Common Problems with the Lexus RX 450h

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 years ago

5 min read

  • Lexus
  • Common problems

WhoCanFixMyCar covers the most common Lexus RX 450h faults, including average repair costs.

The Lexus RX 450h is a hybrid luxury crossover SUV descending from the original RX 400h. It was introduced in 2009 and is the only version of the RX currently available to buy new in the UK. 

Despite its dull interior, the RX 450h has been praised for its low emissions and excellent fuel economy, making it the obvious choice for eco (and wallet) conscious SUV fans who are willing to compromise on style. That leaves just one question yet to be answered: what common problems does it encounter? 

Often, RX 450h drivers report problems with:

What’s wrong with the Lexus RX 450h?

These issues are frequently searched for by RX 450h owners.


Lexus RX 450h battery drain problem

Some drivers report the battery of their RX 450h goes flat after two to three weeks of not being used, which is especially inconvenient in a hybrid car because the battery can’t be jump-started. Instead, it has to be trickle charged, or the circuits in the hybrid system will be damaged. This usually means you have to call out a breakdown service.

Lexus RX 450h air suspension problems

RX 450h models are fairly heavy and often develop suspension problems. Some owners report leaks in the system, while others report the compressor wears out quickly and has to be replaced.

Lexus RX 450h 2009-2015 faults

These common problems have been identified with the RX 450h.

1. Shock absorber failure

The Lexus RX 540h is a heavy car, which puts a lot of pressure on the suspension, particularly the shock absorbers. You might notice your vehicle is dipping at one side, and the ride may not feel as smooth as it once did.

What repair is needed for shock absorber failure, and how much does it cost for a Lexus RX 450h?

Worn shock absorbers need to be replaced, and any loose parts should be tightened if there is a leak in the air suspension system.

Based on our data, shock absorber replacement costs £458.21 on average when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

2. ABS actuator failure

The actuator is a hydraulic component that communicates with the ECU to take control of the brakes in an emergency situation. RX 450h models have unreliable anti-lock braking systems, and the actuator is often to blame.

What repair is needed for ABS actuator failure, and how much does it cost for a Lexus RX 450h?

The actuator needs to be replaced for the system to function correctly. While we don’t have data on the price of replacing this specific component, on average, ABS repairs cost £53.03 when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

3. Faulty electrics

Non-engine electrics, such as the media system and windows, may become faulty. Many 450h drivers have complained about problems like this, but Lexus has never issued a recall.

What repair is needed for faulty electrics, and how much does it cost for a Lexus RX 450h?

The specific repair required will depend on which part of the electrical system has gone wrong. An auto electrician can identify your problem and advise you on the appropriate solution. 

On average, electrical faults cost £67.38 to diagnose

Lexus RX 450h 2009-2015 recalls

The first generation of the RX 450h hasn’t been subject to any recalls from Lexus, showing its reliability. 

Lexus RX 450h 2016-present faults

The second generation of the 450h came out in 2016. The following problems are often reported by owners.


1. Broken fuel pump

The fuel pump impeller may crack, causing the low-pressure fuel pump located in the fuel tank to stop working. 

What repair is needed for a broken fuel pump, and how much does it cost for a Lexus RX 450h?

Lexus issued a recall for all affected models, so if you’re thinking about buying a second-gen 450h, make sure the fuel pump has been replaced if needed. 

Recalled models can be repaired for free at a dealership. Replacing a fuel pump costs £360.14 on average when booked through WhoCanFixMyCar.

2. Scuffed alloys and bodywork

This is less to do with the car itself and more to do with the driver. The 450h is a big car, so it can be difficult to manoeuvre; if you’re buying one second-hand, check the wheels and bodywork carefully for any damage. 

What repair is needed for scuffed alloys and bodywork, and how much does it cost for a Lexus RX 450h?

You might be able to carry out a repair yourself depending on the extent of the damage. This guide to alloy wheel refurbishment explains the different options available to you, and this guide to bodywork repairs may also help you decide how to proceed with a repair.

Based on our data, it costs £94.17 on average to refurbish one alloy wheel. For four, it’s £290.32.

Lexus RX 450h 2016-present recalls

Recall DateReason
05-Sep-20The low pressure fuel pump located in the fuel tank could become inoperative

If you're having trouble with your Lexus RX 450h, WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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