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 1 of 5)

problem #96

Oct 012011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 83,000 miles


The transmission of my 2001 Lexus RX300 with only 83,000 miles, just failed. This car was fully and timely serviced by Lexus and is otherwise in pristine driving condition. We noticed the problem months ago when we experienced engine hesitation and transmission related symptoms, but our Lexus dealer checked the car and assured us it was fine. My wife and son continued to drive the car and were exposed to dangerous driving situations due to engine hesitation and failure to accelerate. Despite transmission related symptoms and full knowledge of widespread transmission failures the Lexus dealer did not raise any warnings with us and assured us the car was fine and safe to drive. When Lexus finally acknowledged it was the transmission all along, I was shocked to learn how widespread, pervasive and well documented this problem is and how unsafe this car is to drive given the dangerous effects of transmission failure while driving. As an attorney I will not let this rest and want to know why NHTSA is not taking action on this, and why Lexus is not recalling this vehicle.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #95

Jul 192011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 88,000 miles
Transmission failure-2001 Lexus rx 300, 88,000 miles, purchased new, car was babied, services regularly with transmission fluid flushed at 30,000 mile intervals. Never towed anything, drove about 9,000 miles per year. You don't expect a car you buy for reliability to have the transmission fail at 88,000 miles with a $5,000 price tag to repair. Research show this is a genetic problem for an under engineered transmission for a AWD auto. 100's upon 100's have the complaint on this model from 1999-2002 with failures at 85,000- 95,000 miles. Deceptive advertising as to quality, reliability and pursuit of perfection with the manufacturer not willing to admit they have a problem. Just read the Lexus and edmund boards on rx 300 AWD transmission failure. Manufacturer corrected the problem in 2003 or 2004 transmissions but for the people that purchased before we have to pay the consequence. There should be a recall due to safety concerns on transmission failure while driving. Reports are numerous.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #94

Jun 242011

RX 300

  • 106,000 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 failed transmission with no prior symptoms @ 106K miles. Estimated $3,800 - $4,800 to replace with rebuilt transmission.

- Bothell, WA, USA

problem #93

May 172011

RX 300

  • 151,000 miles


2001 Lexus RX300 shifted out of drive into neutral while going down the freeway at 60mph (redlining the engine) and almost causing an accident from behind. Apparently this car has a known defect with the transmission. The vehicle shifted into reverse while in the drive position shortly thereafter. The transmission is now having to be rebuilt for $3000 that we don't have. The car shifting into reverse while in the drive location scared the heck out of us. Thank god no one was behind us!!!

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #92

Feb 162011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 at 113K mi. Suddenly the gears are slipping or loose in reverse or drive when starting from stop - takes a second to click into gear and move the SUV- random in nature and occurrence. About a few months later the dash lights come on vsc and check engine lights. Lexus dealer says warning lights are for solenoid E. they recommend replacing full transmission as they cannot be sure replacing the solenoid will not damage the transmission - $4,500 is the damage - ouch! I am reading this is a common problem for Lexus RX300's - why isn't Lexus doing anything about this- large hit to the family budget!!!!

- Eden Prairie, MN, USA

problem #91

Apr 252011

RX 300

  • 104,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact was driving approximately 35 mph and attempting to accelerate but the vehicle would not respond. The contact applied pressure to the accelerator pedal and the engine would exhibit an increase in rpms but the vehicle still would not accelerate. The vehicle was towed to an independent repair shop where the contact was told that the transmission would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 104,000. The VIN was not available.

- Charlestown, MA, USA

problem #90

Feb 142011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I would like to report a safety issue with my 2001 Lexus rx 300. The transmission went out when I was driving in traffic when attempting to get on interstate. The vehicle has 120,000 miles on drive train and vehicle was properly maintained. The transmission was looked at months earlier to fix potential problems with transmission. The technician did not discover anything unusual and said vehicle was okay to drive. The transmission just quit and left my children and me stranded in rush hour traffic. Real dangerous!!! I think vehicle needs to be recalled.

- North Charleston, SC, USA

problem #89

Mar 022011

RX 300

  • 105,000 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that when shifting into reverse, the vehicle would not respond. She then shifted into drive and the vehicle exhibited an abnormally loud thump. The vehicle was not inspected or repaired for the failure. The failure and current mileage was approximately 105,000.

- Westlake, IL, USA

problem #88

Aug 012006

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 97,822 miles
Normal driving conditions applied. Transmission stopped working at traffic light while going home from work. Was finally able to move from light into nearby parking lot. Had to call tow truck from there. Told by dealer that this was rare occasion and that they had never seen this happen before. Have learned since that it has happened quite frequently. This happened around 97,800 miles. A cost of around $3957 for the replacement of the transmission.

