2020 Lexus RX450H Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system and service brakes issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2020 Lexus RX450H is a hybrid luxury model designed to turn heads. The automaker claims it is the “most advanced RX ever,” but it lacks advancement with the electrical system or service brakes. If this is the advanced version, it would be scary to see what happened before.

Problems with the Electrical System

As a hybrid vehicle, one would think that the electrical system would be top-notch, but it appears that even the basics weren’t constructed correctly. 

Check out this Edmunds review. “The sound system does not produce the quality of sound that one would expect at this price point. It sounds like what I would expect in a Ford Fiesta or Toyota Yaris. The Sirius radio frequently loses reception. This is not a signal problem as my wife’s car radio does not lose signal in the same spots where the Lexus does. Had I looked more closely at the sound system when considering purchasing the car I would have chosen something else.”

While this is downright annoying, there are larger electrical system issues. Service Bulletin #L-SB-0028-20 talks about how an excessive buildup of debris, lint and dust in the HV battery cooling fan or intake filter could reduce the efficiency overall. Part of the reason people buy this Lexus is to drive something more efficient, but this model is just a disappointment. Maybe it needs to become more “advanced.”

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Problems with the Service Brakes

It doesn’t matter how much a vehicle costs, the service brakes should be competent enough to stop before a collision occurs. Without a properly functioning braking system, the confidence of the driver decreases. 

That’s what is seen with this NHTSA complaint on the 2019, which is similar to the new model. “Brake noise, like a seal is barking on application of brakes while driving. Dealer and Lexus engineers state that it’s normal, don’t have a fix at the moment and released the vehicle. Brake was soft while driving and felt like brake pedal needs to be pushed much further to achieve braking on time.”

With consistent brake noise, it creates a fear that the system might fail when it’s needed the most. While Lexus has chosen not to talk about braking problems. However, Service Bulletin #L-SB-0024-20 talks about other structural defects that prove how terribly made this vehicle is. It states that the second row occupants might not be able to get out of the door because of a problem with the handle. It turns out that the door handle release cable might separate from the door handle body, leaving people trapped. However, this doesn’t seem to be a concern for parents who don’t want their kids to get loose, or owners trying to keep in-laws contained.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Tish

    I am having issues with my 2019 450hl! It seems like some kind of electrical shortage.

    The first strange occurrence was a clicking sound, like a pilot light igniting inside of the car.

    The next occurrence was the interior displays and light dimming. It was explained to me it’s when there’s a change in lighting, but this happens and then it doesn’t switch back to normal until the next time the car is turned on.

    The other occurrence is static when Bluetooth is connected. At first I thought it was my phone, but using the actual phone doesn’t do this.

    I’ll agree that the components of the body are not of good quality. The mud flap keeps moving, hitting my tire. I’ve never had any car do this before.

    It doesn’t seem like a consistent issue is creating these, so it’s hard to say anything other than a general electrical defect is creating the issues.

    Hopefully they work out all of these kinks.

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