really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
31,484 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 IS 300 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Lexus IS 300 Owner Comments

problem #5

Apr 012008

IS 300

  • 10,000 miles


Accelerator failure: Twice that I can clearly remember. First time happened in 2003 after gentle depression of the gas pedal, it seemed to push itself further and was stuck into the floor resulting in uncontrolled, max acceleration...this was mentioned to the dealer when I took it for service (ray catena Lexus, larchmont, NY). After that, it didn't happen until the spring of 2008 where I was on the I95 on my way to work, in rush hour when the car suddenly went from about 40mph to 70 or 80. I managed to weave around traffic and drove on the shoulder while pressing full force on the brake pedal, pulled on the emergency brake and was finally able to get the car in park. After that occurred, I was followed off he highway by the help truck, took my car to a local mechanic for inspection and nothing was found...I immediately made an appt with the dealer but had to wait until the next day for service. In the meantime, it happened twice more on the highway but I was cautious and stayed away from cars and close to the shoulder. I took it to the dealer and was charged $100 to look at it (Lexus of greenwich, ct), was told that it was the floor mat. Interestingly enough, this hasn't happened again and I still have the car but I am very worried that it might.

- Mount Vernon, NY, USA

problem #4

Mar 152008

IS 300

  • 86,000 miles
Accelerator failure in a Lexus IS300 about two years my daughter got on a car accident at that time she mentioned that her accelerator got stuck. There has bee a few time that I felt that the accelerator got stuck while driving my car also. I called the dealer and the Lexus company for the last 6 months and all they said is that my car is not involve in the recall. That don't mean that my car is not defective, or there need to be a fatal accident for them to take action.

- Long Beach , CA, USA

problem #3

Aug 282006

IS 300

  • Automatic transmission
  • 26,000 miles
On 8/28/06, at approximately 8:50 am I was driving to work on a two lane, level, straight paved county road. I was driving my 2002 Lexus Is 300 that had just reached 26,000 miles. (this car has received all regularly scheduled maintenance services from Lexus of reno and has not had any problems whatsoever. I am the original owner of this vehicle) the road was clear and dry. I was traveling at approximately 45 mph when I accelerated to pass another vehicle. As I passed, my car kept on accelerating even as I let up on the accelerator. I attempted to apply the brakes. The engine acceleration was so powerful, the car did not respond well to my attempt to brake, so I took my foot off the brake. The speed on the dashboard was 60 mph and accelerating. I applied the brakes again with all the strength I had and was able to pull the car safely off the road. The engine was racing even when stopped. I moved the shift into park. Even in park the engine was racing. I turned the engine off. My husband was following me and stopped. He drove it 1.5 miles our office without incident. I then called the reno, nv Lexus dealership where I purchased the car. The head of the service department called me back and suggested I have the car towed to the dealership. I asked him if he was aware of any other rapid acceleration problems with these vehicles and he said no. He said the 4 year warranty was up in 7/06 and I would have to pay for any repairs. That afternoon I had the car towed to the reno Lexus dealership. On the evening of 8/28/06 I searched the internet and found that the NHTSA had investigated 2002-2003 Lexus ES 300 models for faulty throttles that may have caused rapid acceleration. So far Lexus has not acknowledged a problem. I shared with the rep what I had found on the internet re: Problems with rapid acceleration and that I was not picking the car up until Lexus replaced the throttle.

- Quincy, CA, USA

problem #2

Oct 072005

IS 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,420 miles
My 2002, Lexus IS300 had a case of sudden unintended acceleration that led to a crash causing over $10,000 worth of damages to both my car and the other persons car. I have seen other reports of other people wondering if the electronic throttle is suspect in these cases, however I personally believe that the real problem is only partly to blame on the electronic throttle. In my opinion, the problem is the likelihood of the pedal getting stuck under floor mats is too high, combined with the relatively "light" spring force on the gas pedal because it is a throttle-by-wire system which leads to the floor mat easily holding the pedal down to full throttle causing an accident. I say that this is "negligent pedal design on the part of the car manufacturer". I also believe that they knew this was an issue because they make reference to this in the owners manual on: Pg.76 where there is a caution that states "make sure the floor mat is properly placed on the floor carpet. If the floor mat slips and interferes with the movement of the pedals during driving, it may cause in accident." No manufacturer should be allowed to use that caution as a disclaimer to get away with negligent pedal design. They, fully well knowing that this is a safety issue, should have recalled those car models with a pedal design that has a high risk of getting jammed and redesigned the pedal so that it cannot get stuck by a floor mat. In all the cars that I've owned in the past, if a mat slips it just prevents you from applying full gas pedal, not the opposite of applying full pedal. I strongly move that Toyota company recalls all these cars with this potential problem and fix it properly before someone get fatally injured or crippled for life. The dealer informed the consumer there were 2 codes that indicated there was a problem with the ABS. Updated

- Richmond, 00, USA

problem #1

Jan 012004

IS 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus IS300. The contact states the vehicle stalls and will not accelerate, the check engine light will come on either on the highway or on off roads. The vehicle will stall at decelerating or accelerating. The only warning prior to this failure is the check engine light coming on. This occurs at various speeds. The engine will restart usually immediately after the failure. It happened about 100-150 times. The car has been to the dealership about 10 times within the last year. The dealership has attempted to repair the vehicle, but has been unsuccessful. The transmission is automatic.

- Miami, FL, USA

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