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Defect in oil Leakage

Brandy Mobin

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My oil line burst on my Lexus RX 350 SUV and caused severe engine damage as a result. This is a very large leak which covers the ground, engine, and undercarriage. If the oil line ruptures while driving, the low engine oil message and engine oil pressure warnings will illuminate (no low engine light or oil light warnings illuminated & no illumination of any type of lights) and will result in complete engine failure due to oil starvation. There was no warning lights while driving to the store and then I parked the vehicle and then all the warning lights went off at the same time when I came out of the store to start the car up, and it was towed immediately to a service center and was not driven after the entire the panel of lights lite up all at one time(The whole panel illuminated with warnings in every category with no warning to include tire pressure, oil light, engine light, battery light, air bag, SRS, master light, brake light, power steering light, electric charging system light). The car has no damage to the undercarriage indicating this could NOT be the cause and I know I did not hit anything. The mechanic reports a defect in the oil line/pump, it cracked/leaked and should not have and he reports it has to be a defect and asked about recalls. They are reporting a very large leak that would have occurred thus damaging the entire engine very quickly. With a rupture of this magnitude no oil to the engine, the engine will be irreparably damaged, you cannot just replace a part as indicated by my research. With such a massive oil leak without a warning lite, the damage can be done immediately with such a severe loss of oil so suddenly. I never received a recall notice regarding this issue. The only way to fix it is to replace the engine, per the mechanic. I researched and found many others with the same issue and found a recall that I never received. This is a catastrophe on a car that is in perfect condition, well maintained for all services with only 77,000 miles on it. The cars blue book value to private seller was 15K. This is unacceptable to me considering the circumstances. I would like to know what Lexus proposes to do to deal with this issue. I will have the diagnostics with the issues in writing from the repair shop on Monday to send you. I also want to know of any recall notices on my new car the 2018 RX 350 as I am now afraid of something going wrong with my new car. As a consumer it is Lexus' responsibility to notify me of all recalls so the problem can be fixed before a catastrophe like this occurs. As you can imagine I am very upset, please see below for information regarding my RX 350 2008. I have made an official complaint to NHTSA about this issue and found 8 other complaints along with your extended warranty to fix this issue.

Problem Description

An VVT-i oil line on the Lexus RX350 is known to burst. This is a very large leak which covers the ground, engine, and undercarriage.
If the oil line ruptures while driving, the low engine oil message and engine oil pressure warnings will illuminate. Continued use after these warnings will result in complete engine failure due to oil starvation.
The line is known to be defective, and a revised part has been issued by Toyota, however, this revised part is known for the same issue.
To repair the issue, the line must be replaced, and the engine bay and undercarriage must be cleaned thoroughly.
(27 people reported this problem)

