really awful
Crashes / Fires:
13 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
9 / 3
Average Mileage:
49,713 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 (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Apr 282016

RX 330

  • 176,000 miles


My 2004 Lexus RX330 was stopped in a parking lot with my foot on the brake about to get ready to let a passenger leave the vehicle. The car was stationary and not moving. When suddenly the car accelerated to full throttle. Within seconds the car took off and jumped a curb and drove at full throttle. As soon as I realized what was happening, I then pressed hard on the brake and was finally able to stop the car after it drove about 50 ft. I was in shock that this occurred. My head had flung back along with my passenger with terrific force. Once stopped and I was composed, I drove the car off the grassy area it was now on and reluctantly drove it home. Some degree of neck pain later was noticed. There was no floor mat issue or any noticeable obstructions to the accelerator pedal. Later upon inspection of the car there appeared to be some body damage to the car. Not sure where it came from or if we hit anything other then the curb though. The car acted as though it was possessed. Needless to say, I will be looking for another car without drive by wire if they still exist.

- Westfield, MA, USA

problem #29

Aug 102015

RX 330

  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The contact received notification of NHTSA campaign numbers: 11V112000 (vehicle speed control) and 10V499000 (service brakes, hydraulic). The dealer indicated that the repairs would be completed within 4 to 6 weeks. The contact called for an extended period of time and received no follow up response from the dealer. Months later, the dealer indicated that the parts were not available for the recall repairs. The contact was unable to determine when the vehicle would receive the repairs. The manufacturer was notified. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #28

Jan 152016

RX 330

  • 119,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. While backing up the vehicle in the driveway at a low rate of speed, the vehicle suddenly experienced unintended acceleration and crashed into the garage and house. There were no injuries and a police report was not filed. During the incident, the vehicle failed to immediately stop while depressing the brake pedal. The cause of the failure was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 119,000.

- Egg Harbor, NJ, USA

problem #27

Jun 162015

RX 330

  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. While driving approximately 2 mph, the vehicle independently accelerated. As a result, the contact crashed into two other vehicles and a curb. The two passengers in the other vehicles sustained injuries that required medical attention. A police report was filed. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for body repairs. The vehicle was not diagnosed for the failure. The failure recurred. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure was unable to be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Paradise Valley, AZ, USA

problem #26

Oct 162014

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
I got in the car at 2 P.M. after driving 1/4 mile it would not take off from the stop sign it stalled and lunged forward due to loss of connection when stepping on the gas pedal. I depressed the brake and shifted from D to 4 and it began to shake in the front of the bumper. I pulled over, put it in neutral with the parking brake on and my emergency flashers on, and opened the hood. It stopped shaking and I removed the floor mat, which is attached with clips and with my hand, I pushed the gas pedal. It had no rev in the engine, as I would expect. I got back in the car and shifted to R and then with the brake off, I shifted to 4. the check engine light was flashing and vsc light as well. I can tell you for certain my car was not overheating when I took it to sears auto center with warning lights vsc and check engine coming on intermittently. If the vehicle overheating was the cause of the damage the temperature gauge on the dash would have indicated that when I brought it to sears. Mike, service advisor at Lexus of roseville stated in an E-mail to me that his technician ┐┐found # 5 cylinder intake valves bent and stuck. #1 cylinder intake valve sticking (will stay open till piston hits and closes it). Suspect vehicle overheated causing valve to stick in guides.my car was not overheating and I think the engine is defective. I had a lkq engine installed amd it was fine for a month before it started sounding like marbles. I think my car is damaged due to a defect. I had just had a ful synthetic oil change two weeks before this incident occurred and put four brand new tires as well. I bought the car with only 101K miles for $23,000 in August 2013 and I still owe $5,000 on my loan. My car had all the service records from Lexus of rockville, proving this car was well maintained by both myself and the previous owner.

- Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #25

Sep 112014

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 123,000 miles
I was on the feeder of the freeway and was getting ready to enter the freeway entrance ramp. I pushed on the gas pedal to accelerate, at this time the car sped up on its own beyond the speed that I was attempting to go. I removed my foot from the pedal; however the car kept accelerating. I pushed on the brakes and the car kept accelerating. I had heard about the floor mat causing this problem; so I checked the gas pedal and there was nothing near pedal. The floor mat had not moved everything was in place. I put my foot under the gas pedal and attempted to raise the pedal; this had no effect on the speed. I stomped on the gas pedal a couple of times and the pedal then started responding normally. I tried to recreate the problem several times with no response.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #24

Sep 092011

RX 330

  • 111,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The contact was driving 5 mph when the vehicle abnormally accelerated and caused the contact to crash into a light pole. The contact sustained injuries but was not transported to the hospital. A police report was filed. The driver sustained injury but was not seen by a physician. The vehicle was towed for repairs. Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 111,000.

