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After placing a deposit on the IS300 I currently own, I waited patiently for more than a month before it arrived at the dealership. It had all the options I wanted and had the LEXUS reputation behind it.

Looked over the car ... excellent ... less than 5 miles! Signed the paperwork.

While trying to do me a favor, the sales agent wipes the car off with a soft cloth to remove any dust on the paint. When doing so, the agent scratches the clear coat of the paint on several different areas of the car. Ouch!

I made an arrangement to have the scratches buffed out on my next visit to the dealership. The car looked excellent when I went to pick it up, however the scratches in the clearcoat are still there after washing it a few times. The buffing only covered up the scratches until I left the dealership.

A few weeks pass and I noticed a loud popping sound coming from the driver's side door. The popping continues. I bring the car in to Lexus and they say everything is fine. Nothing to worry about.

About a week later, the door hinge on the driver's side breaks off. So much for not worring. I bring it in to Lexus and tell them I told you something was wrong with my car. They order the parts to replace the driver's side and passenger's side hinges (preventive on the passenger's side).

A few weeks pass again and I am driving down the interstate and all of a sudden I hear a loud noise when I am cruising at over 80 mph. It sounded like a plastic bag was caught on the axle/wheel. I pulled over on the side of the interstate and found nothing. I called Lexus and made an appointment. Apparently, the engine cover had broken and made a loud whissing noise when traveling above 80 mph. I was told it would be covered under warranty since it looked like I didn't scrape it on anything. Lexus said it appeared to be over-tightened from the factory. I am stilling waiting on the part to be ordered.

At the same time I brought my car in to have the engine cover replaced, my car started to make a squealing sound when I shift into reverse to back up, especially when the car is cold. I told Lexus of the problem and they could not replicate it while the car was there.

Again trying to do me a favor, they washed my car. Whoever washed my car did a terrible job as there were streak marks left all over the paint. And needless to say, when they were drying my car, they scratched my clearcoat and it is very noticeable.

I called Lexus as soon as I saw the scratches in my clearcoat so that they may make a note of it. Needless to say, they know me of a first name basis over there. I am not the type of person who likes to spend time at a car dealership when I am off. I had an Acura before and the only time I would have to show up over there is for a regularly scheduled maintence appointment.

I was told by Lexus that of all the IS300's they have sold, I am the only one they have seen on a regular basis with some sort of problem. Spending any kind of money on a car is not an investment which I understand, but for $38,000 that I just spent, I am not a happy person. If I had it to do all over again, I would not buy this car. I should not have the kind of problems I am having, especially since the car is just over 3 months old. Minor problems at first turn into major problems down the road and this is what I am faced with.

What can Lexus Headquarters do for me? I don't want the car anymore. I am so frustrated with it that I want and am planning on selling it. I would like to get my money back, though they will probably balk at my request. Do I have any grounds for a legal battle?

I'm trying to find a blue book value for this car. So far no luck. Anyone know?

I need to cut my losses right now before it ends up costing me later on.

The car I have doesn't feel like its worth $25,000 much less than the $38,000 I spent.

I would really like some advice on what to do and how much I can get for my car if I decide to trade it in on a new car (no
 

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I am sorry to hear of your troubles with the car. It is my beleif that out of all the cars produced there is bound to be ones with alot more problems than the others. I being an owner of this car think that it is just that type of case.

Someone at my job bought a brand new Pontiac Grand Prix, and has had similar problems. As far as Florida state law is concerned there is not much he can do unless the same problems persist. I feel that it is a shame how the laws are written and feel peoples hard earned money goes right down the drain in these situations.

I for one have had no problems so far, so I can honestly recomend this car to others. I know you think it is the car itself is a piece of crap, but remember that theres a good chance you got stuck w/ the lemon. I don't mean to make you feel worse from my words, I just beleive you are one of the few who have constant problems.

I'm not sure if you should sell it only because I think if enough things go wrong that Lexus would consider replacing the car for you. I feel that way because I remember a post from a long time ago on this site. The person said he ordered an RX300 with the auto darkening mirrors and did not get that when he picked up the truck. A couple of months later the dealership told him they will give him a brand new RX instead of installing the mirrors to his RX300 w/ 8,000 miles on it.

My suggestion, keep detailed records of each problem, and how it was fixed. I do think it would be a good idea to get some legal advice from a lawyer just in case so you don't forget to document anything important.

I know you would rather not have to deal w/ the problems, and headaches, and hasseling with dealers. Especially when they don't find the problem you describe. Try to make it through those tough times with the car and I feel eventually you will have enough proof to Lexus that there is a consderable amount of problems w/ your car and that they should replace it.

As far as the washing and scratches on the cars clearcoat, all I can say is I had a slightly similar case of that. Maybe include that when you write them.

Keep writing the corporate office and nag them to death. I think they would want to make their customers satisfied with their purchase. It's not like you bought the base model, you went for the gusto. They should know that if and when you write them. There are books sold at bookstores on how to write letters that will get results.


Good luck with your car, and I hope you get the results you want frome Lexus.
 

