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DocNyr

Defective Plastic In Remote Key

15 posts in this topic

I bought my RX300 brand new in Oct 2000. Last year in 2004, the plastic back plate of the remote key broke (near where the screw fits). I contacted Lexus and was told that they do not sell just the plastic piece and that I had to get a whole new key and get it programmed etc,... (read big $$$$ cost). On searching the web, I find that this is a common defect for the Lexus keys. - cheap plastic components that will not stand up to normal wear and tear. I contacted LEXUS customer care about this and below, I share the two replies as well as my response to their first response. Has anyone had a good experience yet on this problem?? Or am I SOL?

Thanks

My original message:

Customer )

My 2000 Lexus RX300 key with the remote has a problem. The plastic back piece has broken off near the screw. All other components work perfectly on the key - the electronics, etc. It is only the cheap plastic part! I am told that I have to replace the whole key instead of the little plastic back. WHY IS THIS??? I have searched on the internet and this appears to be an extremely common problem. Why have you folks not fixed that? Or offered free replacements? This is not what I expected of Lexus because I always thought you made a very reliable, and great vehicle.

Their response

Dear Dr. N:

Thank you for contacting Lexus Customer Satisfaction regarding your 2000 RX 300. Lexus appreciates the time you have taken to communicate with us.

Lexus sells vehicle’s keys as complete units and not as subparts. I apologize that we will not be able to sell you just the plastic key casing. Our Lexus dealers are our distributors of parts and equipment. To buy a new key, you would need to contact a Lexus dealer in your area. You can find the nearest Lexus dealer by clicking http://www.lexus.com/dealers/.

If you have any further concerns, you can also reach the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-800-255-3987, Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

Sincerely,

Saul Flores

Customer Satisfaction Representative

My followup response to them

Thanks for your prompt reply but I consider the matter UNRESOLVED....

What I find difficult to understand is your policy of not selling parts

for the keys when a defect for that particular part is well known and

documented! Please look up the problem I mentioned on the internet, or

conduct a survey of your dealers about the key's plastic back plate

breaking off near the screw location. You will find that this is a very

common situation! I am surprised that LEXUS has not acted to rectify it

or help the customers with the problem. This is most unfortunate (and

certainly not what I expected!) for a car manufacturer that is reputed

to be one of the best in owner satisfaction. Your asking me to buy a

complete replacement key when all I need is a small plastic piece is

not helpful. By the way, my current service center (Lexus of Lehigh

Valley) is wonderful. They have done more than what I expected them to

do, but the same cannot be said for your policy of NOT selling parts or

helping customers for what is known to be a prominent defect in the

plastic casing for the key. I will not buy another key to replace the

one that is broken because paying in excess of $10 is rather

nonsensical. I sincerely hope that you will bring this matter up to

your superiors so that they can act to correct this problem and not

cause any serious damage to the reputation of LEXUS as being responsive

to the needs of the customer.

Their response

The Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department is currently reviewing your submission. Please expect a response within the next three business days.

If you have any further concerns, you can also reach the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-800-255-3987, Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

Sincerely,

Saul Flores

Customer Satisfaction Representative

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in most cases they are broken by people trying to remove the screw themselves to have the battery changed at radio shack. usually done opening it or over tightening the screws closing it.

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If this is indeed a very common problem and Lexus doesn't sell that part, then it may be an excellent opportunity for an enterprising individual.

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This happened to my key also, and becuase of it the button and spring flew out too. I just bought a new one because to buy a used key on ebay and use it only for the plastic back part was $40. I don't think it would be legal for someone to make lexus key parts because of the Lexus logo on it, copyrights and trademarks and all that.

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Thisd happened on my 99 rx300 key too! I just used the spare; i never got it fixed.

Sounds like Lexus screwed up again!

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Thisd happened on my 99 rx300 key too! I just used the spare; i never got it fixed.

Sounds like Lexus screwed up again!

I just changed the batteries on my two master keys- 98 GS300 [ going on a trip ] and sure enough one key broke where the screw is :cries: and now the screw doesn't hold it together but the other key is in perfect working order . I'll use the broken one for a backup. I am currently holding it together with scotch tape , How cheap is that ?

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I posted an article on this issue back on Nov 6th, 2004. I've had two keys go bad -- same deal, a manufacturing defect. I called Lexus as well, complained, got nowhere.

You’re right -- Lexus should sell the part. But their design does make this difficult, because the blade is integrated into the plastic. Bad design, and it looks like they aren't going to rush to fix it.

So, I too found an alternative. Go to http://www.lexus-parts.com/partdetail.asp?...ubCategoryID=91. Lexus-parts.com is tied to Sewell Lexus in Dallas in some way. They sell a NEW blank for $54.00 -- $64.00 if they cut it as well. All you do is put the OLD key guts into this NEW key, and you’re set – no programming required. I’ve gone this route without a problem.

You have to prove you own the car, but with detailed info, they can cut the key without having one of the originals.

They have the really good key cutting machine – costs about $40,000 I believe. So it comes out right.

I have no problem with the suggestion to use frankslocksmith.com, but be sure to ask if they cut the key blank as well. That’s not always easy to arrange.

Under no circumstances should you let Lexus gouge you at a local dealership to fix a problem that Lexus won’t attempt to fix. I really hate being ripped off!!

FYI – they carry key blanks for other Lexis models as well. See http://www.lexus-parts.com/prodlist.asp?SubCategoryID=91.

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Epoxy is a wonderful thing. A good quality epoxy, carefully and properly mixed for the job and applied with patience and skill using a long needle for an applicator can do wonders on broken plastic parts. Just take your time and get it right. Once the pieces are lined up and pressed together, use rubber bands that are slightly smaller than the circumference of the key body to hold everything in place until the epoxy dries.

I always keep a couple of different kinds of epoxy in my tool cabinet for situations such as this one. It has kept me from having to spend hundreds of dollars on small replacement parts that literally should cost no more than a couple of bucks but are always ridiculously priced just because the company can get away with it.

Try a three dollar epoxy kit before you decide to spend a bunch of money on plastic key casings. Don't get the kind that sets in less than five minutes - you want to be able to work with the batch you mix up for at least fifteen or twenty minutes to ensure that you have enough time to get it right....

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Lexus does sell just the plastic key casing as a response to this happening, I'm sure www.lexus-parts.com will be cheaper than the dealer.

My keys are holding up fine, the same key on my dad's old 98 LS lasted him 6 years and 160k no problem. Can't blame Lexus because something you carry with you in your pocket every day breaks. At least they sell the plastic shell to repair it.

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mikey00 sounds like he has the best solution: a 20$ blank key and just take the plastic parts off of it. I'm going to file this thread of posts, because one of my keys already looks like it's ready to kick the bucket.

-Dave

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The blank key wont have the remote buttons so the plastic parts wont work.

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The blank key wont have the remote buttons so the plastic parts wont work.

Check the link I provided. The openings for the remote buttons are there. Since it is not the buttons themselves that are failing, you have everything you need.

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