Lexus IS Problems: 5 Known Issues (Explained)

So, you’re researching the Lexus IS with a view to finding some of its known issues. Well, we’ve done most of the research and we’ve discussed all the common issues with the Lexus IS in this article.

Not only that, but we also look at the resale values of this car to give you a better insight into its worth and reliability. Let’s get into it!

1. Melting Dashboard and Door Materials

A common issue with the Lexus IS is the melting dashboard and door materials. It’s either Lexus failed to test the dashboard and door materials under the sun or the materials are just so vulnerable to heat.

The truth is, many owners of Lexus IS have complained of how these components melt and become sticky when they drive under the sun.

It is widely impossible to drive a car without getting it exposed to sunlight. Many vehicle owners drive during the day as much as they do at night. So, this problem is worth being considered before buying an IS model.

Moreover, owners have complained of how the melted dashboard becomes shiny and reflects sunlight back to the windshield to obstruct their view of the road.

Mind you, this problem is not common to all Lexus IS models; it is particularly prominent with the 2007 and 2008 IS 250, as well as the 2006 and 2007 IS 350.

You can also explore some problems with Lexus cars.

2. Vague Rearview Mirror

Even with the emergence of the rearview camera, the importance of the rearview mirror is still significant. In most vehicles, you can only use the rearview camera when in reverse mode.

This makes the camera useless when observing a trailer.

In that situation, drivers often use the rearview mirror to track the vehicles behind while driving further forward. That’s another importance of the rearview mirror aside from using it when in reverse.

It is quite unfortunate that you may not be able to use the rearview mirror of the Lexus IS as it gives off a vague reflection. The unclear images you get in the mirror are caused by the dents that develop on its surface.

This often happens when the coating behind the mirror starts to deteriorate over time. If it’s not the coating, it could be that the material used in building the mirror lasts only for a short while.

Whichever way, you may have to replace the rearview mirror of a Lexus IS to have a clearer reflection.

3. Unexpected Acceleration and Brake Failure

Another concerning issue with the Lexus IS is the transmission system and the brake. Nothing could be more frightening than having a car revolt against the driver.

Well, many owners of the Lexus IS have encountered numerous issues with the vehicle speeding on its own, while the brake couldn’t stop it in the process.

As claimed by a customer,

I was in a parking lot traveling at about 5 mph in drive with my right foot lightly applying the brake when the brake seemed not to hold as they should and the engine suddenly increased to 4500–5500 RPM. I applied increased force to the brake pedal, placed the gearshift into park, and noted the rpms climbing above 5500. I then pressed the start/stop button, and the engine stopped.

While complaining about the accelerator and the brake of the car, another customer stated that:

When I stepped on the accelerator, after a turn, it suddenly began to “gun”, at which point I stepped on the brake and to my horror got no response. I kept my foot on the brake, but the accelerator continued to rev or gun horrifyingly and the car continued to speed up.


To some customers, pressing the electronic ignition button helped to put the car to a stop when the brake fails to respond.

However, several others have claimed that not even the push start button could stop their Lexus IS when the brake fails; they had to shift the gear into ‘park’ before it could stop.

This is a very life-threatening issue with the Lexus IS. Mind you, it doesn’t happen to all IS models, but most common with the 2007 and 2008 Lexus IS 250.

4. Flickering/Unstable Headlight

Lexus seems to have issues with the headlight of some of their old vehicles. Just like it is with the Lexus ES, some IS models also have recurring issues with the response and stability of the headlight.

Unless you don’t drive at night, you’ll agree that the headlight is an essential component of a car.

So, it needs to be in the right state at all times.

Various owners have complained particularly about the headlight of the 2007 Lexus IS 250. The major crust of their complaints is the stability of the headlights.

According to them, the headlights go off at will and sometimes refuse to come on.

This is not a case of defects in the light, but an underlying issue with the electrical component of the car. This is because several owners have complained that the lights start acting up again a few weeks after changing the bulbs.

Meanwhile, the Lexus IS is also among the Lexus models with the most recalls.

5. High Consumption of Engine oil

Normally, you’ll be required to change the engine oil of your car between every 7,500 to 10,000 miles.

However, several users of the Lexus IS 250 have complained about having to change the engine oil of the car in less than 3,000 miles.

Before, many vehicle owners are used to changing their engine oil every 3,000 miles. However, with modern lubricant, you can drive your car up to 15,000 miles before changing the oil.

Different factors, such as worn seals, faulty gaskets, or weak engines, could lead to high engine oil consumption. Either of these could cause oil leaks, which would make the engine require additional oil within a short while.

This could also let off a foul odor, like a smell of a rotten egg, into the cabin.

So, before you buy a used IS model, most especially the 2006, 2007, and 2008 IS 250, as well as the 2006 IS 350, ensure you’re aware of its oil consumption rate.

You might also want to read about the best & worst Lexus IS years here.

General Pros and Cons of the Lexus IS

Aside from the few issues we highlight above, the Lexus IS boasts loads of impressive features that make it a popular car. Check some of its pros below.


  • It offers both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive
  • Its cabin is noiseless and comfortable
  • The interior design features premium materials
  • Its relatively affordable price is quite attractive for its numerous features

The Lexus IS also has a few downsides, too. Find its cons below.


  • The all-wheel drive could lower the vehicle’s fuel economy
  • The rear seat is less spacious for adults
  • It comes with limited storage and cargo space
  • The electronic interface may be a little finicky

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Lexus IS comes in different variants: IS 200t, IS 250, IS 300, IS 350, and IS F.

Out of the five models, critics have always ranked the IS 300 as one of the best Lexus cars so far due to its minimal issues and impressive performance.

BMW isn’t the only automaker that builds amazing sports sedans because there is the incredible Lexus IS 300, a car designed and engineered specifically to compete with BMW sports sedans.


However, unlike the IS 300, the IS 250 can’t be called an excellent automobile. Although it features an excellent build quality that offers a benchmark steering feel, it also has some notorious faults that are hard to ignore.


Virtually all modern vehicles come with different faults that often require a series of recalls by the manufacturer to move them toward perfection.

In spite of the few issues with the Lexus IS, it still boasts impressive reliability ratings from reviewers.

Besides, Lexus IS has one of the most minor reported issues amongst Lexus cars.

According to one survey, the Lexus IS scored nearly 99% considering reliability. Among those who drive the Lexus, the IS has been the one with the least number of reported issues, making it one of the best.


What’s the Resale Value for a Lexus IS?

Lexus cars are notable for holding their value, and the IS is not an exception. According to Car Edge, the Lexus IS 350 will depreciate 29% after 5 years.

Mind you, the mileage of a car and its overall condition affect its resale value.

In this light, let’s check the resale price of different Lexus IS models below.

Model Mileage Price
2022 Lexus IS 350 5,417 $43,214
2021 Lexus IS 350 2,690 $44,590
2018 Lexus IS 350 37,611 $36,590
2014 Lexus IS 350 55,095 $26,590
2021 IS 300 5,332 $38,590
2020 IS 300 24,930 $29,893
2018 IS 300 32,640 $28,499
2017 IS 300 66,730 $26,990
2015 IS 250 99,036 $17,500
2012 IS 250 76,483 $18,990
2010 IS 250 116,463 $12,988

GO BACK: Problems for all Lexus models.

Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)

ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.