really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,385 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.

2002 Lexus RX 300 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2002 Lexus RX 300 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Jun 152011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Early transmission failure on early model Lexus RX300 from 1997 to 2003. I own a 2002 RX300 and the transmission failed at about 100,000 miles. It happened with no notice causing my engine to slow on the road and then was rear ended by another vehicle. I seem to be a lucky one as I read thousands of Lexus RX300 owners transmissions needed to be replaced between 70,000 and 90,000 miles. Lexus/Toyota has done nothing to admit their is a problem with the transmission in this car and in fact denied any problems to myself. It is costing owners of these vehicles to outlay between $3,000 to $6,000 for the transmission to be replaced. All you need to do is go on the club Lexus forum for Lexus owners and type in transmission problems for RX300 and you will see thousands of owners complaining. Please do everything in your power to make Lexus/Toyota acknowledge the problem and issue a recall and reimbursement to those owners of these cars. Thank you.

- Williamstown, NJ, USA

problem #20

Aug 222011

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles
2002 Lexus RX300 automatic transmission issue. Have been reading on the internet as well as this site (16 total complaints about transmission/power train for this particular vehicle). Just this morning, my wife (principal driver of this vehicle) tried to put the vehicle in reverse (located inside our home garage). The vehicle will not reverse. From reading other complaints, it seems that this is now a more common issue with this model of Lexus than ever before? the danger involved in having to play with a gear shift; shifting back and forth from park to reverse, or reverse to drive, just to move into gear is a hazard and danger for a vehicle particularly housed in a garage. I'm also learning that others have experienced this model of Lexus SUV jumping out of gear and locking up the axles while the vehicle is in motion. Lexus is not an inexpensive vehicle, and owners should expect more from a vehicle of this price range and overall quality otherwise.

- Roanoke, VA, USA

problem #19

May 112010

RX 300

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. The contact stated that the vehicle consumed oil excessively. While driving 55 mph, the vehicle suddenly slowed down and began to sputter. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where the contact stated that the engine had failed and needed to be replaced. The transmission also became stuck and took an extended amount of time to shift into gear. The vehicle was taken to a repair shop where the contact was informed that both the transmission and motor needed to be replaced. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current mileage was approximately 140,000. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000.

- Chaska, MN, USA

problem #18

Sep 152010

RX 300

  • 85,000 miles


Started to notice oil on the floor of my garage. Upon inspection found to be transmission oil. Transmission oil cooler lines going to transmission cooler had rusted through with pin holes. Seems they are low enough to receive road spray. Had to replace steel cooler lines.

- Crossville, TN, USA

problem #17

Feb 012011

RX 300

  • 60,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus Rx. The contact stated that the transmission gears would become stuck. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the contact was advised that the transmission would need replacing. The vehicle was not under recall. The manufacturer was contacted who stated that they would contact the dealer for more information on the failure before making a decision if they could assist. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Glendale, NY, USA

problem #16

Dec 232010

RX 300

  • 83,360 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. While driving 35 mph, the transmission failed. The contact stated that when he attempted to accelerate, the vehicle would not accelerate and would not move in reverse. The dealer stated that the failure was due to poor maintenance although the contact stated that he followed the guidelines according to the owner's manual. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who stated that the transmission replaced. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint; the manufacturer stated that someone would get back with him. The vehicle had not been repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The current and failure mileages were 83,360.

- 8020 South West Barnard , OR, USA

problem #15

May 022010

RX 300

  • 89,000 miles


Transmission failure.

- Springfield, MO, USA

problem #14

Feb 152010

RX 300

  • 100,500 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. While driving at approximately 40-50 mph, the contact attempted to accelerate and the transmission failed without warning. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealership where the contact was informed that the transmission needed to be replaced. He called the manufacturer who stated that because the vehicle was outside the warranty, they would not assist with the repair expenses. The vehicle had not been repaired at the time of the complaint. The current and failure mileages were approximately 100,500.

- Alpine, NJ, USA

problem #13

Jan 082010

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,465 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Lexus RX300. The contact stated his transmission fails whenever he drives, the transmission makes noise. The gear is slipping and the vehicle will not move. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and the transmission was replaced for $4800. There is a power train warranty but they will not honor it and want the contact to pay for the repairs. The Toyota/Lexus manufacturer was called and they stated they will not honor the warranty. The failure mileage was 57,465. Updated 04/15/10. Updated 05/13/10. Updated 05/25/10.

