Our Point of View: Lexus HS 250h Causing Internet Buzz

August 03, 2009

by Bill Kwong

The internet is buzzing with Lexus HS 250h excitement and observations, and it has been reported that the HS 250h is a Lexus version of the Toyota Prius. That is far from the truth.

All Toyota and Lexus hybrids use the series/parallel hybrid system, but that’s where the similarity ends between the Toyota Prius and the new Lexus HS 250h. So, let’s look at some of the differences.

The HS 250h is based on the European Toyota Avensis platform and uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine compared to the Prius, which is on another design platform and uses a 1.8-liter engine. The hybrid transmission, motor generators and electronic control systems are also different.

Specially designed for the luxury buyer, HS 250h has a double-wishbone rear suspension while the Prius uses torsion beam. All components of the front suspension are different too. The HS has more spot welding and has anti-vibration front and rear suspension members for a quieter and smoother ride.

Compared to Prius, HS 250h has premium standard and optional features including Remote Touch, Wide-view Front monitor, intelligent high beams, Heads-Up Display, Lexus Enform™ with Safety Connect™, a 40- gigabyte hard disk drive navigation system with Voice Command casual language voice recognition system, streaming audio via Bluetooth® and Mark Levinson® Audio Sound system.

In addition, as Lexus’ first dedicated hybrid, HS 250h offers the Lexus customer experience, which includes Roadside Assistance, complimentary dealer loaner vehicles, valet parking at dealerships, and other benefits and services.

Compared to its competitors in the entry luxury sedan segment, HS 250h is priced thousands of dollars less. It has the best combined EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings, at 35 mpg, of any luxury or diesel luxury vehicle in the U.S. In addition, the HS 250h emits 70 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new car and is eight times cleaner than any clean diesel.




City (mpg)

Highway (mpg)

Combined (mpg)

Lexus HS 250h





Mercedes E320 BLUETEC






So, when entry luxury consumers are looking for a vehicle that is technologically advanced, has efficient design with great fuel economy and driving dynamics, the Lexus HS 250h, is definitely the clear choice and provides more value for your hard earned dollar.


Displaying comments 1 - 5 of 68:

PeteTell said...
Since more than 20 years I have Toyotas and most of my family - my wife, my children, my father - as well. Several modeels including Lexus. I, we never - never - had such a problem. Ok, we used original floor mats only and had all regular inspections on the cars. But since GM (General Motors) is GM (Governmental Motors) the jig started and NHSTA is just a stooge. Everybody can tell whatever they want. Why NHSTA, NHS and NASA don't report on their progress. Whatever they find, Toyota and other Carmakers can improve.
8/9/10 at 12:00 AM

Not Fair said...
Why is toyota having to have senate hearing, while american cars are just as cheaply made? Because the us government owns stakes in the big three. I can't believe there aren't more people noticing this small fact. It pains me to see this kind of national pride racism. Ford has killed A LOT more people with faulty cruise control switches, firestone tires, ect. Why aren't they sitting up there on capitol hill right next to the Toyota execs?
3/2/10 at 12:00 AM

masterkylelewis said...
I like this i might actually research this more in depth!
2/6/10 at 12:00 AM

Cat said...
I don't believe Toyota wants you to remove your floor mats permanently. Just until you get mats fixed. Just goto Walmart and get a grommet tool in the camping section and punch holes in your mats to match the holes on your floor. My Toyota dealer gave me a couple of clips that snap into the mat holes to attach the mat to the floor. Cost was minimal. My husband did this when I bought my car in 06 when my mats kept pushing forward all the time in my Highlander. I saw it as a safety issue myself (common sense) and decided it had to be fixed if I wanted the mats in my car. Everyone needs to start thinking and fixing problems instead of needing someone else to show you the way and be responsible for it. When I bought my Highlander it didn't have mats so I bought them as an add on at the dealer. My year of Highlander didn't have this floor mat solution but newer ones already had this (my salesperson said).
2/4/10 at 12:00 AM

kevin king said...
Its amazing how all these people defended Toyota saying its floor matts but the only thing those matts where covering was the truth. I think they will never tell the truth. The problem with being number one is that your mistakes are also number 1not good. ask GM. Just suppose they dont know what the problem is 100 billion dollars in justified claims will assist them in understand you can not hide what they thought was a mustard seed in the dirt eventually it become this great big tree.
2/3/10 at 12:00 AM

