RXdaddy

Windows open, doors unlock and sunroof opens unexpectedly

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My 2013 RX350 on 3 consecutive occasions this week has greeted me in the parking lot (not the same lot location) after work with all windows down, the sunroof open and all doors unlocked.  On the first occasion, I locked the doors manually from the driver's door when I exited.  The second occasion, I used my FOB to lock the doors and on the 3rd occasion, I used my wife's FOB.  Luckily nothing was taken and there was no rain, but this is scary.

Both front door lock actuators were replaced 3 months ago, but these incidents just happened this week.  The car battery (original battery, 44k miles, 2013 model) has not been disconnected nor has any other work been done within the past 3 months other than a routine oil change 2 weeks ago.

I've seen several listings on multiple sites where owners have stated this has happened to their Lexus (various models), but I can't locate where someone has stated the cause and a fix.  I typically do all the routine mtc. myself, including the door actuator locks (replaced the small motors instead of entire actuators for $6 each side), but this may be an issue for the dealer.

Can some one please assist?

 

 

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I've seen a number of posts from owners of Lexus LS sedans about this - probably because the LS was the first Lexus on which one could open the sunroof and windows by holding down the unlock button on the key or fob.  I've read about it happening to owners of owner Lexus models too including the RX.  A few people have had their interiors soaked by rain.   

The most common cause of the problem appears to be what I jokingly call "Tight Pants Syndrome", i.e. an object in a pocket (or purse) pushing and holding the unlock button causing the windows and sunroof to open.  I've wondered if this problem has become so common that it is the reason the feature is turned off on the 4th generation (2016-up) RX.  A Lexus dealer now has to activate the feature on request.

Have you had your RX for a long time but this problem only recently arose?  How far is your workplace from the parking lot?

The remote can have a remarkable range.  On my last LS, I could open the sunroof and windows from about 150 yards away by pressing and holding the unlock button.  On my current daily driver (Toyota Sienna Limited - "The Adult Size RX" 😁 ), I can open the sliding doors and hatch door with the fob from about the same distance - I do it every weekday in hot weather as I leave my office to let heat escape from the interior as I walk to the vehicle.

That's my best guess.  I've learned to be more careful with the remote fobs.  I've also managed to set off the alarms on our vehicles when doing things like kneeling to pet the herd of cats that meet me at the door when I get home.  And I've managing to open one of the sliding doors on the Sienna while it was parked in my garage.  I try to remember to remove the fobs from my pocket as soon as I get home.

If you've had your RX a long time and this problem just started happening then may it is some sort of electrical problem.  Regardless, if you do not routinely use the fob to open the sunroof and windows, you might want to have the Lexus dealer deactivate the feature - done with a scan tool through the diagnostic port.

 

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I have a 2001 EX300 with the same issue. Sometimes when I get to my car, the windows are rolled down with the sunroof open. Yesterday, I used my fob to unlock the door and the front windows rolled down and the sunroof opened. Can the dealer turn off this feature?

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I have done this, key was in my pocket and as i walked away the button was being pressed by the other keys on the fob. Came back with it all open.. Luckily it was sunny and no one stole my sunglasses. LOL

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The local Lexus dealer kept the car for 5 weeks, removed the dash, door panels and reloaded software.  Their explanation was "we've never seen this before, don't know what caused it to happen, and don't know how to fix it".  So, they turned off the feature (it's not one of the "personalizations" you can select yourself), gave us the car back and said "good luck". Luckily the work they did was covered under warranty. They also took both remotes apart and replaced the batteries.  The technician said  inside one of the remotes, there was a small "sticker" that he removed that was apparently affixed by the manufacturer, but he doesn't think it was anywhere close to being thick enough to actuate the remote that would in turn, open the windows, the sun roof and unlock the doors just by being in a purse or pocket.  Based on the "tight pants" experience others have recorded on this forum, my money is on the problem being caused by the sticker, even as tiny as it was.  Electronic devices usually don't just decide to activate on their own without some external cause. This problem hasn't repeated in over a year, so I'm guessing we're in the clear.

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On 6/9/2018 at 8:19 AM, 1990LS400 said:

you might want to have the Lexus dealer deactivate the feature - done with a scan tool through the diagnostic port.

Went to Lexus today. They informed us that our 2000 ES300 doesn't have the capability to deactivate this feature. I informed them of the problem. Their response was that they have never had this problem and was not sure what to do to fix it. 

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Well, we're back to ghosts unlocking doors after they've been locked with either fob.  A few months ago, we went through a spell over a 2 week period where we'd lock the car when we parked it in our driveway, only to find the car unlocked the next morning.  No windows down and the sunroof remained closed.  When we weren't driving the car, both fobs were hanging on a key rack in our house so there was no chance the unlock buttons on the fobs were pushed.

The repetitive unlocking  only lasted a week or so and it hasn't repeated in the past several weeks.  Not sure what's happening with this car, but I'm also not sure where to even start looking for the cause.  If the dealership doesn't know, and the regional Lexus mechanic training representative doesn't know, then this "shade tree mechanic" surely doesn't know.  We've just decided to include a prayer for our car in our nightly prayers and hope for the best.

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