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RX350 2021 Seat Cushion Discomfort


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My new RX350 has the most uncomfortable seat cushions that hit in a very strange way.  The several ways I can describe it would be rather indelicate.  Let's just say it feels like there a divider going down the middle, or I am sitting on an egg...OK...it feels like I am being goosed by my car seat!  All the seats in the vehicle have that feeling, but I am most concerned about the drivers seat. I notice it more some times than others.  I have only driven locally, so I don't know how bad a long trip will feel.  My dealer says there is a layer of gel as a padding that is normal: I thought it was the seat ventilation apparatus. They said there is nothing they can do.  Some people feel it...others don't.  I am a small older lady.  I will be meeting with the Lexus area Representative, but I am not expecting much resolution.  My old 2004 RX330 was very comfortable, but it was time for something new.  Has anyone experienced anything like this in their new RX350?  

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Dawg gonnit. That does not sound good at all. Very good description by the way. It sounds like your car was supposed to have inflated seats and the air leaked out. Just kidding but my gosh. 

Keep pestering Lexus. 

 

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Consumer Reports does rate your vehicle's front seats as much better than average. Sometimes those with very little body fat are less comfortable sitting on seats that are extremely comfortable for the average-sized person.

Here's a photo of the ratings that include your RX.

2 row SUV ratings.jpg

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Thank you. As a CR subscriber I have seen the rating, which is one of the reasons I stayed with the RX. I am not teeny tiny, and every other car seat has been fine. A neighbor who is considerably broader in the beam, and heftier, also found the discomfort. (Hope she doesn’t read this!)

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Just go down to your dealership and sit in a bunch of the 21s and see what you find. 

My wife raves about the seats in both the 18 and 20.  Being a bicycle rider, my butt is so hard I couldn't tell the difference between seats in a Lexus RX or a ford Pinto, which sadly to say I once owned. Called it a Splint-o, or a Bic lighter, and other bad names...  The 20 and probably the 21 RX now have air-conditioned seats, where as the 18 did but hardly cooled your seat at all. We called it Faux Air...

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  • 3 weeks later...

You said that all the seats in your RX have the same feel to your bottom. We just bought a new 21 RX350 and after reading your post I had to go see if I could feel what you feel. Actually our seats are quite comfortable and I do not feel any sort of divider at all. Not attempting to make a joke here but is it possible your seats were made on a Friday or Tuesday after a long weekend? I suspect there are humans in a factory putting the seats together and it might be possible you just got poorly cushioned seats. Have you gone to a dealer and sat in other 2021 seats to see if they all feel the same to you? Our seats are leather and vented for both heat and cooling if that makes any difference. We have not yet tried the heat function but the cooling seems to work quite well for the seat back and not so great for the bottom. I can place my hand on the bottom between my legs and I do feel the cooling but not so much under my rear and legs covering the vent holes. If I lean forward away from the seat back I can feel and hear the blower going.

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Hi, Gamalot. You are fortunate that your seats are comfortable!  I’ve gone up the chain of command with my seats, and met with the Lexus Area Rep a few weeks ago. He was completely intrigued about what someone has described as a “ bubble”, which is now most notable in the back seat cushion. ( as well as drivers seat).  It is extremely apparent and of no known cause. He even tried to puzzle out where the seats might have been manufactured. He was taking this up to corporate, I guess. I did try other car seats, and still felt something. The Rep offered to consider exchanges, but that didn’t make much difference, and I only want the RX 350. Makes me wonder if the whole batch of the 2021s sent just to my dealer is utterly strange. Again, some people feel discomfort in the front seats, but others don’t. The local Tech specialist, after my initial complaint, even started feeling this “ thing” in his own RX, but not to the degree I do.  No one could deny the giant seat bubble in the back seat, however. The front seat heating and cooling work just fine. He did offer to pay for any seat cushions that might help... haven’t tried that yet. I would like to just find out what the deal is on the manufacture but I’m not holding out hope. I still haven’t driven any more than 15 miles so I don’t know long term effects. And my husband has only driven with me a couple of times... passenger seat made his legs numb... but he already has issues. 
I might be trading in for an Audi or Mercedes before long!!!!

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According to the 2020 CR Buying Guide's, list of Used Cars to avoid, it showed that: Lexus had zero recent model years. MB had 10 vehicles to avoid. Audi had five.