Lexus RX350 Vehicles With This Problem

9 model years affected: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, more
Average mileage: 109,450 (80,000–138,900)
Documented complaints:  I have regularly maintained my Lexus Rx at an independent Lexus shop. While the car was parked/running, the engine suddenly, without any warning noise or dashboard alert, stopped. After the car failed to restart, I suspected it needed a battery jump. However after replacing the battery, the car still did not start. The car was towed to an independent Lexus shop-davenport, where it was discovered that valve springs had dropped and caused the engine to seize/lock. The shop notified me that I would need to either get a new engine or have it repaired, both options would cost >$8500usd. This is upsetting because my car was well maintained, there were no warnings, and if this had happened while driving it could have caused an accident or left me totally stranded.
The oil cooler line developed a pin hole leak in it in which in a matter of minutes the car was completely out of oil in which the engine started making grinding noises until I stopped the car. This happened on my 2008 Lexus and looking into the issue, Lexus changed the design of the part in 2011 after concerns of failure of this part. There was a section of the part that was a rubber hose in between two metal lines. Lexus changed this part to make it one whole metal line in 2011. For some reason from 2007 to 2011 this part was not recalled and still has the rubber hose oil line on it. It costed me several hundred dollars to replace this part and could of destroyed my engine as well or at least limited the engine life since it was without oil for a couple miles. I'm concerned that it happened while I was driving and leaked oil on the road to the point of my vehicle being empty and could of seized up my engine as well which both are safety concerns and environmental issues. Lexus obviously knew of the part issue to change it's design in 2012 but still doesn't have a recall on it. Not sure if I'm buying another Lexus because of this.
The oil cooler pipe assembly on the engine failed catastrophically causing a sudden lost of a large volume of oil. The failure occurred while driving on a street and was only noticed while parking (a co-worker saw the oil pouring out of the car). The consumer stated he was not made aware of the warranty enhancement program. The consumer requested to be reimbursed for the repairs. Updated 10/10/2017
The contact owns a 2008 Lexus RX350. The contact smelled a burning odor and stated that the oil coolant coil contained a hole, which caused oil to leak. The dealer indicated that the vehicle was included in a manufacturer recall; however, the contact did not receive a recall notification. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The recall details were not provided. The approximate failure mileage was 110,000.
The contact owns a 2008 Lexus RX350. While starting the vehicle, the contact heard a grinding noise under the hood. The noise was only present for a few seconds, especially in cold weather. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and informed the contact that the camshaft sensors were failing. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 05/09/17 consumer stated this is an issue with the cam gears. This can cause the engine to lock up and stall the vehicle during operation. Updated 7/6/18
While driving on city street in madison wi, severe oil loss due to hose to oil cooler. Part was changed by manufacturer from rubber hose to metal. This tells me they know it is a problem. Dealership in madison wi says they get this repair weekly.
Following a routine oil change at my Lexus dealer, the car exhibited an oil leakage while driving on the highway. The car's engine began smoking, a burning smell was noticeable, and the rear windshield was covered in oil. The view through the rear view windshield was not visible. The car engine made some strange noises and it was difficult to drive the vehicle. Residual engine damage is possible, and an accident was luckily avoided. The dealer claimed that there was a recall on the vehicle for this problem, and that they would extend the warranty of the vehicle and replace the oil cooler. Some research online yielded some conflicting information. Many different customers have experience this problem, but no recall was ever issued. T.S.B. pol-14-02 (NHTSA number 10056509) was issued in July 2014 to fix this dangerous defect that puts drivers at risk, when a recall may have been warranted. We were never notified by Lexus or the dealer that this was a potential issue. Thousands of Toyota and Lexus owners may have faced or will face a similar risk in the near future.
While driving my 2008 Lexus RX350 at 35 mph in heavy traffic, the vehicle suddenly stalled leaving me without power steering or brakes. I was able to stop the vehicle but was stuck in the traffic lane with heavy traffic. Fearing that I would be hit by oncoming traffic I called 911 for support while the tow vehicle was dispatched. I was unable to leave the vehicle safely until police arrived 20 minutes later, due to the position of the vehicle and the traffic. The local Lexus dealer has contacted me to let me know that the issue was a broken valve spring caused the engine to seize while running. I am concerned that this condition may be somewhat of a known issue with Lexus as I have seen that they had problems with valve springs breaking in this engine.
While driving to work heard a funny noise and oil light begin to blink. Found out engine oil cooling tube burst and leaked all the oil out and has caused motor damage. Lexus send a warranty enhancement letter just a few weeks before describing a problem with the tube and that they would inspect and repair. Waiting on Lexus customer care to assist. So far only 25%. looks like a class action lawsuit may entail.
We have complained about a noise upon starting the car for the past year when having the vehicle serviced. This was the first service visit where dealer was able to pinpoint the code and they came back with the cam shaft variable valve timing (vvt) gear issue. The repair estimate was $6830. I found your recall dated September 4, 2013 # 13V395000 for vvt on Lexus GS350, IS350 and is350C models for the same model year and find it suspicious as the same engine is used. I am wondering if other rx 350S have the same issue and the recall should actually be expanded to include the RX350 model. At this point, the dealer says they need to tear the vehicle down to accurately assess if it is the bolts or another issue but the expense is very high. I also was wondering what the range of miles were on the recalled vehicles? thank you for looking into this.
NHTSA ID: 10132341
TSB ID: L-SB-0154-11

