Lexus Car Parts

#1

I have owned 4 Lexus vehicles. Out of the 4, two of these vehicles’ trunk struts gave out as soon as the warranty on the car was up. Peculiar? Read on. One Lexus service guy told me that the reason the struts went out on my SC430 (which has only 24,000 miles) is because the trunk is heavy and the car is 5 years old. The other service guy told me it’s because I hardly use the car (he noted the low mileage). I told them I would share this w/ the media–since they could not offer me anything but to replace the struts at full cost of parts and labor. They immediately offered, as a one time deal they said, to give me the parts, but I would pay the labor cost. Fine. My question: Are these faulty parts from the factory? Both the RX300 and the SC430 were purchased by us, brand new.BTW, the RX300 had 59,000 miles at the time the struts gave out. I thought I’d ask the experts, you guys. Thanks.

#2

If they were faulty from the factory they wouldn’t have lasted 24,000 miles and five years.

I’m afraid to ask what the Lexus dealer charges for this, but you could probably have the struts replaced elsewhere for less.

Many consider strut replacement a do-it-yourself project. You can buy struts at any auto parts store, and some stores may offer to install them for you. Failing that, any independent mechanic can do it.

The reason these struts are so readily available is because they wear out and need to be replaced periodically, even on a Lexus.

#3

You did not tell us what types of roads you drive on, and whether you carry an anvil in your trunk. Struts on lesser cars like Corollas and Sentras last easily 100,000 miles on smooth roads, so I’m puzzled as to why your much more expensive ones last only a fraction of that.

Both explanations you were given were pure drivel; my wife’s 1994 Nisan Sentra hs 115,000 miles on it and still has the original front and rear struts.

As per other poster, I would shop aropund; aftermarket struts installed may be cheaper than the Lexus dealer’s without the labor.

I would also want an independent party to verify that the struts are indeed “shot”.

#4

Re-read the OP’s post! The OP was referring to the struts that hold the trunk lid or the rear lift gate in the open position.

These are far cheaper than the Macpherson struts in the suspension, and are truly one of the easiest DIY repairs. While these parts shouldn’t have failed so soon, this is also not unheard-of on certain cars.

The struts supporting the rear hatch on my old Chevy became useless after about 3 years, but I don’t blame the OP for being annoyed at their failure on an expensive car like a Lexus. However, the low odometer mileage on his/her car has nothing to do with the situation. In reality, it sounds like the “design life” of these parts is not what it should be.

#5

VDC; sorry I missed that one; need better glasses. Agree the trunk struts are easy to replace, but should have lasted longer, and OP could shop around for these non-critical parts.

#6

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Mumbling garbage from insignificant trolls.

Of course these are factory parts. They are guaranteed to last as long as the warranty is in force. It seems to me that they should last for well over 10 years, but yours didn’t. Consider yourself lucky that they offered to pay for the parts. That’s what happens when you buy a cheap-o brand like Lexus.

#7

The guy in the service dept looked up the price. He quoted: $162 per strut. My independent mechanic had to replace the trunk struts on our other Lexus (RX300) and charged us $420 for parts and labor. My mechanic was going to buy generic parts, but as many of us know, Lexus has cornered the market on their parts. So, my mechanice had to order the parts from Lexus itself.

#8

Yes, Lexus is beginning to grate on my nerves and as far as quality, we’ve never owned our cars past 3-4 years to actually know if they are cheap or not. For alot less money, I know I can get a car that will last just as long as a Lexus.

#9

Well, they are essentially just Toyotas. Some of their models are unique to Lexus, and others are disguised Toyotas with better upholstery, wood grain trim, and more soundproofing, but underneath it all lies Toyota engineering. It is definitely good engineering, but perhaps it is geared more toward the type of longevity that one would expect on a “popularly priced” car, rather than on a luxury car.

#10

I don’t know what kind of car an SC430 is exactly, but if the lid is really heavy you can expect to change the lift-struts every 5 years or so. Like the other posters said, they can usually be had for very cheap at a parts store and are a very easy DIY job. Or an independent shop can do them for a fraction of the dealer’s price.

The struts themselves are usually an off-the-shelf part that a car maker buys from a 3rd party and then puts the mounting hardware for the particular application on. This means that for one you can’t really blame Toyota/Lexus for these things failing, but it also means that the ones you buy from the parts stores are usually just as good, although some times the mounting hardware isn’t quite right and they’re a little tricky to get on.

