Lexus has a long history of successfully bridging the gap between affordable Japanese cars and European luxury vehicles. The Lexus GS 400-with a short two-year production run-manages to capture this spirit perfectly. It was a perfect balance of price and luxury that brought unparalleled comfort and performance to people who used to not be able to afford both at the same time. The GS 400 was a bridge of sorts in and of itself-paving the way for the transition from the GS300 and the superior GS430. On its own, however, it was still very capable. Two years is a short time to accrue a lot of problems; however, here are the two most common ones experienced by some users.
This is a problem that is common with the 1998 Lexus GS400-the very first one of the line to roll of the assembly line. It's a simple problem by and large, and is simply an inability of the front seat belt to retract once pulled and engaged. This might seem harmless or a mild inconvenience, but that inability to go taut could potentially be dangerous when the seatbelt is broken in case there's an accident-it will be like not having any seatbelts at all.
Fortunately, this really is a rare occurrence, and it is limited to a few models here and there. An affected vehicle can simply be replaced by the dealer. An alternative is an aftermarket replacement which, in this case, will be on the level with an OE part due to the simplicity of the mechanism.
Again, this is a hiccup of the 1998 model and is more serious than the preceding gripe. For one, it is difficult to detect until they are needed-as in an accident. For another thing, when it isn't working at all, the consequences of the malfunction are readily-and immediately apparent. This one is actually pretty straight forward: do not wait for an accident before having getting the airbaGS checked.