Lexus Hybrid Drive

How does Lexus Hybrid Drive work?

Since its introduction in 2006, Lexus owners have enjoyed premium levels of comfort and refinement twinned with low running costs and excellent fuel economy thanks to Lexus Hybrid Drive technology. But how does this highly beneficial hybrid technology work in practice?

To help you to have a better understanding of the technology in a Lexus hybrid vehicle, this post clearly explains clearly what Lexus Hybrid Drive is, how it works, and how it brings benefits to the environment and your wallet.


What is a hybrid vehicle?

Vehicles with two or more power sources are usually described as being ‘hybrid’. In most hybrid cars on the road today, the dual power sources are a traditional internal combustion engine and an electric motor. However, the way that the two sources combine to power the car usually follows one of three distinct variations of hybrid arrangements.

Lexus Hybrid Drive is known as a full hybrid system, meaning that its two power sources – a battery-powered electric motor and a petrol-driven combustion engine – are entirely separate from one another. Either of them can power the car on their own, or the power from both units can be combined.

Lexus Hybrid Drive is derived from its parent company Toyota’s pioneering Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, which is the world’s most popular hybrid system, having sold in excess of ten million units since its launch in Japan in August 1997.


The second hybrid variation is described as being parallel. In this set-up, primary power comes from a normal combustion engine, but it is directly aided by an electric motor fitted between the engine block and gearbox. By the nature of its configuration, the electric motor has to squeeze into a small space in the engine bay between engine and gearbox, limiting the amount of power it can provide and the range of the vehicle when operating in all-electric, or EV, mode. For this reason, parallel hybrids usually offer less functionality than a full hybrid vehicle.

Lastly, the third kind of hybrid is the series type. While this type of hybrid still has two power sources, the vehicle is driven by the electric motor alone. The combustion engine isn’t directly connected to the transmission, so it only serves as a generator to provide electrical power for the electric motor. A particular challenge for series hybrids is maintaining efficiency once the battery power is depleted. For this reason, cars with series type hybrid set-ups are rare.

How does Lexus Hybrid Drive work?

All Lexus Hybrid Drive vehicles use six main components: a petrol engine, an electric motor, an electric generator, a battery, a power control unit, and a power split device. The power split device uses a special planetary gearbox to distribute power between the engine, motor and generator.


Through this clever combination of technology, Lexus Hybrid Drive can be described as a smart, fuel-saving technology that switches seamlessly and automatically between the electric motor and petrol engine. By monitoring driving conditions, it intelligently manages the flow of power from both sources and can also detect when to combine the two for maximum efficiency and on-road performance.

Lexus IS 300h PCU Hybrid

The Lexus Hybrid Drive system’s ‘intelligence’ allows the two power sources to operate with a wonderful synergy. When the petrol engine is running, it drives the generator to charge the battery. And when conditions allow it, such as in low-speed urban environments, the generator shuts down the petrol engine and lets the electric motor take over. This means that the car can operate with zero emissions.

The sophisticated engine management system also recognises when the car comes to a halt and switches the engine off to conserve power and cut emissions, automatically firing it up again when necessary.

Lexus CT 200h technical Hybrid Synergy Drive

Because of this arrangement, there is never any need to charge the batteries of a Lexus Hybrid through any other means, such as by plugging it into a mains supply. Sufficient charge is always supplied to and held within this battery via the petrol engine.

How are the hybrid batteries charged?

The hybrid battery can be charged in two ways. As well as using energy from the engine for charging, Lexus Hybrid Drive also charges the battery through regenerative braking, a system which recovers energy that would otherwise be wasted during braking.

Every time the brake pedal is pressed or the driver releases the accelerator pedal to lose momentum, the electric motor goes into reverse, in effect becoming an electric brake and thereby generating electricity. This is then diverted to the battery for recycling.

Lexus CT 200h technical Hybrid Synergy Drive

In other words, the braking energy that is usually lost as heat and noise, or simply wasted altogether, is captured and used to power the electric motor later on. In continuous stop/start traffic, a significant amount of energy is recaptured and stored this way, improving the overall efficiency of the Lexus hybrid and maximising the amount of time it can stay in zero emission, all-electric mode within towns and cities.

Lexus hybrid battery life: How long do they last?

Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive battery

The battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle. In any case, your battery is warranted for five years. The batteries are much larger than regular car batteries as they need to generate and deliver sufficient voltage to power the car at low-speeds without any support from the petrol engine. Their production does have a small, additional impact on the environment, but this is more than compensated for by the environmental benefits of driving a hybrid car.

Procedures are also in place so that each battery can be recycled, arranged through Lexus dealerships.

