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2004 Ls403 Recall + Transmission Lag


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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.

Actually it has both. The 98-00 LS400s had a throttle by wire system and a backup throttle cable.

As for the truck, don't know maybe it has something to do with the extra low end torque of the diesel compensating for the lag?

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I don't believe Mercedes has one yet...

Like I said though, not everyone experiences it. it really depends on how you drive.

Re: LS430 'transmission lag' or 'elctronic throttle':

When I switch to 'power' setting, the 'lag' seems to be less obvious. You think this is true, or it's only me trying to feel good I have a fix for the problem.

Adrian

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Or the way you drive you just never felt it. Only some people feel the hesitation, some don't. I don't anymore. If you're smooth on the throttle you won't feel it.

I can second this.

It is necessary to remember that the throttle is the means that you use to tell the car what you want it to do.

Inconsistant operation of the throttle results in the vehicle "waiting" for the driver to decide what he/she wants to do.

There is a learning curve. If you are flexible, and you work <i>with </i> it, you can learn to make the transmission do <i>exactly</i> what you want.

Generally, rapid and abrupt applications of the throttle will produce a rapid response.

A very slow and measured application of the throttle is an indication to the vehicle that a smooth takeoff or change of pace is desired.

A change from a slow, to a fast takeoff must be done decisively, or the vehicle will not respond as one might expect.

Example:

Driver begins slowly, car thinks this is a relaxed run

trans shifts from 1 to 2 and even possibly 3rd.

driver gradually (slow rate of depressing) applies the throttle, and more power is applied. As the vehicle is already in motion it is necessarry to drop down a gear. The transmission tries to do this smoothly, based on the previous inputs. The driver becomes impatient, opens throttle more and more rapidly, causing the car to (now) move away rapidly.

Another driver has learned when and how much throttle to apply to make the car behave as he wishes. He can have the vehicle accelerate smoothly, or he can have the vehicle accelerate smartly.

I compare this level of control to a manual transmission, as you can have a car that will behave either agressively, or extremely smoothly, the only variable being the use of the throttle.

I have always driven manual equipped cars, because I prefer to have control over what the tranny does.

I am considering an IS300, and it will be an automatic, because I can make the tranny work with me. I don't need a clutch anymore.

Thanks for anyone who has read all of this, I hope it made sense.

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I have been closely following this topic since it was introduced, and particularly "Stevieman"'s[sW03ES] responses which have been helpful. Per suggestions in this forum, in the last several days, I have tried to force myself to get accustomed to this damnable lag when accelerating at slow speed. Each attempt, I keep asking myself why I have to do this with a $65K vehicle! Yes, I know......poor attitude on my part! I agree with the assessment that it is indeed a safety issue.......can you trust the automobile to rapidly accelerate from a slow speed when suddenly in a crisis.

Having driven MB's, Range Rovers, and an assortment of other foreign vehicles, I simply cannot accept that I am a dunderhead driver who cannot adjust to Japanese engineering. I can only hope that Lexus USA is monitoring this forum and will sincerely attempt to rectify an increasingly annoying problem. I can only hope that the responses to this forum continue ad infinitum until a satisfactory resolution is forthcoming from Lexus engineering.

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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.

The FX do not have electronically controlled throttle. It's using a 4 in 1 cable to control the throttle.

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I bought an '04 LS430 in May.

I have not noticed the "Lag", but haven't looked for it. In fact, the first I've heard of it was a few minutes ago, while reading this Thread. I've always taken pride in being a "Smooth Driver" so that may be the reason.

So far, I like the car VERY much. :D

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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.

The FX do not have electronically controlled throttle. It's using a 4 in 1 cable to control the throttle.

I stand corrected. THe all the new Infiniti's have an electronically controlled throttle unit. The tech also tells me it's new technology, but it's one more thing to go bad quickly on these cars.

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My last post to this string, which I started a couple of weeks ago:

I begun this in an attempt to understand where I stand with my concerns vis a vis other owners': this is a major recall campaign and, moreover, the transmission lag is hard to ignore.

