The Most Reasons for a Melting Dashboard in Your LexusPosted on: September 18, 2021
Lexus is the luxury brand of the Japanese automaker Toyota, and they have gained an exceptional reputation among consumers because of the high-quality vehicles in their line up. The popularity of the Japanese automaker among car consumers earned the company enormous success in the auto industry. However, the company’s prominence came under intense criticism in 2014 due to a problem with melting dashboard in some models.
Lexus utilizes PVC (PolyVinyl chloride) in the dashboards of most of their models. PVC can be rock hard or cloth flexible, which allows manufacturers to mold it into vehicle dashboards. Although PVC is usually durable, some factors can affect its durability and they include:
- Exposure to ultraviolet light: Exposing your vehicle to excessive sunlight tends to accelerate the deterioration of the chemical compounds of the PVC. Sunlight, the primary source of UV light, vaporizes the oils in the PVC composition. This negatively impacts the durability of the dashboard and causes it to melt.
- Heat: Exposure to sunlight also heats your vehicle. Temperature above 100 degrees can disintegrate the chemical composition of your dashboard, resulting in a decline in your dashboard’s durability. Avoid parking under direct sunlight to prevent your car from excessive heat.
The controversy generated by the melting dashboard
Some models of the Lexus lineup were reported to have melting, sticky, and cracking dashboards. The issue affected several models in the lineup, which included:
- 2003 – 2008 GX 470
- 2004 – 2006 RX 330
- 2005 – 2008 RX 400h
- 2006 – 2008 ES 350
- 2006 – 2008 IS 250
- 2006-2008 IS 350
- 2007 LS 460
- 2007 – 2009 RX 350
The problem was not limited to Lexus but also extended to some Toyota models. It affected the 4Runner, Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Sienna, and Solara manufactured between 2003 up until 2011.
When buying a car, the last thing on the buyer’s mind is the dashboard. The problems of these buyers emerged the moment their vehicles were exposed to sun. The dashboard rapidly deteriorated due to extreme heat and direct sunlight. It gets shiny and sticky which reflects in the window. This affects the driver’s ability to see the road.
The consumers filed a lawsuit against Lexus and Toyota in 2014. The case claimed that the companies were aware of the design defect but had done nothing to rectify the problem. In a bid to reach an agreement with their consumers, the companies created a customer support program. The program’s purpose was to change the defective dashboards or reimburse customers who have had their dashboards replaced before the lawsuit. The companies also offered an extended warranty that was to last until May 2017.
The consumers dropped the lawsuit but later instituted another since Toyota and Lexus failed to honor their part of the agreement. Both companies still stood behind their initial arrangement, but many vehicles never got fixed because the extended warranty period expired before most consumers could act on it.
Preventive Measures to Take Now
Once a dashboard starts deteriorating, you can do little to stop it except replacement. However, there are steps you can take to prevent the deterioration of your dashboard, and they include:
- Always ensure you avoid parking your vehicle under direct sunlight to prevent it from coming under excessive UV rays. It would also help prevent heat within your vehicle.
- Employ a car cover, windscreen cover, or dashboard cover to prevent sunlight from directly hitting your dashboard.
- You can also treat your dashboard with vinyl and leather protectant that is free of alcohol.
Landmark Motors for your Lexus Replacement Parts
At Landmark Motors, we provide quality services and repairs that will have your car looking and feeling new after each visit. We use all of the same high-end equipment and tools found at the dealership so that we can continue to keep your vehicle’s performance intact.
Whether your car is due for a service appointment or you’d like to fix a nagging repair, our mechanics have the tools and equipment needed to get the job done right. We are located in Bellevue, WA. Drivers from throughout Seattle also choose the experts at Landmark Motors for all of their service and maintenance needs. Please call or visit us today to schedule your next appointment.
* Lexus Dashboard image credit goes to: DarthArt.