hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
104,551 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2001 Lexus RX 300 Owner Comments (Page 4 of 5)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #36

Jun 152008

RX 300

  • 85,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving uphill at 70 mph, the contact's vehicle lost power when she swerved to avoid another vehicle. She depressed the accelerator pedal, but the vehicle failed to move; however, the engine revved. The contact was able to pull to the side of the road. She feels that this is a serious safety issue because she and her family could have been involved in a serious crash. The current and failure mileages were 85,000. Updated 08/15/08. The consumer stated the transmission began to slip and hesitate when she would attempt to accelerate. At one point, the consumer put the gear in park with the engine running and the vehicle suddenly lurched forward. The dealership replaced the transmission, however it was the same transmission that was removed from the vehicle. Updated 08/15/08

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #35

Jul 162008

RX 300

  • 77,450 miles
I own 2001 model year of Lexus RX300 2wd, and I bought it pre-own certified by a Lexus dealer in northern California back in October, 2004. I strictly followed the maintenance procedures recommended by Lexus and changed defective parts at Lexus dealers, and kept all the documents in file. However, the transmission on July 16, 2008, with mileage of 77,450, failed functioning normal with a sharp whining noise. This was when car got started cold and pulled backward and moved forward in about 10 minutes. My car was diagnosed on July 15, 2008 by Lexus dealer who told me that the transmission is worn and the total cost for replacement will be some $6,500. A lot of such reports were listed in the auto clubs and blogs. I lawfully file this case for a recall and full repair by Lexus at no cost to me upon presence of proven track records of car maintenance. I hope this will be brought to the court for settlement in an earlier date no later than August 31, 2008.

- Millbrae, CA, USA

problem #34

Oct 102007

RX 300

  • 98,741 miles
I had service at Lexus and my transmission still went out. They were racist and biased and would not fix it. I had to pay out of my pocket. After that happened, a cylinder went out so now I need that fixed. I thought that Lexus was a superior car. (they do not honor the warranty as they should, at least not in houston West Lexus). This one certainly is not worth what I paid and is not what I expect from Lexus.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #33

Mar 102007

RX 300

  • 81,000 miles


A little over one year ago my car was making a noise and the check engine lights came on. I took it to my usual mechanic and they said it was the transmission. A friend of mine with the same make and model of vehicle had just recently experienced the same problem, so I called the dealership. When I told the representative at the dealership what the mechanic said, I didn't even have to tell him the year of my car. He knew immediately the year of my car and almost the exact mileage, and said yes it was the transmission. He said that it was a "normal" problem with this car since it was a car engine on a truck chassis. Since I was able to show proof that I did the maintenance on the vehicle he spoke with his manager and they paid for the parts ( a rebuilt transmission) and I paid for the labor. ($1400) while sitting in the lobby to pick up my car I overheard 2 other people picking up their cars with the same issue. I never followed up with it, but have since heard of 2 other people that had the same problem at the same approximate mileage (80,000- 85,000). I am now experiencing further issues with my vehicle that they can't seem to figure out, which has prompted me to follow through with a complaint. If nothing else I think this transmission needs to be recalled.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #32

Mar 262008

RX 300

  • 146,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While the contact was backing out of his driveway, the vehicle suddenly stopped moving. The vehicle was unable to move in any direction, as well as in neutral. The vehicle was towed to a transmission service station. Four thousand miles before the failure occurred, the transmission was rebuilt. The contact did not notice any differences in the vehicle beforehand and has not been diagnosed by the dealer. The current and failure mileages were 146,000.

- Nottingham, MD, USA

problem #31

May 202008

RX 300

  • 67,000 miles
Automatic transmission failed at 67,000 miles. It gave out in stop-and-go traffic. When accelerating, the engine started revving and the transmission would then slam into gear. The third time the car jerked when attempting to accelerate and then the transmission was completely gone the car would not move at all in any gear. I had to push the car to the side of the road and get it towed. Repair required putting in a rebuilt transmission at a cost of $3,800. Lexus provided no assistance on this issue. The car was always maintained per Lexus/Toyota schedules, so there is no reason for a complete transmission failure especially this early. The transmission was full of fluid and there were no leaks, etc. You will see many complaints for this same issue.

- Austin, TX, USA

problem #30

Jun 162008

RX 300

  • 84,250 miles


My 2001 Lexus RX300 died on the freeway. I am told my transmission is ruined and needs to be replaced. I regularly serviced my car and there is no way it should have a blown transmission with only 84,000 miles. After seeing all the similar complaints on the internet, I think there should be a class action suit against Lexus.

- Santee, CA, USA

problem #29

May 292008

RX 300

  • 75,000 miles
Transmission failure.

- West Hills, CA, USA

problem #28

Feb 182008

RX 300

  • 87,271 miles
Power train- automatic transmission failure at 87000 mi. Lexus refused to acknowledge as a problem with this model (2001 RX300) problem even though it has been well documented by consumers. Lexus refused any compensation for complete overhaul of transmission.

- Austin , TX, USA

problem #27

May 072008

RX 300

  • 87,000 miles
My 2001 Lexus RX300 has recently had transmission failure at only 87,000 miles. It has to be replaced. The cost will be almost $4,000. I have been on several websites that have many, many complaints of transmission failure on Lexus RX300 models from 1999 to 2003.

