TORRANCE, CALIFORNIA -- Lexus has a problem with seals. Most recently, they've been recalling 2004 to 2006 RX330s 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 RXs. 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 $1,800 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. 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. 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?
Someone broke off the FM radio antenna that is on the roof of my Lexus RX330. I took the car to the Lexus dealer in South Hampton, Long Island and they wanted $1,200 to put on a new FM antenna. I then took the car to a Lexus Dealer in Sarasota, FL to fix the antenna. After keeping the car for 4 or 5 hours, they said it would cost $1,200 to fix the antenna.
I then called Lexus Headquarters in California and said that I cannot believe it would be so expensive to fix a car antenna - don't they know antennas are broken off cars all the time and should be made to break away? They got back to me in a week and said they researched the subject and it will cost $1,200 to fix. They did supply me with a free antenna tip. I then explained the broken antenna situation to my next-door neighbor, he got on a step ladder, and within a minute, was able to unscrew the broken off screw in the antenna base and screw in the new antenna. The antenna works perfectly now and did not cost a thing to fix.
When I called Lexus Headquarters to tell them this story, they said they would get back to me within 24 to 36 hours. That was over two weeks ago. I just tried calling their Customer Satisfaction Line, but after a half-hour of holding on and being told how important my call was to them, I hung up. In my opinion, Lexus has really gone downhill from when they first started out.