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Discussion Starter #1
Went to Lexus of Wayzata this morning and had my car washed. I talked to the Head Technician regarding the ECU reprogram for the IS300. Before even beginning to explain, he knew *exactly* what I was talking about.

He informed me he and a few technicians will be attending a training seminar on March 06, 2001. He said it is at this time they will receive the actual ECU reprogram for the 2001 Lexus IS300. He was unable to give me specifics regarding the reprogram itself but did say it will solve the acceleration hesitation problem. I asked if Lexus will be notifying IS300 owners regarding the the ECU reprogram when it becomes available... he said they *will not*. He said since it did not warrant any safety issue(s) they will not do a complete recall. If a customer brings in their vehicle complaining about the problem (acceleration hesitation)... then they will address it with the ECU reprogram. He went on to say depending upon how the vehicle is used and driven, some owners may never experience the hesitation.... i.e., those owners who do more highway driving than city.

I just wanted to post this as an FYI.

Scott.

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...yet another proud owner of a fully loaded Graphite Gray Pearl '01 IS300
 

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Not informing consumers of potential, in this case, actual problems with a product is irresponsible and borders on negligent.

Even if this is viewed as merely a "performance" issue, what if the acceleration hesitation becomes more significant resulting in automobile collisions leading to both property damage and bodily injury.

I can't believe that this would be an official position of any dealership.

This is one reason this board is so valuable to IS owners. It arms us with information so that we can deal with dealerships and service departments with more or less a level playing field.

01 IJM w/LSD, 5Zigen exhaust, 5Zigen wheels (TRD sway bars on order, springs/shocks).
 

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I'm also a little surprised this isn't viewed as a safety issue. Twice pulling out of my subdivision and onto a fourlane (45-60mph) road, I've experienced the hesitation, once leaving me "stranded" in the lane waiting for the hesitation to stop, while a vehicle behind me is fastly approaching. All it would take is some hesitation and a driver not paying attention to the road ahead of them for a nasty rear end collision to take place.

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Kompressor
`01 Millenium Silver
 

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Maybe we should all call customer service and demand a mandatory upgrade. They will take action when they get overwhelmed with calls.
 

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Customer Assistance
Phone: 1-800-255-3987 prompt #3
I got this off their website. Not sure if there are other numbers listed in the manual.
 

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Just got off the phone with them. The cust. rep has never heard of the problem, so I had to explain it. I explained this was an issue the dealership was aware of and that a solution is in the works. But I told him I wanted them to put me down as a person concerned about the safety related issues, and that this should not be a correction made to ISs simply to increase it's "performance". Basically I wanted him to put me on a list of those concerned about the safety of the IS due to this issue.

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Kompressor
`01 Millenium Silver

[This message has been edited by Kompressor (edited February 23, 2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You guys, I completely agree. I'm just the messenger though. heh heh...

On the other hand, he is right about one thing. There are IS owners out there who may not have ever felt this hesitation. For the first two weeks after I picked up my IS, I only drove to and from work which involves nothing but highway driving... and very little stop and go. Someone posted the original hesitation thread well after that and I thought all of you were nuts... simply because I hadn't ever driven my IS in a manner that would allow for it occur. I mean, Kompressor actually called customer service and *they* had no idea what he was talking about... I think that in itself says a lot.

This is just me. Everyone's personal driving habits differ. For what it's worth, I *do* think every IS owner *should* be contacted and made aware of the situation... whether they personally know about it or not. I don't think it's right, but if we all bombard our local dealership for the fix... we'll have the problem solved very shortly.

Scott.


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...yet another proud owner of a fully loaded Graphite Gray Pearl '01 IS300
 

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Whether or not someone may experience this problem should have nothing to do with making this a recall for the vehicle. Just like Kompressor, I have experienced the hesitation when pulling onto a busy multi-lane road and it's made me very gunshy. I won't let my wife drive this car simply because I feel that this is a huge safety issue. This is just wrong!