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hmm...
ok, about the clearcoat scratches, you are talking about a darker colored vehicle, am I right? All color cars get swirl marks- fine scratches in the clearcoat, not really visible on lighter colored cars, but darker colored cars tend to reflect and make them really visible. Any type of cloth you use will cause swirlmarks since the paint is really soft due to evironmental concerns, towels can have particles of dust that are abrasive and when you wipe it scratches, but using a really soft clean 100% cotton cloth with no seams will leave less severe swirlmarks. Swirlmarks or spiderwebbing is also caused by debris such as sand particles hitting your car when you are driving. the only way to prevent severe swirlmarking is to use wax, a good wax, the wax bonds to the paint creating another layer of protection to the paint (the clearcoat is a form of protection for the paint too) and waxing will fill in and hide the majority of swirls you have. By buffing the clearcoat, you are essentially sanding off the top layers that have the swirlmarks, taking away those layers of protection for your paint, you should not do this unless you want to mess up your paint even more. A lot of ppl have advised against letting the dealer wash your car since they use really nasty towels.

the door popping, i have the same problem, when i open the door all the way it sounds like it wants to fall off, told the dealer, they tried to reproduce it, they couldn't. (surprise surprise
) of course when the service manager tested it he didn't open the door all the way... all he could find was the door pin on the driver door was a little higher and they tapped it out.

your transmission problem, i can't help you there.

the engine cover is a problem that Lexus has acknowleged and other members have reported having the cover breaking off and dragging.

I don't think you have grounds for a legal battle- yet, cheack with your state lemon laws, some states require the manufacture buy the car back if it has to be fixed four times for the same malfunction within the first year of purchase or something like that.

if you want, i guess you can sell the car and cut your losses, expect to lose at least $2000, $38,000 is for a fully loaded with taxes and licensing included, right? You might be able to get away from it with $32000-30000 since ppl are able to buy a new base model or decently loaded model for $around 34000 out the door, why would they buy a used one just to save 1-2grand?
You have at least two legitimate problems (paint is a gray area) and the engine cover i assume ahs been replaced, so that was a minor annoyance, but the door popping was more major and has been replced also, the only problem you have now, is the transmission, which u stated mostly occured when the car was cold, cold how? cold in the morning when you start it up for the first time that day? or cold weather cold? maybe your parking brake was on? or parking brake too tight? transmission fluid? oxidized brakes causing a moaning sound? thats all i can think of for now, good luck.
 

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In order to file a lemmon law claim the problems you are experiencing need to substantially effect the use, value, and/or safety of your vehicle. Also, one major problem must have at least 3 repair attempts, then a final repair attempt by the manufacturer must not be successful or 20 days out of service due to any multitude of problems within the first 18 mos./18k miles. Each state varies its laws slightly.

I would write a letter to Lexus, as well as call the Customer Care Department to express your dissatisfaction with the vehicle. I would also speak to the General Manager of the dealership, being courteous not rude, and tell him if the problems are not straightened out you will pursue legal action.
I have successfully lemmon lawed a Saab 9-3 a year ago. It was a major hassle, but I won. It took 6 mos. to finalize the whole thing.
 

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i know what you mean... im getting pretty tired of my IS300 also. i had to bring my car in for service the 2nd day i had it, to replace the passenger side headlight b/c it didnt work. lexus said this is common. a little while later as i was driving on the freeway, i hear this sound as if something was dragging along the highway. i later found out a body panel on the undercarriage fell loose. again, lexus said this is common. my cd changer stopped working soon after. lexus said this was common. im tired of having to comin into lexus all the time. my SC is a '92 and i NEVER had any of these problems. not to mention ive gotten into a hit and run twice and have already gotten a flat tire on this car. im seriously considering getting rid of it...i expected much more out of a $35k car. i could have bought a civic and experienced less troubles. im an avid lexus fan, ive spent plenty of money on my SC and i would have spent even more on the IS. but frankly im getting tired of these problems.

-bng
team koncept racing
houston, tx

'92 royal sapphire sc300
- veilside, hre, eibach, tokico, alpine, phoenix gold
'01 millenium silver is300
- bone stock but nicely serviced =)
 

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Originally posted by nopi*tkr:
i know what you mean... im getting pretty tired of my IS300 also. i had to bring my car in for service the 2nd day i had it, to replace the passenger side headlight b/c it didnt work. lexus said this is common. a little while later as i was driving on the freeway, i hear this sound as if something was dragging along the highway. i later found out a body panel on the undercarriage fell loose. again, lexus said this is common. my cd changer stopped working soon after. lexus said this was common. im tired of having to comin into lexus all the time. my SC is a '92 and i NEVER had any of these problems. not to mention ive gotten into a hit and run twice and have already gotten a flat tire on this car. im seriously considering getting rid of it...i expected much more out of a $35k car. i could have bought a civic and experienced less troubles. im an avid lexus fan, ive spent plenty of money on my SC and i would have spent even more on the IS. but frankly im getting tired of these problems.

heading towards the acura dealership,

-bng
team koncept racing
houston, tx

'92 royal sapphire sc300
- veilside, hre, eibach, tokico, alpine, phoenix gold
'01 millenium silver is300
- bone stock but nicely serviced =)
 

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Originally posted by DonCorleone:
the door popping, i have the same problem, when i open the door all the way it sounds like it wants to fall off, told the dealer, they tried to reproduce it, they couldn't. (surprise surprise
) of course when the service manager tested it he didn't open the door all the way... all he could find was the door pin on the driver door was a little higher and they tapped it out.
Mine does this as well, but only when I open the door ALL the way with force. It actually sounds like it'll pop off.



