NHTSA — Service Brakes, Hydraulic Problems

2004 Lexus RX 330 (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
5 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 1
Average Mileage:
18,093 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.

2004 Lexus RX 330 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Dec 012010

RX 330

  • miles


I have hard time depressing brake pedal. I went to Lexus dealer to get it checked. I think I paid 170 dollars and they said it is ok. But, I still do not like the brake pedal never been smooth.

- Cambridge , MA, USA

problem #23

Mar 042007

RX 330 6-cyl

  • miles
2004 Lexus RX330. Consumer states problems with the brake fluid after the vehicle went in for a 30,000 mile clean up. The consumer stated the brake light illuminated on the dashboard. The vehicle was taken to the dealer. The consumer was informed that an air bubble had formed in the brake line, possibly caused when the line was drained during a 30,000 mile check-up and resulted in the brake fluid being slightly low. The following week, the brake light illuminated again and the consumer immediately returned to the dealer. It was discovered there was absolutely no brake fluid in the reservoir. The brake cylinder and brake booster were replaced.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #22

Jun 072010

RX 330

  • 35,402 miles
On the date of the accident I was driving my 2004 Lexus RX300 approaching an intersection with cars stopped in front of me waiting for the traffic light to change to green. Although I kept pressing on the brakes nothing happened and I ended up crashing into the car ahead of me and causing a chain reaction involving four (4) other cars, then swerving onto the side of the road and finally coming to a stop by hitting the traffic light pole. None of the air bags deployed. Still visibly in shock, I was helped out of my vehicle by others who had stopped to help including those involved in the accident. The police arrived shortly after on the scene and began an investigation by asking other drivers who had witnessed the accident. According to the police reports, the drivers behind me clearly saw the brake lights on though the vehicle obviously continued moving. Since the accident we have tried to work with our insurance provider (metlife) to do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and determine the cause of the accident, but it has been all with no avail. We have been kept in the dark as to what has exactly been done if anything. The vehicle in the mean time was deemed 'totaled' by the insurance company who has sent a check. We'd like to clearly understand what caused the accident since it was not an operator error. Please advise on how to proceed.

- Belmont, MA, USA

problem #21

Apr 262010

RX 330

  • 68,500 miles


I have 2004 Lexus RX330. Yesterday, April 26th, 2010 while driving to local bank, I needed to apply the brakes. I pushed on the brake pedal and it made some weird sound and pedal went all the way to the floor and vehicle had hard time stopping. Somehow I managed to come back home safely. The pedal goes to floor and vehicle barely stops. I do not see any leaks in my garage where vehicle is always parked. I took it to the Toyota dealer and he says master cylinder has internal leak and need to be replaced along with brake pads both front and back.

- Cumming, GA, USA

problem #20

Jan 022004

RX 330

  • 200 miles
Someone needs to listen! I have a 2004 Lexus RX330. It's had trouble from day one, and I got nowhere! they have done 5 updates on the computer. Now it only seems to have trouble at 20 mph, instead of 40-50 and 65-80, of lurching, hesitating, then taking off like a bat out of hell. It's had a "bulletin" on the front brakes, and shimmied all over the road. I have paper work on all of this and more. You, the ntsb, can take the car and go thru it, I'll give you the repair records. I've called the Toyota headquarters in 04 or 05 begging them to help me. A woman said, the car was, "performing in the manner it was designed:" I saved a long time to buy my dream car when I retired, now I have a defective car, with only 48K miles because of fear of driving it. Please please, listen to what people wrote back in 04 about this car. One man said a friend worked for Lexus and told him that his boss said there will never be a recall on this car because of the amount of cars sold in the us and Canada. We need help. My car is a lemon. I've mentioned numerous times of painting it yellow and putting lemon all over it. Please try to pull up records back then, all these people were writing in with the same problems. No one listened then or now! please, I'm begging you. I've had 4 Toyota's in the past, and all 4 totally, never had the trouble this 1 Lexus has. They were actually Toyota. Their complete stature has gone from years of loyalty by me and others, after all the built up trust, gone in an instant! one runaway car is enough! it's now killing people. I bought it for it's comfort, looks, but mostly for safety, and trustworthiness! gone. All gone! I have a 91 Ford van I drive instead of the Lexus. I call it a piece of junk, nothing but trouble, and Lexus had it more than I did the first 4 yrs. Please look into this all you can. All these people can't be wrong. I can't even sell it now. Shame on you, Toyota. Shame on you! greed! that's what it is, greed.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 202009

RX 330

  • 60,000 miles
Lost the power brake assist in vail Colorado coming down the mountain.