They make a heavily padded seat / slip over for use when riding a bicycle. That might work for long trips. It would definitely zero out the effect of a bump in the center, if you look at a picture of one.

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GG, I just snapped a picture of the drivers seat in our 2021 RX. There is no noticeable hump on any of our seats. If your seats do show a hump can you post a photo of the drivers seat so we can see it? I do not feel any discomfort nor does my wife when we sit in either the driver or passenger seats.

user.JPG

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My seats look like yours. You can’t feel anything with your hands. Nothing appears obvious. Only when I sit do I feel something more like a bubble. Again, some people don’t feel a thing, others do. It’s like a glob towards the back of the seat cushion. Or a very slender divider. 
I appreciate your interest. Your seats must have been manufactured on a good day!

That reminds me!  I placed a 7.5 lb dumbbell  upright on the rear seat “egg” to see if the glob would spread out. Since I wasn’t the one driving this weekend I forgot about it. I’ll check in the morning to see if that worked ( not holding out hope!). 

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  • 1 month later...

We have a 2019 RX350 and it has the most uncomfortable seats ever. When we drive long distance (300+ miles) we bring our sitting cushion or a pillow to sit on. Both my girlfriend and I have a hard time sitting on these new seats for a long time because they are so darn hard and uncomfortable.

In addition, the car is very loud inside - you can hear a lot of wind noise and road noise - compared to the older vehicles I feel Lexus quality is going downhill. Once our lease is up I don't think we will be buying another Lexus. Somewhat disappointed with Lexus as their rivals BMW, Mercedes in similar price points offer more luxury and better interior. Shoot even the new Volvo's and Audi's are nicer. 

Hope Lexus gets this message and does something to improve their interior. 

I've owned a 2015 RX450h, 2007 ES350, 99 ES300, 95 LS400 - to me the Lexus' from the 90's were the most comfortable next to our 2015 RX450h. 

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Some have mentioned there could be a gel filled pad in the seat cushion but I can't confirm this. If there is in fact a gel pad then it is very possible the shape of your rear is what is causing this uncomfortable egg you feel. I once bought a seat pad from Temperpedic for my office chair. It felt great when I sat on it but after just a few minutes the foam would press down and redistribute into the middle between both of my cheek bones and cause a lump in between. When I got up I could see a well defined lump in the middle, causing what I call a "Wedgie" and 2 indents where my rear end bones pressed the foam flat pushing it toward the middle. I absolutely hated that cushion and gave it away. We are now close to 2,000 miles on our RX350 and have not noticed any such problem as you describe so far but only my wife has taken a long 400 mile drive to visit family with no comfort complaints. Toward the end of this month I will be driving 10 hours straight and will have a better assessment when I get home.

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  • 1 month later...

I have the same exact problem with my 2019 Lexus 450H.   I have taken my car in for a detailed inspection of the drivers seat.  I was told that this bump is an "inherent characteristic" of the seat.  Well it is an inherent flaw!  I am of small frame, and have had two low back surgeries in the past three years.  The last surgery, relieved my low back pain and leg pain.  However when I drive my car, I cannot be in it long as it causes these symptoms. The pain eases out after a few hours when I'm done driving but returns if I drive the car again. I have had my coccyx bone and and then my sacrum bone adjusted in the past few months by my physical therapist.  I have been released from official physical therapy treatments, so this is an out of pocket expense. I was told that this problem is from sitting at an angle.  I do this to avoid the bump. Also, I paid $400 for new lambs wool seat covers, but they did nothing to help.  I drive with two folded washrags on each side of the lump to help minimize its height.  Ridiculous to have to do this for a car that is considered a "luxury" vehicle.  I have just taken the car in for a recall of the fuel pump.  Supposedly they will check into replacing the seats. But then again, no one called me to give me an update, even though they said they would.  I will check again next week.  I was told that there is no other seat design that can be put in its place.  However, I did drive a 2021 (same model).  The back of the seats are softer, and the base of the seat still has the lump but it is not as noticeable.  My husband does not feel the bump, but others do.  I cannot drive a vehicle that causes me pain. We had a 2010 Lexus 350RX which I drove for 10 years.  Loved that car, but dread driving the one I have now.  If Lexus does not try to help solve this issue, we have no choice but to sell the vehicle.  