Is the engine in a Lexus hybrid different to that of a conventional car?

In a manner of speaking, yes. Unlike conventional four-stroke engines, the internal combustion engine used in vehicles with Lexus Hybrid Drive uses a slightly different cycle that produces less heat. This Atkinson cycle also reintroduces cooled exhaust gases into the combustion chambers to make an additional contribution to reduced engine temperatures.

Lexus IS 300h engine bay

A conventional four-stroke engine sometimes has to inject more fuel than necessary in order to cool the combustion chamber and stop the catalytic converters from overheating. This is a useful way of preserving components but it also uses more fuel. The Lexus Hybrid Drive solution, however, is more fuel-efficient and has proved to be phenomenally reliable.

Do I have to drive differently to make the most of hybrid technology?

No. Lexus Hybrid Drive is fully automatic and designed to optimise the use of precious fossil fuel for each driver. All you have to do is enjoy the road ahead!

Lexus IS 300h driving

Is the hybrid system in the Lexus LC 500h the same as in other Lexus models?

No. The Lexus LC 500h features a new Multi Stage Hybrid System, delivering the sharpest and most refined drive from a full hybrid yet, with much stronger and direct acceleration.

The new Multi Stage Hybrid System was developed with ostensibly opposing goals in mind. It wanted to create a hybrid with a more sporting and engaging driving experience, with a closer alignment between engine speed and throttle inputs, while at the same time achieving the best balance of power and fuel consumption.

It features all the elements of a traditional full hybrid powertrain, including a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, together with a four-speed automatic gearbox mounted at the rear of the hybrid transmission.

The electric motor generates better acceleration feel than a conventional engine, and the introduction of physical gears allows for engine revs to be more closely matched to the driver’s use of the accelerator. The result is a much more direct connection between accelerator pedal inputs and vehicle acceleration, with nought to 62mph brought well into the sub-five-second range.

The Multi Stage Hybrid Drive System is the first Lexus full hybrid system to provide an ‘M’ transmission mode, allowing the driver to make direct and responsive gear changes and enjoy the most sporting and engaging drive yet from a Lexus hybrid.

A new, lightweight and compact electric motor and lithium-ion battery offset the weight of the added automatic transmission, so the new system weighs the same as the current Lexus full hybrid system – an exceptional feat of engineering.


Comments (105)

  1. Hello, I have recently purchased a RC300 h. When driving, sometimes the lights on the dash go dim for a few minutes, then go bright again. This happens intermittently. Could you please let me know if this is normal. There is 4,500 miles on the clock at the moments.

    1. Hi Paul,
      Congratulations on your new car. Clearly, you have excellent taste.
      The dashboard lights dim when the headlights turn on. Your car can do this automatically when it senses it is getting dark. For example, when you travel onto a section of road where the trees block the sunlight out, the headlights may turn on. Then your car goes back into the light, and the headlights turn off again. It may also do this when going through tunnels or under bridges. You can reduce the sensitivity of this feature in the car’s settings menu.
      If the dimming is unrelated to this feature, we’d recommend contacting a Lexus centre.

      1. Hello. I am being offered a Lexus RX 450 h 2019 model and a 7seater same year.
        I prefer the 5 seater also less pricy.
        Dealer tells me the spare parts are different and one runs on lithium hybrid system and the 7 seater on nickel based.
        Unfortunately the dealer has only the seven seater version I am not fond off . So I found a 5 seater Lexus in the market which suits me more.
        Also zero mileage.
        So question is. Are they so much different in body parts and hybrid technology or just sales tricks to persuade to by the dealer car ?

        1. Hi Khalil,

          Thanks for getting in touch. There are some differences, especially with the body shape, as the RX L (seven seat) is longer. Model year 2019 vehicles both have Nickel-Metal Hydride battery though, and the engine and transmission parts are the same. Either way you choose, you will have an excellent vehicle in your ownership.


  2. I am looking At purchasing a ux hybrid 4 wheel drive. I regularly do 110 miles on a motorway in a single journey, and am interested in how many miles can be done in battery power to see if a hybrid will actually be worth purchasing. Also does the battery recharge itself just by running the car and if so what length of journey is required to charge the battery? Finally what is the litre capacity of the boot on a ux?

    1. Hello Jane, thank you for your comment. The Lexus Hybrid Drive powertrain is not so much ‘how much on battery power’ as the battery constantly recharges throughout each journey. The best way to understand the luxurious UX would be to arrange an experience with it through your Lexus Centre. With the rear seats up and measuring to the parcel shelf, the UX with E-Four AWD has 283 litres, and to the roof line it has 401 litres of luggage space.

