really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,184 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.

2005 Lexus RX 330 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Lexus RX 330 Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 222016

RX 330

  • 67,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Lexus RX330. While driving various speeds with the air conditioner activated, water leaked from the air vents into the front driver and passenger side carpet. As a result, there was moisture build up that caused mold and mildew. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 67,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #6

Jun 292015

RX 330 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,600 miles
My wife (who is not the primary driver of this vehicle) was entering a perpendicular parking space in front of a business located just off the street. The business was once a house and has now put 3 parking spaces in front of the building just over the sidewalk.the entrance is up a driveway and just beyond the sidewalk and into the parking spaces. As she was going up the driveway and turn slightly to the right to enter a parking space, the car hesitated and then accelerated, she applied the brakes and left a 5 foot skid mark before crashing into the front of the business. The car has done this before especially when turning and applying a little gas, it will hesitate and then suddenly accelerate, but never continuing after applying the brake. We have discussed this previously with the Lexus dealer and they say there is no problem with the vehicle and that computers that control the engine and transmission constantly adjust to the primary driver may create this issue, but it is not a problem as far as they are concerned....updated 09/08/15 updated 12/3/15

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 222013

RX 330

  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Lexus RX330. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the vehicle suddenly stalled. The vehicle would not restart. The vehicle was towed to a local mechanic, who inspected the failure. The mechanic stated that water coolant leaked onto the timing belt and both the water pump and the timing belt would need replacing. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified. The failure mileage was 120,000.

- Westhampton, NJ, USA

problem #4

Mar 162013

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


My vehicle is a 2005 Lexus rx 330. I purchased it certified pre-owned in 2007. I was coming off the highway and stopped at a light. As I proceeded to take a left hand turn the car started making a loud noise. It was jumping and shifting from side to side. Luckily I was able to control it and pull into a nearby gas station. I couldn't drive it and had it towed to the nearest Lexus service center. I was then told that the transfer case on the front differential went. They opened up the case box and metal shavings fell out! I guess there was no transfer case fluid! shouldn't a maintenance required light pop on or a warning" if I had continued on the highway rather than get off the exit, it would have ended badly! the back end of the car completely locked on me. I don't understand why there was no warning light. How am I supposed to know that the transfer case is running out of fluid" the service department said this is not normal. They want to charge me $2700 for the part and $1500 for labor! I ended up having the car towed back to my house until I can figure out what to do. I have a serious issue with the fact that there was no warning and had I been traveling on the highway at a higher rate of speed, I could have flipped the car and ended up in the hospital or dead. I would really like for Lexus/Toyota to do something about this!

- Shelton, CT, USA

problem #3

Jun 142012

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 39,459 miles
My 2005 Lexus rx 330 with only 39459 mileage was told the water pump is leaks, when I replaced the battery at independent shop. When for a recall (engine crankshaft pulley) done by dealer that couple month ago on mileage 39152, dealer also performed multi point inspection did not spot any water pump leaks. However, I brought car back to dealer to diagnostic, inspected states that for possible coolant leaks - water pump timing belt package cost $1,995 for replacement. That is outrageous, I could not believe that the water pump is failing at the car only has under 40K miles. This is a very serious issue for safety as an engine with failed water pump might be cause a very serious damages and injury when driving. In this case hereby, I'm sending this compliant to NHTSA, I hope ODI office would start to investigation for this issue. Lexus should make recall for this low quality parts instead of put other peoples life in dangers when driving. To emphasize that I have found out on your website there are same complaints for failed water pump as well. And I believe that there are lots of car owner have same problems just were not aware of where they could make complaints. Thank you so much for your attention in this matter.

- Hacienda Heights , CA, USA

problem #2

Apr 112012

RX 330

  • 50,727 miles
Took my 2005 RX330 in for a recall (crankshaft pulley). I was told the water pump was leaking and should be taken care of along with the timing belt. I was told I would save a couple hundred dollars in labor because of the recall if I had it taken care of right now at a cost of $876.96. Ouch! only 50K miles! at least it didn't happen while I was driving, but come on 50K miles. I hope this isn't an issue among other 05 RX330 owners. Might have the tune of recall. I'm driving a Lexus not a hugo..................

- Woodridge, IL, USA

problem #1

Apr 032012

RX 330 6-cyl

  • 65,500 miles
My Lexus RX330 broke down at the middle of a busy road only at 65K miles. The water pump had a leak, and as a result, there was no coolant and the engine was heating up to a level where I could have fire in the engine. I was not able to drive the vehicle and it had to be towed. Later I paid $1100+ to replace the water pump and timing belt. I contacted Lexus hq regarding serious quality issues with their vehicle as the water pump and timing belt should last up to 90K miles. Lexus refused to help or even acknowledge that this is an issue. I am reaching out to NHTSA and requesting an investigation of this quality problem with Lexus vehicle and key engine parts like water pump. Toyota/Lexus has been using low quality parts to increase profit margin and as a result, the engine is failing at only 65K miles. This is a serious issue for safety as an engine with a failed water pump can heat up and cause fire and fail at the middle of busy intersection or on the highway. Will appreciate if you please look into this issue asap and require Lexus to do a recall on their water pump for all 2005 rx 330S.

- Hoffman Estates, IL, USA

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