really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
132,782 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.

2001 Lexus RX 300 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2001 Lexus RX 300 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 2)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #15

Dec 142012

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles


I have just sat and read probably 50 complaints; safety and defective, concerning the transmission for the 2001 Lexus RX300. From what im reading, I guess I should consider myself lucky, I currently have 142,000 miles on my vehicle and although I've experienced non-periodic shifting abnormalities, I haven't experienced any of the horrific problems I've been reading in the NHTSA complaint section of this site. It is obvious there is a manufacturing defect that needs to be addressed before someone (if not already) is mangled or worst, killed. It astonishes me that a company that survives by there reputation for quality would not address what is obviously a serious and costly burden to there loyal customers. We are talking about a 35,000 dollar vehicle in 2001. Apparently Lexus is not planning on resolving the issue, so what can consumers do other than complain which obviously is doing nothing to force big business to take responsibility for there poor design that resulted in unsafe costly products, leaving the consumer powerless, with no option but to pay them again to fix the problem they created in the first place.

- Johnson City, TN, USA

problem #14

Nov 282012

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
Car can only be driven at <5mile for 10 second. Loss power at higher gear.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #13

Sep 242012

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 146,000 miles
Driving along normally, the transmission began moving in and out of gear spontaneously. Depressing the accelerator resulted sometimes in revving the engine, other times in acceleration, and other times switching back and forth between the two causing the car to jerk. Thankfully, I was not far from home and was able to get back safely.

- Montgomery, TX, USA

problem #12

Oct 112011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 103,680 miles


While entering a freeway onramp the transmission slipped out of gear. I tried to accelerate but there was no power the engine just revved. The transmission reingaged as I was pulling to the shoulder so I continued my trip home. Later on the same drive home, at an interchange between freeways it happened again but this time the transmission didn't re-engage and there was almost a deadly multiple car accident. It was towed to a transmission specialist who had to replace the transmission. Soon after replacement I was on another trip and I attempted to accelerate to pass a car, the transmission slipped and I barely avoided being in a deadly auto accident on the freeway with a big rig. On this same trip I almost lost my life three times due to this identical occurrence. It is absolutely unacceptable and unforgivable that Toyota hasn't taken responsibility for this manufacturing error and announced a complete recall and replacement of all transmissions for this year, make and model of vehicle. If, I keep this car and I have an accident due to their manufacturing negligence action may be taken.

- Hacienda Heights, CA, USA

problem #11

Jul 202012

RX 300

  • 120,000 miles
Driving on the freeway. Transmission disengages and fails to drive car. Automatic transmission failure. Serviced transmission at 63,200 miles. Many others have reported problems with this model year.

- Inglewood, CA, USA

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problem #10

Feb 012012

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles
My 2001 Lexus RX300 which only has 115K miles on it, completely shut down in rush hour traffic. I could not accelerate at all and I was almost side swapped by an oncoming vehicle. No service light came on and I had not had any problems indicating this. After having the car towed to my mechanic, the diagnosis was that my transmission had completely failed, the trans clutches burned out, along with fluid debris in oil pan. I have my car regularly serviced and even the mechanic said there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. My mechanic said he has worked on several RX300 whose diagnosis was the exact same-transmission. After researching this further, it appears Lexus has not taken ownership of this problem and even though this is an older model, this should not be taken lightly. What if my 2 children in the car" is it going to take a fatality for Lexus to own up to this"

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #9

Jun 142011

RX 300

  • 173,453 miles


Transmission completly failed to move the car. Had it repaired and the tech told me the planitary gear unit had completly destroyed its self. Very common I am told on this model.

