really awful
Crashes / Fires:
6 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
7 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,328 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Lexus RX 300 Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 132015

RX 300

  • 200,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving at approximately 55 mph, the vehicle accelerated without warning. The brakes failed when the brake pedal was depressed. The vehicle was shifted into neutral and merged to the side of the road where the vehicle was turned off. The failure recurred once. The vehicle was towed to the contact's resident. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 200,000.

- Mcclean , VA, USA

problem #16

May 292015

RX 300

  • 142,100 miles
While driving at a speed 40, I noticed lag in gear shift while trying to accelerate to 60 mph. I noticed no pick in speed rather 40 mph became 20 mph, the more I press on the gas petal the only acceleration was notice on the RPM. I had to put on the hazards and pull over to let other cars pass.

- Kew Garden Hills, NY, USA

problem #15

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 #14

Dec 102013

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 205,000 miles


When parking the vehicle, the vehicle suddenly accelerated while the driver was not pressing the accelerator. Despite the driver's efforts to stop the vehicle, the vehicle jumped over a curb and headed toward a head-on collision with traffic. In an attempt to avoid a possibly fatal collision, the driver swerved hard to the left intending to hit a pole to stop the vehicle. The vehicle missed the pole and hit a starbucks with the vehicle ending up completely inside the starbucks. Six people who were inside the starbucks were injured. The driver never pressed the accelerator during the entire incident.

- Folsom, CA, USA

problem #13

Aug 292011

RX 300

  • 73,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that while attempting to park, the vehicle suddenly accelerated forward and crashed into a brick wall. The air bags did not deploy. The vehicle sustained front end damage and the contact suffered minor injuries as her breast hit the steering wheel. The insurance company was not notified. Neither the dealer, nor the manufacturer, were made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 73,000.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

problem #12

May 122010

RX 300

  • 59,422 miles
I was driving a Lexus rx 300 and had exited the freeway. I pressed the brake lightly to decrease my speed but instead, the car unexpectedly accelerated. I then stepped on the brake fully but the car continued to accelerate by itself. I tried to slow the car by shifting the gears...tried neutral, L1, L2, and even reverse but failed to slow down. I was going at high speeds, unable to stop, and very scared as I was on a street with many lights. After passing through a red light, I turned the car into the curb and dragged the wheels against the curb until the car came to a stop. I was very fortunate not to hit another car or people through two intersections. This occurrence happened at 3:55pm, May 12, 2010. The vehicle was towed to the nearest Lexus dealership for inspection and at this time, it is still under evaluation. This is the first time this car has demonstrated any unintended acceleration or failure of brakes to stop acceleration.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #11

Jun 252009

RX 300 6-cyl

  • miles


2001 Lexus RX300. Consumer states sudden surge into reverse causing a crash into another vehicle.

- Weehawken, NJ, USA

problem #10

Jun 252009

RX 300

  • 78,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While the contact was backing into his parking spot the vehicle had suddenly surged in reverse causing the contact to crash into a nearby vehicle. No one was injured. A police report was filed for the incident. The vehicle had not been diagnosed by the dealership. The current and failure mileages were 78000.

- Weehawken , NJ, USA

problem #9

Aug 242009

RX 300

  • 100,000 miles
When driving on an almost flat freeway with cruise control on 70-75, all of a sudden the RPM goes very very high even though the speed does not go high. At the time the event is happening, I push the brake to take it of the cruise, the RPM come down immediately to normal. I initially thought it was a problem with my cruise and decided not to use it anymore but after the Toyota's events with acceleration I figured that this may also be a related electronic defect in Lexus. My car is a 2001 Lexus RX300.

- Irvine, CA, USA

problem #8

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 #7

Jan 012008

RX 300

  • 60,000 miles


The gas pedal on my 2001 Lexus rx 300 sometimes sticks. I was not too concerned until the recall of other Toyota products for the same problem. For the most part, the pedal sticks in the idle position so it has not been a problem. The frequency of sticking can be described as infrequent, occurring on 10 to 20 occasions over a two year period.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #6

Jan 062010

RX 300

  • 31,000 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 sudden unexplained acceleration causing near accident. This was not due to carpet overlapping gas pedal.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #5

Nov 142009

RX 300

  • 80,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving 80 mph with the cruise control engaged, then the vehicle accelerate on its own. She attempted to turn the cruise control off; however, after engaging the brakes the vehicle failed to stop and accelerated up to 100 mph. The contact was forced to exit at an off ramp, down shift into park in order to stop the vehicle. The dealer stated that the throttle cable was stuck and frayed; however, he also stated that the cable exhibited normal wear and tear. The failure mileage was 80,000.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #4

May 022007

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,675 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving 67 mph the vehicle's variable skid control light illuminated and the beeper activated. The contact lost control of the vehicle and began to swerve before automatically shutting off. The vehicle restarted three times without the key in the ignition. The variable skid control beeper deactivated and the light dimmed. The weather was clear with dry road conditions. The current and failure mileages were 103,675.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #3

Aug 012004

RX 300 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,000 miles
Throttle stuck wide open following routine acceleration going up hill. Engine continued at high revs. Control and braking were difficult as engine raced uncontrollably. Vehicle stopped by exiting into parking lot and being put in park. After 1 hour when vehicle restarted engine immediately red lined. It did the same the following day and at dealer after being towed in. Diagnosis from dealer- throttle control body stuck. Fortunately driver dealt with potentially fatal situation without injury or damage. Manufacturer unwilling to disclose similar episodes.

- Chester, NJ, USA

problem #2

Jul 052003

RX 300

  • miles
When driving at low speeds, the vehicle surged forward without warning. This caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle and hit a building head on. Upon impact, both frontal air bags did not deploy.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

problem #1

Feb 212001

RX 300

  • miles
Foot solely on brake as vehicle coming to a stop in parking spot suddenly with no reason accelerated over-riding the pressure on the brake--jumping the concrete stop-knocking over parking post and sign and coming to a stop just hitting the opposing vehicle's left front wheel well doing damage to it and to my car.

- Carlsbad, CA, USA

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