- North Port, FL, USA

problem #87

Feb 232011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
My vehicle was stopped for a traffic signal and shifter in "drive". when light turned green I applies gas and the vehicle went into reverse with the shifter still in the drive position. Transmission will need replacing. Repairing dealer advised this is a common problem with this model vehicle.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #86

Jan 082011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 142,000 miles


The automatic transmission on my 2001 Lexus RX300 fwd went out at 142,000 miles. This car was purchase new from a Lexus dealer and serviced, in accordance with the service manual, at the same dealer. Most recently the transmission was serviced at 135,000 miles and all was fine. On Jan. 8 the car was on the freeway and the transmission dropped into a lower gear for no apparent reason and the engine revved close to red line. Check engine light did not come on. I was able to pull over just before entering a tunnel. Transmission fluid looks fine. The car was towed to the dealer and I've been told it needs a new transmission at a cost of $5000+ for parts and labor.

- Pleasant Hill, CA, USA

problem #85

Dec 262010

RX 300

  • 178,000 miles
2001 RX3000 transmission failed at 178,000 miles while attempting to exit off-ramp of highway stopping in the middle of ramp and almost causing crash and was replaced to then fail again at 192,000 miles.

- Shelby, NC, USA

problem #84

Oct 072010

RX 300

  • 119,000 miles
I was driving down the road and my car went into neutral. I was moving about 40 mph at the time of the incident.

- Colonial Heights, VA, USA

problem #83

Oct 042010

RX 300

  • 108,000 miles
Faulty Lexus transmission failure by manufacturer's design has caused an expensive repair to the car and I cannot get any help from Lexus. Why hasn't NHTSA investigated Lexus for putting a potentially dangerous transmission in the car....do people have to die first?

- Goodyear, AZ, USA

problem #82

Aug 162009

RX 300

  • 108,200 miles
The transmission in my 2001 Lexus RX300 failed with a little over 108K miles. No warning lights came on. I had trouble getting it in reverse 2 days before - thought it was a fluke. Then I had trouble starting it for 2 days. On 8/16 it started fine, so I drove it to the dealer. Twice on the way there, it jerked & hesitated when accelerating from a stop - I almost got rear ended. I am the 2nd owner - I bought it in 2003 with 41,462 miles on it. It was Lexus certified pre-owned. The car fax report noted the original owner registered it as private/personal use & no issues were noted. I have had all service done by the dealer, except the last oil change. I've only driven about 9K miles per year, drive it responsibly & have never towed with it. Very frightening that I had few symptoms, and no warning light to alert me there was a problem. Lexus dealer wants $4,300 to replace it with a Lexus remanufactured transmission. I have not decided what to do. I'm seeing lots of information online about how bad these transmissions are, and they often need replaced multiple times. Scares me to know I could replace it, have it fail & perhaps be in an accident. I am a realtor & frightening that I could have been in an accident with clients in my vehicle. My expectations of Lexus quality & safety have not been met.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #81

Jul 152009

RX 300

  • 143,000 miles
2001 Lexus rx 300 - transmission failure appears to be common. Mine went out about 1 yr ago. Car wouldn't move at all. Had to have it rebuilt with more dependable parts. I don't have the old parts. The shop I went to said they frequently have them in with this issue.

- Granville, OH, USA

problem #80

Jul 012010

RX 300

  • 127,323 miles
2001 Lexus RX300 with transmission failure. Car totally went out of gear at 50mph with no warning. Towed and found out that would need a whole new transmission as one of the planetary gears lost bearings and chewed up the whole transmission. Design flaw that has been reported numerous times without Lexus acting at all.

- Ramona, CA, USA

problem #79

May 172010

RX 300

  • 98,000 miles
1. may18th, 2010 on my way to work the Lexus rx 300, 2001, 98K stalled and the gear did not shift either in D or in R. the transmission died. 2. no sign of failure or symptom before that 3. I called a local shop specialized in transmission to tow it to the shop. The cost to rebuild the transmission is 2800$. I went to Lexus dealer and ask for a replacement (Lexus does not rebuild transmission). It costs 5000$ or more. I believe that the transmission is a defective design. I'd like to complain and request Lexus to provide supports for this defect.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #78

Apr 012010

RX 300

  • 95,577 miles
The contact owns a 2001 Lexus RX300. The contact stated as she accelerated from a traffic stop at speeds of 40 mph, the vehicle lunged forward without warning. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic where she was advised the transmission would need to be replaced. The VIN was unavailable. The failure mileage was 95577. The current mileage was 95780.

- Centennial, CO, USA

problem #77

Nov 102009

RX 300

  • 81,406 miles
During normal driving the transmission failed. The transmission had to be rebuilt at a cost of over $4000. The Lexus dealer service department agrees that there is a design flaw, but the Toyota/Lexus corporation is unwilling to do more than contribute $1000 towards repair, and only if it is repaired at a dealer.

- Morrow, OH, USA

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