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Sharonben

Lexus Reputation Doesn't Seem to Hold

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My elderly mother bought a brand new Lexus 350 about 10 years ago. It has only 41k miles on it. The airbag sensor is broken and Lexus no longer makes the part. They told us (in writing) that the vehicle is not safe to drive.  They searched for a part and came up dry. They said I could get it fixed by a 3rd party but when I tried,  nobody will touch it because of liability. Lexus is not willing to fix it with a used part. I would expect Lexus to make this right - provide another vehicle or some sort of compensation, but I was told because the car is no longer under warranty they will not. Really? isn't this Lexus we're talking about? I would expect them to stand behind their name. Perhaps their reputation is not reflective of who they truly are as a company. Has anybody else experienced something like this?

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Plenty of ppl complain about they way Lexus deals with some of their customers. They are right to tell you that the car is not safe to drive with this airbag issue since there is a chance that it could accidentally discharge or worse not discharge at all in case of an accident. My issue is that they don't have parts available for a 10 year old car. Have you contacted Corporate or have you been dealing with a particular dealership?

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I've done both - dealership and corporate. Thy both are telling me the same thing. Part is no longer available. I'm out of luck.

The General Manager of Hendrick Lexus of Charleston, David Yarborough didn't have any remedy and was not willing to pay for a vehicle with the part (I suggested they find same model with high mileage that doesn't cost much, buy it, and use the part). By the way, it's not just the sensor, it's the computer that goes with it. He offered for us to trade it in - for the value of it with defective part (which isn't much!). No thank you! They would consider fixing with a used part (that they are not willing to pay for) only after evaluating where the part is coming from and if we sign a release from liability. Needless to say, none of this was acceptable.

I told him that I was not going to walk away quietly - I was going to contact his corporate office and that I would also post on multiple forums, send letters to editor of newspapers, and make as much noise as I can. I've never Tweeted before but am told that companies monitor Twitter so I will pursue that as well, if necessary.

I contacted Hendrick's corporate office in Charlotte and got a very nice call back. The person is going to get back to me tomorrow, but did ask if we were open to getting a comparable car with low mileage if Lexus would pay for it. That's the first positive response I've heard to date!

I also filed a claim with the Nat'l Highway Traffic Safety Admin. and they will determine if it warrants an investigation. They said I can also file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission.
 

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Provide the part numbers and perhaps people on this forum can help.  I can search a worldwide database to see if any other vehicles made by Toyota use the same parts.

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Are these front seat cushions?  If so it shouldn't be too difficult to get used seats from a salvage company and to either install yourself or have an independent repair shop do it. 

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I'll add more information in case the OP ever returns to this thread.

When the horn pad / air bag assembly on my 2000 LS400 required replacement in 2012, it took the independent repair shop I use only one day to get a used replacement Fed-Ex'ed from a salvage supplier.

Getting whatever used parts you need from a salvage supplier should be easier since your ES350 was a much higher volume car than my 2000 LS400 and there should be far more salvage parts available.

But then ... maybe your elderly mother really should get a newer vehicle if she can afford it. 2018 vehicles made by Toyota sold in the U.S. have the Toyota Safety System (TSS-P) as standard equipment.  Among its several features, TSS-P utilizes radar and cameras to automatically brake the vehicle to prevent or reduce the impact with other vehicles, fixed objects and pedestrians.  Another feature nudges the vehicle back into its lane should it drift out of it.

Here is a web page about TSS-P for Toyota brand vehicles. 

https://www.toyota.com/safety-sense/?addisclaimer=tss,lda,drcc,auto_highbeam,pre_collision_tss&srchid=sem|GOOGLE|TSS|Brand_TSS|Toyota+Safety+Sense|TSS_Update_8.18.17|TSS_LP&gclid=CLCA7tLL69cCFV6VxQId7XIPJQ&gclsrc=ds

2018 Lexus vehicles have a similar system as standard equipment - Lexus Safety System:

http://drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/technology/safety

 

Many new vehicles made by Toyota also have Blind Side Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert which warn the driver of other vehicles when changing lanes and backing up.

 

 

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On 11/30/2017 at 3:25 PM, Sharonben said:

Great idea, thanks!

71001-33M10-A0

71001-33M11-A0

Are you sure that's the right part number? it comes back for a seat cushion and not an airbag sensor which seems to be readily available.

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Yes. It's not just the sensor. It has to be the sensor and computer combination, which apparently comes with the seat cushion.

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    • By Sharonben
      My elderly mother bought a brand new Lexus 350 about 10 years ago. It has only 41k miles on it. The airbag sensor is broken and Lexus no longer makes the part. They told us (in writing) that the vehicle is not safe to drive.  They searched for a part and came up dry. They said I could get it fixed by a 3rd party but when I tried,  nobody will touch it because of liability. Lexus is not willing to fix it with a used part. I would expect Lexus to make this right - provide another vehicle or some sort of compensation, but I was told because the car is no longer under warranty they will not. Really? isn't this Lexus we're talking about? I would expect them to stand behind their name. Perhaps their reputation is not reflective of who they truly are as a company. Has anybody else experienced something like this?