Tsb: some 2007 ? 2011 model year rx 350 and 2010 ? 2011 model year rx 450h vehicles may exhibit a leak or oil seep from the engine oil cooler pipes. follow the repair procedure in this bulletin to address this condition.
NHTSA ID: 10109593
TSB ID: 9LH_LSC_Extensio

Region letter: on certain vehicles equipped with a 2gr-fe (v6) engine, the rubber portion of the oil supply hose for the vvt-i actuator may degrade over time. this condition may cause oil to leak from the vvt-i oil hose producing abnormal engine
NHTSA ID: 10057715
TSB ID: L-SB-0154-11

Lexus: 2007-2011 rx350, 2010-2011 rx 450h: information & procedures regarding a oil cooler pipe leak/ seep from the engine oil cooler pipes. refer to the procedures for repair.
NHTSA ID: 10057003
TSB ID: POL14-02

Lexus: some of the vehicles are experiencing oil leaks from the engine coolers.
NHTSA ID: 10056816

Lexus: see document search button for owner letter. vvt-i actuator, with rubber portion of oil supply hose, will degrade over time due to oil leaking from vvt-i hose, causing oil pressure light to illuminate and abnormal noise from engine.
NHTSA ID: 10056509
TSB ID: POL-14-02

Lexus: see document search button for owner letter. there is a seepage or oil leakage on some vehicles, coming from the engine oil cooler pipe that is covered by the limited warranty enhancement program. model 2007-2011 rx 350, 2010-2011
NHTSA ID: 10050660
TSB ID: LSB-0107-12

Lexus: steering gear assembly may be leaking oil from boots and information is provided for repair procedure. models 2004-2009 rx330, rx350.
NHTSA ID: 10032528
TSB ID: LSB-0028-09

Lexus: engine ticking noise and/or mil on p0014, p0015, p0024, p0025, p0017, or p0018. engine mechanical.
NHTSA ID Number: 11104099
Incident Date June 20, 2018
Consumer Location INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Vehicle Identification Number 2T2HK31U58C****
Summary of Complaint
NHTSA ID Number: 10714550
Incident Date May 4, 2015
Consumer Location LEANDER, TX
Vehicle Identification Number 2T2GK31U88C****
Summary of Complaint
NHTSA ID Number: 10109593
Manufacturer Communication Number: 9LH_LSC_Extensio
Region Letter: On certain vehicles equipped with a 2GR-FE (V6) engine, the rubber portion of the oil supply hose for the VVT-I actuator may degrade over time. This condition may cause oil to leak from the VVT-I oil hose producing abnormal engine noise and the oil pressure light to illuminate. The following vital information is provided to inform you and your staff of the dealer and owner notification phase of the campaign and your degree of involvement. Additional information may be found in the attached Lexus Q&A and customer notification letter.LEXUS ES350 2007-2008
NHTSA ID Number: 10132754
Manufacturer Communication Number: ZLC_WEP_Dealer L
Dealer Letter: In our continuing efforts to ensure the best in customer satisfaction, Lexus is announcing a Warranty Enhancement Program to extend the warranty coverage for repairs related to a leaking or seeping Engine Oil Cooler Pipe.

In these vehicles, Lexus has received some reports where vehicles can experience an oil leak or seep from the engine oil cooler pipe.

Although the engine oil cooler pipe is covered by Lexus? New Vehicle Limited Warranty for 4 years or 50,000 miles (whichever occurs first), Lexus cares about each customer?s ownership experience. Lexus is now extending the warranty coverage for repairs related to a leaking or seeping engine oil cooler pipe.