Another trick I’ll mention is that if they’re just starting to get lazy, you can usually get away with just changing them one at a time. But it’s just delaying the inevitable.

#11

As I recall, the Lexus SC 430 was a Toyota Supra with a different body, for about $10,000 extra. I doubt that the trunk lid could be really heavy, given the small size of it on that vehicle.

AsI said previously, most Lexuses (Lexi?) are essentially fancy versions of Toyotas at very inflated prices. Yes, they are excellent cars, but if parts like trunk/liftgate struts only last for a few years, I think that it is appropriate to be annoyed, given the very high purchase price of the vehicle.

#12

It’s difficult to say on this but at 5+ years of age it could be that they simply weakened due to age and cold weather coming on could have finished them off.
Ignore the second service guy; low use or mileage has nothing to do with it.

Lexus is just like everybody else; many of their parts are subcontracted out and Lexus does not likely even manufacture these struts at all.
Shock absorbers/struts wear out in 5 years and they work on the same principle so why not trunk lifts.

Things like thio occur with any car made and when the warranty is up, it’s up.
Threatening to turn them over to the local TV station is not a classy way of handling this and if they’re offering you free parts then take it without complaint.

Things wear out or go bad and everybody always wants it repaired for free; up to and including engines and transmissions.

#13

Perhaps you are correct, but after owning 2 Lexus vehicles where the trunk struts gave out after 3 years, I began to suspect cheap parts sold under the guise of Lexus quality.

I forgot to share with everyone, the integrity of the Honda dealer near our home–and how it influenced the way I approached Lexus. The story I am about to share, is of course, our true fortune. But it was a surprise that a dealer selling a car that costs alot less than any Lexus, would have more integrity!

We bought a brand new Honda Accord (2004). After owning this car for 3 years (there we go again, different make though), the stereo and the whole display panel that includes the heat temp, etc. went out. Of course, the car was just past warranty. We called Honda to make an appt. and of course, assuming we had to pay for the repairs and parts. After hearing our problem, the service manager stepped in and said he would replace the stereo and whatever parts went out, FREE OF CHARGE. The manager told us that that part should not have died so soon and Honda would foot the bill. This to me was an unexpected kind gesture and evidence of a dealership that is honest and upfront.

#14

So what exactly was not working on your Honda and exactly what did they replace?

It sounds right offhand based on what you say was not working that the problem was likely nothing more than a 25 cent fuse.

So you understand how warranty works, the dealer is NOT going to pay for a stereo or anything else that is claimed to be under warranty. Honda Motor Company (parent corporate) might.
Just for hoots, fish up the VIN (serial number) on this Honda and contact the regional office of Honda Motor Company. Ask for a copy (and there MUST be one) of any warranty claim on this problem.
If it’s not available then you were likely BSed over a 25 cent fuse. Pretty cheap PR is a way of looking at it.

#15

Something to keep in mind is that Lexus is no different than any other car maker. A huge number of parts on a Lexus are not even made by them at all.

All electrics, fuel injection, suspension parts, shocks/struts, glass, window motors, ignition switches, drive axles, brakes, bearings, mufflers/exhaust, are just a few examples.
Others could very well be airbags, seats, plastic parts such as headlamp and taillamp lenses, etc, etc, etc.

By the time you strip off all non-Lexus made parts you’re pretty much left with a rolling body shell with an engine sitting in it.

In many cases, car companies don’t even build their own transmissions.

#16

You’re thinking of the SC400. The SC430’s different, with a folding hard top and a dual-hinged trunk lid, so it could well be heavier. As all others have said, these struts do go out, shouldn’t be hard to replace, but they could be hard to find, given there’s no Toyota equivalent and the SC430s sell in small numbers.

#17

I don’t know. You raise some good questions. I do know that Honda had to order the part or parts and it took about 2-3 weeks for it to arrive. Does that happen w/ a simple fuse?

#18

Camille, it looks to me as though you’ve had more than your share of Lexus service issues. I note your other recent post at http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/1943210.page

I’d go back to Honda and be happy again.

#19

Thanks. Yes, we plan to do just that.

#20

No, my husband just told me it was the entire stereo system that they had to replace.