By James Wong

LSe-2

I always believed our LS was a bastion of reliability, while the Touran had the odd CEL popping up on the dashboard and the S204 reluctantly starting when warm. I had this unshakeable impression that Japanese cars were more reliable. But it was shattered when we sent our LS460 for service last week.

Among other things, it needed a $12,000 replacement of control arms and associated bearings, and a $2850 replacement of both rear shock absorbers. We were also quoted $300+ for a car battery and $24 for a key fob battery.

Mind you, our mileage is currently 120,000km and the car is only 7.5 years old. It’s a huge shock when the bill first came to our hands, and it didn’t fade over the week. We picked a LS with no air suspension, just because we thought the more traditional mechanical suspension setup would be able to last longer. Top Tip: it’s not true! We’re not sure if the air-suspended LS has the same control arms as well, but Lexus should seriously re-think about the longevity of these parts.

At $14,850 this is more than 10% of the cost price of the car when we bought it used!

Apparently, all of the control arms (8) had to be replaced at the same time, and the complexity of getting them out meant that labour was the major cost of the job. I still couldn’t believe every control arm was at least $1,000 a pop.

So we went to an outside workshop which got the same exact job done for a little over $7,000. Still painful, but a lot more bearable. I guess this really shows how much the official dealer is overcharging.

My impression of Japanese cars is quite damaged from this episode, and I’m beginning to think this unfair advantage we give to Japanese reliability is all just a baseless mindset. And it is – how do we easily forget Toyota’s recalls but remember VW’s so insistently?

I’ll need some time to recover. Meanwhile, I’ll go on a Japanese-free diet for a while…

 

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20 Responses to “The LS460 gets a $15,000 bill”

  1. Phil

    Haha

    I am the TS for this 07 LS460 upper and lower control arm replacement and I am residing in SG!

    Reply
    • Lenspeed

      Hi Phil, glad to know I found a kindred spirit suffering this issue! Lexus reliability is not all its cracked up to be, as it seems.

      Reply
  2. Krishna

    I had done my both F.shock for $220 plus $200 for tools and just bought control arm bushing for $365 (plus another $250 for tools). It is very cheap if you know how to work on cars. My 08 lexus LS460 has 136K miles on it.

    Reply
    • Kiran Nangia

      Really Can you do mine? Or tell me where a mechanic is that can? This is so unbelievable.

      Reply
  3. Jae

    I just found out today and I am passed off that lexus knew about the premature bushing issues from 07 LS models. The dealer mechanics have seen 07 LS with worn busings at 30k. Consequently, they have changed the material and design to address the issue. However, they are leaving the LS customers to fend for themselves. I’ve had problems with premature tire wear from about 25k. Mile or so. My 07 LS has 119k. Miles. I never though the premature tire wear (tire tread being eatten up in the inside 1 inch.) was due to defective rubber bushings on the car. I just found out it will cost me $5000 to fix this issue. This is from a reasonable independent mechanic. The cost estimate from the dealer is probably double my estimate. Who the hell spends $5000-$10,000 to change $20 rubber parts under the car? Well, this is what happened. The Lexus for their benefit decided to design the control arms so the they can. Make the part. Such that they can just change the entire arm instead of replacing the bushing in a traditional way. This is much easier for their service department. However, makes the part 10 times more expensive and passes on the cost to the customers. The only reason why I purchased this car vs. Leasing or leasing a German car was my thinking to drive this car to 200k miles. The Toyota reliability right? Well, after 7 years and 120k. miles, I am being proven wrong.
    So, I call the dealer where I bought my car from. I tell them the story. They said that they will most likely not honor my request to reduce the cost of the replacement to a redesigned busings even though they have known about the history of this bushing issue on the 07 LS. Even though they have a record of my uneven tire wear from 30k miles. Totally different from my past experience with Acura. They cover the bill for rebuilding my Integra engine due to premature water pump failure at 40k. I slowly went away from Honda product due to their wacky exterior car design.
    I probably will sell the car to a Toyota or a Lexus dealer. I don’t want others to suffer from their mistake. Also, I will not trade it in for another Lexus car. I will not buy another Toyota product.