The following information is provided to inform you and your associates of the program notification schedule and the degree of your involvement. Additionally, an FAQ covering details of this Warranty Enhancement Program is enclosed for your reference.
LEXUS RX350 2007-2010
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  • 1 year later...

On November 14th, 2019 my 2008 RX 350 cooler line ruptured.  I also never recieved any recall notice.  I tried to get into my local Lexus dealership in maplewood,  MN, but they were booked over a week.  I contacted a trusted local mechanic in to diagnose and fix the problem.  He found a warranty enhancement that was to fix the problem AFTER it happened and caused damage.  Not prior?  Why not a recall when they know its going to fail.  I am still under the 150,000 mileage threshold but am apparently beyond the time frame allowed for reimbursement.  I just got off a call from a case manager from Lexus on 2/24/2020.   Said they would not do anything.     Unreal....   I also have a 2020 RX350.   Now what should I do

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  • 5 weeks later...

Wow nice to see that Lexus is a big piece of Junk 2009 rx350 136k and the oil cooler line blows I find out from the dealer in not covered to fix this problem but it's the same oil line they are replacing for free on many of the cars do to defect s with the line so I can fix it myself for 75.00 or pay the dealer 335.00 I will never a Lexus again I buy a Ford that I hate before any Lexus or Toyota Junk 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I have also had this issue with my 2008 Lexus RX 350. I have been playing phone tag with the corporate office to see if they’re able to cover any of the repair costs. The failure of the cooling line ended up ruining my engine and so the repair will cost $6000 for a new engine and oil cooling line. I am thoroughly discouraged that Lexus IS not taking responsibility for this. It’s obviously an issue with so many Lexus models and something I was not warned about when purchasing my vehicle.

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  • 3 months later...

I have a 2013 RX350 Lexus. 240,042 miles

Today the Engine low oil power pressure light came on...no warning. I’ve never seen this light come on before. It’s making a fanning noise. 

Check AWD was also flickering on/off.

I get my SUV serviced regularly. I’m not sure what this could be. 

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  • 4 months later...

This is a Nice Blog, Thanks For sharing your knowledge!! I replaced my worn out car engine with a Used LENUX Engine. Now my cars performance is very smooth. I bought this engine from Autoparts-miles.com one of the best site to buy Used car Engines online.

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  • 1 month later...

I had this happen to my 2011 Lexus 350 RX, with 127,000 miles on it.  I was driving on a busy street & it started smoking heavily & someone pulled up beside me & yelled at me to pull over because my car was on fire.  I pulled into the nearest parking lot & my dog & I got out, then it immediately caught fire & the engine completely burned up before the Fire Dept got there.  After I got home, I noticed most of my oil on the garage floor.  Two months earlier, I pulled out of my garage driving from the neighborhood & the oil pressure light came on, so I pulled into a Kwik Kar right by my house.  They replaced the oil cooler hose assembly.  Seems that the same thing happened again.  Needless to say, my car is a total loss.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a 2011 RX 350 with 64,500 mile, while driving home from work yesterday my car lost all of its oil.  As my husband was pulling into the drive way, the low oil was flashing with a yellow caution sign and the car started making a noise.  Had my car towed to garage, but they can't look at it until Tuesday.  Hoping the engine is okay.

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  • 2 months later...

Isn't there a class action progressing on this issue? If not there should be. It is obviously a defective, dangerous, defect spurring toxic oil on the roadway, parking areas and public right-a-ways. Massively being ignored by a manufacture and an auto industry.  If one were to throw 6 quarts of hot oil on the interstate, county road, or private and or public parking lot it would be a chargeable event. I'm on my 2nd oil line. It is degusting.   2007 RX 350 with 137,000 miles. Jim G. Minnesota, 55806  

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  • 6 months later...

In June 2021 the engine blew in my 2009 Lexus caused by an oil line leak defect. Unfortunately I didn’t receive a defect recall notice and I am passed the threshold to receive help from any Lexus manufacturer. 

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It looks like RX400h vehicles do not have this issue. I cannot find any complaints about it.

  • Like 1
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