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pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
5,000 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.

2010 Lexus RX 450h drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2010 Lexus RX 450h Owner Comments

problem #1

Dec 102009

RX 450h

  • 5,000 miles


The rx450H is downright dangerous. The 4 wheel drive does not switch "on demand" as the advertising says. I live in snowy Massachusetts and do not need permanent 4 wheel drive, but it is essential when the roads are full of snow or ice. I was puzzled at first that the 4 wheel drive only actuated under 25 mph. I tested it on sharp corners in the snow: The back slid out; and on faster, gradual corners: The car side slipped. Never did the 4 wheel drive switch on and correct the slide. I looked in the manual for the method to manually activate 4 wheel drive but couldn't find it. I contacted Lexus. They said that I should use the snow switch. This is a menu item which annoyingly must be switched on every time you drive. It didn't work as it only changes the gear and acceleration characteristics like any other winter/summer switch. They also said that it should work at high speeds when more power is needed. I tried that and found that at 60 mph if I absolutely floored the accelerator on a steep hill the 4 wheel drive would switch on briefly. That's hybrid technology being used to reduce consumption"! I went back to my dealer: What was I doing wrong" after two months of phone tag with the dealer and Lexus, the dealer promised to pick up the car and test it. After a week of telephone calls they said there was no point in testing the car as it was working "as designed". however it wasn't working as advertised which is that the 4 wheel drive will come on "as needed". I'd say that a broad skid in snow is "as needed". Lexus does not intend to do anything about this complaint. They put me onto a "business development" specialist who tried to upsell me on a non-hybrid 4X4 which he said had "a non slip differential" and would therefore have better handling. I consider it very dangerous that a driver thinks they will have control because of Lexus advertising and salesman claims but will likely loose control in snow or ice and cause a serious accident.

- Concord, MA, USA

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