  3. I’m looking at a 2015 RX450H on sale with a Lexus dealer. One use for the car is towing a boat, AUW of boat and trailer is 1900Kg. Recovery from the water up a steep slipway is the most challenging task. I see further back (2017) that Lexus does not recommend towing with this model. The dealer says no problem whatsoever, moreover they offer a Lexus towbar and electrics. What is the truth on this matter?

    1. Hi Jon,

      Thanks for getting in touch. There have been some changes regarding towing capacity during 2015, so it depends on the production month what specifications the vehicle has. Therefore, if you could please provide us with the registration of the vehicle you are looking at, we will be able to check that.


  4. I have 2010 450H with 120,000 miles on it. Have had zero problems with it. Have purchased a new one to get newer safety features. Want to store 2010 car over winter in cold weather area. Will trickle cell or battery tender be sufficient & any special type needed for hybrid? Thank you,

    1. Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We would recommend some additional steps for storing a Hybrid, and we have detailed these below.

      To prevent excessive auxiliary battery drainage, charge the battery at least once every two weeks by powering on the hybrid system for 20 minutes with all non-essential electrical accessories turned off. It is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but do not start the hybrid system in an enclosed area unless the tail pipe is connected to an exhaust hose to prevent harmful buildup of fumes. As an alternative, you may disconnect the negative terminal of the auxiliary battery.

      For the hybrid vehicle battery, charge the battery at least once every two months by starting the hybrid system for about 30 minutes. Check that the “ready” light is on and all lights and electrical accessories are off. As with the auxiliary battery charging, it is not necessary to drive the vehicle, but the steps to prevent exhaust buildup must be taken.

      In addition to this, we would recommend inflating the tyres to maximum permissible pressure to avoid flat spots over time.


  5. Hi . I am hoping to buy a 2008 Lexus 600 hL & have been told that it should not have a tow bar fitted, Can you advise me why this is , as tow bars are available in the USA for this car?
    Cheers Mike.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks for getting in touch. For us to be able to help with this would you please be able to clarify the model you are interested in and if possible provide the Reg?


  6. Hello.
    I am looking at a used 2013 RX450H with 86,000 miles and when test driving it at highway speed notice that on the Energy display screen, when regenerating energy to the battery, the battery color bars never fill up the entire square, and leaves at least 1 or 2 spaces of black where it’s not charged. Is this a problem? Does this indicate a potential problem?
    Thanks you.

    1. Hello Bob,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The battery is operating as it should be, what you have noticed on the Energy display screen is intentional and relates to battery management. If the battery continually went from fully charged to fully depleted it would damage the battery, however this way is is protected from this.

      You can read more about the longevity of our cars with this article about our used RX 400h 2004 model by following this link:

      If you do buy the vehicle you can have it health checked at your nearest Lexus Centre.

      Hope this helps.

  7. I am considering a Lexus Hybrid but travel very few short low speed journeys I travel 100 miles a day on a motorway so would the Lexus hybrid be more economical for me than my Audi A5 diesel at around 50 mpg

    1. Hello Dave,

      Thanks for getting in touch with us. Historically, hybrids have not performed as well on motorways as they do on other journey types. The latest hybrid technology, found in the UX and ES, is capable of using EV mode at much higher speeds than before, so improvements have been made. The WLTP fuel consumption figures for for the ES is from 48.5 to 53.6 and for the UX is from 46.3 to 53.2. We’d recommend a test drive to experience our hybrids on the motorway for yourself and would be happy to arrange this for you.

      To learn more about the benefits of Hybrid feel free to follow this link through to our website:

      Thank you.

  8. Hi, thanks for the article, it was really helpful. I just bought my 2010 RX 450H with 143000 mile on it, but I wasn’t aware of that we would need to change the Hybrid battery, so now I am so curious that when am I suppose to replace the battery and how much it is going to cost, Also is there any warranty that I can buy for it?

    1. Hi Sam,

      Welcome to Lexus. The hybrid batteries are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle, so there is no scheduled time for them to be replaced. We recommend having a Hybrid Health Check carried our by your nearest Lexus centre to check the system and see how it is operating. Please provide your postcode, and we’ll locate them, and ask them to contact you using the email address provided with your comment. Thanks.

    2. Hello ! Dont change battery till vehicle not give you sign or check engine light or any problem.

  9. I am considering purchasing a 2009 RX450h that has only done 20,000 Miles. Are there any particular issues I should look for in such an old but hardly used vehicle (hybrid battery, exhaust etc).
    Why is the 450h not recommended as a towing vehicle?