- Jacksonville, FL, USA

problem #23

Aug 102010

RX 330

  • 50,000 miles
While attempting to back slowly out of a parking space, my car went from 0 to at least 40 mph in a matter of seconds and hit a pole across a parking lot. Although I had my foot off the gas, I was attempting to find the brake. The entire incident happened in a matter of seconds. I remember feeling totally out of control of the car. The pole behind me was driven through my SUV to the passenger's seat.

- Tampa, FL, USA

problem #22

Aug 022010

RX 330

  • 111,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus rx 330. The contact was driving at 5 mph in a parking lot when there was an abnormal increase in engine rpms and the engine became extremely loud. The contact stated the brakes were depressed when the vehicle independently accelerated and crashed into a stone wall. The contact sustained injuries to her knee. The passenger sustained a minor injury to his tongue. The vehicle was towed to a collision facility. The dealer advised they would not make repairs to the body damage until the vehicle was investigated for the cause of the failure. The contact was awaiting a diagnosis of the failure. The failure and current mileage was 111,000.

- Fairfax, VA, USA

problem #21

May 162010

RX 330

  • 66,000 miles
I was pulling into a curbside parking place on a residential street with a slight uphill incline. The car slowed almost to a stop because of the incline. I put my foot very lightly on the gas pedal so as to move forward and make room for another car to park behind me. The pedal went all the way to the floor of its own Accord and the car lurched forward into the parked car in front of me, causing considerable damage before I was able to stop the car, reverse and park. Police were called but declined to file a report as no one was injured and the damage was not severe. Because I was afraid to drive the car again, I had it towed to the dealer where it was purchased and has been serviced. It is currently being inspected. This is the first and only time of such an occurrence.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #20

Mar 122010

RX 330

  • miles


Vehicle periodically (approx. Weekly) surges between 2nd and 3rd gear (automatic transmission). Has been doing this since purchase in Oct. 2003, as a brand new vehicle, up through the present date. For years I complained verbally, and wrote letters and E-mails to Lexus. They first denied there was a problem, then changed tactics and blamed it on me, then said they didn't know what the problem was or if there was a problem, then Lexus finally admitted there was a problem--"off the record, " but didn't know how to fix it. Every time I brought the car in for routine service, they would install computer updates to see if that would fix the problem--which it did not. Years ago, I researched through government records and found numerous complaints of the same kind with 2004 Lexus rx 330S. In light of recent recalls of Toyota vehicles, I am concerned that this may someday turn into the same unintended acceleration problem that is happening with other Toyota. I do not feel safe in my car!

- Stillwater, MN, USA

problem #19

Oct 242005

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The contact was backing out of a parking space at approximately 5 mph. There was a loud noise outside of the vehicle. The gear was shifted into drive and suddenly, the vehicle accelerated without warning. There were several attempts with extreme force applied to the brake pedal. The vehicle failed to reduce speed and crashed into a wall. The driver sustained intense pain to the ankle with other minor injuries. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer and repaired for damages. The contact had concern of the safety risk involved. The failure mileage was 15,000. The consumer stated the air bag failed to deploy. Updated 05/11/10.

- Newtown, PA, USA

problem #18

Nov 222009

RX 330

  • 49,000 miles
Vehicle has experienced unintended acceleration three times during the two years that I have owned it.. this happened on occasions when I had slowed down and then slightly depressed the gas pedal to resume speed. With the gas pedal slightly depressed, I felt the pedal go further down by itself, leaving my foot and the car going faster. I said, "whoa! what was that?, and then assumed that the car had some sort of overdrive that caused it to do that. On two of the occasions this occurred when I had slowed to exit a freeway, and then slightly depressed the gas pedal to resume speed and get onto an access road. I have called the Lexus dealer and am taking it in to be checked.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #17

Mar 022010

RX 330

  • 30,000 miles
Since I bought my car from jm Lexus in margate, fl in 2005, it has had the constant problem of sudden short bursts of acceleration. Another problem with the car is that often times, when I try to speed up, the car continues to drive at the same speed, and doesn't accelerate. I am afraid either one of these problems can cause me to hit someone or be hit by another car. I have reported this problem to the dealership and they inspected it and was told nothing could be done about it. I worked at southeast Toyota when I told one of the employees about the problem and he said it was in the electronic system and that nothing could be done. I did not believe there was no fix for this then and I especially don't believe it now, in light of all the reports of malfunctioning Toyota and lexuses.

