer. My response is that this may be "normal" for this vehicle, but it is not normal for "a" vehicle. They all agreed but said that Lexus does not have a fix. This is currently elevated to the Lexus company customer service and they said they would get back to me. Until then I am stuck in a dangerous vehicle.

- Ashburn, VA, USA

problem #3

Nov 102003

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
This car has a intermittent problem between 2nd and 3rd gear. The engine revs up in between gears and finally shifts into gear. The transmission is very sluggish between all gears. I have had it to the dealership twice and service manager says that this is as good as it is going to be. When the car is between 2 & 3 I sometimes feel that it will let go entirely and might cause a very serious accident.

- Roseville, CA, USA

problem #2

Nov 172003

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Since we purchased the vehicle, the transmission has acted strange. The vehicle does not shift smoothly when changing from one gear to the next. We have taken the vehicle back to the dealer. Was told the first time that is the way the vehicle shifts. After the problem got worse, we took it back again. Dealer confirmed that we were not the only owner that has complained to them about the problem. Was told to bring the vehicle in and they would re calibrate the chip that controls the shifting. Got the vehicle back after they worked on it and it did improve, but still not working properly. I am concerned that this problem will only get worse again like it did the first time. This should not be happening to a 2004 vehicle. Please register my complaint and I'm sure based on what the dealer told us that others are having the same problem.

- Harrisburg, PA, USA

problem #1

Sep 252003

RX 330

  • miles
Many owners of 2004 RX330 have reported problems with the 5-speed automatic transmission. There is a substantial "lag" in shifting at low speeds around 20 mph with occasional reports of the car revving to "redline" without the transmission engaging. This results in the vehible becoming immobile in intersections or when exiting toolbooths. There is a similar problem at around 40 mph. It has happened to our vehicle at least 6 times, two of which nearly resulted in an accident from being "rear-ended." Lexus has released a software upgrade but this reportedly has not corrected the problem. After denying that there waa a tsb for the problem, the dealer said that it could not "recommend" the upgrade.

- Washington, DC, USA

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