Lexus IS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Pardon me if any of these facts are not 100% correct as I seem to get different info from different Lexus dealers, but:

(lets review)
1> IS300s sold before approx Feb 2001 had the "old" transmission control ECU software and "old" traction control ECU. Many owners with the older IS300s complained of slow speed hesitation, times where the gas pedal seemed to ignore your requests, and times when the traction control kicked in even when you had plenty of traction.

2> Some owners posted that they found dealers who updated their cars to the new software and trac ECU.

3> I had been trying to get mine done for a while and was told that the TRAC ecu's still weren't available.

4> I took my car in for 5K service to a dealer who said they could update my trans ECU software.
When I got there the service techs didn't want to do it because they said the trac ECU needs to be replaced at the same time. I convinved them to do it anyways because I have changed my trac unit to default to being off all the time. They told me they needed to reprogram the codes on my keys at the same time they update the trans ECU. I didn't have all my keys with me so they said I would need to bring my other keys back in to "fix" them also... When I got home all my keys still worked, so they may have been wrong about the need to update the keys at the same time.

5> So far the car seems to drive a bit better (no throttle lag detected yet), but I need to drive it a while more before I can say for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,339 Posts
Interesting.

I brought my car in for the 10K mi. check-up and then some yesterday and they had the ECU update, but no TRAC update, so I didn't update anything. Surprisingly he had a memo to all Lexus dealers/service reps that he was reading to me pertaining to the ECU/TRAC updates and it stated that it affects all new models of Lexus', LS430, GS430, IS300.... I didn't hear him mention anything about the other new models.... SC, RX...

I asked for a copy, but was confidential, obviously.

-crontab -l
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
Teg,
Which dealership did you go to? I myself went to Fremont Lexus and spoke to there master tech and he never heard such updates(this was back in feb 01)
Do you think that derek would know about this? should i go to Lexus of Sarramonte? I bought my car back in june22nd,00 and i do feel the 'lag'.

Also, should i remove the SRT before i bring it in for check-up? (i have 17k mi.)

thanks!
-jason

[From TEG: I don't want to say which dealer lest he get in trouble for some mis-information that I post. You could try getting in contact with Derek... he might know. Also, many of the bay area dealers claim to know nothing about this software update for the IS300...]

[ April 20, 2001: Message edited by: TEG ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
699 Posts
Jay,

That's the same dealer I go get my IS serviced. and I spoke to Phillip and Nino George and they know nothing about the update. even i brought with me the copy of Lexus_IS300 (btw Thanks John!) repair ticket. and got an answer like "they just pulled the negative terminal from the battery so the ecu could reset" I was like it says "reprogrammed" and he says we are the only dealer that's the closest to the factory and blah blah and we haven't hear anything..

Any comments?

Originally posted by jayrey300:
Teg,
Which dealership did you go to? I myself went to Fremont Lexus and spoke to there master tech and he never heard such updates(this was back in feb 01)
Do you think that derek would know about this? should i go to Lexus of Sarramonte? I bought my car back in june22nd,00 and i do feel the 'lag'.

Also, should i remove the SRT before i bring it in for check-up? (i have 17k mi.)

thanks!
-jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
There sure seems to be a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding this subject...most of it coming from people at Lexus dealers who don't know what they're talking about.
It's a shame that a company that has done such an amazing job of "customer satisfaction" would totally drop the ball on an issue that is such a potential hazard.
If anyone from Lexus frequents this forum, they should take control of the ECU/Trac situation before all the rumors do the Lexus name some real damage!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,462 Posts
When I got there the service techs didn't want to do it because they said the trac ECU needs to be replaced at the same time. I convinved them to do it anyways because I have changed my trac unit to default to being off all the time.[/QB]
TEG,
How Can You Default Trac to the Off Position? I would love to do this, Its a pain to turn it off every time (even when I pull My car out for a wash)
Thanks
Mike

[From TEG: I removed the traction control on/off switch from the panel and replaced it with a "normally closed" momentary switch so when I start the car the trac control is off (the trac off light on the dash panel lights up) and if I push the button I can turn it back on.]