- Pearland, UT, USA

problem #8

Oct 222011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 97,600 miles
I started hearing a noise when the car was cold and started it. The noise went away after I started driving it. After a while, I took it to a mechanic, who told me that the noise was that the transmission was failing and it will cost over $5,000 to replace. In searching about it, I was told that the company knew that the transmission on the 1999, 2000 and 2001's rx 300's were a problem, but they decided not to do anything because the troubles would start after the warranty is over... when I purchased my car, I was planning on having this car for a long, long time. I feel that the rx-300 was misrepresented to me, the company knew that the life of this car was going to be cut short and decided to do nothing about it.

- Greeley, CO, USA

problem #7

Oct 042011

RX 300

  • 125,000 miles
Own a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving 40 mph the vehicle would not accelerate even when I depressed the accelerator pedal. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The current mileage was 125,000. Will cost me $4500 to repair(refurbished part).

- Chula Vista, CA, USA

problem #6

May 012011

RX 300

  • 126,000 miles
I drove this car from school to home as usual. The transmission is gone suddenly that I had no time to prepare, the car was losing control and driving into an elementary school. The car almost hit an old lady with a small girl. Fortunately, I finally got control of this car and we were all safe. This generation of Lexus RX300 has serious transmission problem, many cases can be found online. I would highly suggest the manufacturer recall those cars and carefully examine the problem, in order to avoid such incident happen again. Those cars are becoming older, many more problems will be manifest.

- Shorewood, WI, USA

problem #5

Dec 182003

RX 300 4WD

  • 48,000 miles


2000 Lexus rx 300 (this is a Toyota Camry engine in a Lexus body) car transmission would not change into high gears 3 & 4 for highway driving, preventing acceleration. Lexus of norwood, MA replaced the entire transmission under warranty. 5,000 miles later the new transmission was doing the same thing, after a week they finally gave it back to and said it was repaired but not what they had to fix and were very sketchy, it was still under warranty. Finally the repair technician told in low tones so not to be heard that it was computer software problem and that's why they would not tell me. So they replaced an entire transmission at 48000 miles incorrectly when all they had to do was do a software bug fix. I think this is significant because the computer prevented acceleration but could probably also cause unintended acceleration. They do not have control of their software running these engines and don't want to admit because they don't know how to fix it.

- Wareham, MA, USA

problem #4

Feb 222010

RX 300 4WD

  • 130,169 miles
Car was being parked when it suddenly went to max acceleration jumping the curb. The cars forward acceleration was stopped by large decorative rock in the parking median strip. Car ended up resting on the rock. Car was turned off by key. This is the only occurrence of this surge acceleration the car has exhibited to date. Car is currently at automotive shop for inspection and repairs. Car has significant drive shaft and undercarriage damage, but was drivable to nearby autoshop after being jacked off rock by tow truck.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #3

Feb 222010

RX 300

  • 129,095 miles
Ok I bought a Lexus RX300 1/08/10 was constricted in driving it due to the snow storms hitting the northeast. I got the car with 128,000 miles on it and now it has 129,095. I go to drive to school today and while on a back highway doing 45-50 mph my car looses power and I have to stop in heavy traffic and push it off. I go to try and move the car and shift gears and it doesn't move. I called the tow truck and got a tow home and call the dealership they tell me to basically go eff' myself. I suspect it is the transmission and will find out tomorrow because I called Lexus and they told me to go to a dealer and they will call me in 1-2 business day. If I was on the highway doing speeds excess 50 with my son in the car the outcome could have been very different I hope you can help. I had the car for 45 days....

- Phila, PA, USA

problem #2

May 222009

RX 300

  • 88,611 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 transmission failure. I am one of hundreds (possibly thousands) that have had to have the transmission replaced at 88K miles. My car has been regularly maintained by the dealer. Noise - whining sound- began in engine without real performance problems; however, when I took it to the dealer I was told the transmission was failing and needed a complete replacement. Cost to repair is $3,888.27 not including taxes.

- Santa Barbara, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 282003

RX 300

  • 27,000 miles
The vehicle lurched forward after the engine was turned off, and the keys were removed from the ignition, which caused an accident.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

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