I called Lexus Customer Support, and while the rep had heard of the hesitation problem, he was not aware that a fix was coming. I explained that I was very concerned not so much for myself, but for those owners that are not as connected to information, like the people on this board. I pray that it doesn't take a serious accident to put this issue in the proper context for Lexus.


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'01 Diamond White IS300
Black Leather, Moonroof, Spoiler, 17s
'00 Golden Pearl RX300, Ivory Leather
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Again, I agree. I'm not making any excuses for Lexus. It's their problem, not mine.

I guess I should just consider myself fortunate because I've never experienced the problem to be that bad. I want to state again, for my particular driving habits and situation (not yours), I just don't experience the acceleration hesitation all that often to warrant me being stressed out when I drive my IS300. I love the car just as much as I always have...

I just want to recap: When you guys step on the gas pedal, some of you are making it seem as though it's taking several minutes for the vehicle to respond. For me, personally, the lag is perhaps one second... although it's probably less. Again, I want to state, this is for *my* particular IS300 and it just doesn't happen that often for me.

If traffic is so bad that you're worried about another vehicle hitting your IS300 when you pull out... then perhaps you shouldn't be pulling out. I hate it when people do this to me. I'm driving along doing the speed limit with no one or very light traffic behind me... and for some reason, there's always one as*hole that feels he/she has to beat me and pull out in front of me.

This has nothing to do with the hesitation problem with the 2001 Lexus IS300. It's called common sense and driver etiquette.


Scott.



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...yet another proud owner of a fully loaded Graphite Gray Pearl '01 IS300
 

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I'm glad to know that Lexus has a fix for this issue. However, I disagree with the idea that Lexus should make a mass recall for the problem. Why yell fire in crowded room? Think about it. If Lexus publicly address it, there will be a massive rush by owners to the dealers to get it fixed, most of whom doesn't even know there is a problem or even felt it. You may end up on a very long waiting list eventhough you are genuinely concerned about safety issue. With dealers doing the upgrade by request, the owners who know about the problem will get fix sooner. Don't cause a panic or else you will do all of us enthusiasts a disfavor. There are only a small percentage of us who knows about it and I sure as hell don't want to go to my dealer to be added to a long waiting list cuz dealers are overwhelmed by a recall. Let it be. You notice a problem. Lexus has a fix. You get it fix. Don't make it everyone elses problem.

Personally, I don't buy into this general safety issue. How is a perceived start hesitation a safety problem for everyone? You're only as safe as how you feel behind the wheel. What we feel as a hesitation may be the norm for others. I would guess that Lexus was thinking safety first when they made the trans. and trac ecu so sensitive to slippage. For those with a light foot, this will never be a problem. Be thankful that Lexus has a upgrade for us lead footed drivers.

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Lam
July 2001 Graphite Gray/Ivory LP, LSD

[This message has been edited by onefortheroad (edited February 23, 2001).]
 

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Just because someone has not experienced the problem *yet*, should they find out about it when they pull out into heavy traffic and potentially cause a serious accident?

Another example: Just because I drive a Ford Explorer (which I don't) and I've never had any problem with my Firestone tires, should I just leave them alone? Of course, the answer is no, but it's because a safety issue has been recognized. I know this example isn't exactly apples to apples, but I think you get my point.

Certainly, I want my car fixed as soon as possible, but I think we need to look at the big picture for all IS owners. I will gladly wait in line to get my recall taken care of. Besides, how many '01 IS owners are there? I can't see this causing a major bottleneck at the dealers.


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'01 Diamond White IS300
Black Leather, Moonroof, Spoiler, 17s
'00 Golden Pearl RX300, Ivory Leather
 

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The fact they there may or may not be waiting lists and delays at the dealership should not be a factor to consider when informing the consumer of problems with a product. The key issue is passenger/driver safety. I do not advocate that a worst case scenario occur before Lexus starts informing customers of problems (I consider this a defect that materially affects the product) with the IS 300.

I agree that waiting lists and delays will probably not be as bad for this problem given the total number of IS 300s sold in the US.

