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A case of a fantastic product with appaling support... When I purchased my 1994 Lexus GS300 in August 1997 with Succession warranty, the marketing, warranty and Lexus dealer convinced me believe I was not just buying a car but a service. My experience after that did leave me wondering..... My car visited a Lexus garage 16 times over the next 19 months and 27000 miles, it's brakes seized and it required towing away twice. My wife and I used 7 different hire cars under warranty or at our own cost. The majority of garage visits were due to seizing brake callipers, which damaged brake pads and discs and contributed to significant cost and inconvenience. Three out of the four callipers were replaced. Prior to this they seized and required freeing on two other occasions. I naturally complained in writing on at least four occasions and was compelled to call the Lexus/Toyota customer service centre on at least 10 different occasions. In total, the car cost me £2500 to maintain, with approximately a further £2500 spent under warranty. But then, at £200 for a set of fitted front brake pads and £350 for a pair of front discs, what would you expect? I don’t believe that I ever received a satisfactory service from Lexus with regards to this car. No reasonable company would defend the record of faults that inconvenienced me to that degree. In total, we were without our car for at least four working weeks during our period of ownership. In defence of Lexus, I don’t believe that the car is poor quality overall but I do believe that it suffers braking system design faults that Lexus seem unwilling to admit (although the garage staff were quite happt to tell me so). It is also clear from my experience that the dealer system is clearly aimed at the business community and services are priced as such with little consideration for private customers such as me. It is also clear that the
warranty structure is such that a “cartel” situation is provoked whereby Lexus influences the warranty company, the dependency on which locks the customer into Lexus servicing at artificially high prices. Lastly, the sparse dealer system seems to have little incentive to provide excellent customer service, as was the case with the Lexus customer service centre who, although ultimately very helpful, initially acted as no more than a “buffer” to my complaints and requests for compensation. In the end, I decided that if I couldn'e beat them I would join them and ordered a fully maintained new company GS300SE. It chews brakes and tyres exactly the same but I don't care, I pay one price and that's it. My one piece of advice would be, don't buy a large Lexus and run it yourself UNLESS you service via a specialist. The Lexus prices are criminal. As far as the cars go, if you can cope with the heavy consumable use, they are fantastic and the stereos are the best in any car and probably in most houses.