[ April 20, 2001: Message edited by: TEG ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
i just erks (sp?) me about this. I would understand if it Hyundai or Dahatsu or Kia or Daewoo..or Infiniti (i had a 99g20t) but Lexus? c'mon... they should set and or meet the customers concerns. probably they have there head stuck up too high thinking that there C.S and cars meets or exceeds the top quality that you can find in a car. hopefully derek can send some light into this.

-jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Getting technical information regarding problems/fixes out of Lexus has been difficult on a number of different issues.

A few items which have caused confusion are:

1> Spongey brake pedal feel. Some dealers claimed that Lexus held up IS300s at the port for a while to "fix this". Some people said that the fix was to bleed the brakes. Some dealers said that all IS300s have spongey brake pedal feel and they refuse to consider bleeding the brakes for me (even though I do think my pedal has always felt very spongey, although it seems to be slowly improving on its' own).

2> Transmission/ECU hestitation, early engagement, general weirdness.

3> Changes to the roof antenna. (new spiral wound design started showing up after a couple of months). Some dealers said it was to reduce wind noise. Some said it was to improve reception. Some said it was just a part substitution with no benefit. (I swapped my antenna for the new style and didn't notice any improvement in wind noise [still hear a whistle from up top], but the FM reception may be a bit better now)

4> Bubbles in the Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tires. Audi did a recall on this. Lexus seems to claim that bubbles are the result of abuse (e.g. hitting a speed bump too fast). (My car has the Potenzas but so far no bubbles, so I am not worrying too much about this).

5> Plastic engine (underbody) drip pan coming loose at high speeds. Some said that the cars had the bolts done too tight from the factory which cracked the plastic shield causing it to break free. Mine has been fine so far. No dealer I talked with claimed to know anything about this and wasn't interested in "retorquing" the bolts.

6> Is the 2JZ-GE in the IS300 an "interference engine" (will the pistons hit the valves if the timing belts break?). Many service people told me "yes it is", but I think I finally got an official word (from Toyota Japan via Lexus of Canada saying "no it isn't"). I can see why some would automatically say "yes it is" just to make sure you change the timing belt often enough and avoid getting stranded somewhere.

etc.> Easy chipping paint, weak door hinges, etc.

Anyways - I think we get mis-information because some dealers/service people just don't really know what is going on, but they try to say something (even if they don't know) because they don't want to sound like they don't know.
Also, some people intentionally tell "white lies" because they think we are better off not knowing "the truth". And perhaps some people have even been instructed to obfuscate as part of some underhanded corporate policy. Who knows for sure? I don't know...
I can say that some people have proven to be far more accurate (across the board) than others, so my advice is to ask around (get a second and 3rd opinion) if you aren't sure about what you are hearing from someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Also I should point out that many of these "gripes" have only applied to the first batch of IS300's sold in year 2000. Lexus does seem to be "on the ball" in terms of making fixes (even part way through the model year).

Us "early adopters" of the IS300 should expect to have some first year "teething pains", and all-in-all the IS300 has proven to have relatively minor issues to deal with.

I bet Lexus doesn't want to just come right out and say "yeah - the IS300 had these known problems and we fixed them". Then every one who bought one last year would be upset and demand a fix. As it is there are plenty of people who bought IS300s last year who are perfectly satisfied with the car exactly as they bought it and none of these nit-picky things are going to ever bother them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
Originally posted by TEG:
As it is there are plenty of people who bought IS300s last year who are perfectly satisfied with the car exactly as they bought it and none of these nit-picky things are going to ever bother them.
You summed everything up in that one line there.

I am willing to bet, that the major complaint that all of us have with the IS3 is the hesistation caused by the ECU/Trac problem. HOWEVER, the only reason we notice this is because we are "driving enthusiast" who like to race (at the track of course
)

For example, I notice the hesistation problems due to the way I drive, however, my wife thinks the IS3 is smooth as silk. Why? because she drives completely different than I do.

Bottom line is that all of us "driving enthusiast" would have bought the manual version of the IS3 if available, but since we didn't, we notice the hesistation that the average automatic buyer would never have noticed.

If Lexus would have released the manual version at the same time, I bet the ECU/Trac problem would never have been brought up...

