Question about 2007 Lexus ES 350

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Transmission flare Haven't read new or recent complaints about transmission flare from 2008 ES 350 owners. Does it means the problem is now fixed? For owners that recently bought ES 350 (built date after September 2007), do some of you (hopefully none) have experienced the transmission flares?

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I'm thinking of buying a 2008 ES 350 and have read the transmission flare discussions on different websites. I wouldn't want to venture a guess as to what the chance is of getting a new ES 350 with a flare problem: 0.1%, 1%, 10%, 50%? If the ES 350 has a flare problem, what is the chance of it being a severe problem vs. a minor nuisance: 0.01%, 1%, 10%, 90%? I've read about other problems afflicting the ES 350 such as engine knocks, interior rattling noises, and wind noise. I'm sure the ES 350 has some minor problems too but those are the major ones I can recall. The easy answer for the potential buyer is to cross off Lexus from the list. Why take the chance? The ES 350 was easily my #1 choice in terms of features and value. I was attracted to the Lexus brand because my impression was that Toyota and Honda generally make the highest-quality under-$40K cars in the world. What would make more sense than buying from Toyota's "luxury" division? Car magazine journalists regularly write about "legendary Lexus quality." That leads to a contradiction: Why does Toyota have such a stellar quality reputation even though it has had ongoing FWD transaxle problems since 1999? Why can't Toyota figure this out? Shouldn't Toyota thoroughly test pre-production models instead of making its customers responsible for quality assurance? Replaced transmissions, buybacks, amazing. It's hard to figure out the precise truth and a manufacturer is probably going to avoid transparency in this kind of situation, so I think I should move on to other makes and models. Any suggestions for FWD alternatives to the 2008 ES 350?

Posted on May 14, 2008

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