With its comfortable ride, quiet interior and lavish amenities, the Lexus ES provides big luxury car feel and refinement in a manageably sized package. The ES is also quick and yet sparing with fuel. Valuing ride quality over handling, agility is not a strong suit. Consequently, the ES idoes not try to be fun to drive. However, it is one of the best riding cars in its class.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Reliability

Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how used vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2012 Lexus ES has been recalled 3 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
Worse Better
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07*
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19*
Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
Engine Minor
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
Transmission Major
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
Drive System
NA
Fuel System
NA
Electric System
NA
Climate System
NA
Suspension
NA
Brakes
NA
Exhaust
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
Body Integrity
NA
Body Hardware
NA
Power Equipment
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for about 420,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2019 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

Learn more about car Reliability.

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Lexus ES owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"'Nav system' is HORRIFIC. Rather than being gouged $2,600 for this piece of garbage, I could have paid Garmin $300 and gotten something world-class. Lexus senior mgmnt should have OUTSOURCED its nav system to a company that has a clue. Mgmnt doesn't"

Warren M., VA (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Unable to hear incoming calls or make outgoing calls"

Anonymous, IL (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Radio channels could not be manually adjusted"

Anonymous, MS (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

"Just discussed this in previous statement"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"Just normal maintenance repair"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Rotors

"Normal maintenance repair"

Anonymous, FL (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

"The brakes didn't work one time as I tried to stop. I just coasted to a stop without power. No damage to anything/ anyone, but scarey. Twice the radio wouldn't turn off after I turned off engine. Took it directly to dealer/I discovered if I turn eng"

Anonymous, VA (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"Thermostat failed and automatic system would not maintain selected temperature"

Anonymous, IA (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

"This problem has existed since new and the dealer says they cannot find any cause for it. When using the heater cycle in the automatic mode - instead of just reducing the heat flow after it reaches the set temperature it blows large amounts of cold air into the car. Thus I have always had to use the system in manual mode and even then it blows cold air sometimes"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

"Just faded that's all"

Anonymous, TX (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"dealer couldnt fix A-pillar problem after 6 visits; private repair facility fixed it the first time"

Anonymous, SC (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Minor issue w/ weather stripping getting misaligned by door. Dealer corrected issue at 25000 mile checkup"

Anonymous, NM (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Tire pressure monitor

"The tire light came on and wouldn't go off until I replaced a sensor, an expensive part"

Anonymous, ON (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"car pulls to the left even after checking alignment and tire pressures"

Martin M., ON (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Upon acceleration the front tires were taking turns getting traction. The right front axle was bad. You could not feel any of this while coasting though. Experienced mechanical personnel at two locations either did not diagnose the problem correctly and/or tried to sell me tires and a front end alignment which the car did not need"

John S., OH (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Coil

"Coil had to be replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Lexus ES 350 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Compare 2012 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Oct 17 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2010-2016 4Runner, 2003-2006 Tundra, 2003-2013 Corolla, 2009-2010 Corolla Matrix, 2004-2005 RAV4, 2002-2007 Sequoia, 2011-2013 Sienna, 2008-2012 Scion xB, 2008-2009 Lexus IS-F, 2007-2012 Yaris and Lexus ES350, 2010-2017 Lexus GX460, 2002-2010 Lexus SC430, 2006-2012 Lexus IS250 and IS350 and 2010-2015 Lexus IS250C and IS350C vehicles. These vehicles had their driver or passenger frontal air bag inflators previously replaced under a prior recall using inflators of the same design. The inflators may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the driver or front passenger air bag inflator or the air bag assembly using an alternate inflator, free of charge. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. Toyota's numbers for this recall are J0A, J0B, and J0C. Lexus' numbers for this recall are JLI, JLJ, and JLK.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V741000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 928220
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 09 2019
An inflator explosion may result in sharp metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2014-2016 Toyota 4Runner, 2014-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2014 Toyota Sienna, Lexus IS-F, and 2014-2017 Lexus GX460 vehicles sold, or ever registered in the states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands or "Zone A." Toyota is also recalling certain 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Lexus IS250, IS350, 2011-2016 4Runner, 2011-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2011-2014 Toyota Sienna, Lexus IS-F, 2011-2017 Lexus GX460, and 2011-2012 Lexus ES350 vehicles ever registered in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia or "Zone B." Toyota is also recalling certain 2010-2013 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Lexus IS350, 2010-2016 4Runner, 2010-2013 Lexus IS250, 2010-2015 Scion xB, Lexus IS350C, IS250C, 2010-2017 Lexus GX460, 2010-2014 Lexus IS-F, and 2010-2012 Lexus ES350 vehicles ever registered in the states of Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming or "Zone C." These vehicles are equipped with air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules, used as original equipment or replacement equipment (such as after a vehicle crash necessitating replacement of the original air bags), that may explode due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to high absolute humidity, temperature and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify owners. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, or replace the air bag assembly. The recall began February 15, 2019. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's numbers for this recall are "Zone A" Toyota: G0P, Lexus: GLG; "Zone B" Toyota: G0R, Lexus GLH; "Zone C" Toyota: H0A, and Lexus: HLA.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V005000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 1299448
AIR BAGS:PASSENGER SIDE FRONTAL
Jan 09 2017
An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the vehicle occupants resulting in serious injury or death.
Summary:
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2012 Toyota 4Runner, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sienna, Yaris, Scion xB, Lexus ES350, GX460, IS-F, IS250, IS350, IS250C, IS350C, and Lexus LFA vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or "Zone A." Additionally, unless included in "Zone A" above, Toyota is recalling certain 2009 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Yaris, Yaris HB, Scion xB, Pontiac Vibe, Lexus, ES350, IS250, IS350, and IS-F vehicles originally sold, or ever registered, in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, or "Zone B." Additionally, unless included in "Zone A" or "Zone B" above, Toyota is recalling certain 2006-2008 Lexus IS250 and IS350, 2007-2008 Lexus ES350, Toyota Yaris, Yaris HB, and 2008 Lexus IS-F and Scion xB vehicles originally sold, or ever registered in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. These vehicles are equipped with certain air bag inflators assembled as part of the passenger frontal air bag modules used as original equipment or replacement equipment. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger frontal air bag, these inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling.
What should you do:
Toyota will notify the Toyota, Scion and Lexus owners. General Motors will contact the Pontiac owners. Depending on the model, dealers will replace the passenger frontal air bag inflator or the air bag assembly, free of charge. The recall began on February 1, 2017. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331, or Pontiac customer service at 1-800-762-2737. Toyota's numbers for final remedy for this campaign are G0P (Toyota Zone A), G0R (Toyota Zone B), H0A (Toyota Zone C), GLG (Lexus Zone A), GLH (Lexus Zone B) and HLA (Lexus Zone C).
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 17V006000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 577875
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