2018 Lexus ES 300H Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Airbags, electrical and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners


2018 Lexus ES 300H

Today’s driver wants a cost-effective vehicle that is also luxurious and stylish. The 2018 Lexus ES300H appears at first glance to cover those bases. The automaker claims that the newest lineup provides “class-leading efficiency,” but there’s so much more that comes with this car that owners didn’t sign up for. This vehicle features a malfunctioning electrical system, defective air bags and a faulty engine.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Hybrid vehicles rely heavily on a powerful and strong electrical system to run correctly. The 2018 Lexus ES300H struggles to get the minor electrical components to work right, let alone the most complicated systems.

One Edmunds user states, “The navigation software/operation system is THE dumbest, unfriendly, stupid system I have ever seen or used. It is absolutely useless unless you have the address. It is impossible to ask for and have navigation based upon: Navigate To, or Go To…Home Depot. The system will respond, “Italian Restaurants. Is this correct?” or similar. If I could change one aspect of this car it would be the entire radio/navigation operational system. It is THE stupidest.”

While this might seem humorous at first, it can become quite annoying for drivers that have to do it every day. Still, that’s not the largest electrical concern that owners are concerned about. Lexus issued Service Bulletin #LSB010817 that discusses a parasitic drain on the battery that causes the performance to decrease. Considering this vehicle relies on the battery, this becomes a large problem, and not something owners of luxury vehicles want to deal with. If Lexus customers wanted to deal with these concerns, they could have saved money and bought a Camry instead.

Problems with the Air Bags

When it comes to on-road safety, nothing quite compares to a set of air bags. Modern vehicles come with these systems to keep the occupants safe when everything is working the way it should, but that’s not the case with this Lexus model.

Look at this NHTSA complaint. “The contact owned a 2018 Lexus ES300H. The contact stated that while exiting the freeway at about 50 mph, unable to see very well during night time, the contact went off the pavement and onto the grass. The contact was on the right side of the guardrail and realized he was off the road then attempting to slow down but the vehicle slid on the grass. As a result, the contact crashed into a concrete wall. The front end of the vehicle jammed inward to the dashboard causing the steering wheel to encounter his chest. All the air bags deployed but the steering wheel air bag uninflated rapidly after deployment. The driver side door failed to open due to being jammed from the accident. The ‘inform device’ notified authorities that the contact was involved in a crash. The contact wiggled until he was released. A passerby stopped to assist and opened the front passenger side door and assisted the contact with exiting the vehicle. The EMS and the police arrived to the scene. They examined the contact chest pain, two blood pressure exams and echocardiogram on the scene. The following morning the contact sought further medical attention at the hospital where he was kept for 1 day. During his hospital stay there were x-rays and CT scan were performed. A police report was filed. The vehicle was totaled and was towed to a collision center. The contact called [dealer] to inform them of the incident. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 36,000.”

When it comes to discussing air bag issues, automakers are cautious about sharing too much information. After all, the past few years have caused a lot of air bag discussion that makes manufacturers nervous. That’s exactly what’s happening with Lexus. The company hasn’t issued any information about defective air bags. Instead, the organization prefers that consumers focus on “efficiency.” That’s precisely what the air bag in the above complaint did – it deflated efficiently. So good in fact that the owner barely knew it was open at all.

Problems with the Engine

With a hybrid setup, the engine and powertrain are set up slightly different but still have the same purpose. This vital piece of equipment is necessary to operate the vehicle; otherwise, it wouldn’t move at all.

One prominent engine-related complaint is left by an NHTSA user. “The contact leased a 2018 Lexus ES300H. While driving 65 mph, a chemical substance entered the cabin of the vehicle from the ventilation system. The contact experienced itching of the face, coughing and throat complications that required medical attention. The dealer was made aware of the failure and cleaned the interior of the vehicle, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 80.”

This owner didn’t get far before dangerous substances started infiltrating the cabin. What a scary situation to deal with, but it’s not the only engine-related failure that Lexus is dealing with. In fact, Service Bulletin #L-TT-0242-18_Rev talks about the engine coolant temperature gauge reading too hot and entering the red zone, despite no evidence of overheating. If a new terminology could be created based on this Lexus model is would be “hybrid lemon” because that’s precisely all this luxury car is good at being.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Lexus pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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