Tips, Tricks & Trends

Why Lexus ES 350 Drivers Complain About the 2007 Model the Most

People are willing to pay extra for a luxury vehicle, but in return, they expect the car to last a long time and come with good customer support. The 2007 Lexus ES 350 has had problems in both areas, leaving some owners really annoyed with the car company. The good news is that there are also several model years that owners so far have been happy with.

Information from Car Complaints

It’s helpful to know what might go wrong with a used car before purchasing it, so CarComplaints.com is a good place to read that sort of information. Owners submit their problems to the website, which then displays the info in graphs by model year and issue category. The Lexus ES 350 has the second-most submitted complaints with 83, right behind the Lexus RX 350, which has 95.

The 2007 ES 350 is one of the five worst model years of any Lexus vehicle and currently has a total of 45 complaints. This model year was the first one for the ES 350, introduced as part of the fifth generation of the ES series. The worst problem for the 2007 ES 350 is a melting dashboard, which is why its biggest problem category is interior accessories problems.

A melting dashboard

The biggest problem for the 2007 Lexus ES 350 has been a melting dashboard. Submitted by 14 people, 11 drivers had to replace the entire dashboard. They had found their dashboards were cracked, sticky, or melting, with the breakdown of the material caused by heat and humidity.

In addition to being unattractive, the melting dashboard can also create an unsafe glare for the driver and sometimes also a smell. No typical repair costs were submitted, but the problem appeared on average around 97,650 miles. Owners gave it a severity rating of 7.9, or “pretty bad.”

The owners also expressed their frustration in finding out too late about a warranty enhancement program from Lexus to repair the dashboards, especially since they had been previously notified about recalls on their airbags. A technical service bulletin had been sent to Lexus dealers in 2011, but owners were not notified.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Lexus and Toyota about the lack of replacement parts. After a suit in 2014, Lexus announced a “customer support” program in 2015 to replace the dashboards on a number of Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The Lexus ES 350 was covered for model years 2006 through 2008. An additional lawsuit was filed in 2016, since owners were still waiting at that time for replacement parts.

Blown engine head

The second-worst problem for the 2007 Lexus ES 350 has been a blown engine head, reported by two owners. Both owners also reported water pump problems. The problem appeared for them on average around 88,500 miles and cost about $4,000 to repair. Owners gave this an 8.0 severity rating, or “pretty bad.”

Oil leaking from timing chain cover

Bob Carter, Lexus Group vice president, introduces the new 2007 ES 350 sedan at the Chicago Auto Show
The 2007 Lexus ES 350 | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Two additional owners submitted that the cars had oil leaking from the timing chain cover. The dripping oil made a mess whenever the cars were parked. Owners gave this a severity rating of 7.0, or “pretty bad.” The leak appeared around 88,000 miles on average and cost owners about $4,000 to repair.

Other Lexus ES 350 model years

Complaints dropped off after the very first model year, and after 2008, there have been only nine or fewer submitted complaints for each model year. In addition, there are several model years that currently have zero submitted complaints: 2012, 2018, and 2019 (the 2020 model isn’t yet listed).

The 2020 Lexus ES 350

The 2020 Lexus ES 350 is positively reviewed by Consumer Reports, which ranks it third out of 16 luxury midsized cars. The model year earned a five out of five for predicted reliability as well as a four out of five for predicted owner satisfaction. Its comfortable, high-quality interior is matched with a V6 engine and eight-speed automatic.

It seems a new model takes a few years to work out the bugs. Buyers looking for a used Lexus ES 350 should consider skipping the 2007 model year.