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Summary
  • The Lexus RX350 is one of the most reliable cars in the industry. It enjoys a 4/5 rating from RepairPal in terms of overall reliability.
  • Common problems exhibited by the Lexus RX350 include but are not limited to faulty rain sensors, oil leaks, and transmission failures.
  • Lexus RX350 models to avoid include the 2007 and 2010 RX350 models.

With its impressive safety ratings, stellar fuel economy, and great ownership costs, it’s no wonder the Lexus RX350 is considered one of the leading luxury SUVs. The model also has a forecasted depreciation rate of 28% after five years, which is better than most SUVs, according to CarEdge.com.

How Reliable Is the Lexus RX350?

The Lexus RX350 received above-average scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gives the model a 4.0 out of 5.0 rating, ranking it third out of 17 luxury SUVs. The automaker’s most recent lineup of RX vehicles also received an 85 out of 100 reliability score from J.D Power, ranking the model second among ten consumer-rated SUVs.

The annual repair and maintenance cost of the RX350 is approximately $550, which is lower than the average $800 for luxury SUVs. Owners of the RX350 bring in their vehicles for unscheduled repair and maintenance 0.4 times a year with an 8% probability of having a major issue. This is 3% lower than its competitors.

Common Lexus RX350 Problems

Despite having impressive reliability scores, the Lexus RX350 may run into problems caused by damaged or worn-out parts, which could affect its drivability. Here are the most common issues reported across its model years:

Faulty Rain Sensors

One of the many perks of driving a Lexus RX350 is having a rain-sensing windshield. It allows the vehicle to sense how much rain is on the windshield, which controls the wipers’ speed. But while this feature is designed to give drivers a better user experience, it has also been a source of problems for some owners.

Faulty rain sensors have been a commonly reported problem for the 2017 Lexus RX350 redesign. Some owners have complained that their sensor’s efficiency is reduced at night. Their wiper would also sometimes malfunction even though the dial is at maximum sensibility.

Oil Leaks

Many owners of the 2007-2015 RX350 model years have complained that their engine leaks oil when they drive.

2013 2015 Lexus RX 350 Lexus Newsroom
Some owners of the 2007-2015 RX350 model years have complained that their engine leaks oil when they drive. Image source: Lexus Newsroom.

Drivers of the affected model years have also reported hearing clicking noises from their engines due to a ruptured variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) oil line. This faulty part can also trigger the low engine oil message and oil pressure warning lights. It can result in complete engine failure due to oil starvation if left unaddressed.

Replacing an oil line typically costs anywhere between $20 and $85 plus labor costs.

Steering Wandering

Some owners of the 2015 RX350 have complained about a wandering steering wheel. Mismatched tires or uneven tire pressure, loose steering gear or linkage, suspension problems, excessive wheel toe-out, and steering gear binding can cause this problem.

Illuminated Airbag Warning Light

An illuminated supplemental restraints system (SRS) warning light has been a common issue found in many 2007-2010 and 2013-2014 RX350s. Owners of the affected model years have reported retrieving error codes B0111 and B0116, which may suggest a depleted airbag backup battery, faulty sensors, damaged airbag clock springs, or a wet airbag module.

If you suspect a similar issue in your vehicle, it’s best to have it checked by a licensed mechanic to get a proper diagnosis.

Malfunctioning Infotainment System

Owners of some 2007, 2010, and 2014 RX350s have complained about a malfunctioning radio, Bluetooth features, and navigation display. Fortunately, these problems don’t always require part replacements to fix. Checking for the latest software upgrades usually resolved these issues.

A/C Problems

Owners of some 2007-2013 RX350s have complained about seeing an A/C error message on their screens and their air conditioning units failing to blow cold air. There have also been reports of A/C units that work intermittently due to a faulty A/C amplifier.

Transmission Failure

Transmission failure has been a common complaint among 2013 RX350 owners. Some have reported that their SUV showed signs of hesitating before losing power a few days after. This may be due to low or contaminated transmission fluid, bad bearings, or faulty control modules.

