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Lexus IS-F

Shock! Horror! Our Lexus IS-F's ECU throws a strop...

Lexus IS-F

I had assumed that running a Lexus would be plain sailing. I had assumed that a Lexus wouldn’t – couldn’t – go wrong. But assumption, as they say, is the mother of all f***-ups.

OK, maybe I’m selling this a bit strong, but the IS-F’s radio is acting up, as is its keyless entry system. Oh, and the radar cruise control occasionally cuts out. Nothing earth-shattering, but nevertheless a puzzling and surprising set of circumstances.

I think I’ve sussed the problem with the cruise: the radar distance sensor can’t cope with heavy rain – the sort you get in the UK during August. I haven’t got to the bottom of the keyless entry yet, though. It works fine on the driver’s side, but try to open the front passenger door first and you’re often left yanking the handle uselessly.

Most frustratingly, the sound system often fails to wake up for the first 30 minutes of a journey. The radio comes on, but there’s no noise at all from the speakers. I’ve tried everything: turning off the traffic announcements, the satnav, even the Bluetooth on my phone. Nothing has worked so far. This trial-and-error process hasn’t been easy either, because so few of the IS-F’s touch-screen functions are accessible on the move. That not only makes problem-solving frustrating but also means that neither driver nor a passenger can dial numbers or enter a satnav destination once you’ve pulled away. Apparently older Lexii had a secret bypass code to get around this, but new ones don’t. If anyone knows any different, please get in touch.

Anyway, I’ve booked the IS-F in for an electronic chat with a diagnostics machine, and I’m hoping the binary conversation will yield some answers. I’m also hoping the dealer will be able to track down a new towing-eye cover as the last one went missing when the Lexus played photography car on the Isle of Man with the LP560 and GT2.

Don’t go thinking I’ve got a downer on the IS-F, though. After all, who needs a stereo when you’ve got a V8 that snarls as well as this one?


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evo Statistics

Date acquired: July 2008
Total mileage: 4948
Mileage this month: 2894
Costs this month: £0
MPG this month: 22.9