The LS series was launched in 1989 and was Lexus’ flagship full-size luxury sedan. The first model year of its fourth generation was the 2007 Lexus LS 460 with its robust 380-hp V8 engine. It’s known for introducing the eight-speed automatic transmission and automatic parking system. Both features were a first, not just for Lexus but for the automotive industry worldwide.
Despite its pioneering technology, the 2007 LS 460 received the most complaints of all model years. What kind of problems did this model year have? And why were they so bad? We look at the complaints about this car that owners submitted to CarComplaints.com.
The weird problem that ranked as the worst
Sometimes when an automaker introduces new tech on a vehicle it can be a bit buggy. It would seem like a no-brainer for the Lexus LS 460 to have a problem with its new drivetrain. Or, perhaps its innovative automatic parking system might have failed.
Instead, the LS 460 suffered from several interior problems, and one of them was surprisingly weird for a luxury sedan. Four complaints concerned melting door panels, which earned the dubious distinction of being the No. 1 problem for this model.
On average this problem occurred at just over 79,000 miles, and repairing it would typically cost the owner $1,700. Car Complaints gave this problem the highest severity rating of “really awful.” One owner had the panels replaced, while the other three owners were unsure how to resolve the problem.
One owner reported that he had never noticed the stickiness of the door panels before because he usually kept the car in his garage. One day, he parked the car in the sun and he noticed that his fingers were sticky from the melting material after shutting the door.
Another owner had just replaced his dashboard and discovered that the door panels were tacky. He contacted Lexus’ customer service department, who refused to repair the panels because it was a cosmetic problem and was no longer under warranty.
Not only the worst but also the most complained-about model year
Owners reported 136 complaints against the 2007 Lexus LS 460, including another odd interior accessories problem. The dashboard and armrests were made from poor quality materials and also melted unexpectedly.
Six owners submitted complaints about these interior components, and all six had them replaced. Like the door panels, this problem happened at the relatively low average mileage of 79,250 miles. This problem also received a severity level rating of “really awful.” No data was available on the repair costs for this problem.
One owner talked about how sticky and shiny the dashboard became when the outside temperature rose over 80 degrees. Most owners expressed disappointment in dealing with low-end interior materials in such an upscale car.
At least two owners mentioned that Lexus did replace their dashboards free of charge. Another owner said that Lexus replaced the sticky door panels gratis but not the dash.
Safety problems that plagued this car
The Lexus LS 460’s interior accessories problems went beyond being simply cosmetic issues. But the car’s reported safety problems were worse because they put owners at risk.
An especially bad problem was tied to braking. A failing anti-lock braking system actuator was the focus of 30 NHTSA complaints. This problem occurred at an average of 75,689 miles. Car Complaints gave it a severity rating of “really awful.”
Several owners reported that the ABS, the electronic stability control, and other indicator lights illuminated before the ABS stopped working. Sometimes the front brakes locked up or the front end shimmied while braking, according to some owners’ accounts.
Owners said that Lexus wouldn’t acknowledge this problem and wouldn’t pay for its repair. And fixing the problem wasn’t cheap either because owners reported that it cost them anywhere from $1,500 to over $3,000 to replace the actuator.
Another terrible problem in the LS 460 was vehicle speed control. Although only six complaints were NHTSA for this engine issue, three crashes and one injury were reported. The average mileage when this problem happened was 51,067 miles and its severity rating was “really awful.”
In most cases, the car unexpectedly accelerated out of control from a stop or while being driven at low speed. A few reports mention a surprising deceleration when the accelerator pedal was depressed.
One report described an owner’s car hitting a tree so hard that the airbags were deployed and the front end was demolished. Another owner told of Lexus sending a special technician to investigate the car’s problem only to be told that the speed control isn’t supposed to disconnect when the brake pedal is tapped. Lexus did not issue a recall for this issue.
Lexus has a strong reputation for making powerful and comfortable luxury cars. But with its rating as the worst and most-complained about model year, the 2007 Lexus LS 460 is one model that most secondhand car buyers should probably avoid.