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Adaptive Cruise Control Dead?


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I really think that the adaptive cruise control, which Lexus and Mercedes are advertising heavily, is a useful feature. If you try to "build your RX330" on the Internet, you will find that, regardless of your zip code, it is not among the available options. My dealer (St. Louis MO) told me it was available on special order, so on 12/13/2003 I special-ordered and made a deposit on a top-line RX330 so equipped, expecting a quoted 3-4 month delivery time, which Lexus Customer Service confirmed as a reasonable estimate. Now, almost two months later, I am told that Lexus cannot deliver this feature at all, with no expected date. I find it strange that Toyota Corporation would give this feature prominent placement in full page ads several times each week, and yet be technically unable to build it.

Does anybody have information about this? What happened?

Edwin M. :(

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The reason is that Lexus is currently upgrading the system changing it from laser to radar to make it more accurate and less prone to interference. Because of that RX330s and LS430s will not be availiable with the laser cruise for a few months while production starts up on the new system.

They're not going to tell you this because they dont want you to wait, but if you wait a few months the adaptive cruise will be back and better than the current system.

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Thanks Steve and Tom for the info about switching the adaptive cuise control from laser to radar. Mercedes started this system, which they call "Distronic" with radar. They charged $3,200 for the option while Lexus charged $600 for their laser version. Regarding Tom's point, I recently read that radar is defeated by ice on the grill, and somebody was offering a liquid, but that should be fixable by engine heat just as well.

Edwin M.

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