really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,400 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments

problem #5

Jan 122009

RX 330

  • 110,000 miles


Dear sir/madam: I am writing you because I am being ignored by a large product manufacturer. Lexus/Toyota is refusing to hear my claim or even consider my situation on the car. I have not had my claim denied by Lexus because they simply will not even consider my issue. I am the owner of a 2004 Lexus rx 330 that has a failed engine due to oil sludge. I have always had my vehicle maintained at a Lexus dealership and I get the oil changed in a timely manner. My car has 110,000 miles on it and last Sunday the engine failed in the middle of an intersection. It now requires a new engine that is estimated to cost me $3,600. This incident happened on a Sunday (1/9/10) so I had no choice but to use the one towing opportunity that my insurance company gave me to tow my car to a non-Lexus/Toyota brand dealership. The engine failure was caused by oil sludge. I have always had my car serviced properly and I refused to be denied my right to be heard. Toyota/Lexus settled a case for the very same problem in February 2007. This settlement effected 7.8 million units model years 1997 to 2003, however I refuse to give up the fight, my car is one generation out of the settlement. I refuse to believe that all issues have been solve the very next year. I want to file a claim for my car. Here is the website with the details for the settlement: www.oilgelsettlement.com/ I called Lexus and they brushed me off saying that I had to get the car to a dealership and even then they weren't offering any type of maintenance credit at all. I can't afford to continue to haul my car all over town to meet the specifications of this company. I want to be reimbursed for the repairs which by all estimates will cost them less than what it will cost them at a dealership. What really upsets me is that clearly this company has had an issue with sludge, I live in atlanta where temperatures have been extremely cold which is a cause of sludge and they won't help.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #4

Dec 262009

RX 330

  • 75,000 miles
2004 Lexus rx 330: I was a victim of sudden unattended acceleration. This occurred on drive pavement on a street with an uphill grade. I was about to park my vehicle behind a parked car. As I was coasting to stop, my foot was barely touching the gas pedal - I was within a few feet of the parked vehicle. Suddenly I heard a "clicking" sound and immediately I felt the pedal leave my foot. The car engine revved to the highest RPM. The Lexus slammed into the parked car. I tried braking and there was no response. My vehicle kept on slamming into the parked vehicle with such force that the parked car was pushed over the curb on to the sidewalk. At that point, I was able to turn the steering wheel to the left to pull away from the parked vehicle. The Lexus kept on traveling on the uphill grade for over 100 ft until I was able to resume control. I did not have my foot on the gas pedal and braking did not work. I sustained neck injuries and emotional trauma.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #3

Jul 302007

RX 330 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The contact stated that the check engine light illuminated on the dashboard two days after the vehicle was purchased. The sensor light shines on and off intermittently. The vehicle was taken to the dealer and they stated that the engine should be checked. The VIN, engine size, and dealer information were unknown. The current and failure mileages were 57,000.

- Jaimaca, NY, USA

problem #2

Jun 012004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
My Lexus rx 330 has had repeated transmission and throttle problems. The automatic transmission hesitates, hunts, shifts inconsistently, hangs in between gears, delays, etc. The throttle delays at the first application of gas and the rate of accelleration surges up and down unevenly. The result is that the car often cannot avoid hazard situations. If one is trying to pull into traffic the delays create hazards. If one anticipates and applies the throttle early to compensate, one sometimes lurches into traffic. When you attempt a lane change the same problems cause the same troubles: Delays and a hazard. The delay also has caused me to be almost rear ended at stop lights. I have repeatedly reported this problem or package of problems to my local servicing dealer and have been told that Lexus knows of the widespread nature of the complaints but that there is nothing that Lexus will do for it (other than one reflash that did not work for the issues). Amazingly, when I raised these issues in writing, the written response on my service records showed "no problems". when I pushed the service personnel on this, they admitted that all of my complaints were found but that Lexus claims these problems are "normal" to the design, therefore, they have been told by Lexus to simply respond that "there are no problems because the transmission is performing as designed. A bad design is just that. Local service people simply throw their collective hands up and say the they know about the gravity of the problem but that Lexus will do nothing about it. I have been told to expect no solution and to just live with it. Significantly, this is the largest selling Lexus model. Therefore, these problems and the hazards that they create affect thousands of motorists.

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #1

Jul 172004

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 0 miles
Vehicle hesitates and accelerates erractically causing a hazard when entering traffic. Dealer tech states vehicle is performing as designed".

- Howell, NJ, USA

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