    I hope Lexus reads this my comment and realize they have just lost another valuable, experienced and vocal customer.

    Reply
  4. Kiran Nangia

    I want to know why we haven’t tried to sue them for this nonsense. I have 2 Lexus LS 460, my first one went 270,000 and is still strong. People want it when they see it. I owe that car my life! Its safety was the only reason I bought it. AT the time I did 30000-40000 miles a year, on the worst road in the country with tractor trailers killing people left and right. My ’07 cost me double what I paid for it used, in repairs and safety. No one wants to talk about this at the dealer, nor contact us. I told the Manufacture no one else should get this car, but they say trade at dealer but the dealer complains about the lost value and is unreasonable.
    I could not find anymore time to try. I have owned American, French, Saabs, Japanese, but this is ten times worse than the Americans cars.
    The dealer doesn’t care, nor does LEXUS! Yes, I agree about VW and Toyota is forgotten but its the duration… Toyota is not considered environmental issue however it is in cycle.

    Reply
    • Lenspeed

      It was dealer serviced the whole way, and contrary to your comment there are at least half a dozen owners I know out there who have experienced similar issues. It’s plain and simple – the suspension isn’t built to last and to take the weight of the car. Same for the 8-speed gearbox, which is prone to breaking too.

      Reply
  5. Phillip Coco

    I was going to buy a2010 LS 460 with 44k miles, read multiple reviews and decided to call Lexus of New Orleans. The person I spoke with stated that if you haven’t changed them yet you will be. Also recommended All 8 arms at the same time at $5k-8k. Changed my mind. Still like lexus but may settle with a CD or ES.

    Reply
  6. Rob Thomas

    You guys are blowing this way out of the water. The issue with the arms is not the arms themselves, but the bushings. The bushings cost $80 on 1a auto for 10 bushings. You only have to find a shop that has a press of it you want, rent a pressing tool from auto zone. The shop will charge you $300-400 for labor and the problem will be resolved! I went to Mcgrath Lexus and they wanted $5000 for the entire control arm replacement which was not needed at all! The dealer is ridiculous. Look on the Lexus forum for the 07 Ls460 control arm bushing replacement and a person did this themselves for $221 lol. Do not believe everything you read on the radio.

    Reply
  7. Rob Thomas

    You guys are blowing this way out of the water. The issue with the arms is not the arms themselves, but the bushings. The bushings cost $80 on 1a auto for 10 bushings. You only have to find a shop that has a press of if you want, rent a pressing tool from auto zone. The shop will charge you $300-400 for labor and the problem will be resolved if you want to go that route which is what I did! I went to Mcgrath Lexus and they wanted $5000 for the entire control arm replacement which was not needed at all! The dealer is ridiculous. Look on the Lexus forum for the 07 Ls460 control arm bushing replacement and a person did this themselves for $221 lol. Do not believe everything you read on the radio.

    Reply
  8. Rob Thomas

    You guys are blowing this way out of the water. The issue with the arms is not the arms themselves, but the bushings. The bushings cost $80 on 1a auto for 10 bushings. You only have to find a shop that has a press of if you want, rent a pressing tool from auto zone. The shop will charge you $300-400 for labor and the problem will be resolved if you want to go that route which is what I did! I went to Mcgrath Lexus and they wanted $5000 for the entire control arm replacement which was not needed at all! The dealer is ridiculous. Look on the Lexus forum for the 07 Ls460 control arm bushing replacement and a person did this themselves for $221 lol. Do not believe everything you read on the internet.

    Reply
  9. Heath casto

    Ya sorry this is unbelievable i bought an extended warranty for only 1500 dollars which covers everything bumper to bumper, someone is trying to pull a fast one on you. I wish i hadnt even bought the warranty cause the cats reliability is so good i have not had one issue

    Reply
  10. Gene Frazier

    The title of this thread is misleading. The $15,000 bill is not U.S. dollars but Hong Kong dollars with an exchange rate of 7 to 1. so divide all the numbers by 7. There is good info here though. I would go to a trusted mechanic and have only the bushings replaced not the whole control arm. The Lexus business model is to maximize technician convenience and minimize repair time…customer cost be damned. Do your due diligence and research and you will save a TON of money.

    Reply

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