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2004 Ls403 Recall + Transmission Lag


Munteverde
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1. I just received my recall notice for transmission & fuel pump. It's a major hassle for me, plus makes me lose confidence in the reliability of my car: the main reason I bought it for!.

2. When driving at about 10mph, often the car (transmission?) hesitates for a while. I read (on 'alt.cars.lexus') that this is a common complaint from owners. If other owners are aware of this behavior, do you know if it can it be 'fixed'? Of course, I would like to learn that this is not a safety concern as I keep driving the car!

3. Reading postings here regarding the 2004 recall, it seems that there is some confusion weather Lexus will give people some $200 'for their trouble'? Any clear answer?

4. No car is perfect and, for what it's worth, I do love may car, the way it drives and the way it feels, etc., but now I'm concerned of more problems to come. I wonder if this will not become a trend for this model year? Do other owners share my concerns? Do you think it is likely that Lexus will extend the warranty?

5. One more thing: I expect that someone Lexus will eleborate on the logo 'Passionate Pursuit of Perfection' in the context of my above comments.

All readers, please have my regards,

Adrian

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I don't understand why a recall makes you uneasy? They're fixing the problem. The time to be uneasy is when there are problems Lexus refuses to address.

As for a $200 credit "for your trouble" I highly doubt that. For one thing they will pick up/drop off your LS and give you a loaner. I don't see how there is any trouble for them to compensate you for...

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I don't understand why a recall makes you uneasy? They're fixing the problem. The time to be uneasy is when there are problems Lexus refuses to address.

As for a $200 credit "for your trouble" I highly doubt that. For one thing they will pick up/drop off your LS and give you a loaner. I don't see how there is any trouble for them to compensate you for...

I'ts not the 'recall' that makes me uneasy, but the magnitude of it's scope, plus the previous and still present diffciulties related to my 2004 LS430. Replacing the transmission (once) and the fuel pump (twice!), are not minor items. Plus the transmisson lag that does not seem to be addressed in the recall notice.

One reason for me to post here is to learn where does mine fit relative to ohters. I is comforting to learn that people are pleased with their service and their cars, but this does not stop me from being concerned with what will happen next to the 2004 cars, as this recall seems to be way out of the 'historical norm' for Lexus.

I may be wrong, I may be the only one so concerned, but this is why I'm addresing other owners....

Regards,

Adrian

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Actually its not out of the historical norm at all for Lexus. Lexus has issued recalls on a few transmissions and has a couple inherant problems with their transmissions and V6 engines to neccesitate extended warranties. All companies have their problems, Lexus just has better PR than most. Lexus is a great car, one of the best on the road but it isn't perfect.

Seriously, I wouldn't be concerned. According to Lexus techs the repair is very simple and straightforward, replacing a transmission is not a complicated repair.

What other problems have you had? Can you describe the transmission lag? My father has an 04 and he hasn't had any problems at all.

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Hey Adrian:

If you want, you're welcomed to swap your tranny and engine with mine :rolleyes:

I have an old proven engine/tranny/fuel pump, and I'll deal with the recall :)

Don't worry about the recall. You have plenty of other things to think off.

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Actually its not out of the historical norm at all for Lexus. Lexus has issued recalls on a few transmissions and has a couple inherant problems with their transmissions and V6 engines to neccesitate extended warranties. All companies have their problems, Lexus just has better PR than most. Lexus is a great car, one of the best on the road but it isn't perfect.

Seriously, I wouldn't be concerned. According to Lexus techs the repair is very simple and straightforward, replacing a transmission is not a complicated repair.

What other problems have you had? Can you describe the transmission lag? My father has an 04 and he hasn't had any problems at all.

Following up with my concerns regarding the 2004 LS430 recall and the replies I received: I dont' believe there were as major parts replaced in other models or model years before.....and, pleasse remember, I had my fuel pump already replaced once!

As far as the 'transmisson lag' I mentioned: it occcurs when I drive at about 10mph, like in heavy traffic or at a turn, and when I try to accelerate the car 'hesitates' for a while. Sometimes it takes like 0.5s to nearly 1s. I concider this behvior dangerous.

Before posting here, I checked on 'alt.cars. lexus' and larned that several people described the same problem and some approached Lexus, but there was no 'fix'.

