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Ev Mode Malfunction In Rx 450H


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I just purchased a 2013 Lexus RX 450h. The EV mode button does not activate the all-electric mode as it is intended (according to the owner's manual), more often than not. When I push the EV mode button, I often get a message that says "EV mode currently not available". Has anyone else had this problem?

We took it back to the Lexus dealer. Without even testing it, they initially tried to tell us that it was our fault because we were trying to activate the EV mode in the wrong circumstances (driving too fast, engine not warm, battery not charged, etc.). We took the mechanic for a test drive in our vehicle, and then one of their brand new models, and demonstrated how it doesn't work as advertised. They then told us that Lexus in the U.S. has been having problems with the EV mode. Does this sound correct? I'm having a hard time believing that, to be honest.

Thanks,

Frank

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I would assume under heavy acceleration the ev mode wouldnt work...however I dont have that mode in my RX400h....

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Even with EV mode, you're usually better off letting the hybrid system decide when to be on electric and/or combustion engine. Using the EV mode in the wrong circumstances can hurt fuel economy by draining the battery too low, requiring increased running of the engine to recharge. A cold engine, A/C/auto on, battery state of charge on the low end, over 34 mph, and heavier than feathering the gas pedal are all situations where the engine will run.

These aren't pure electric cars and the EV mode is very limited. The only time I found it useful in the Prius was moving the car in/out of the garage to keep the engine from starting, if I wasn't really going to drive it anywhere.

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After having a 2010 and a 2012, I've rarely met the criteria to switch to EV mode and seldom try any more. Folks familiar with the criteria and have a certain amount of patience can switch it on fairly successfully. I have not heard of Lexus having difficulties with this matter, up till now!

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  • 9 months later...

I am having exactly the same problem with a brand new 2013 450h. I went to dealer service yesterday, and they gave me the same 'song and dance' you got. The fact is, the EV function does not work as advertised. The criteria is: Not too hot, not too cold, not to fast, not too quick, battery mostly charged.

I've met that criteria and it still won't function. The usefulness of the function is to be free of emmisions and noise in enclosed parking structures etc. Even if I park the car with a fully charged hybrid battery, and the ambient temp is moderate in the morning, the EV shuts me out when it's time to exit my the garage.

I hope lexus attends to this issue and offers a reprograming of the computer so the EV mode can be used as intended.

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ArtWrangleAndy,

What I've found out through trial and error is that the EV mode only becomes active after the vehicle has been driven at a relatively high rate of speed (at least 45mph) and probably for at least a mile. See if that helps.

Cheers,

Frank

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  • 2 months later...

I just purchased a 2013 Lexus RX 450h. The EV mode button does not activate the all-electric mode as it is intended (according to the owner's manual), more often than not. When I push the EV mode button, I often get a message that says "EV mode currently not available". Has anyone else had this problem?

I've been having the same problem with my2010 RX 450h, which I bought almost new (with less than 15,000 miles on it) this past November. I get the same message. It doesn't matter whether I'm stopped or moving. So it seems to be a general problem. On the other hand, I don't know if EV mode would improve my mileage even if I could turn it on. I do keep the car in "Eco mode." Lately, I've been monitoring the energy monitor (without getting fixated on it), to maximize the time the car runs on battery power, and to make sure that even when the ICE is running, it's in combination with the electric motor(s). This is especially helpful on my daily two-mile drive from our house to our health club. We live near Monterey Bay and there are a lof of ups and downs between our house and the club. Attention to the monitor, combined with very judicious use of the gas pedal, has helped me improve my mpg along this route. I wasn't paying close attention on the way there today and only averaged 17 mpg -- going downhill more than uphill. But on the way back, with more uphill than down, I kept a closer eye on it and was averaging 19 mpg roundtrip by the time I got home. Yesterday, I averaged 20.5 mpg round trip.

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  • 10 months later...

Hello all,

By way of introduction my name is David and like the rest of you, I have an RX450h with the exact same problem. I have been in touch with Lexus on a number of occasions and they have been less than helpful. My car has been serviced by Lexus and according to the techs at Lexus, the EV mode is operating properly but, and I quote from the head foreman at Lexus, that the EV mode is "utterly worthless".

