Explosive sunroofs, faulty airbags, and leaking fuel are issues that are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners
Toyota established the luxury Lexus brand in 1989 and has since sold millions of vehicles globally. The original RX luxury crossover debuted in North America in 1998. It now comes in four configurations that indicate powertrains, the RX 350 being one of them.
RX stands for Radiant Crossover. The model name chosen to represent the bright new future for these cars at the start of the 21st century. There have been four generations of the RX, with the fifth scheduled for release as a 2023 model.
While the RX 350 is generally regarded as a reliable SUV, it’s far from perfect, as complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other platforms reveal.
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Most Common Problems
According to NHTSA records, problems are varied. There are only five complaints on record as at mid-September 2022, but they highlight significant issues. These include malfunctioning airbags, explosive sunroofs, leaking fuel, and vibrating mirrors.
A complaint filed as an “unknown or other” problem describes how fire destroyed an RX 350 on an interstate highway in 20 minutes.
In addition to complaints to the NHTSA, negative reviews posted on Edmunds talk about road noise, vibrations issues, and jerky transmission.
One review that suggests consumers “look elsewhere for (a) mid-size SUV” says the decision to buy a 2022 RX 350 was because of “Lexus’ reputation for superior quality and reliability.” But after driving the SUV for a week, the verdict is that the ride isn’t smooth, and the transmission is jerky and surges at lower speeds. The SUV rattles and squeaks in multiple places and the rearview mirror on the driver’s side vibrates, making it difficult to use.
Rating the value of this SUV 2 out of 5 stars, the reviewer goes on to share dealership response. “I’m told transmission is ‘normal’, (the) mirror issue is known and has no fix, and not all of the squeaks/rattles were addressed.”
2022 Lexus RX Complaint Summary
|Number of Complaints
|Unknown Or Other
|Back Over Prevention: Warnings
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
|Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
Airbags are part of every vehicle’s safety equipment. When they don’t work in an accident, people’s lives are at risk.
An Alabama-based complaint from a passenger who was in an accident states that the vehicle was struck from behind while in standstill traffic. The impact shifted the RX 350 and it was hit again on the front driver side of the vehicle. Both people in the car were wearing seatbelts at the time.
On impact, both airbags deployed on the driver’s side (front and back), but not on the front passenger side. As a result, the passenger was injured. “I suffered a concussion and a herniated disc.”
The NHTSA undertakes 5-star safety ratings on most cars so that anyone searching for a car knows which are safer than others. Their rating for the 2022 Lexus RX 350 frontal crash tests aren’t great. The front passenger side test gets a 4-star ranking and the front driver side only 3. So, it stands to reason that if the driver side airbag hadn’t deployed, the injuries could have been worse.
The airbags also didn’t deploy in the incident, mentioned above, where a fire wiped out an RX 350.
In May 2022, an owner from Michigan was driving on the Interstate 50 highway in Iowa with cruise control set at 70 mph. Suddenly the warning light for AWD failure came on followed by the engine light and all other warning lights. The driver coasted into the breakdown lane, noticing a “definite loss of power.”
At that moment, a “fellow motorist (was) running toward the car with (a) fire extinguisher. I saw black smoke and fire coming from (the) front of (the) car.” Forced to evacuate the car on the interstate, the owner says that “the car was consumed in about 20 minutes.”
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After a dealer told a 2022 Lexus RX 350 owner from Florida that a sunroof that had exploded was covered by the vehicle’s warranty, Lexus denied the claim. Instead, she was told to claim on her insurance policy.
It was a brand new car with less than 4,000 miles on the clock when the incident happened in June 2022. The owner and her husband were traveling on the interstate at the time with no other cars around them. We “thought we had been shot.” Shards of glass fell on them when they tried to open the sunroof. The damaged glass was pointing upward and there was nothing in the space between the roof and the sunroof closer.
“There were no warnings and it scared the heck out of me and my husband. (We) followed (the) suggested cover for (our) return trip home, which just flew off.”
Fuel Tank Problems
An NHTSA complaint from an RX 350 owner in Texas maintains that the vehicle’s fuel tank is exposed underneath the car. Because of this manufacturing defect, something impacted the tank – probably “small debris” – and caused a leak.
They discovered the problem when they “smelled gas in the car and noticed fuel going low fast. I pulled off the freeway and tried to fill (up the) gas and noticed the gas was leaking from a hole in the exposed area of a corner on the tank. My family was able to safely jump out of the car, and 911 was called. There were no warning signs on (the) dashboard.
“I don’t drive off road or over any objects that I am aware (of) as there is no light or heavy damage underneath except (to the) fuel tank.”
But when they reported the incident, Lexus insisted “I did extreme off-road driving to cause this damage, which is not true. If a stone hits the tank to cause the hole and leak the gas, it’s a scary situation for everyone. Lexus doesn’t believe in my story. The gas tank is left exposed and that’s where it cracked. I drove almost 75 miles in a brand new Lexus RX 350 with fuel leaking, which was scary.”
Ultimately, the complaint states that Lexus is not very helpful and wants the owner to keep quiet! Photographs supplied to the NHTSA show the vehicle leaking fuel at the gas station.
We mentioned the Edmunds complaint about a driver’s side mirror vibrating. An NHTSA complaint highlights this same issue. The concern is that it causes a double image while driving that affects safety.
An Edmunds review states: “I love the exterior and interior (of the) 2022 RX 350.
“I am not happy, however, with the road noise and instances when it feels the engine is sluggish! Also I feel a thumping at times! Took to dealer but no solution!”
What to do if your 2022 Lexus RX 350 is a Lemon? Your Lemon Rights
This post illustrates how one make and model vehicle can have a multitude of different issues. They don’t affect every vehicle and there’s no way a prospective purchaser can know in advance which individual vehicles are affected.
If your 2022 Lexus RX 350 has issues that impact its use, safety, or value, fill in our contact form or call us. We will evaluate your case free of charge and assess whether we think you have a lemon.
Lemberg Law has negotiated settlements for many clients, including vehicle replacements and refunds. We can do the same for you.