really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
142,730 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

The NHTSA is the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints can be spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem. See the Back button — blue bar at the very top of the page — to explore more.

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problem #4

Dec 312015

ES 300

  • 210,000 miles
Takata recall, my wife was involved in a frontal collision at @35mph in which her airbags did not deploy. I am concerned that since the sensors were knocked off during the impact, what could have happened to prevent the airboys from deploying? she was traveling at 35 mph into an intersection when she ran a red light and T-boned another vehicle. Fortunately the vehicle she hit was a Jeep Wrangler with a steel side bumper on all sides. So there way minimal damage to the Jeep.

- Stallings, NC, USA

problem #3

Oct 242014

ES 300 6-cyl

  • 127,000 miles
I accelerated from a stop light after it turned green. About 25 feet thru the light I heard the car behind me blowing their horn constantly. I looked in my rear view mirror to see what was going in. Then I thought I notice light smoke coming from my tailpipe. I applied my right turn blinker and pulled to the curve. As soon as I parked, I could see orange colored fire around the front of my car and along the side of my driver/passenger doors. I felt that me and my passenger wouldn't be able to exit the car without be burnt, but I knew we needed to get out immediately. I tried to calmly get my passenger to exit which we did mainly because she hadn't seen the flames. We were able to exit and I immediately call 911 and proceeded to clearing people from near my car. The fire dept and police arrived about 10-15 minutes later. The fire department extinguished the car then left. A police officer stayed until the tow co arrived. The car was towed away and I was given a ride to my residence.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #2

Aug 082014

ES 300 6-cyl

  • 175,000 miles
I own a 2002 Lexus ES300 and am the original owner. I have enjoyed the experience of driving the car to around 175K miles in nearly 12 years. So far, I did not have any major problems with the car until recently. Last Friday, Aug 8, 2014, my wife drove the car to a friend's place and was parked in a parallel parking area. There were 3 cars in that parking area including my car in 5 car parking area. The two parking spots behind my car were vacant. My wife was trying to back up to a spot right in front of another car which was parked there. While trying to backup, there was a sudden acceleration of the engine and hit the car right behind and that car went and hit another car that was behind that car. The impact was so much that there was significant damage to my car and another car that was right behind and minor damage to the third car. Not only the damage to one car right behind but displaced its position and direction that it was parked. The third car was pushed over to the curb and was about to hit the pedestrians that were nearby. There were eye witnesses and police were called to the accident scene and reported the incident. After the incident occurred, I was looking to see if there were any issues with sudden acceleration of the cars and any safety recalls. I did notice that there were quite a few complaints about the sudden acceleration and safety issues on 2002 Lexus ES300. I am kind of disappointed in the way the car malfunctioned and I want to know what NHTSA is doing about it and how it can help victims like me. Thanks and appreciate your response.

- Centreville, VA, USA

problem #1

Aug 072013

ES 300 6-cyl

  • 58,920 miles
My wife, who drives the Lexus all the time, was preparing to drive the car from the garage to drive downtown. She had her foot on the brake pedal (as is necessary to move the transmission to reverse). The moment it was engaged the car leaped backward, leaving tire marks on the cement of the garage and also the driveway itself. Her efforts to stop the car by stomping on the brake pedal had no effect. She grazed the house, moved through a flower bed, leaving a tire mark the whole distance, struck the corner of the house and continued up a small incline in the neighbor's yard, luckily missing a large tree there and came to a stop. The corner of the house removed was about 3-4 feet on each side of the corner juncture itself. There were two witnesses across the street in front of the house, both of whom immediately came to her aid and voiced the opinion that the car was truly moving at a high speed. My wife had no injuries other than being very shook-up and thankful that neither she or others were injured. Of course, the car is a mess: Bricks from the house impact fell on the hood, top, and trunk lid. A the right side of the car is scraped, one rear window is broken, the large rear window is gone, the trunk lid is in bad shape as is the rear bumper. The top has several dents and window trim also. My primary concern is whether or not the car is safe to drive after the external repairs are made. I believe only Lexus can tell me, if they will.

- Pantego, TX, USA