I can only report what happens to me and what other people wrote, but I belive the problem is not only mine!

For what it's worth, I feell better after reading some of the anwers I got here, and I hope all the people who answering so nicley are 'unintereste parties'...;-)

Regards to all,

Adrian

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As far as the 'transmisson lag' I mentioned: it occcurs when I drive at about 10mph, like in heavy traffic or at a turn, and when I try to accelerate the car 'hesitates' for a while. Sometimes it takes like 0.5s to nearly 1s. I concider this behvior dangerous.

I know you've heard this before but thats totally normal.

Its not actually a transmission lag, its a throttle response lag. Every Lexus behaves that way, as does every other car with an electronic throttle. Its an inherant "characteristic" of electronic throttles. I've gotten so used to it after driving Lexus cars regularly for the past 6 years I ALMOST forget it exists until I drive a car with a standard throttle cable. I don't understand why carmakers insist on using electronic throttles, I've felt the lag in cars from Lexus to BMW to new Nissans like the Titan truck with the electronic throttle. There's not anything Lexus can do about that, and the transmission replacement won't make it any better.

If it helps I always found when driving my dad's old 98 LS400 putting the transmission in "ECT PWR" mode seemed to make the hesitation less noticeable. My ES300 doesn't have an ECT PWR mode and I haven't driven his 04 LS enough to see if this still works.

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I sympathize with your frustration re: transmission lag. I own a 2004 LS430, and it drives me nuts! I see the replies from others advising that it is "normal" with the throttle configuration..........I really have a hard time swallowing that with a $65K vehicle. I have 8K miles on the vehicle, and Lexus dealer hasn't been able to make any improvements to the "lag" problem. Prior to this vehicle, I owned a 2002 LS430, and I do not recall a similar problem with the 2002 version. I look forward to other response to the issue.

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Whatever you call it, "transmission lag" or "electronic throttle lag", I do experience it too on my 2004 LS430.

This is the first time I have noticed this "lag" in the cars I have owned. My wife drives a MB S430 and I do have a BMW 740iL 2001 and I do not experience this lag.

This lag is indeed irritating and as what previously mentioned I feel this lag when driving at a slow speed (about 1-15mph) or when making turns at a slow speed.

There were also occassions when the engine just cuts off on me while driving and this could be related to the fuel pump issue.

I have had two Lexuses in the past and I was impressed with these cars. Now I starting to worry.

I do have appointment with the local Lexus dealer this Wednesday (11 Aug.) and I will have to mention this "lag". I do hope they have a fix to this problem.

Is it time to trade in my beloved 2004 Lexus LS430? I do not think so.

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Both your Benz and your BMW have cabled throttles. Drive a new 745Li and you'll feel the lag, it has a throttle by wire system. Also bear in mind you usually don't notice it on test drives, you've got to spend real time with the car. You probably didn't feel it on your 02 because you weren't looking for it.

Unfortunately I'm afraid its something we're going to have to get used to and its going to bleed over into other systems as well as they become electronic. Currently processors just can't operate as fast as a simple cable can. You can learn to adapt to it though. I believe the S class Benz is the only big luxo car with a cabled throttle left, and that will be gone when it gets redone next year trust me.

All the Lexus dealer is going to tell you though is "All lexuses do that, its the electronic throttle and its normal" and they're right.

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I have a 04 LS430 and as far as the transmission "lag", I have ABSOLUTELY NONE. If I push on the accelerator too quick it literally jumps. I've learned to accelerate slowly to keep it from "jumping ahead too fast" In fact after the new transmission was installed I saw no change in this.

As to the new transmission...I've driven about 300 miles and so far it has worked just fine. My service advisor said they had installed several and none so far had been returned. As to the time to replace the transmission, my work order allowed 4.5 hours and for the fuel pump, .9 hours.

My service advisor knew nothing of a $200. gas card. He said all cars would be filled with gasoline when deliverd to the customer. Unfortunately, I had just filled up a few miles before I took it in for the work....

I guess the only way to lay this $200 gas card to rest is to call Lexus....

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Dear SW03ES,

Do you know if the Infiniti FX35 have electronic throttle? If it does, I do not feel it with my 2003 Infiniti FX35.

