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 1 of 2)

problem #35

Jan 072015

RX 300

  • miles


Takata recall - transmission failed. Had to replace the transmission at 140,423 miles. There was metal in the transmission. Cost to replace the transmission was $2,875.10

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #34

Jul 042016

RX 300

  • 133,890 miles
Vehicle has 133,890 miles on it, vehicle has been serviced every 5000 miles, according to the vehicle history and owners manual. We had transmission failure 100 miles from home. Pulled over to the side of the I-90, had to wait 2 hours for a flatbed on the side of the highway. Mass state police were not happy having to wait that long nor safety of being on the side of the road for 2 hours. We tried moving vehicle after it was off for an hour, moved gear selector had only park and natural, was at " full hot " mark on the dip stick, fluid is clean, doesn't smell burnt at all.towed to service department and needs a new transmission. Vehicle was on the highway at 70mph, and then had no forward movement at 70mph. Google " RX300 transmission problems" and you'll find thousands of links to people having same issue. Toyota/Lexus should be stepping up and fixing these transmissions, this is obviously a weak point in their vehicles and a major safety issue.

- Wallingford, CT, USA

problem #33

May 242016

RX 300

  • 145,000 miles
While driving the car on city streets I attempted a U turn with the vehicle as I was completing the U turn the transmission made a weird noise and then there was nothing. No forward or reverse and when I put the vehicle in park it acted like it was in neutral. I had to put the emergency brake on to keep the car from rolling. Had to have the vehicle towed to my house 115 miles away. He car only has 145,000 miles on it. Car starts up and runs great but will not engage the transmission. The vehicle is still financed so I need to get it fixed however the cheapest rebuild I can find is $5,000. I called Toyota and asked if I could trade it in on a new car and they said not with the transmission fixed because they would lose money on it. I feel Toyota should fix this due to the fact there are numerous complaints about this issue with other Lexus owners. I still owe $5,500 on the loan and cant afford the cost of another transmission. I think Toyota should fix this since there are a lot of complaints about the drive train.

- Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA

problem #32

Oct 052015

RX 300

  • 147,651 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that the reverse gear was no longer operable in the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 147,651. Updated 06/02/2016

- Cordele, GA, USA

problem #31

Oct 012015

RX 300

  • 165,000 miles
The transmission has been damage no power, no gears are engage total failure, the vehicle has in motion at highway speed.

- W Haverstraw, NY, USA

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problem #30

Sep 022015

RX 300

  • 168,000 miles
Transmission failure: Started to make noise couple of days ago and finally failed while on the road. Engine is running good, but no gear engagement. All drive train position seems like the car is in natural. Excessive transmission failures was reported by other RX300 owners. Cost to service re-build transmission is $3,551

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #29

Jun 222015

RX 300

  • 162,100 miles


Vehicle has been well maintained with regular oil changes and transmission flush. However, on 06/22/2015, under normal driving conditions in my 7 miles commute, the vehicle failed to accelerate after coming to a stop. The RPM/engine revved up, but vehicle did not move much (could not shift gears). Pulled to the sideway and called for help. Took it to local mechanic, and diagnosed with code P0770 (solenoid shifter E failure). Mechanic says new transmission is needed ($5K plus). Checking online, this seems to be a very common occurrence for this vehicle and probably model year. Toyota has to be aware of this major defect, and has probably intentionally said silent. I wish Toyota could be taken to task on this problem as it is wrecking family finances!

- Bowie, MD, USA

problem #28

Jun 132015

RX 300

  • 162,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to shift into reverse. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 162,000.

- Stockbridge, GA, USA

problem #27

Dec 302014

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving 40 mph, the transmission seized and the gear could not be shifted into park. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000. Updated 3/13/15 the vehicle was taken to a repair shop, where the transmission was replaced. Updated 01/25/16.

- Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA

problem #26

Dec 302014

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 131,345 miles
Transmission went out, the vehicle jus stopped in the middle of the road thank god it was not the highway. There seems to be a problem with the transmission in these vehicle, a very serious life threatening problem.

- Port St Lucie, FL, USA

problem #25

Dec 012014

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 250,379 miles


The transmission was rebuilt on 11/15/13 at 242,600 miles and has gone out again at 250,379. Many others on the internet have had similar problems with their RX300 transmissions. My brother also has an RX300 and his transmission failed too. The planetary gears are often the problem. There should be a recall by Lexus to deal with this defective design.