Mike Cain said...
Janice is right. With the throttle (not necessarily the accelerator) wide open it is nearly impossible to bring the car to a halt from 30 or 60MPH. The report from the NHTSA confirms this including the 150 lbs pressure vs 30 lbs pressure required and the exhaustiion of vaccum in the vaccum assist unit all leading to a bit of a scare. TURN the ENGINE OFF
2/1/10 at 12:00 AM

D. R. said...
Have always loved our Toyota's. Sorry you are being dragged through the media. Glad you took a stand to correct a problem You know the Democrats have a stake with GM. People make remarks without knowing the facts. If you look at the NHTSA site other manufacturers have much more deaths/injuries reported on the site. I have had American manufactured vehicles almost kill us. Those Explorer vehicles are still killing people and let's not talk about the Jeep. People will always bash Toyota because they are not so happy with the expense and resale related to their American manufacturer vehicles. Sure hope you get through this with flying colors!
1/31/10 at 12:00 AM

Roy LaFaver said...
Bought a new Tacoma in 2003. Poor fuel mileage, substandard shocks, substandard materials under the dash, substandard seating. Recognized over the next few months that this was a shoddy vehicle. Dumped it and bought a Ford. Happy ever since. I'm not surprised to see what is happening now. Toyota has become the 1970 GM Corporation here in 2010. Sell substandard vehicles, repair the ones that come back to the dealerships for less than it would have cost to use good grade of parts, and make more profit as a result.
1/29/10 at 12:00 AM

J Taylor said...
My wife and I bought a 2008 dodge. The dodge accelerated while stopped at lights and would stall. I had this issue many times on the vehicle. Dodge continued to tell me that there was no issue, finally I told them to fix it or I do not want the vehicle back, I already had lawyers on the line and was going to take it to the next level since this was the 9th time I had the vehicle in the shop in less than 7 months. It turned out to be a corrupt signal from the accelerator and some type of sensor. Anonymous the brakes do not always have this feature. If you are able to power brake the vehicle you are definetly not going to have a shut off. That should give it away. Very few vehicles I have drove actually have this feature. Toyota will have it soon I can almost guarantee you they will have. I feel like if Toyota is trying to resolve issues including shutting down factories and not selling vehicles, that is a big statement. As for all the people who are having these issues, please read the statements on the issues and how to correct them. It does not take a genius to put the vehicle in nuetral and if that does not work to turn off the ignition switch and apply brakes. My wife knows nothing about cars and she has practiced this before with the dodge long before Toyota has had issues. As for anyone who has family members who drive the vehicles also, make sure you explain to them the stopping process. It is very important to the safety of all passengers. For the media watchers, the will try to ruin Toyota just like they try to ruin American brand companies. Ford had firestone it recovered so will Toyota. Give Toyota a chance, they made it right for a friend whose Tacoma was recalled, and they will make it right for the rest of thier consumers after all we are who make the company what it is today. For anyone curious about the website for stopping procedures here you go <a href="/section_display.cfm?section_id=1845." target=_blank>Click Here.</a> As for the people who think they have a floor mat issue, look down it only takes 5 seconds to see if you have an issue. If you do, pull the mat back you don't even have to take both hands off of the steering wheel. Just look down put your hands between your legs and pull the mat back about five inches. Older vehicles, did not have those nice inexpensive clips that hold the mat in place, oh lands what did they do just let the car crash, no they pulled the mat back. When you get home order weathertechs expensive but you bought a toyota you can afford a weathertech, www.weathertech.com, guaranteed to fit the vehicle properly, sometimes after market floor mats cause issues. I am a fanatic, I have put extra floor covering in all my vehicles and Toyotas are not the only vehicle which has that issue, you just have to buy the proper fitting after market mat. Toyota remember weathertech, they are brilliant. They make the best all weather mat in the world.
1/28/10 at 12:00 AM

evanj said...
&#35;1 Clip in mats in. &#35;2 If the clips would be broken, take your mat out and get the clips fixed. &#35;3 Clip the mats in again.
1/28/10 at 12:00 AM