Case in point, my '94 Toyota pickup had a recall on a faulty head gasket. You can only imagine how many V6 Toyota pickups were sold world wide let along the U.S. This recall resulted in long waiting lists (I waited 2 1/2 years) and delays at the dealership. I eventually got the recall job done because I blew a head gasket. This resuslted in major inconvenience to me personally and professionally.

I can't guarantee this will not happen with the IS, but the factors contributing to delays IMO don't exists. Moreover, the reprogram seems like a simple procedure unlike a complete head job which results in a lot of shop time depending on the severity of the damage.
 

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A defective part is definitely a safety problem. A over sensitive transmition and traction control ecu program is NOT a defect. Don't compare apples with lemons and you will see the upgrade is an enhancement, not a defective part replacement.

Originally posted by Van Gogh:
Just because someone has not experienced the problem *yet*, should they find out about it when they pull out into heavy traffic and potentially cause a serious accident?

Another example: Just because I drive a Ford Explorer (which I don't) and I've never had any problem with my Firestone tires, should I just leave them alone? Of course, the answer is no, but it's because a safety issue has been recognized. I know this example isn't exactly apples to apples, but I think you get my point.

Certainly, I want my car fixed as soon as possible, but I think we need to look at the big picture for all IS owners. I will gladly wait in line to get my recall taken care of. Besides, how many '01 IS owners are there? I can't see this causing a major bottleneck at the dealers.


 

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It's not a defect until you're rear ended pulling into traffic or the guy behind you at the stop sign hits you because your car pauses for 2 seconds after your initial launch. I'd disagree with the "sensitive tranny" classification.

Is the CD changer eating CDs also a "performance issue" because it doesn't affect safety?

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Kompressor
`01 Millenium Silver

[This message has been edited by Kompressor (edited February 23, 2001).]
 

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I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Whether it's a part or a piece of firmware code is not what makes this an issue. It's that there is a potential safety concern with the vehicle in it's present form.

If the ecu upgrade takes care of this, then I'd hardly consider it an enhancement, rather, a *fix*. I'm pretty sure that any car owner (IS or otherwise) would not *want* their car to purposely operate like this. To me, and enhancement is something that is intended to make a good thing better.

I love my IS, even without the ecu upgrade, and I know that one way or another Lexus is going to take care of this issue (I've been driving a Lexus for 10 years). My concern here is for the safety of all IS owners and the Lexus reputation.


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'01 Diamond White IS300
Black Leather, Moonroof, Spoiler, 17s
'00 Golden Pearl RX300, Ivory Leather
 

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I have experienced this problem a number of times. This is likely due to the fact that my route back from work has me on a road that is on a downslope of a hill ending at a stop light. When the light turns green, the car moves enough between my taking my foot off the brake to moving it to the accelerator that the hesistation kicks in. I'm lucky that I haven't had any real lead-footed drivers behind me, or I'd already have an idea of how much it takes to damage the rear bumper in a crash - several times. To me this is very much a safety issue, and it has nothing to do with my being lead-footed (which I'm not).
 

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I know I'm giving away what I do w/this post, but Black's Law dictionary defines "defect" as:

"...a lack or absence of something essential to completeness; a deficiency in something essential to the proper use for the purpose for which a thing is to be used."

IMO the ECU acceleration problem is a defect.

Sorry fellas, but I need to insert this disclainer. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON TO MAKE REPRESENTATIONS OF FACT OR LAW TO OTHER PARTIES.
 

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Look, for those of us that bought the IS, wouldn't you want other owners that don't visit this board to know of any issue, defect or not, that would improve the vehicle?

I called today, and they were more than willing to listen to what I had to say. I told them about the problem, and how I felt it was a potential safety issue. They opened a case file on it, and if anything comes of this years later, they'll have record of the issue and won't be able to claim ignorance. That may not help me, but it may help another owner down the road.

Customer Assistance (option 4 I think)
Phone: 1-800-255-3987

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Kompressor
`01 Millenium Silver

[This message has been edited by Kompressor (edited February 23, 2001).]
 
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