I learned that, although my experience and concerns are not unique, not everyone freaqued out as I did, expecting the 2004 LS430 will turn into another Audi-like late 80's story.

By now I had the two 'recalls' taken care off and I talked to several people at Lexus: US, district and local.

For what it's worth, while I'm satisfied with the 'attention' I recieved and the overall professional and solicitous treatment, I still remain concerned with the long term reliability of my car. However, I learned that Lexus will, most likely, 'stand by us, the 'LS430 Class of 2004'.

As for the throttle/transmission 'lag', let's hope that continuous posting here and on similar sites will get their attention and that they will address the problem and, hopefully, fix it.

Once more, regards to all who bother to read this,

Adrian

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I agree with you 100% Steve. It's all about the driver. I can make any car in our garage(lexi, cobra and suburban) hesitate including my LS and ES both of which have regular, old fashioned cables. I have the worst problems in stop and go traffic. I get up to 35, slow to under 30, and hit the gas, but the car doesn't know if it wants to up/down shift resulting in a slight lag with a little lurch. I've easily solved this problem by giving the car another nanosecond so that the tranny can figure out what it wants to do. Should I have to do that on my LS that had a sticker of $55k? Absolutely not, but it's worth my sanity and a smooth ride, so I comply, and all is well! :D

:cheers:

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My last post to this string, which I started a couple of weeks ago:

I begun this in an attempt to understand where I stand with my concerns vis a vis other owners': this is a major recall campaign and, moreover, the transmission lag is hard to ignore.

I learned that, although my experience and concerns are not unique, not everyone freaqued out as I did, expecting the 2004 LS430 will turn into another Audi-like late 80's story.

By now I had the two 'recalls' taken care off and I talked to several people at Lexus: US, district and local.

For what it's worth, while I'm satisfied with the 'attention' I recieved and the overall professional and solicitous treatment, I still remain concerned with the long term reliability of my car. However, I learned that Lexus will, most likely, 'stand by us, the 'LS430 Class of 2004'.

As for the throttle/transmission 'lag', let's hope that continuous posting here and on similar sites will get their attention and that they will address the problem and, hopefully, fix it.

Once more, regards to all who bother to read this,

Adrian

Thanks for your efforts.

Tuesday I take my 04 430 for its 1000 mile check up. Will be done by Austin Tx dealer.

Will pose your and groups concerns to the Dealer then. I am very currious as to recall issues.

Donny

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In the mail today, I got my $200 gas card from Lexus "for the trouble". This gas card is issued thru Exxon/Mobile.

I am impressed.

After having my transmission and fuel pump replaced, the servicing dealer filled my tank in full and I even had a brand new RX330 as a loaner. And now a $200 gas card from Lexus.

Thanks Lexus. :D

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I just purchased a 2004 LS430.... built Jul/Aug2004 and picked up Aug 20 two days after being unloaded from the boat...... do I need to be concerned with this recall???? or did my car have the "fix" built in at the factory?

Thanks Mark

Mark,

Your car is fine. I believe only cars build prior to 1/1/04 are subject to the recall.

Mike

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have been following this thread for a long time, both here and in other Lexus Forums. The problem seems to be widespread among all current Lexus models, and to me, is a serious SAFETY issue. I am currently contemplating the purchase of a 2005 LS-430 and am wondering if anyone has any current and reliable information about the new models regarding transmission/throttle improvements. I currently have a 2001 MB E-430 and a 2003 BMW 530i, both with electronic throttles, and don't experience this "lag" issue with either car. I guess my question is, will Lexus fix this problem in the 2005 models?

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The LS430's problem is unique to the Lexus line. All other Lexus models have a problem with the electronic throttle that most people incorrectly diagnose as a transmission problem. That actually is inherant to how the electronic throttle performs. The LS430 problem is totally different and has nothing to do with the "lag" issue.

They repaired the problem with this recall so it stands to reason that it would also be repaired in the 2005 LS. I wouldn't be concerned. As for the lag, its still going to be there. I've heard similar complaints about the new BMWs though. Drive an LS though, you may not notice it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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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