Faulty Camshaft Timing Oil Control Valves

2012 Lexus RX 350 Lexus Newsroom
Problems with the variable valve timing (VVT) system have caused some 2007-2008 and 2012 RX350s to have illuminated AWD, traction control, and check engine lights. Image source: Lexus Newsroom.

Problems with the variable valve timing (VVT) system have caused many 2007-2008 and 2012 RX350s to have illuminated AWD, traction control, and check engine lights. A faulty camshaft timing oil control valve has also caused the affected vehicles to store the P0014 and P0012 OBD codes. A new oil control valve can cost anywhere between $40 and $120 plus labor costs.

Rattling Doors

Many owners of the 2010 RX350 redesign have complained about their front doors rattling while driving on the freeway. Some have reported that their doors came loose, creating a safety hazard for the driver and passengers. Loose nuts and bolts, misaligned doors, worn-out window regulators, and loose windows may cause this problem.

Engine Failure

There have been reports of some 2009 Lexus RX350s that had failing engines. The owners of the affected models reported that their SUVs broke down without any warning despite keeping up with their vehicles’ maintenance schedule. Factors that may cause engine failure include overheating, oil leaks, detonation, and improper lubrication.

Shift Lag

Shift lag has been a common complaint among 2008 Lexus RX350 owners. Delayed shifting is usually caused by valves sticking to the valve body, faulty shift solenoids, and damaged accumulators.

Keep in mind that, like other vehicles, the Lexus RX350 is bound to develop problems as it racks up mileage. So you must keep an eye out for the model’s most common issues to keep yours running for a long time. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of your RX350’s repair and maintenance schedules to ensure all its parts are working as they should.

2022 Lexus RX350 Problems

The 2022 Lexus RX350 isn’t significantly different from older year models. However, it remains a great luxury SUV option for many. Unfortunately, it isn’t perfect, and there are some important problems you should know about if you’re thinking of buying one.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2022 model an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Some of its biggest issues are highlighted below:

Defective Air Bags

Like the 2007-2010 and 2013-2014 RX350s, the 2022 model may also have some air bag issues. One owner details an accident where they were hit by another vehicle from behind, causing them to bump against the vehicle in front of them. Upon impact, the driver’s air bag deployed while the front passenger’s air bag didn’t. Because of this, the passenger sustained injuries.

Exploding Sunroof

Some 2022 Lexus RX350s come with a panoramic sunroof that spans the front and back seats, and while it offers natural lighting and a great view, a few owners have complained of their sunroof shattering without warning.

While this is an uncommon problem, an exploding sunroof can be a big safety issue. One 2022 RX350 owner complained that their sunroof suddenly exploded, causing them to think they were being shot. Luckily, no other cars were around, but a scare like that can cause any driver to swerve and hit a nearby vehicle in a panic.

Exhaust Noise And Vibration

Some owners have complained of a noisy and vibrating exhaust drone. Owners of the 2022 model claim that the exhaust makes a groaning sound when accelerating, and many also complain of a sluggish engine with a jerky transmission. While they assure that it is not an issue present in all 2022 RX350s, owners caution that this problem still remains unsolved.

Lexus RX350 Years to Avoid

If you’re in the market for a luxury SUV and wondering which Lexus RX350 years to avoid, you can check out this summary for the most common issues among popular model years:

Engine Oil Leaks Wandering Steering Wheel Illuminated Air Bag Warning Light Faulty radio, Bluetooth, and navigation display Air-conditioning issues Defective oil control valve Rattling Doors
2007 Lexus RX350 Problems
2010 Lexus RX350 Problems
2011 Lexus RX350 Problems
2015 Lexus RX350 Problems

Based on the number of common issues per model year, it would probably be best to avoid the 2007 and 2010 models of the RX350.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at CarParts.com

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Lexus , Vehicle Reliability Tagged With :
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