When I bought my Lexus, from Lexus I was told how great a feature the EV mode is, since I live in Los Angeles with such bad traffic I could save a fortune on gas by simply switching it to EV mode. I have yet to find that to be the case. Like the rest of you, the circumstances by which the EV mode needs to be in to operate at all, render it to be a useless feature. To date, I have never been able to get it t work for more than 10-15 seconds and have made a series of videos to show as such. These videos can be found on Youtube.

As per my second call with Gina at Lexus yesterday, the EV mode is not for sitting in traffic but for "parking".

I don't know about the rest of you but when I was buying my car, the EV mode was the feature that sold me on the car and the reason I bought the car.

I have since retained a lawyer to begin the steps for a class action lawsuit against Lexus and would love to have anyone else that feels like they were deceived by Lexus to join the lawsuit.

You can reach me via email at david@solidmusic.net and I can fill you in on the steps that need to be taken to further the progress of our complaints and the suit against Lexus.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with some of you, if not all of you.

Regards,

David

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Please refer to the EPA mpg estimates on the window sticker or Lexus website, and the part where is says "actual mileage will vary." It doesn't matter what the salesman promises if you don't get it in writing. The EV mode is not intended to get better mileage, it's only useful for moving your car in the driveway without the gas engine starting up.

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We've had our 2010 RX450h for a year, driven it about 10,000 miles (it had just under 15K on it when I bought it) and we're averaging just north of 28 mpg. I topped 30 mpg on my last tank of gas. I gave up bothering with the so-called EV mode months ago for all the reasons others have cited, but I'm not missing it. I find that the car will go into EV mode quite nicely with out me telling it to. Watch the "energy" screen on the NAV display and you'll see what I'm talking about. But it does depend on your driving technique. You can push it into EV mode frequently as long as you don't "lead-foot" the gas pedal. Consistent pulsing and gliding will do the trick. Try that before you hire a lawyer. :rolleyes:

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I have no complaints about the MPG.

I'm very happy with the MPG I'm getting. This car replaced my '07 6-cylinder, AWD RAV4. While I could get close to 30 mpg in the RAV on long road/freeway trips, the most I could squeeze out of it around our neighborhood with all its elevation changes was about 18 mpg, and I never averaged much more than 22 mpg. So getting 28-plus mpg with the Lexus is a big improvement, especially when it's combined with the car's incredible comfort, utility, wonderfully smooth and powerful power train and great ride. I love this car; I'm 69 and I expect to keep it until my kids yank me from the driver's seat (although I hope to have the sense to quit while I'm ahead).

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I have no complaints about the MPG.

I'm very happy with the MPG I'm getting. This car replaced my '07 6-cylinder, AWD RAV4. While I could get close to 30 mpg in the RAV on long road/freeway trips, the most I could squeeze out of it around our neighborhood with all its elevation changes was about 18 mpg, and I never averaged much more than 22 mpg. So getting 28-plus mpg with the Lexus is a big improvement, especially when it's combined with the car's incredible comfort, utility, wonderfully smooth and powerful power train and great ride. I love this car; I'm 69 and I expect to keep it until my kids yank me from the driver's seat (although I hope to have the sense to quit while I'm ahead).

ok. i am happy for you. and i am also happy with the MPG i am getting. not sure what you point is?

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I have no complaints about the MPG.

I'm very happy with the MPG I'm getting. This car replaced my '07 6-cylinder, AWD RAV4. While I could get close to 30 mpg in the RAV on long road/freeway trips, the most I could squeeze out of it around our neighborhood with all its elevation changes was about 18 mpg, and I never averaged much more than 22 mpg. So getting 28-plus mpg with the Lexus is a big improvement, especially when it's combined with the car's incredible comfort, utility, wonderfully smooth and powerful power train and great ride. I love this car; I'm 69 and I expect to keep it until my kids yank me from the driver's seat (although I hope to have the sense to quit while I'm ahead).

ok. i am happy for you. and i am also happy with the MPG i am getting. not sure what you point is?

My point is: Your average MPG is the bottom line. If you're happy with it, why worry about whether you can put the car in EV mode in parking lots? Odds are, the car's computer will do it for you anyway. Watch the energy screen and see how often the car goes into EV mode on its own. If you keep light pressure on the accelerator and regularly ease off of it (pulse and glide), you can make the car go into EV mode (or just shut down the ICE and charge the battery with regenerative braking). The more you can do that, the more you can improve/maintain your gas mileage. Keep an eye on the car's predicted MPG at the next fill-up (on the instrument panel "display"). That will give you good feedback on how you're doing in real time.

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