Problem with Seals
TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA -- Lexus has a problem with seals. Most recently they've been recalling 2004 to 2006 RX330's to replace a seal at the rear of the master brake cylinder. But the brake cylinder seal isn't the only seal with problems in RX's.
My dad's '05 RX330 with 48K miles started losing power steering fluid. It was determined that the power steering rack and pinion assembly was losing fluid. While in warranty by mileage, my dad's vehicle is out time-wise.
How a Lexus can develop such a problem at such low mileage can only be the result of poor design or a problem in manufacture. My wife's ES300 has over 100K miles, my RX330 roughly 95K. Neither have exhibited any such problems. Nor have any Toyotas I've owned with well over 100K miles. If indeed seals have "blown," I'll venture a guess that there was a problem from day one. A simple web search tells me my dad is not alone with this problem.
Our Lexus dealer wanted to charge $1800 to replace the power steering rack and pinion assembly. They settled for half. They are good people, but I'm not at all happy with Lexus. Let me tell you why.
On February 11th, 2011 I wrote a letter to Lexus and mailed it to P. O. Box 2991-Mail Drop L201 Torrance, CA 90509-2991, the address listed on their website. I've pasted the letter below.
Lexus never replied.
I wrote the following to Lexus through their website on February 23rd, 2011: "A response to my letter of February 11th, mailed to P. O. Box 2991-Mail Drop L201 Torrance, CA 90509-2991 has not been received."
I received an email response on the 23rd with a reference number stating, "You should expect a response from us within 24 hours if it was submitted between Monday and Thursday."
I received another email response on the 25th that read as follows: "Thank you again for contacting Lexus Customer Satisfaction.
You information has been forwarded to a department specialist in our office for further review. The specialist who will complete a full review and then contact you within three to five business days at phone 203-555-5555, (number changed for obvious reasons). If there is better number to reach you at, please respond to this email so that we may update are records accordingly. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you."
I responded by email immediately (on February 25th) with another telephone number for contact, as they requested.
Today is March 14th. Lexus never responded to my letter, nor have they followed through in contacting me as they promised.
I'm waiting patiently, Lexus. Your pursuit again is what?
LEXUS Customer Service
P. O. Box 2991-Mail Drop L201
Torrance, CA 90509-2991
February 11, 2011
To whom it may concern:
You’re on the verge of losing three LEXUS customers for a most foolish decision.
My dad, wife and I are the most loyal LEXUS owners you’ll come across. We’ve all convinced several others to purchase your vehicles. Why? Because we believe LEXUS to be “top-shelf” when it comes to build-quality & reliability. In our opinions, and with full-conviction, a better vehicle doesn’t exist – not Mercedes, not Audi - nothing. We pay a higher price for your vehicles precisely for that reason.
The above being written, my father’s most recent experience with LEXUS may cause us to shop elsewhere next time around. That elsewhere would be Infiniti.
My dad’s LEXUS RX330, VIN # 2T2HA31U55C082061 recently required service in the replacement of the vehicle’s power-steering gear assembly, (steering rack and pinion unit). It seems the seals had begun leaking which caused low fluid levels and subsequent difficulty in steering at low speed, (maximum friction coefficient). My dad’s vehicle is a 2005 with only 48,370 miles, dealer-serviced from day one – garaged and driven by a senior citizen. The problem is no fault of my dad’s. And while technically the vehicle is out of warranty, (time-wise; mileage is still under 50K), this issue should be an embarrassment for LEXUS.
I’ve owned several Toyotas over the years, none of which exhibited any such problem within mileage exceeding 100K. Not one leaky rack & pinion seal. If indeed seals have "blown," a problem existed from day one. Quality control, tolerances, rubber chemistry/technology/extrusion - only LEXUS knows. Suffice it to say that if a Jeep sustained such a problem at 48K that the owner would be disappointed - perhaps even disgusted that such a problem could occur at said mileage. It would prove that said brand had earned the reputation it deserved. You’re LEXUS. Have you forgotten?
This problem is documented on the Web - and apparently you didn’t fix it in 2006. Now you’re recalling RX’s to replace ANOTHER SEAL, this one being located at the rear of the master brake cylinder. Really? I’m certain you want to replace that one as it’s more of a safety issue. Rack & Pinion seals don’t leak in QUALITY five-year-old vehicles with 48K miles, and certainly not in a LEXUS. Perhaps the numbers don’t exist to warrant a recall, but you’ve got a problem, intermittent or not.
I believe my dad was initially quoted in the neighborhood of $1800 for the work. The final repair price was reduced to less than half. I’m asking that you refund what he paid, customer # 42184, invoice # 564309, serviced by LEXUS of Greenwich, (we love them). No LEXUS owner should pay for this service within 50K miles. It’s insulting. By charging for such service you’re acknowledging you do not believe your front-ends should make it past the 50K mile point. From a LEXUS? How sad.
Take care of this and we stay. Don’t and we’re history and I get to make a YouTube video soliciting others with the same problem. For goodness’ sake, LEXUS – wake up and do the right thing!
Joseph Mayone Jr.