    1. Hi Scott,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear that you are interested in the RX450h.

      There are no particular issues we would suggest looking out for, however, we would recommend taking a look at Lexus approved pre-owned vehicles on our website. Lexus offers a comprehensive approved pre-owned programme to give customers complete peace of mind. Benefits include a multi-point quality check, comprehensive warranty, Lexus roadside assistance and full-service history. You can see more here:

      With regards to towing, although the current generation is fully equipped to tow, an RX450h of this age was not homologated to tow at the time.


  10. Hi, I have a 2008 IS 600h and it has started to reve high and go nowhere it’s just like a clutch slipping, but I don’t know if it has a clutch can anyone help with a diagnoses

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thanks for getting in touch and we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing some issues. If you could please provide a VIN number, our Technical Team can try to assist you further.


  11. This article the most informative of any site I’ve visited to learn more on Lexus Hybrid. I’m planning to purchase a GS 450H soon. Great work and Thank You!

    1. Hi Anthony,

      Thanks for getting in touch, it’s great to hear your positive feedback. If we can be of any assistance in your new car search, please do let us know.


  12. I have Lexus RX450H. It is 6 years old with 70000 miles. Last six months I am having problem starting it every now and then. The Tayota garage says they would take the hybrid battery out and recharge for me at the cost of nerly £130. Any advise from you

    1. Hi Pushp,

      Thanks for getting in touch, we’re sorry to hear that you are experiencing issues with your RX. Without inspecting the vehicle it would be difficult to comment so we would suggest you follow the advice of your local Centre.


  13. Hi, I have a 300h on a 63 plate. The 12v battery is frequently flat on initial start up, sometimes in town after shopping. Is it because I am a low mileage user, why is this happening? the alert of “hybid system not working” is becoming a worry. Usually a jump start is all that is needed to get me going. When I get home it goes on charge all day I have it checked and a new battery fitted, but it is still happening.

    1. Hi Phillip,

      Thanks for getting in touch and we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing these issues. If you could please provide a VIN number, we will be able to assist you further.


    1. Hi Vijay,

      Thanks for getting in touch and for your interest in Lexus Hybrid. Which Lexus car would you like to know about?


        1. The IS 300h 2.5 Litre Hybrid starts from £32,900.00. It combines a 2.5-litre direct injection engine with a high-output electric motor that delivers a dynamic drive with 223 DIN hp of full hybrid power. The Executive Edition includes 4 driving modes: Normal, Eco, Sport & EV and the Lexus Safety System+. For further specification and pricing, please use the following link: We are not in a position to comment on class competitor manufacturers, however we hope this information on the IS 300h helps you.


  14. Hi
    I’m thinking of getting a RX400 on a 58 plate
    As this car will be 10yrs old
    How can I check that the battery is ok
    Or how much would it cost to replace the battery if it was no holding charge

    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      We would advise that you take it to your local Lexus Centre and ask them to carry out a midtronics test on the 12v battery and a Hybrid Health check on the main HV battery.
      You will not get a warranty on the HV battery, due to the age of the vehicle, unfortunately the cut off is 10 years but it will do a stress test on the HV battery and determine its health.
      You can find your local Lexus Centre here:
      We hope this helps.

  15. Hi I am considering doing a hybrid health sytem check of buying a 3 years old car nit from lexus but otther car supermarket.How much it will cost me?

    1. Hi Syed,
      Thanks for getting in touch. We cannot comment on cars that we don’t manufacture. We’d advise contact the other manufacture directly.

  16. I have owned an rx400h for 3 years. It only gets around 24 MPG. very disappointed. Ist there anything i can do to increase mileage

    1. Hi Rob,
      Thank you for getting in touch. There are a number of different factors that could influence fuel consumption.
      The first and most important factor is the driving conditions. If the vehicle is being used mainly for short journeys, the engine will not have enough time to fully warm up and will operate most of the time in “warm up” condition. This will have a huge impact on fuel consumption.
      Also other things like the driving style, use of A/C and other electrical equipment (e.g. heated seats , heated rear window etc), may also have an impact on fuel consumption.
      Finally, tyre inflation pressure will also affect fuel consumption.
      Hope this helps.

      1. this is just boiler plate junk information. You advertize this car at 27-32 MPG. I have never gotten over 25. I have had this car in summer, windter, on the freeway, in town. I’m telling you that it has been in all conditions and that you mis advertise the mileage.

  17. I am considering purchasing a 2007 Lexus GS450h for my daughter and this will be our families first step into Hybrid technology. However I am concerned that the battery will need to be replaced soon at a cost in excess of $3500. That makes the cost of the vehicle very impractical. This site indicated the batteries are expected to last the life of the vehicle. What is considered “the life of the vehicle”??? 100,000 miles? 200,000 miles? 500,000 miles? 10 years? 20 years?