- Coconut Creek, FL, USA

problem #16

Sep 092006

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 23,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. While driving 65 mph the vehicle suddenly accelerated up to 100 mph. The vehicle accelerated off of the road, over the median and crashed head on into another vehicle. The driver was killed in the crash. The vehicle was destroyed. The contact does not have any information on what caused the vehicle to crash. The contact feels the crash was caused by a faulty computer in the vehicle. The failure mileage was 23,000. Updated 11/16/10. *ljupdated 9/29/2011

- Pelham, NY, USA

problem #15

Dec 242005

RX 330

  • 18,000 miles
My friend (26 year old male) was driving my 2004 Lexus RX330 at around 9am on christmas eve morning. Witnesses state that he was traveling South on a residential street and crossed a busy 6-lane divided roadway at 80 mph. He continued on the residential street at which time he left the roadway and vaulted across an embankment hitting a block wall. He was killed instantly. Pima county sheriff and medical examiner investigated and could find no reason for the excessive speed or the collision. No drugs or alcohol were found in his system and he had no medical problems. I have no doubt now that I have read other reports that something was mechanically wrong with the Lexus and that caused this fatal accident; updated 003/30/10 updated 06/30/10. Updated 9/29/11

- Tucson, AZ, USA

problem #14

Sep 012007

RX 330

  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The driver stated that her vehicle would not start. The vehicle has been serviced on a regular basis for routine maintenance. The floor mat clip which was recalled. The vehicle has accelerated for quite some time. While driving approximately 60 mph, she engaged the brakes to slow down the vehicle and it accelerated on it's own. The dealer was notified and they stated that they were unable to repair it since the VIN does not apply to the recall. A crash also occurred while driving 65 mph when the vehicle accelerated. Two passengers were in the vehicle; however, there were no injuries. The failure mileage was 30,000. The current mileage was 50,000.

- Bocaraton, FL, USA

problem #13

Jan 022004

RX 330

  • 200 miles
Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6) I have my dream car, 2004 Lexus RX330. I have had same trouble. I am afraid of the car. I have an old Ford rv, I drive instead of my beautiful Lexus. People ask why, I tell them I'm afraid of it. It lurches forward, and also jumps back and forth between gears @ 20mph. This is after 5 updates in the computer of the car. I have put 200K miles on my other 5 Toyota, and all went beautifully! then the demon car as I refer to it. I reported it repeatedly, and was told by everyone, including long beach Toyota headquarters, that it was working in the manner it was designed, it was learning how I drive. Horse pucky. I am a retiree of att. I had defensive driving every year to drive their co. Vehicles. I know how to drive and am very experienced. I also know when there is a bad problem. I have 48K miles on my runaway car. It's only tried to really run away twice, but somehow I got it stopped, I stuck it in neutral, for some unknown reason. Back then no one heard of this "mess". I never complained to Toyota about my cars, because they were wonderful. Then, after saving for 10 yrs, bought my dream car. The killer. I hate it, I am beginning to hate Toyota. It's very disheartening to me, to have the car company I thought so very highly of, is trying to save their [xxx], by giving America these defective cars. When our hwy patrol officer and his family, was killed, I cried. All these years of saying they will get caught, they will see. Who is they" Toyota, and when they heard about it in 04, hushed it up. I know, if a hwy patrolman can't stop a runaway car, how the [xxx] can the normal guy driving it" someone please listen, someone, please help fix this mess. Shame on you, Toyota! shame on you! dealers, headquarters, employees that lied all these years to us. Shame on you! man up, and tell the truth.

- Fontana, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 242009

RX 330

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Lexus RX330. The vehicle suddenly accelerated into the rear of the contacts garage. The vehicle was traveling 2 mph when the vehicle started to surge forward. The failure has only occurred one time. The mechanic that inspected the vehicle was unable to find any mechanical failure. The failure mileage was 100,000. The current mileage was 105,000.

- Sun Valley, ID, USA

problem #11

Jan 142006

RX 330

  • 43,000 miles
My Lexus accelerated without my foot on the accelerator and hit and destroyed 2 parked unattended cars. Damage to my car was in excess of $6000. I was cited and I appealed to the board of appeals, and found innocent and had my case vacated. I wrote Lexus about this problem on 2-14-10 since it is a Toyota product and no cause has been found for my malfunction, and they have not answered me as yet. I want compensation and am willing to come to a mutually agreeable conclusion, but as yet, no response from Lexus.

- Williamstown, MA, USA

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