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Hi, Brenda. I am so sorry to hear of your difficulty, but on the other hand I am overjoyed to know there is someone else like me, and I’m not going nuts! Like you, I haven’t gotten any feedback after I met with the corporate representative way back in May. I haven’t tried to follow up… I guess I’ve  given up. He did say they would reimburse me for a seat cushion, but every time I look into getting one I can’t make a decision as to what would actually work. I’ll try your folded washcloth recommendation!   I too am a small lady. On the other hand, I’ve been staying close to home and haven’t driven more than 20 miles at a time. And on some of those occasions the Terrible Lump is almost not there. And other times is. It seems to have a life of its own. The horror movie The Blob!  Would love to hear if you get resolution. Please keep in touch. 

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I cannot for the life of me understand why the lump would be in the middle when it would seem if there are any lumps they should be on the sides to prevent butt groove. 

Perhaps there is a padding that is meant to spread the load evenly like a pillow top mattress does, but like many pillow top mattresses some areas seem to sag and end up causing discomfort for some. 

Best of luck ladies. Sheesh. 

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Seats are designed for the "majority" of people. Unfortunately, not everyone will be comfortable in every seat. When I rented a $230,000 McLaren 570S Spider, it took only 20 minutes on the highway for the driver's seat to cause a very aggravating lower back pain. I guess I didn't fit the design very well.

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26 minutes ago, RX400h said:

Seats are designed for the "majority" of people. Unfortunately, not everyone will be comfortable in every seat. When I rented a $230,000 McLaren 570S Spider, it took only 20 minutes on the highway for the driver's seat to cause a very aggravating lower back pain. I guess I didn't fit the design very well.

But no one expects to be “ goosed” by their car seat!

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Very true. I wonder if your dealership has had any similar complaints? Sometimes an auto upholstery shop can add padding.
We have a couple of those shops in this area.

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i feel exactly the same thing in my 2021 RX seat! There is a bar or a metal box on the seat cushion. the seats are so uncomfortable that make road trips not as enjoyable anymore. I came from a 2014 RAV4 limited. The seats in the RAV4 are much more comfortable.....I have always dreamed of having a lexus and i finally got one...but now it turned into a nightmare......i am taking it back to my dealership and see what they can do. 

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Good luck!  Keep us posted if you have success!!!! The best I came away with was an offer to pay for a seat cushion. Although the area rep did say we could work something out to switch vehicles, but I felt the lump in another RX. I was told the seat is manufactured by inserting a gel as cushioning. They said the heating and cooling apparatus is not in that spot. The back seat also has a lump, and is not heated or cooled. And as I said previously, at least for the driver’s seat, the Terrible Lump had a life of its own!

Maybe we can start a movement protesting RX seats!!!!
 

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Just to be specific - You should probably change that movement to "protesting 2021 RX seats" because I forced my fist into every square inch of both the front and back seats of my 2020, and I can assure you that there are no humps of any kind in any of the seats in this 2020 RX.  

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I can actually feel it with my hand when i press on the seat. i can feel the metal box.....i tried pressing the seat on my RAV4....didn't feel any lump/metal box. very plush! it's sad that my toyota has much better seats than a lexus....

i did some research online and found on another Lexus forum that someone had the same problem and his dealership was able to add some padding to the seat cushion....i'm hoping my dealership would do the same....i will let you know! I love everything of my RX but the seats are killing me.....

May i ask if you have the regular version or the F Sport? I have the F Sport. I am ok with it being firm....but the metal box on the seat cushion is really not something I expect from a Lexus vehicle.....

However, i couldn't feel the lumps on the backseat. it's very comfy and it was the expectation that I have for a Lexus vehicle. Now we are fighting to sit at the back on road trips....lol

I remember driving my aunt's 2010 RX350 many years ago....it was super comfortable!!!!!!! not sure what's going on with the newer models....

Edited by J.89
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Hi. I have the regular version. The F sport did feel too firm for me. 
The person who was able to get the extra padding must go to a kinder, gentler dealership. Mine ( Pohanka) said they just couldn’t touch the seats. 
I previously had a 2004 RX… and of course it was super comfy. 

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