    1. Hi Thomas,
      Thank you for getting in touch. If the vehicle has a hybrid health check yearly there is a warranty on the battery, but this only lasts for 10 years.
      As long as the battery does not “cook” ie the vents are keep clear and clean there should be no issues.
      We have a story from a previous owner “I had a 2008 GS450h for 3 years; it is my favorite car and would have again in a heartbeat, was a very sad day when I sold it. I will buy another 450h; fantastic car and very reliable. The only weak link was the gearbox if it was raced / driven excessively hard continuously when cold.”
      Hope this helps.

  18. Hi my names jim , please can you help, l won’t to buy a used Lexus 600h but have owned a Lexus 430 as l don’t use the car very often with the old one l had to use a trickle charge to stop the battery going flat . With the ls600h can l use a trickle charger or would it be ok standing in the garage in cold weather for maybe 3weeks without use , thank you

    1. Hi Jim,
      Thank you for getting in touch. We are just checking this with our Technical team and we will get back to your shortly.
      Many thanks.

  19. I have a GS 300 h 3 years old 110 k miles, it’s a company car. I used to get 600 miles from a full tank of fuel during the first two years now I’m lucky if it does 500. The hybrid battery doesn’t seem to be able to power the car as much as it used to. I guess it’s like having a new mobile phone or a lap top, in the first year you only charge it once a day and as it gets older its on charge most if the time. I feel sorry for the next owner that buys it second hand. It’s such a shame as its a lovely car but heavy on fuel now when compared to a diesel of the same size. The company car tax goes sky high when it goes into its forth year too.

  20. Ella – my reply seems to have disappeared.
    See my original question. I did do as you say but as soon as I started putting in the street name it defaulted to a list of streets – none of them mine. Similarly when I put in Saint Simeon (a town east of Paris) it defaulted to a list of places starting with ‘saint or st’ none of them mine?

    1. Hi Mike,
      We’re very sorry for the late response. We have been in talks with our technical team. Would you be able to provide us with your registration number? They will then look at a Lexus system and see if they can advise further. Many thanks.

    2. Hi Mike,
      Please see an exact copy of how our technical team tested this and found the address on a Lexus system.
      “I selected France as country
      I selected Paris as city (alternatively you can also select 1er Arrondissement, Paris)
      I selected Chatelet (Pl.Du) – and NOT Place du Chatelet
      I entered number 1”
      We hope this helps.

  21. Taking my RC300H to France in a week and wanted to input my destination and a couple of addresses into the sat nav memory. Went into destination, etc and changed the country to France.
    I was trying to input 1, place du Chatelet, 75001, Paris but part way through inputting either the town or the street it threw up a load of addresses I had to chose from – none of which were the one I wanted. Is it me or the sat nav?

    1. Hi Mike,
      Thanks for getting in touch. After speaking with our team, we can advise that in order to find the required address on the sat nav you need to change the country (France), input the town and then input the street. We hope this helps and please let us know if you need any more assistance. Many thanks.

        1. Hi Mike,
          Apologies for not making ourselves totally clear. You are correct in changing the country but to efficiently identify the correct location you need to narrow the search further by inputting the town as well. Once this information has been put in, you will be able to input and identify the correct street much more quickly. Many thanks.

          1. Thanks Ella
            See my original question.
            I put in France, then Paris, then tried the street name and that’s when it came up with a list of names none of which were mine. Similarly I tried to put in the village (east of Paris) of Saint Simeon – as soon as I pot in the Saint (or even St) again a list of Saints but not mine? Have you a Lexus near by you that you could try on?

          2. Hi Mike,
            We’re very sorry for the late response. We have been in talks with our technical team. Would you be able to provide us with your registration number? They will then look at a Lexus system and see if they can advise further. Many thanks.

          3. Hi Mike,
            Thank you for coming back to us. We have forwarded your registration number to our technical team and they will take a look into this for you. Please expect a reply early next week. Many thanks.

  22. Hi lexus

    I’ve no idea how the hybrid system works…basically can it be plugged in stayed on charge overnight and then usedthe following day on a full charge to do a decent journey without any need for the engine?

    Also how much are the hybrid batteries to replace if out of the 5 year warranty period?