- Lafayette, LA, USA

problem #26

May 052008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


Failure of transmission in 2001 Lexus RX300. Vehicle made a whining sound and later that day would struggle to change gears, and would not go into reverse. Transmission failure diagnosis. I can drive for now but am risking the vehicle failing and transmission locking completely any day now. Cant afford the $5,500 price tag to repair it. Lexus will not help even although this faulty transmission is documented all over the internet on various Lexus owner sites and car survey sites.

- Millington, TN, USA

problem #25

Apr 102008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 62,000 miles
Complete failure of 2001 Lexus RX300 automatic transmission at only 62,000 miles. We purchased this cpo RX300 (approx 20K miles on it) in early 2004 and serviced it regularly, per the Lexus manual, at a local Lexus dealership. At 60K miles on two occasions (a few days apart) it would not shift into reverse. We had the transmission flushed and the fluid replaced by a 3rd party shop. At 62,000 miles, while my wife was driving home on a local highway the transmission failed completely. Luckily she was able to maneuver it off the road safely. We towed it to a local transmission shop who even before opening it up told us they had seen many RX300's of this year for premature transmission failures. I am currently dealing with Lexus cooperation to seek some form of reimbursement (it cost us $4,300 to replace the transmission) but as expected am being stonewalled with endless requests for service receipts, paperwork, etc. Marketing studies show it costs 5 times more to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. But I guess Lexus does not care.

- Boulder, CO, USA

problem #24

Jul 152007

RX 300

  • Automatic transmission
  • 109,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact pulled into her driveway and attempted to place the vehicle into reverse, but was unsuccessful. Prior to this failure, while driving 30 mph, the vehicle began to jerk and the gears would not switch properly. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic and they replaced the front passenger side cv joint in 2007. After being towed to his facility, the mechanic diagnosed the driver side cv joint, but found that was not the cause of the failure. The contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. When she called Lexus, they stated that the vehicle had to be towed to them in order to be diagnosed. The Lexus dealer was 35 miles away. The failure mileage was 109,000. Updated 09/16/08 updated 09/22/08.

- Decatur, AL, USA

problem #23

Apr 162008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles
Transmission went out on my 2001 RX300 at 100,000 miles. Normally I would just consider this bad luck but the 3rd party transmission guy says that he replaces tons of these and that he is convinced there is a problem. This presents a dangerous condition as the transmission went out virtually immediately, leaving the vehicle essentially disabled and almost as if in neutral. Other internet posters have claimed that this transmission locked up causing unstable vehicle performance while moving. When I go to the internet and search this issue there are countless websites with owners with the same problem. You see countless posts on Lexus forums, edmunds, etc., about 1999, 2000 and 2001 rx 300 SUVS with transmission issues. Many as early as 50,000 miles (which are covered by Lexus) and many more over 70,000 to 100,000 like me.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #22

Feb 232008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 114,744 miles
I experienced a complete transmission failure on my 2001 Lexus RX300 at 115000 miles. This vehicle was well-serviced, and had transmission fluid service per the Lexus maintenance schedule. After reviewing experiences of other RX300 owners (especially at clublexus.com), this comes across as a defect that the manufacturer should be responsible for. I had to pay over $3300 for repairs for a problem that should not have happened.

- Denver, CO, USA

problem #21

Mar 142008

RX 300

  • miles
Over the course of a few months the following occurred several times: I would shift the car in reverse to back out. At first the car didn't respond, then it would make a clunking noise and a jolt and then shift. Shortly after, it made a high pitched whinnying sound from the engine, but only when it was cold. The dealer could not duplicate the problem when the car was warm. The dealer informed me that it needed a re-manufactured transmission and the cost was almost $5,000. Car has just over 100,000 miles. All service was done, including the 90,000 mile service.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 112008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 w/80K miles. Driving on freeway, pressed gas an nothing happened. Car kept revving but wouldn't drive. Very dangerous. Found out the transmission went. Researched this and discovered this was due to a manufacture defect that Lexus will not admit to (although their service staff will admit to this). Lexus paid for the new transmission, but forced me to pay $1500 labor when they are at fault. These cars should be recalled! please research this online. I researched online and spoke to several owners of this model who all had the same experience between 70-80K miles.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #19

Feb 232008

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. While driving 55 mph, the contact heard a high pitched noise coming from the front of the vehicle. In addition, the gears would not shift properly. The dealer stated that there was a complete transmission failure. As of February 28, 2008, the dealer had not repaired the vehicle. The current and failure mileages were 84,000.

- Fishcreek, WI, USA

problem #18

Sep 072007

RX 300 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,112 miles
Vehicle started shifting hard & making a whinnying sound. When engine warm could not duplicate problem. Left car at dealer for cold start they found the problem. Replaced w/ rebuilt transmission at a cost of $1199.

- E. Weymouth, MA, USA

problem #17

Sep 302007

RX 300

  • 130,000 miles
In 2001 complainant bought new Rx 300. In accordance with scheduled maintenance all work has been done. No evidence of a possible transmission problem until Saturday while merging on interstate vehicle would not shift/accelerator beyond 30 mpg. Immediately exit highway drove home. Parked vehicle for couple hours drove to store through city streets then on the way home vehicle would not go beyond 20 mph. Exited off main street. Made the turn then vehicle completely stopped moving. It is obviously a hazardous and dangerous situation when the vehicle completely stops moving, or does not accelerate while merging. Although no person was injured the potential of injury is great. I took the vehicle to the Lexus dealer to hear that it is in fact a transmission problem that needs replacement for 4K. There should be a recall on this defective item or a class action lawsuit filed.

- Baton Rouge, LA, USA

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