[ April 20, 2001: Message edited by: soulstalker ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
does anyone know any good Lexus service deprtment in southern cali? i need to reprogram my ecu..and replace my plastic cover. Jim Falk's Lexus(where i got mine) service department isn't the place to go...they don't know anything and they don't care about any of these problems.can someone please tell me....thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Also another scenario that may be playing out here:

What if Lexus sends a memo to all dealer service departments saying something like:
"Don't mention this to the customers, but make sure to do procedure XYZ on any IS300 that comes in for 1K or 5K free service."

That way they could sort of "quietly" solve problems without ever letting the owner know that anything was wrong in the first place.

Assuming the above does happen sometime it could cause a few problems:

1> What if a customer comes in specifically asking about problem XYZ? What do the salespeople or service people tell them? Maybe they know about it from the memo, but maybe they are discouraged from talking about it?
2> What if the service department neglects to read the memo or forgets to do the extra prodedure?
3> What if someone has their routine maintenance done somewhere other than a Lexus dealer (even though 1K & 5K service are free at Lexus?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
636 Posts
Ya know, to sum all of this up...We got a "first year car". I've seen a lot worse on first year cars. 'nuff said. Later....

-Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Yes, it's a first-model-year car...and that's important to remember.
But, the throttle hesitation many of us have experienced is not a minor gripe; it's a potential accident waiting to happen.
I can't imagine Lexus trying to sweep something like this under the rug.
I really think they haven't communicated well with their dealers - and because the dealers are the people we're getting our info from - the details are elusive and inconclusive.
The tech I've been talking to at my dealer (Keyes in Van Nuys, CA) still says the Technical Bulletin on the ECU reprogramming hasn't come from Lexus yet.
I'm waiting...and driving a bit less aggressively for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
One more thing -
We DO have Lexus technicians who frequent this forum. I know one who used to post here all the time - but no more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,155 Posts
TEG:
did u mention the O2 sensor shield coming off from the bottom. I believe someone posted about it a long time ago (plastic thing coming off, dragging). it happend to me 3 days ago, when i was coming back from LA to SF...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Originally posted by Leader:
One more thing -
We DO have Lexus technicians who frequent this forum. I know one who used to post here all the time - but no more.
Yes we do have lexus techs, such as myself, cruising these websites (Note my member number). May I say "great site" to TEG and the others. I tend to look and read more than I post. It's amazing the amount of accurate and inaccurate info that gets posted to the web. I have heard so many things said about so many dealers it can get pretty bad at times. Most of the comments are negative, for the positive ones I say thanks. I can't speak for anyone except myself, but I take my career serious. Notice how I didn't say job, I said career. I always try to treat every owner the way I would like to be treated. When I look at a car with a problem I exhaust every means possible to remedy the problem. Sometimes there is no fix, so we have to wait for lexus to give us that fix. I also own an IS300 and love the car! When I do post here and on other sites I try to give the most accurate info possible. The straight scoop is that the lexus has yet to give us the ecu reprogram, as well as the new trac ecu. But as soon as it's in we will start addressing the owners who have asked about it. I'm waiting to do my car as well. That one guy who posted that he already had it done in tulsa, I don't know what the hell they did to his car. With that, see you later fellow IS owners!

p.s. John, as I said in my e-mail to you, I will call you as soon as everything is available. Bye.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,221 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
>> "The straight scoop is that the lexus has yet to give us the ecu reprogram"

Thanks for posting... Not trying to "break your balls here", but when you say "us" are you implying that none of the service techs have the new trans ECU program yet?

I trust the service department that "did" my car this week, and they claimed to have installed the new trans ECU software. I doubt they did a voodoo dance over my car, or simply power cycled the ECU. I will say that they seemed to be wrong about the need to reprogram my keys, but they really did claim to have the new ECU software. I think maybe part of the problem for us customers is that not all service techs are getting the same memos, software or info at the same time out of the factory, yet many of you assume that everyone else is at the same level. Oh well, such is life.

Also, I am open to having people tell me to "shut up and stop making the problem worse" if you think I am not helping things. I post what I learn because I think I have something useful to add, but I am just an outsider (customer only) and have no inside track to any real Lexus information.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top