    1. Hi David,
      Thank you for getting in touch. Lexus Hybrid systems do not need plugging in, The hybrid battery can be charged in two ways. As well as using energy from the engine for charging, Lexus Hybrid Drive also charges the battery through regenerative braking, a system which recovers energy that would otherwise be wasted during braking. Every time the brake pedal is pressed or the driver releases the accelerator pedal to lose momentum, the electric motor goes into reverse, in effect becoming an electric brake and thereby generating electricity. This is then diverted to the battery for recycling.
      The battery is designed to last the life of the vehicle and we would advise speaking to your local Lexus Centre regarding this.
      We hope this answers your question. Many thanks.

  23. In a post above my first question you have stated “All batteries used in our cars are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle”

    I have seen this statment all over the internet.

    Can you please confirm this?

    1. Hi Saul,
      The Hybrid batteries have always been designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. For example, we still have first generation Hybrids on the road with their original Hybrid powertrain and many others with very high mileages. Many thanks!

      1. I am considering purchasing a used 400h with 93000 miles on the clock – However battery life is a concern and I find no comfort in your continuing reference to the non committal statement “All batteries used in our cars are designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle”
        How long is ‘the lifetime of the vehicle’ ?
        What do you rate as “many others with very high mileages” ?

        1. Hi there,
          Thanks for getting back in touch. We are unable to say exactly how long a lifetime of a specific vehicle is. If you follow guidelines as to when you should get your car serviced at an approved Lexus centre and you take good care of your car, a Hybrid system in a Lexus should last. Hope this helps.

      2. So why are they only warranted for the absurdly low number of only 5 years?? Buying a second hand hybrid is like gambling with a potential £4,000 bill to replace the batteries. It’s unacceptable really.

        1. Actually, although the initial hybrid warranty is 5 years, with regular servicing through your main Lexus dealer and completion of the included hybrid health checks can extend the warranty of the hybrid system at no extra cost to the customer up to a maximum of 15 years!

          Even this doesn’t suggest that the battery will automatically fail after this amount of time. The comment referring to first generation hybrids with their original hybrid battery isn’t just unique to Lexus, considering parent company Toyota introduced the technology in the Mark 1 Prius in 1997, I’m sure Lexus can back up their claims!

  24. I need some help.

    I have a Lexus 450h 2006. I have 113k on the clock. The hybrid battery has failed. I have extended warranty, but they are refusing to cover the cost of replacing the hybrid battery stating that it’s the age of the vehicle and high mileage and is not a mechanical failure.

    My warranty expires in November 2106 but back in May 2016 before its 10 years anniversary I got sold another 2 years, so I am covered until 2018.

    I am in in disbelief as it costs £2400 to replace the hybrid battery. I am arguing the following points:

    1) In the warranty terms & conditions it doesn’t say if the vehicle is aged, parts won’t be covered. It says, they won’t cover if it its wear & tear. Can this be classed as wear & tear?

    2) If they are using this ageing argument, they should clearly state this that hybrid batters won’t be covered if over certain age, no?

    3) I reported the Hybrid battery problem before the 10 year anniversary of the vehicle as I had some alarms come up. The dealer than said alarms were cleared and test were inconclusive. Less than 6 months later the hybrid battery has failed.

    I would sincerely appreciate your help guys to sort this out.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Saul,
      Thanks for your post. In order for you to get the best possible advise on this issue we have taken note of your name and email address and passed it to our customer relations team. Someone should be in touch soon regarding your query. Many thanks.

        1. Hi Saul,
          Unfortunately, it’s difficult for us to tell you how long a battery will last. It is dependent on a number of different things. If you’re looking for piece of mind, you can contact your local Lexus Centre who can then carry out a ‘Hybrid Health Check’ to evaluate the condition. Someone from customer relations will also be in touch regarding your previous comment as soon as possible. Hope this helps! Many thanks.

  25. Hi, I am interested in buying a pre-used Lexus CT200H – 2011 (110,000 miles). As the battery warranty has expired past the 5 years/60,000 miles mark, should I expect to have to buy a new battery and if so how much do they cost? Thanks, Terry

  26. Pingback: How does Lexus Hybrid Drive work? – Lexus – Luxury Buys Today
  27. Hi I bought a new Lexus IS300 in October 2015 has done 3500 miles while driving to it shows me a message hybrid not working Please advice

  28. Hi
    I want to buy rx450h but i am afraid of hybrid system.
    If hybrid system will broke , can i drive just with benzin?

    1. Hi Bahrom
      Thanks for your post.
      We first introduced a hybrid system into our Lexus RX back in 2003, many of which are still on the road today. We are therefore confident in terms of the durability and reliability of our hybrid systems. It is not just us saying this either as the attached link shows, we have won 12 customer service awards over the years,
      In the unlikely event that a problem does occur then we have a comprehensive manufacturer warranty (3 year or 60,000 miles) plus extra warranty cover included for the hybrid model components of 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes sooner). We recommend that you stop by your local Lexus dealer to test drive for yourself and this link will help if you are unsure as to your nearest location.
      If you have any other questions or queries please let us know.

