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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

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.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Lexus RX450H

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Vehicle Speed Control

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.”

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 13, 2020
I took the car to metro express car wash in denver. As the car progressed along the tracks, the tall brush approached the car and the collision avoidance system got activated, the car got pushed off-track and brushed against all kinds of tubes, pipes and scratched and dented the entire right (passenger) side. The cost to repair this damage at the lexus certified body shop (required by my lease agreement with lexus financial) is ,000 (and counting). Only about 50% is covered by state farm because the lexus certified shop is not on their list of preferred shops. Nothing in the owners manual covers the behavior of the collision avoidance system nor did the dealers 'demo' of the extensive technical features caution me of what I should be doing in such a case. The car wash only asked the car be in neutral and the automatic wipers be switched off. I have for the past month (case number 2009080358) tried to impress on lexus that this attempt to deny any responsibilty has been met with a total disregard to my situation
CategoryVehicle Speed Control
DateMar 17, 2020
Tl* the contact owns a 2020 lexus rx 450h. The contact stated that while parking the vehicle in a parking lot, depressing the brake pedal the vehicle moved forward independently. The contact stated that she panicked and crashed into a restaurant. There were no warning lights illuminated. The contact did not sustain injuries. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was towed to the contact's residence. The vehicle was later taken to lexus of woodland hills (21701 ventura blvd, woodland hills, ca 91364), where a diagnostic testing was not completed due to the fees. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was later taken to an insurance independent mechanic where a diagnostic testing was completed of the accident damage. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and informed the contact that an inspector will be sent out. The contact stated received a letter from the manufacturer stating that per the event data recorder that the brake pedal was being depressed during the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 240. *ln*jb

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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  • 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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