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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,132 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.

2005 Lexus RX 330 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments

problem #10

Jun 292015

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,600 miles


My wife (who is not the primary driver of this vehicle) was entering a perpendicular parking space in front of a business located just off the street. The business was once a house and has now put 3 parking spaces in front of the building just over the sidewalk.the entrance is up a driveway and just beyond the sidewalk and into the parking spaces. As she was going up the driveway and turn slightly to the right to enter a parking space, the car hesitated and then accelerated, she applied the brakes and left a 5 foot skid mark before crashing into the front of the business. The car has done this before especially when turning and applying a little gas, it will hesitate and then suddenly accelerate, but never continuing after applying the brake. We have discussed this previously with the Lexus dealer and they say there is no problem with the vehicle and that computers that control the engine and transmission constantly adjust to the primary driver may create this issue, but it is not a problem as far as they are concerned....updated 09/08/15 updated 12/3/15

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #9

Oct 262014

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 196,625 miles
Bought this car used 3/2011. On 10/26/14 while driving down the interstate the car began making a whining noise & then completely stopped. Would only go forward a few feet, backward a few feet & then nothing. Had the car towed & discovered that transmission was bad. Already had to replace a transmission in 2002 RX300 & knew that year model was notorious for bad trans but had researched this year model & trans probs did not seem to be an issue. After diagnosis I researched the service records online & discovered the transmission had already been replaced in this same car on 10/26/2010 at 102K miles. (how ironic - 4 years to the date the transmission is out again!) I purchased the car with 103K miles approx 5 months after the trans was replaced. My car now has 196,625K miles & the transmission is bad again. Spoke with nalley Lexus & was informed that they had replaced the trans in 2010 with a brand new transmission. Now at approx 94K miles the trans is bad again"?" this does not seem normal! I feel like there should be some reimbursement for me having to replace the trans in the same car again! something is making the transmission go out. As expensive as these cars are - you would think the parts - especially the transmission - would hold up better.

- Rome, GA, USA

problem #8

Sep 272014

RX 330

  • 131,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Lexus RX330. While driving approximately 65 mph, the contact heard a loud noise near the rear of the vehicle. The contact attempted to merge to the emergency lane, but the vehicle independently accelerated and headed back into traffic. Only the front two wheels were operating normally and the rear tires were locked. The gear was shifted into neutral, but the vehicle would not move. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence and was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was included in NHTSA campaign numbers: 11V112000 (vehicle speed control) and 10V499000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The approximate failure mileage was 131,000.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #7

May 272013

RX 330

  • 50,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Lexus RX330. The contact stated that while attempting to accelerate on an incline, the vehicle erroneously and independently reversed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted about the failure. The failure mileage was 50,000. The VIN was not available.

- San Gabriel, CA, USA

problem #6

Mar 162013

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
My vehicle is a 2005 Lexus rx 330. I purchased it certified pre-owned in 2007. I was coming off the highway and stopped at a light. As I proceeded to take a left hand turn the car started making a loud noise. It was jumping and shifting from side to side. Luckily I was able to control it and pull into a nearby gas station. I couldn't drive it and had it towed to the nearest Lexus service center. I was then told that the transfer case on the front differential went. They opened up the case box and metal shavings fell out! I guess there was no transfer case fluid! shouldn't a maintenance required light pop on or a warning" if I had continued on the highway rather than get off the exit, it would have ended badly! the back end of the car completely locked on me. I don't understand why there was no warning light. How am I supposed to know that the transfer case is running out of fluid" the service department said this is not normal. They want to charge me $2700 for the part and $1500 for labor! I ended up having the car towed back to my house until I can figure out what to do. I have a serious issue with the fact that there was no warning and had I been traveling on the highway at a higher rate of speed, I could have flipped the car and ended up in the hospital or dead. I would really like for Lexus/Toyota to do something about this!

- Shelton, CT, USA

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problem #5

Oct 132012

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 77,900 miles
I am having serious quality problems with my 2005 RX330. The vehicle is kept in the garage and being taken care of like a family member. I took the SUV to a Lexus dealer for routine maintenance and was told that the steering column was leaking and need to be replaced - approximate cost $1800. I was also told the front differential was leaking and need to be replaced - cost another $1000. This is not the end! approximately six months ago my water pump failed at the middle of a busy intersection, and I had to replace my water pump, timing belt, drive belts, etc only at 65K miles - cost $1200. Why every major key components are failing so early? I drove a car made by a competitor upto 110K miles without any of these issues. Lexus/Toyota is using defective/cheap parts at the expense and safety of consumers. I would recommend starting an investigation against Lexus/Toyota for faulty steering and power train components in rx, and based on the investigation, start a recall if needed. I reached out to Lexus in the past, but they don't acknowledge any quality problems with RX330; however, when I searched the internet, I see hundreds of owners have the same issues and they are helpless. Lexus will not do anything, and therefore, we need NHTSA's help to push Lexus to recall RX330 steering and power train components.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

problem #4

Apr 052011

RX 330

  • 92,000 miles


I was parked in a garage on a ramp and left the car in gear (drive) and after exiting the vehicle, it rolled back into another car. The Lexus 330 is supposed to prohibit one from removing the keys from the ignition when in gear. My car continues to allow me to remove the key (engine off) while in drive.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #3

Mar 082010

RX 330

  • 200 miles
Upon slowing from 40mph to a stop or almost a stop, to make a turn, the car hesitates before accelerating. This hesitation has caused both me and my wife to abruptly abort left turns. This behavior is particularly dangerous for drivers in the congested NY metropolitan area. We have experienced some frightening close calls when the vehicle failed to accelerate, causing an emergency abort of a turn. This hesitation also manifests itself when you lift from the accelerator to slow down and then get back on the gas. I have complained to the dealer numerous times since the car was new. The dealer had a field service engineer check the car: He said ithe car performed as designed.

- New Hyde Park, NY, USA

problem #2

Nov 012007

RX 330

  • 43,000 miles
I own a 2005 Lexus RX330. I purchased it used in September 2007. Shortly after I purchased it, I had several instances where when I pushed on the gas pedal there was a feeling of a loss of power - a hesitation. I took the vehicle in for work under work in February 2008, and the dealer said it was an improper shift in the transmission and it was recalibrated by a technician. Since that time I have again had several instances where there was a hesitation in supply power. I want to know if others have had this similar complaint and if my vehicle is under a recall for this issue. Tw*

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 192008

RX 330

  • 42,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Lexus RX330. After parking the vehicle in the driveway, the contact left the gear in drive and removed the key from the ignition. She exited the vehicle and it began rolling backwards. As a result, the vehicle struck a parked vehicle. The vehicle was able to be driven away; however, the contact believes that the key should not have been able to be removed from the ignition while the gear was not in park. A report was filed with the manufacturer and sent to their insurance division, but they have not yet stated whether or not they would be responsible for the repair cost. The VIN was unknown. The current and failure mileages were 42,000.

- Dallas, TX, USA

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