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Oil Gel Settlement, Still Available?


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My beloved rx300 2001 broke down Wednesday. The dealer I had AAA bring the car to said that the lower engine seized and needs to be replaced, the sad part is that it only had 75k miles on it.

Originally my plan was to sell it as is, I currently have an offer of $700 with the title for it. But I spoke with my mechanic and he told me about the Class Action Lawsuit relating to this model year, just wondering whether or not any of you have heard about owners still getting a refund?

The above question about the Class Action is the most important to me, but if people could give a little advice on a fair value I could expect for this car that would also be helpful.

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Hi Gabby and welcome.

When your mechanic refers to the "lower engine" he is meaning the crankshaft and pistons. However, if he is saying those parts plus valves and camshaft, then it does indeed appear that the engine is covered under the court settlement for the RX 300 thru 2002.

The suit was filed against Toyota, including Lexus as well, for oil sludge build up and engine damage. The big question is how, who, or where to go and how to begin your claim process.

The link below, will take you to a document, laying out the entire history and resolution terms. However, the number one problem I would point out is the term of 8 years in which to settle your case. Please come back and let us know your progress.



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I think it is extraordinarily unlikely that Toyota would cover any portion of the repair six or seven years after eligibility for assistance expired.

The first thing I wonder about when I encounter a vehicle that isn't driven very many miles per year is whether or not the manufacturer's maintenance schedule has been followed. For a 2000 RX300 used in normal service, the oil change interval is 7,500 miles or 6 months. The engine timing belt is to be changed every 90,000 miles or 72 months and its failure or the failure of a related component like the water pump, idler or tensioner can also cause the engine to "seize" since the RX300 engine if of the "interference" type.

We owned a 1998 Toyota Camry with essentially the same 3.0 liter V6 engine that was in the RX300 - we bought it new, passed it to a nephew at 125,000 miles in 2012 and it is still in daily use. I have assumed that the reason our Camry V6 never developed a sludge problem was that its oil and filter were always (and I mean always) changed every 5,000 miles and that only Mobil 1 5W30 synthetic oil was ever used except for the oil that was put in at the factory.

I think your best course of action is to sell your RX300 for salvage. I would not expect a 15 year old RX with a seized engine to bring very much for salvage but you could check around.

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Paul, per "Toyota broadens sludge-repair program" at http://www.autonews.com/article/20020408/ANA/204080776/toyota-broadens-sludge-repair-program , Toyota changed the engine design to allow oil to drain into the sump faster while still maintaining that the sludge was caused by owner neglect.

I have noticed that maintenance manuals for vehicles made by Toyota have since included verbiage that lack of following the maintenance schedule can lead to oil gelling or words to that effect.

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