- Alpine, NJ, USA

problem #12

Dec 102009

RX 300

  • 98,000 miles
Transmission failure at 98,000 miles.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #11

Dec 072009

RX 300

  • 65,500 miles


2002 Lexus rx 300 stopped dead while owner was driving the vehicle. We learned that the transmission on the vehicle complete failed. Vehicle had approximately 65,000 miles on it at the time of the incident.

- Springfield , PA, USA

problem #10

Jul 122009

RX 300

  • 85,000 miles
2002 Lexus rx 300 transmission failed, stuck on NJ turnpike, towed to prestige Lexus in ramsey NJ. Dealer said transmission bad. Have read hundreds and hundreds of premature transmission failures in 1999-2002 Lexus rx 300 vehicles. So far Lexus has not admitted any problems and will look into it. Cost of repair $4000. Still in shop.

- Nanuet, NY, USA

problem #9

Jul 052009

RX 300

  • 130,000 miles
Transmission failure in Lexus 2002 rx 300.

- Harvest, AL, USA

problem #8

Feb 202009

RX 300

  • 79,550 miles
On February 20, 2009, I was driving my 2002 Lexus RX300 with approximately 79K miles when it would not shift into overdrive. I brought vehicle to repair shop where I was informed that the knock sensors needed to be replaced. I had them replaced and vehicle seemed to be working fine. On May 5, 2009, my transmission began slipping when shifting from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. When vehicle brought to repair facility and I was informed that transmission is no good and needs to be replaced. At this time I looked on internet and found that many Lexus RX300 are having the same problem. The cost of repairs is approximately $4,500. I paid $1,500 for knock sensors to be replaced already. There should be a recall.

- North Scituate, RI, USA

problem #7

Mar 272009

RX 300 4WD

  • 94,000 miles
Fwd vehicle. Gear slippage began without warning and in minutes the transmission failed completely. No warning lights came on. The mechanic says the clutch is burned out, requiring a new transmission. The car has 94K miles on it and this is not covered under warranty. The cost for replacement with a re-manned oem transmission is $3,900. It is being replaced by the local Toyota dealer.

- Inver Grove Heights, MN, USA

problem #6

Feb 192009

RX 300

  • 125,500 miles
I own a 2002 RX300 by Lexus. This has in general been a good vehicle, until the transmission went out when I was 350 miles from home. The independent transmission shop that I took the car to showed me information that indicated the Lexus vehicles from 1998 - 2002 have a history of significant transmission problems. These problems include the premature failure of the transmission and the inability in some cases of getting a new "rebuilt" transmission to sync with the vehicle computer. The information I read indicated that up to 25% of vehicles in these model years have failure. This is unacceptable. Can you please investigate this.

- Addison, TX, USA

problem #5

Feb 112009

RX 300

  • 102,000 miles
2002 Lexus RX300 complete transmission failure at 102K miles. No warning, no problems noted before failure. A new transmission had to be installed.

- Gilbert, SC, USA

problem #4

Jan 102009

RX 300

  • 130,000 miles
A total failure of my transmission left me stranded on the highway, no warning, no signals, just quit. I've driven Toyota products for 30 years and several over 200K miles and I've never had such a catastrophic failure. The cost to repair is $4000 from the dealer. The sad thing is that I just paid this vehicle off less than a week ago. After searching many forums of Lexus owners I have found out that the early Rx300S were all susceptible to this failure., why hasn't and doesn't Lexus admit this failure. Lexus has just lost loyal customer for them and Toyota products.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Sep 012007

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,326 miles
Failure of torque converter in automatic transmission, resulting in total failure of automatic transmission. Vehicle disabled on busy freeway. No prior warning, no engine check light, no transmission temperature alarm.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #2

Jul 032006

RX 300 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles
: the contact stated that while driving at 5 mph, there was a lack of responsiveness in the vehicle while depressing the accelerator. The vehicle did not move when the accelerator was depressed. The vehicle was taken to a service dealer, where the dealer determined that the transmission had failed, but was unable to determine the cause.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

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