- Upland, CA, USA

problem #18

Dec 152009

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,649 miles


2 to 3 years prior to this accident I was coming to a stop light and the brakes did not work, but only for a few seconds. I reported this to my husband and he took it to several mechanics but did not find anything wrong with the vehicle, my husband has owned a auto parts store for 40 years and knows a few qualified mechanics. 3 people were on a freeway about 1/4 mile from off ramp doing about 65 mph, we started to move over to the slower lane as we got to the slower lane I stepped on the brakes to slow down for the off ramp when I felt the brakes were not working, I pumped the brakes several times to make sure I was stepping on the brakes but instead of slowing down the vehicle kept accelerating. I depressed the brake pedal as hard as I could and hung on for dear life upon entering the off ramp I struck another vehicle and flipped the car several times. I ended up with a cracked sternum, the passenger broke 3 or 4 of her vertebra, and passenger in the rear seat was fatal. Updated 03/10/10 updated IVOQ 09/28/10 update 9/19/2011

- Torrance, CA, USA

problem #17

Sep 152005

RX 330

  • 17,000 miles
Lexus has had problems with brake vibration, they have issued a tsb but all they are doing is throwing new rotors and pads. This is not addressing the real issue at hand. Brake vibration can cause a car to go off the road when there is ice or snow on the ground and once the car starts slipping in ice or snow you will not be able to regain control of the vehicle. My complaint is regarding a 2004 Rx 330 that only has 34K on and I'm going on my third set of brake pads. The caliper is hanging up causing uneven pad wear, causing brake vibration. This is not only compromising the safety of the passengers, but my entire suspension wear and tear, cause premature wear. This problem has caused my tires to feather at the edge. I think if Lexus issued a tsb for this issue they need to go to the root cause of this problem rather than just throwing new parts and calling it good for another 15 to 20K. All my suspension is tight and I have no runout at the hub, just on brake pads. The dealer keeps saying that everything is okay and that there is no problem with my vehicle. My car is properly aligned, but we keep having this problem. This ongoing brake vibration problem needs to be looked at cause I don't feel my wife is safe driving this car on bad weather. This vibration can cause car to loose control on bad weather or driving at highway speeds. Plz look at all complaints regarding brake vibration. I have gotten on Lexus web forums and there is a good number of people with this complaint. I feel that by Lexus putting out a service bulletin they know that there is a problem but they are just covering up the problem and not going after the root cause. Thanks for your time angel.

- Aurora, CO, USA

problem #16

May 122007

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 71,000 miles
In May 2007, I was involved in an automobile accident in my 2004 Lexus RX330. This accident occurred less than 10 miles from my home, it was a frigid morning. I was traveling approximately 5 miles per hour and the vehicle brakes failed to engage. I attempted to push the brake petal to the floor without result. The anti-lock brakes did not function. The damage to this vehicle exceeded $9500. The brakes shake violently when applied and this has happened several times before and after the accident. At the time of the accident, my airbag did not even deploy I was going so slow. I reported this problem to Lexus of seattle in October 2006 and they said I needed a front brake job, which I did, the accident occurred less than 6 months later.

- Mukilteo, WA, USA

problem #15

Jan 152006

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Brake failure on Lexus RX330.