  29. I am very happy with my new Lexus IS300 Exec but a few issues I will discuss with the dealer at the first service are (1) the left side of the centre console needs to be padded as the hard plastic is uncomfortable against my left knee. (2) The Indicator stalk selection & cancel is too sensitive between selecting fully on or just 3 initial “blinks” likewise when correcting there is a tendency to over-correct and signal the opposite direction.. (3) The phone bluetooth I am constantly being advised people can’t hear me clearly but this wasn’t the case in my previous car.

    1. Hello Adrian
      Thank you for your post.
      We do appreciate your feedback regarding ownership of your Lexus IS 300h. We do hope you are enjoying your car and appreciate the time you have taken to bring these issues to our attention. Your dealer can look at these for you however it may be worth checking the phone volume settings if you have not done this already. With regard to the centre consul though, we do not have a different design available so it may be whether there is a remedial solution to cure this. We have also passed your comments back to the product team responsible for the IS 300h specification for their information. Thank you again for your feedback.

  30. I have a “Prius ” at the moment…. . generally speaking.. in what ways would you say that the Lexus is better than this …if at all ?
    There are several unfortunate design problems in the Prius to do with visibility…in my opinion , possibly safety related ?) Do you have comparative statements / comments about this in relation to the Lexus/Prius ?
    I noticed some Lexus cars (taxis ?) as well as the Prius , (also many Camry !) on the roads on a visit to America (New York ) recently… In what ways is this significant given the mileage/usage /service necessary that they (all ) undertake in this City ?

    1. Hello Mr Richardson
      Thanks for your post. A very interesting question.
      In terms of efficiency, whichever hybrid you choose to drive whether a Toyota or Lexus, it will essentially be the same from the operation perspective as they are all designed to drive as efficiently as possible and all have the ability to use electric power at lower speed, thus saving fuel. It boils down more to what you need the vehicle for, what your requirements are and which best meets your needs. Lexus is our premium brand while Prius represents our first hybrid model which went on sale in Japan in 1997. More than three million Prius have now been sold worldwide and nearly seven million hybrids in total. This has proven the longevity of the hybrid powertrain and established this technology as a credible alternative to conventional petrol or diesel engine vehicles.
      Taking your next point, with regard to your comments about visibility, if you can elaborate further then we would be happy to address this. Hybrid cars are used by taxi companies in cities across the world because they save their drivers money, can access zones which can only be reached by low emission cars, but crucially they are reliable. Owners who use their cars for business need to know it will not break down. London also has its fair share of Prius taxis. Servicing requirements are no different, in fact hybrids have less serviceable parts so cost and maintenance is not an issue. We hope you will have seen this for yourself. Lastly the Toyota Camry has been the best selling car in America for quite a number of years as it meets the needs of the US driver. We do not sell this model in the UK but we hope this has helped clarify. Let us know if you have any other questions and about the visibility issue you mention.

  31. I have a 57 plate RX400 on 90,000 miles and I notice that the battery indicator on the central display never reaches full. I have not seen it go higher than 2/3.

    Does this mean the rechargeable part of the system has degraded to a point where the battery will never reach full?

    Also is that the reason why sometimes when I start the car, the petrol engine comes on straight away even though it is hardly doing 5mph. It feels like there is no charge in the battery and that’s why the petrol engine is on, even though display is showing 1/3 battery life left.

    1. Hello SA
      Thanks for your post.
      Just to reassure you this does not mean the battery has degraded. The battery is designed to work in conjunction with the petrol engine so it operates at its most fuel efficient at all times. The display may not reach full but you will notice the storage increasing if going down a long hill for example. The petrol engine is constantly monitoring batteries to make sure they never drop below a certain level which is why you will hear the engine cut in at certain times. Battery use will of course be governed by how the vehicle is driven but adopting a smooth driving technique in terms of reading the road and slow braking will start to deliver results. It does not mean that there is any problem with the batteries in the car.
      Hope this helps but let us know if you have any other questions.

  32. Hi I have a 2013 RX450h FSport. I am getting on with it very well I have toured Europe towing a Caravn without issue.
    I have a question, when my Hybrid indicator dial shows that the system is charging when is the greater charge? At the very bottom of the dial or the top just under the Eco section, or is there no relevance.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Glad you’re enjoying your RX 450h. To answer your question, the hybrid system does recover more charge the further into the Eco section of the dial the needle goes. For example, you would recover slightly more charge by braking hard a few times than by coasting in Eco mode for a short period. That said, using the Eco mode is always good!