Thanks.

lexuskrzy

I don't believe so, but I'm not sure. I love the FX and my parents have one I've driven several times and I've driven them at dealerships and I didn't notice any hesitation either. If it DOES have an electronic throttle then its a much better system than the one currently being used by everyone else, so my guess its a throttle cable.

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If it DOES have an electronic throttle then its a much better system than the one currently being used by everyone else, so my guess its a throttle cable.

Steve,

Prior to my '04 LS430, I owned 3 cars with electronic throttles, BMW 330Ci, Jaguar X-Type and Jaguar S-Type. None had any hesitation, including my new LS. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Mike

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For those who had a question about a $200. gas card after the transmission replacemnet, I checked directly with Lexus and here is what they emailed me:

"About four weeks after the Special Service Campaign repair is completed, the customer should receive a pre-paid $200. gas gift card"

This should put this question to rest. I don't know how Lexus could be any more accommodating than this.

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I know that they're claiming the problem is because of the electronic throttle, but I have this question......how come they can use this type of linkage on military fighter jets which require immediate responses?? :wacko:

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Several reasons:

1. First and foremost its an entirely different and non-comparable situation. A plane is not subject to the kinds of road forces that a car is, the type of interface and the forces at work are totally different.

2. Military Fighter Pilots are trained to operate the aircraft with those linkages intact, drivers are not trained to drive vehicles with electronic throttles. No one here who can drive a car learned to drive a car, nor drove a car for the bulk of their life that had an electronic throttle. They're too new. I have a lot of experience in both cars with cabled throttles and electronic throttles, they are different. The problem stems from people expecting a car with an electronic throttle to behave like one with a cabled throttle, it won't. When you give in and learn to drive AROUND the system then the car operates flawlessly. My ES is 100% smooth when I drive it, and I no longer have to think about driving it properly. Its akin to learning how to drive a car with ABS. It takes a very smooth and steady pressure on the gas, quick or jerked movements will cause it to hesistate because the system can't operate fast enough to keep up with the driver. This is plainly apparent when you look at the fact that some drivers, like steviej and myself have learned to operate around the e-throttle, some drivers, like Mike and epper have never experienced the problem, and other drivers like yourself, jragosta, and the author of this thread continue to have problems with the hesitation. The problem has to do with the driver not the car. It also always seems to be the drivers that are stubbornly annoyed with this characteristic and very resistant to changing their driving styles that continue to have problems.

3. If this is just Lexus claiming this problem, then why do all other vehicles with electronic throttles behave the same way? I've heard this round and round again, from drivers of all different makes. This is not something Lexus-specific.

4. You're comparing a $35 Million fighter jet and a $65,000 automobile, which do you think would have the most sophisticated equipment?

I say give it time, this is a new type of linkage that we're all going to have to get used to. Like everything else, its the people that have the most trouble changing their behavior to accept this new technology that are having, and are going to have the hardest time with it.

My car operates smooth as glass when I drive it, I've ridden in it with my fiance driving and its not so much so. She's not used to operating a vehicle with an electronic throttle, I am.

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I originated this string re. the LS430 recall a few days ago.

I took my car in yesterday. Should be done today.

1. I called Lexus Cust. service: they said the replecemnts may be refurbished items, but at my dealer service they said both the transmisson and the fuel pump will be replaced with new ones.

2. The service manager acknowledeged that the 'pedal-to-move' lag may be caused by the electronic throttle (so they are well aware of this problem!), but he's not aware of any fix and there are no service buletins on this!

3. One more thing: I had my smart key replaced twice (second time this week) because the release latch fell out: anyone else here had this (minor) problem?

Adrian

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Its not actually a transmission lag, its a throttle response lag. Every Lexus behaves that way, as does every other car with an electronic throttle. Its an inherant "characteristic" of electronic throttles. I've gotten so used to it after driving Lexus cars regularly for the past 6 years I ALMOST forget it exists until I drive a car with a standard throttle cable. I don't understand why carmakers insist on using electronic throttles, I've felt the lag in cars from Lexus to BMW to new Nissans like the Titan truck with the electronic throttle. There's not anything Lexus can do about that, and the transmission replacement won't make it any better.

SW03ES,

My '99 LS400 has a cable throttle and not a "fly by wire" throttle. I also have the annoying AND dangerous lag in the transmission. My '02 F-350 7.3L turbo diesel truck has an electronic throttle and the pick up is instantaneous!!

:)

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