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Lexus has a problem

16 years ago

We bought a 2004 Lexus ES330 new . We looked at Avalon and Camry before we bought. The ES330 is basically the same running gear and engine as the Avalon and the Camry. FWD 3.3 liter 6cyl. It was updated in '04 to 3.3 liters from the previous 3.0 liters (the ES330) The car is a great car, we have the Navigation also and it works reasonably well.

Now the bad: while in Las Vegas this last weekend (1-28, 1-29-06) I was driving the car and stopped at a light. The brake pedal then slowly sunk to the floor! Whoa! says I, this ain't right! I pumped the pedal and the brake returned to a normal brake height. At the next light, guess what?... it sunk to the floor again! No brakes! I pumped it again a couple of times and the brake pedal returns to normal height. I does this 2- 3 times again on the way back to our lodging in Las Vegas. When I parked it in the parking space at our apt, I was able to make it go to the floor again with very little pressure on the brake pedal.

We called Lexus of Las Vegas on Monday 1-30-06 and had them flatbed the car to the dealer for repairs. They at first told me it was a "bubble in the brake line and they "bled it out"...BS..there was no bubble, there was no loss of fluid, there was no repair. They said because they "couldn't duplicate the problem" they weren't authorized to change the master cyl. That we should just come pick it up and drive it until it looses it brakes again!

I said .."NO WAY!!!!" Fix it , it's under warranty and it only has 17,000 miles on it.

Well it turns out that Lexus won't let there service mgrs. make a decision on their own, but must be able to "duplicate the problem" in order to authorize a repair.

My position was that the brakes had failed not once on Sunday, but several times and that anything over once was one time to many.

I asked if the service manager would put his wife in a car that had the brake pedal go to the floor and tell her that he can't do anything unless he actually sees the brake pedal on the floor. ( He'll be sleeping on the couch for a while!)

I told him I wasn't willing to see the brake pedal on the floor and my significant other on a stretcher being taken to a hospital because he couldn't "duplicate the failure" in his shop. I asked him if he had heard the term "intermittent failure" . He said yes, but his mantra was : I can't replace the part unless I can "dup......Blah , Blah , Blah" .

We live in Los Angeles, the car's in Las Vegas, & so is my S.O. And nothing is fixed, NO loan car for 3 days.

I then called the Lexus dealer in Van Nuys where we bought the car new (Keyes Lexus in Van Nuys Ca) and asked if they could intervene. I got the same answer: We can't do anything unless they can "Duplicate the failure"

Then I tried to call the Lexus customer service line (1800 25-LEXUS) and there's no answer at 4:15 pm PST. I tried it 4 times , It just rings and rings and finally hangs up on you. ( I guess their cars only break before 4:15 PM )

Bottom line: You may think you're getting the best, but sometimes you don't get what you pay for.

Today is Wednesday, 2-1-06 and the car has been at Las Vegas Lexus for 3 days, no repair, NO loan car. Refusal to tow it to our home so we can have it fixed in Los Angeles and ....A very Pi---- off customer.

A customer who when we signed the purchase contract also was given a warranty.. and they are not living up to their obligations on the agreement we both entered into.

So folks, like the housing market, so is the Vehicle market turning. Customer satisfaction is slowly going out the window. I hope the quality stays above water until Somebody out there cares enough to take care of the customer after the sale. If not, Toyota Motors USA will be joining GM and Ford, et al, in the slippery slide.

By the way, I was in the automotive field in the 70's and 80's and saw the dismal products that were made in those two decades, so I left the business. I ran an automotive service center. I still am an automotive enthusiast and work on my own antique and classic vehicles. I am not afraid of the new technology and have a broad understanding of it including the Computerization of the automobile.

BUT... I have a warranty.

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