definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
35,516 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments

problem #8

Jul 142014

RX 330

  • 87,000 miles


My steering started getting stiff and making a grinding sound without warning. It would then disappear after driving for about 5 minutes. I noticed this seems to be a common problem with the vehicle at the 90,000 mark. I bought a Lexus because I thought the vehicle would be solid but it seems like everything is starting to go. I had to replace the sunroof, air conditioning pump, radiator and transmission after hitting 80,000. I don't want to put any more $$$ into the car at this point because it doesn't seem worth. One problem after the next.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #7

Jul 172013

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 84,875 miles
This is our 2nd complaint regarding our 2004 rx 330. We have owned it for 8 months and have put 7K miles on it since purchase, and it only has 85K now. Since purchase we noticed the transmission shifting and jerking problems at all rates of speed when starting/ driving/stopping. We contacted our local Lexus dealership to ask if something could be done, and was advised they could check to see if the previous 1st owner of vehicle had ever "upgraded" the computer chip that controls the system. So, we took it in and they determined it had not been done so we paid the $100 for the upgrade. We hoped it had solved the issue, but now it is even worse. Several days after getting the vehicle back, I was on a major highway going 70 mph with the cruise control on and accelerated to change lanes and pass another vehicle. During my attempt to pass with my foot on the accelerator, for 5 or 10 seconds the engine/ transmission froze and it was like you were in neutral gear, it did nothing, and finally with my foot all the way down on the accelerator it kicked back into gear and I was able to pass the vehicle to my side. If someone would have been behind me I'm sure there would have been an accident, as the truck was in motion but not accelerating. I called the dealership and the service department said they had complaints and were aware of the acceleration issue, but had no complaints about what happened with it "freezing" like that. He said the truck will just have to "learn my driving pattern", and unless Toyota does a recall it will always have these issues. This is a safety issue that needs to be resolved, sooner than later and it is just not a "floor mat" clip fix. I am now afraid to drive this truck since it's a toss up as to when or where it could happen again.

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #6

Jan 032013

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 78,000 miles
We purchased our 2004 Lexus RX330 in January 2013 as the 2nd owner with 78K miles. We began to notice at lower speeds the truck will jerk forward with no warning when beginning to accelerate from a stop, or even when driving at higher speeds on the highway when making land changes or slowing down in traffic. We have a 2001 Lexus rx 300, and it never has had this issue. We are very concerned and this is definitely a safety issue, and will be contacting our local Lexus dealership to let them know, so it can be documented. Since reading others complaints, it seems that Lexus is not standing behind this issue, we may be looking to trade it in and go back to the Honda CRV, which had no problems at all, we just liked the luxury of the Lexus, and wanted an upgrade, not a vehicle that can cause an accident with no warning.

- Goshen, IN, USA

problem #5

Apr 152009

RX 330

  • miles


I bought a used 2004 Lexus rx in December of 2008. Ever since owning the vehicle, at random times when accelerating from a stop or slow movement, it will hesitate and then revs up and thrusts forward. I told my mechanic (a certified Lexus mechanic) about it and he said that I should take it to the Lexus dealer to have the "computer program updated". I took it to them last spring and they made me drive it with them to feel the hesitation and thrusting forward and then took it into the shop to complete the reprogramming of it. But then they looked at the car's records and it said that the car had already been reprogrammed and they told me that they couldn't reprogram it again. The mechanic said he would send notice of the problem to Lexus, but I never heard anything back from the dealer or Lexus. My car still does this revving up and thrusting forward. There has been no accident, but I thought you might want to know about a problem with a Lexus accelerator and its computer system, that they either ignored or can't fix. Do you think this could be a precursor to a serious problem and maybe an accident in the future" I am nervous now that I have heard all about the problems with Lexus accelerators and accusations of cover-ups. I took it to the dealer and nothing was fixed and no one had the courtesy to let me know why not. Who should I trust to take it to now? am I in danger in the future? have you had other complaints about the Lexus accelerator computer system"

- Clifton, VA, USA

problem #4

Aug 142006

(reported on)

RX 330

  • miles
1994 Lexus RX330 hesitates while depressing the accelerator. The vehicle has been taken to the dealer several times to alleviate the problem but they claimed that the vehicle was operating within normal specifications. The vehicle has also been plagued by other malfunctions to include squeaks, rattles, multiple malfunctions of the sunroof electronics, broken seats and liftgate alignment problems. Updated 08/14/06.

- Bakersfield, CA, USA

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problem #3

Dec 012005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,200 miles
Low speed, single car accident. Right front tire hit curb, 20-25 miles an hour. Visible damage- tire ruined, rim scratched. Dealer inspired- tire, rim, ball joints, lower control arm, cvt, axle, etc. Drive train had pre existing condition of noise coming from right hand drive area. Dealer stated no problem. Since accident, dealer states need to replace all of this. Obvious dealer over repair or lack of trained staff, resulting in overcharges.

- Double Oak, TX, USA

problem #2

Jun 102005

(reported on)

RX 330

  • miles
Consumer has 3 major complaints on the 2004 Lexus rx 330: Sun glare from the dashboard obstructing visibility. The high intensity lights do not illuminate enough down the road for the consumer to see safely. There is severe hesitation after slowing the vehicle down, followed by a sudden surge of power. The dealer is aware of the problem but indicated there was no way to fix them.

- Scotts Valley, CA, USA

problem #1

Jun 022004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,050 miles
When attempting to accelerate into traffic vehicle would not accelerate. Consumer took the vehicle to the dealership for an inspection. The consumer stated that he can not believe that the vehicle meets U.S. dept of transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration specifications.

- Presto, PA, USA

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