- Lawrenceville, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jan 022006

RX 330

  • 20,000 miles


I was driving my 2004 RX330. It was 1/2/2006 and the roads were dry. The outside temperature awas 34 degrees. I had driven my car to the local deli with no problems. When I returned to the car and pulled away, I applied the brakes to a bucking sound. The brake light was on. The brakes were squealing and I couldn't stop without applying major pressure to the brakes. I immediately pulled the car over to check if I had accidently put the parking brake on - which I hadn't. I waited for my husband to come check it out. He pumped on the brake pedal for a while and the brakes finally started to work again and the brake light went off. My husband took the car to the dealer and they said that they probably needed to change the brake booster.

- Morganville, NJ, USA

problem #13

Jan 172005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,400 miles
On January 17, 2005 I was involved in an automobile accident in my 2004 Lexus RX330. This accident occurred less than 1 mile from my home, on my own street, 1-2 minutes after leaving my home. It had snowed the night before and the roadway was still snow/ice covered, it was a frigid morning. I was traveling approximately 15 miles per hour and the vehicle brakes failed to engage. I attempted to push the brake petal to the floor without result. The anti-lock brakes did not function. The damage to this vehicle exceeded $8000. Days after the damage to the vehicle was fixed my husband took the vehicle to the Lexus of towson dealership to have the braking mechanism looked at. During the drive to the dealership (in similar, snow covered/frigid conditions) my husband was able to reproduce this problem, again just after leaving our home. The dealership (a 40 minute drive from our home) was unable to reproduce this problem and told us to call back if the problem occurred again. Today, May 24, 2005, we were informed during a routine oil change that there may be a problem wth the brakes and that a campaign was underway to investigate. I wanted to formally add my vehicle to this list of compaints.

- Fork, MD, USA

problem #12

Dec 262004

RX 330

  • miles
2004 Lexus RX330 has problems with the vacuum system for the brake equipment. The brake booster failed causing the brakes to fail while backing out of a driveway. The brakes would lso lock up and the pedal would travel to the floor.

- Franklin Lakes, NJ, USA

problem #11

Oct 012004

RX 330

  • 12,000 miles
Lexus RX330 2004 brake failure. The consumer stated when he placed the vehicle in reverse, it moved quite fast, when he attempted to apply the brake to slow it down nothing happened until the consumer slammed on the brake very hard and it slowly came to a stop. The dealer was unable to find anything abnormal.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #10

Feb 012005

RX 330 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When backing vehicle up the brake pedal locked and brakes failed. The consumer was told the brake booster failed. The consumer was given a loaner vehicle of the same make and model and had the same failure.

- New Hope, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 052005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The brakes did not operate at various speeds when they were applied. Consumer has contacted the manufacturer.

- West New York, NJ, USA

problem #8

Feb 042005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,400 miles
I took my RX330 in for its 5000 mi checkup and the recall regarding the brake light recall. After 2 hours I was told that in an effort to gas up my vehicle, my brake booster failed at the gas station and was being transported to the dealership but I was told that the vehicle was too dangerours to drive and that I would be provided a loaner. I was told that it would be up to three weeks before my vehicle would be ready. Fortunately, it took only four days to be repaired. Now I am driving my vehicle with real apprehension. I purchased this vehicle based upon consumer reports safety and I hope I do not live to regret it.

- Iindianapolis, IN, USA

problem #7

Dec 062004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,261 miles
Vehicle has experienced 2 total brake failures. When applying the brakes, the vehicle failed to stop. The pedal went down to the floor. Owner towed the vehicle back to the dealer and had the vehicle serviced after being there for 10 days. Approximately 30 days later this problem re-occurred. Owner had the brake actuator assembly and pads replaced. Problem still occurs.

- Highlands, NC, USA

problem #6

Feb 172005

RX 330 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Simultaneously without warning the pedal went to the floor while the driver applied the brakes. The driver noticed that the brakes would go to the floor in cold weather. The driver was able to drive to the dealer. The mechanic informed the driver that the problem can not be duplicate. Please provide additional information.

- Fairfield, CT, USA

problem #5

Jul 052004

RX 330

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10 miles
The consumer has to put extreme pressure on the brakes in order to stop. The vehicle has never been serviced for this problem with the brakes.

- Brea, CA, USA

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