Michael said...
Ford has recalls ALL the time. They are always on top of things. The foreign car dealers never want to do a RECALL! Check it out.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

joan carr said...
Dear Toyota Corporate Office: I have got 1 thing to say. You are the best car makers in the world. I had a Toyota Carolla which I leased for 5 years. I loved that car but I had to turn it in. In 2007 I bought a Toyota Yaris. I can't tell you how many people admire the car and ask me is that a new make of Toyota. The car still looks brand new and I love it. Every car maker since God knows when has had recalls. I just wish the part at fault would return to the U.S.A. to be manufactured. Yes all, it was manufactured in Toronto, Can.
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

Hondagirl said...
Guess Tom was right and Alex now eating crow. Must be a liberal!!hahaha
1/27/10 at 12:00 AM

anonymous said...
i highly doubt that Janice. if both of your feet were on the BRAKE'S then you would of stopped because it is run on a hydraulic system that is completely different from the throttle, unless your mat was trapped under your brake pedal and over your gas pedal. if you look up how the gas pedal actually works you would also agree that it is extremely hard to believe that it has a mind of its own with the drive by wire system, with the recall they will most likely just have a recalibration. Toyota is not just going to throw money at one of the biggest recalls in history they know the problem and are going to fix it, they are not the best car company in the world off of luck.
1/24/10 at 12:00 AM

Al said...
I like the Toyota brand to, Own a 1991 p/u and a 2007 Camry, but I feel absolutely certain that they have had a cruise control issue for years.
1/22/10 at 12:00 AM

Al said...
Has anyone tried disabling the cruise control, to see if it would manage the problem?
1/22/10 at 12:00 AM

Al said...
Toyota, get your head out of the sand. You must know that its an electronic cruise control issue causing the problems.
1/22/10 at 12:00 AM

Alan said...
Jeff: what you're missing is that the accident vehicle had Lexus mats, but the wrong ones installed by a Lexus dealer. Do you really believe this is an isolated situation at just one Lexus dealer? The point is that if it can happen at a Lexus dealership, it can happen again at other dealerships and by individuals purchasing incorrect mats elsewhere. Why? Because the design of the floorboard and throttle pedal make the vehicle hyper-sensitive to the type of mats installed. This is then aggravated because most people do not know that you have to depress and hold the start button for 3 secs to shut off the vehicle. I get you're protecting your income, but if the design of the pedal and floorboard weren't what they are, along with a requirement to hold the start button for 3 secs to turn off the car, 4 people would not have died.
12/11/09 at 12:00 AM

Miles said...
Good to see a common sense comment Jeff...the hysteria involved with most of the comments here is the sort of thing the terrorists KNOW will happen and use to maximum effect with little investment involved. Once again people are their own worst enemies because they just can't take a deep breath and actually think before reacting to ANYTHING anymore!
12/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Jamie W said...
Car manufacturers have historically weighed the financial difference between recalling or face the liability of not recalling. Safety recalls are pushed forward when the NHTSA takes a position. Toyota knew about this concern for years and only when the NHTSA took a position did Toyota do anything toward fixing this problem. All manufactures are the same in this regard. To think anything else is being naive.
12/1/09 at 12:00 AM

Irene S. said...
amazing how people believe everything the internet and media tells them, especially knowing how much the media exaggerates just to scare people half to death..as far as toyota &quot;claiming&quot; floor mats are the problem, maybe its because an improperly installed floor mat not made for that Lexus was the problem. And Toyota doing what they can and fixing this issue because of one incident and because everyone is so scared should show they care about their customers safety. Toyotas are great cars, last long and dont cost a million dollars to maintain. Thats what we need and want in a car....and why are all the people that say their accelerator pedal got stuck and this has happened to them women?? learn how to drive, your mats are fine.
11/30/09 at 12:00 AM

David said...
Toyota is being villified in the American press because they've taken advantage of the fact that America's automotive dominance has ended. Period. Guess what - my 2004 Buick has the same floor mat shifting issue, and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to theorize how it could shift toward the accelerator and become &quot;entrapped.&quot; But you won't hear that on mainstream media, will you? Its kind of an &quot;economic racism...&quot;
11/27/09 at 12:00 AM