- Marysville, WA, USA

problem #24

Nov 022014

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 123,117 miles
While traveling at 25 mph the car stopped accelerating forward and seemed to not be in gear. As I pressed the gas pedal the engine revved up, but would not go forward. Car was taken to the dealer who stated even though the car only has 123K, you need to replace the transaxle. I confirmed that their was no maintenance required.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #23

Aug 062013

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 105,795 miles
Left home to go to grocery store. As I entered a major road near my home the car lost power almost causing an accident. I was able to limp home. The repair shop diagnosed a faulty transmission and commented that they see many RX300's with transmission problems. The transmission was rebuilt at a cost of $3214. This car has been well taken care of, including recommended transmission fluid replacement. I feel that the transmission failure was very premature. Judging by the number of similar reports at or around the same mileage, I feel that the transmission was not engineered properly and Lexus did nothing to correct the problem.

- Fords, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jul 282014

RX 300

  • 192,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that when attempting to shift, the shifter would delay. In addition while driving at 35 mph, the vehicle lost power and failed to accelerate. The contact attempted to restart the vehicle and after multiple attempts, the vehicle was able to restart but the failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic, who stated that the transmission needed to be flushed. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. In addition, the vehicle failed to reverse after the repairs. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 192,000.

- Carmichael , CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 012014

RX 300

  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus rx 300. The contact stated that the while driving at various speeds, there would be a sudden loss of acceleration. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Rio Rancho , NM, USA

problem #20

Jun 012014

RX 300

  • 145,000 miles
Transmission failure at 145000 (approx) after performing all schedule maintenance at the dealer since purchase. I have read countless entries where the 1999-2002 Lexus RX300 has had premature transmission failures. This is a costly repair and a I feel Lexus should have recalled the vehicle and provided assistance.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #19

Apr 082014

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 142,000 miles
It started with a high pitch whinning noise followed by a clunking noise whenever it shifts. It is getting progressively worse each day. Shavings were found in the transmission fluid when it was changed.

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #18

Feb 162014

RX 300

  • 222,000 miles
My wife was taking our kids, 7 and 9, to go shopping and as she drove down the hill from our apartment complex, with no warning, the wheels just suddenly locked up and the car would not go forward or reverse. She was literally stuck on a one lane hill, due to a massive snowstorm that left the sides, of the street covered with piles of snow from the snowplow, with other vehicles behind her who could not go anywhere. Some guys from the apartment complex got out and helped her and managed to get it to a parking lot at the bottom of the hill. We had the car towed to a local garage, but being a Sunday night, we could not find out anything until morning. I went online and started researching what might have caused this and discovered numerous others with similar problems, all of whom reported the transmission failed with no prior warning. A lot of the people said they reported it to Lexus and it should have been recalled, but Lexus refused to do anything about it and did not issue a recall. This is the web address that I discovered while researching it, forums.edmunds.com/discussion/9657/Lexus/rx-330/Lexus-rx-transmission-problems/P35. we purchased the vehicle from my brother who bought it with less than 10,000 miles on it and was very meticulous about having all of the maintenance done at the dealer recommended intervals. The car was garage kept and well maintained. In fact when I drove it to work and showed people, most of them said it looks like it just came off a showroom floor. My brother had the transmission fluid changed 3 times and told us it was due again when he sold it to us, and we had it done right away. When I contacted Lexus about this they refused to do anything for us. My concern is with another transmission, where and when will it happen again" on a highway at 65 mph" they could be killed.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #17

Jul 172013

RX 300

  • 112,497 miles
Transmission failed at a low milage, and the repair cost is more than a car.

- Bellerose , NY, USA

problem #16

Apr 102013

RX 300

  • 140,000 miles
I was just getting off the highway and my car stopped moving. My transmission totally went out with no warning. If this would have happened moments sooner I could have been in a terrible accident as I was going 60 mph. I tried to contact Lexus, but they will not admit to this problem or help repair it or recall it. They say that it isn't a know issue but it is and several people have tried to get help with it and Lexus will say no. Be careful, it will happen with no warning.

- New London, WI, USA

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