      Hope that helps,


      1. Hi will
        I wonder if you can help me with this
        Iam planning to buy ES300h but I notice that the rev gauge is different , it include charge , eco and power , can to please explain to me each one ?
        Best regards

        1. Hi Rashed,

          Thank you for your interest in the ES 300h. This is a hybrid vehicle, which combines a petrol engine with an electric motor and battery. It uses an e-CVT transmission to get the most of the hybrid system, and uses the engine revolutions differently to a traditional petrol or diesel car. A CVT transmission does not have a fixed set of gear ratios. It has infinite gear ratios and will select the most efficient for any demand from the driver. This is reflected in the car’s instrument binnacle. Simply put, when the car indicates that it is in ‘charge’ this means the vehicle is recharging its hybrid battery, so it can use the electricity later. If the car indicates ‘eco’, it means the car is not using much energy, and will be more efficient. The car will indicate ‘power’ when you demand hard acceleration, which uses more energy from the petrol engine and battery. The best way to understand how this works is to experience the car in action. WE’d be honoured to arrange an appointment with your nearest Lexus centre. Is this something you’d be interested in?

          For now, you can learn more about Lexus hybrids, and how they work here:

    2. I just bought a 2014 450h and was told by Lexus I cant have a hitch topull a seedoo. How can Chris pull a caravan?

      1. Hi Steve,
        Thanks for getting in touch. We do not offer a tow bar as an official Lexus accessory and we do not recommend towing a trailer/caravan with your vehicle. We do not recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, etc. Your vehicle is not designed for trailer towing or for the use of tow hitch mounted carriers. You may be able to fit a tow bar as a third party accessory, but if something was to happen to your vehicle due to the use of a third party accessory, your warranty may be voided. We hope this clears things up for you.

        1. Hi, I have owned from the RX300 to the present day RX450h and have always towed with them all and as I remember it there has always been a towbar available for each one via the Lexus accessories brochure. The present one is actually labelled Lexus. Am I still to believe that this may void my warranty ?
          There also seems to be mention of a setting on my present day 450H for a stability program when towing.
          I know that these cars are inteligent but surely you must be wrong here.
          The car itself is brilliant in every way and I would also recomend it as a tow car


          1. Hi Richard,
            Thank you for getting in touch. Please can you confirm that you own a RX 450h?
            Please could you also confirm if you have purchased a tow bar as part of the accessory pack from Lexus? Many thanks.

  33. I love my CT but I would suggest you do need to change your driving style to better suit the advantages of the hybrid drive. Indeed the included driving tips are all useful – even the best hybrid system in the world cannot overcome the laws of physics!!

  34. I have found this article the most informative of any site including my owner’s manual.
    Thank you
    John H

    1. Hi Hetherington
      Thanks for your comments and we do appreciate your feedback regarding this post.

  35. I am very happy with my CT, I constantly get over 50 mpg, often on the motorway this rises to 61 to 63, so mpg is not a problem.
    What I am not so keen on is the CVT when at times, for example hill climbing, the engine works extremely hard to keep the car moving and is very very intrusive, I often feel that a 2ltr engine would be better suited.
    However, as the car is 2 years old this year, I will change it for another CT as I have read that this issue has been resolved and now the “gearbox” behaves more like a conventional automatic.
    Having said all this, as an everyday car the CT suits me very well.

  36. I have just purchased a second hand RX400H SE on a 57 plate and have heard something about the lexus warranty on the hybrid battery. My vehicle has only done 44,000 miles, does the warranty cover this vehicle?

    1. Hi Will
      Your ’57 plate suggests your Lexus was first registered between September 2007 and February 2008. Every new Lexus comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty cover, whichever comes first, with no mileage limitation for the first year, while the hybrid components, including the battery, are provided with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty. Any defect that is attributable to a manufacturing or assembly defect under normal use is covered by the warranty. If you have any other questions about Lexus and Hybrid the following link may be of use :
      Thanks for getting in touch.
      Lexus UK





    1. Hi Alan,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
      We’ve spoken with our Customer Relations team and your RX450h hybrid components have a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty. We would like to point out that this does include the hybrid battery but not the 12v battery. We suggest contacting your local Lexus Centre where the vehicle was purchased as they’ll be able to provide you with a warranty document which states the correct 5 years, not 3 years.
      Hope this helps.

      1. I’m not sure how to post questions so apologies in advance.
        Questions about RX450H sport:
        Is the CVT based on the usual belt/friction drive or is the electric machine used to provide the CVT?
        What type of battery is used in the 2017/2018 model from Japan?

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