------------------
Tony
'01 Spectra Blue
'94 Turbo Miata
 

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Hey guys, as far as the popping sound is concerned, I'm pretty sure it has to do with a door "check strap". A dealer in Bellevue, WA immediately knew what I was talking about when I told them my door made a popping noise when opened really wide. They ordered two check straps under warranty, and replaced both the passenger and driver front doors.
 

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With 2000 miles on mine, I have had none of the problems mentioned in this topic. I am happy with my car, although I sometimes wonder about the transmission ECU programming...

To answers PMD911's question:

(From The FAQ )

Where is the IS300 made?
It is made at the Kanto Auto Works ("Jidosha") in the Iwate prefecture.
Kanegasaki-cho, Isawa-gun, Iwate-pref. 029-4503, Japan. TEL : (0197)41-1120
The plant opened in 1993, and Altezza production started in October 1998.

The Iwate plant also makes the Toyota Corolla Spacio. Most other Lexus models are made in plants in the Aichi prefecture,
so the Altezza/IS300 are made in an "atypical", distant facility for Lexus.


[This message has been edited by TEG (edited December 04, 2000).]
 

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hmm.. I am surprised that you are having all those problems. I have about 2800 miles and still trouble free. 1 problem though ( I am not sure if its normal) but my car smells like ass when I accelerate hard.
 

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Originally posted by chromaplast:
hmm.. I am surprised that you are having all those problems. I have about 2800 miles and still trouble free. 1 problem though ( I am not sure if its normal) but my car smells like ass when I accelerate hard.

I have the same problem....and no one believes me when someone else is in the car and I say "its the car, its not me..I swear to god!!"
 

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Originally posted by webmaster:
Mine does this as well, but only when I open the door ALL the way with force. It actually sounds like it'll pop off.
yeah, only when i open it all the way, like maybe when i pull into parking space and open the door by pushing it hard enough just so it'll stay open, then it POPS and its unnerving to say the least. Did you ever get it fixed? Have you spoken to the dealer? I have an appointment tomorrow to check my rear right area around the wheel (passengers reported a clicking noise sometimes when I am getting out of the car)... i'll ask them about the door check strap...
 

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Originally posted by chromaplast:
hmm.. I am surprised that you are having all those problems. I have about 2800 miles and still trouble free. 1 problem though ( I am not sure if its normal) but my car smells like ass when I accelerate hard.
What kind of smell is it? Is it kind of like rotten egg smell? Do you think that could be from the catalytic converter? Just curious.
 

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approaching 9700 miles and no problem except for the weird transmission thing last week. Now it has disappeared and I am now clueless as what caused it. All my theories proved to be wrong.
 

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hmm.. I am surprised that you are having all those problems. I have about 2800 miles and still trouble free. 1 problem though ( I am not sure if its normal) but my car smells like ass when I accelerate hard.
I have the same problem....and no one believes me when someone else is in the car and I say "its the car, its not me..I swear to god!!"
oh man... i can't believe there are ppl with similar probs. however my situation is a little reversed. when ever i fart, i step on the gas hard so i can blame it on the car. i'm like "dude, it's the car..."
 

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Discussion Starter #18
To add to what I previously wrote ...

The squealing noise still persists when the car is in reverse and cold. Of course, Lexus cannot replicate the problem.

When opening the door, it still makes a popping sound on occasion after having the hinges replaced. Hard to replicate it at the dealership, but it does still happen.

The clearcoat scratches are still there.

The engine cover has not been replaced. Lexus is still waiting for the part.

I've contacted Customer Service through the 800 number. They were very interested in the problems I am having with my car. They are going to contact the dealership on my behalf. Hopefully something will be resolved.

I can honestly say I don't want the car anymore. I've lost all interest in it. I would be much happier in a car of less value, simply because I don't think I would be having as many problems as I am having now.

WC
 

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I took mine in this morning. Driver side door popping. They told me I'm not the first.It is in to replace the engine cover as well. 2 weeks to get here. Oils change, for free 3 years. I have a popping noise in the right rear wheel when I go over bumps. As for the car, I love it!
 

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i'm getting an intermittent clicking noise coming from the underneath the dash/drivers foot well. first noticed it on my way back from vegas. i could now get it to repeat on a bumpy road but still can't pin point it. anyone else have a similar problem? i really expected a lot more from lexus as far as build quality goes.
 
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