Ask Someone: Lexus ES 300h #1519243565

has anyone had the issue of pushing the start button, the car shows RPM’S in EV mode, put the shift lever into D and the car will not move. The message on dash says “To Start Vehicle, Put Shift Lever into P,” then the dash says “POWER ON,” when I put the Shift Lever into P, the next message shows a key symbol–then I have to push the Start button 2 times to get the car to start? Lexus advisor said “not able to replicate” – had no explanation of event.

If you push the “Start” button without applying the brake you will put the ignition in the “on” position, the display will show “Power on”, this is not the run or “Ready” position, the vehicle cannot be driven.

The vehicle must be in sport mode to view the tachometer, otherwise the display shows the power/economy meter. Are you sure you were viewing the engine speed?

I went to a 3-day media event on the ES300h, and have driven the ES300h twice in weekly tests and also the Avalon and Camry, which use an identical drivetrain. I know the confusion you are experiencing. I cannot say “yes” to your question though. I think you do have a glitch. I understand how EVs and hybrids with EV modes work. Despite that, I am frequently in them thinking “Ok, why is it not going?” and more often “Did I shut it off, or did I just shift to park?” A better system would be helpful.


You are right the display shows power/economy & the little green EV, please see attached pix.
This (event) has happened several times to my wife & I, could it be just not pressing the brake pedal hard enough? We will check out if we are just removing our foot off the brake pedal to quickly.
We really like the car but are concerned there might be an electrical issue.
Our lease is up this year and would like to purchase the car if this (event) is not something that will need an expensive repair later on.
I have attached a photo of my dash during this (event)


Michael Huff

Check the selling prices for vehicles like yours compared to the buy it price. Also find out what happens to the warranty. Frankly, if I had a lease vehicle that gave me even one problem that thing is gone at lease end.

All the warning lights are on, this indicates the ignition is on but not in the “Ready” position. Without pressing the brake pedal push the start button and observe each position of the ignition, accessory, on and off. It will not go to the ready position if you don’t apply the brake.

Observe the start button when you apply the brake to start the vehicle, it should show a green light when the brake pedal is pressed, it will be orange if the brake is not applied.

This is a picture of a CT200h with the ignition “ON” and gear selector out of park, same message and warning lights.