Patrick Arnold said...
The clips that hold the floor mats are cheap and made of plastic. That is a concern with me. How long will it take for the clips to break and who can guarentee that this will not happen.
11/25/09 at 12:00 AM

R8MALOO said...
One must ask if this issue is not caused by the floor mats they why is it more prominant in the USA and not in Austraila or other markets. That would be because Australia use a differently designed floor mat with NO official reports on Lexus vehicles. There maybe some reports on blogs and such &#40;maybe the people who post these comments have no life and want to feel important&#41; there have definatly been no OFFICAL reports made to Lexus in Australia. Lets face it most aftermarket floor mats are made from a hard rubber compound. Take that mat and put it under the brake pedal and over the Accel pedal, what will happen when you stand on the brakes hard???? You will accelerate. Seems quite logical if you have some undestanding. Those people who want to blame Toyota should get there facts correct and get a LIFE.
11/25/09 at 12:00 AM

Mike '06 Avalon Owner said...
Wow, sounds really scary. I have been fortunate enough not to have encountered this problem. So if Toyota wants the floor mat removed, what are they going to do when the carpet gets ruined? The purpose of the floor mat is to protect the carpet.
11/25/09 at 12:00 AM

Debbie Mears said...
I was just informed, I don't know if this is true or not but Toyota is having a recall due to rust developing in the frames of 2000 Tacoma trucks. Is this true? I need to know being that I am staying in an area that snows.
11/25/09 at 12:00 AM

Lyle said...
Why is it that after-market floor mats have been used pre 2005 and no significant reporting of stuck accelerators as shown. Beginning in 2005 the after market floor mat has decided to grab the accelerator and slam it to the floor? Your loyalty is getting in the way of reality!
11/21/09 at 12:00 AM

stowaway said...
Could you please site the study about electonic failure and where you are getting your information. It sounds like from your comment that it happened to you. God forbid!!
11/16/09 at 12:00 AM

Janice Fritsch said...
I've had this happen to me a few times now and it is NOT the floor mat. The car acceleration has a mind of its own and takes over the acceleration. I had both feet on the break and the car did not stop. They don't know what the problem is so they are blaming the mats. I think that is prety lame.
11/15/09 at 12:00 AM

mary said...
OH Don't be ridiculous! UNDERSTAND what problem? NO AFTER MARKET MATS... That's it, period!
11/13/09 at 12:00 AM

Kiki said...
Though Toyota has a fairly good reputation, that doesn't mean that they can't have a problem now. The claims that are being made about acceleration problems have nothing to do with the floormats. It sounds like the computer electronics are failing. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and for those who say it's driver error, you have your heads in the sand. This involves the newer Toyotas from the mid 2000's til now. I guess you won't understand the problem unless it happens to you. God forbid!!
11/13/09 at 12:00 AM

Toyota fan said...
That is not true, you should learn the facts, and read, its that thing with lines, that doesnt come out of a box.
11/10/09 at 12:00 AM

Adeel said...
The problem is not with the floor mat. As one person even tried lifting the paddle up with his foot but it was stuck there. For people who have been using Toyota's for the past 12 years, this problem is with the new Lexus and Toyota models. I hope they get this fixed soon and stop blaming the mats for the problem.
11/9/09 at 12:00 AM

Jay said...
People have already died and toyota knew there was a problem!
11/9/09 at 12:00 AM

Alex said...
your nswer is typical of Detroit 3 crying losser supporter...well ..what else can we expect...
11/9/09 at 12:00 AM

Bob said...
You guys have been using antique older Toyotas that's why you haven't experienced with the deadly problem yet. In fact problems on newer Lexus and Toyotas and real root cause is not due to the floor mats, it must be due to an electronics.
11/8/09 at 12:00 AM

John said...
There is nothing to recall-all you have to do is make sure the floormats are hooked to the clips!!!!
11/8/09 at 12:00 AM

Mike Gray said...
I purchased my 1st Toyota&#40;'09 Tacoma access cab 4x4&#41;recently.People need to assume some responsibility with these issues. If you are worried ,take the damn mats out until there is a solution. I bought plastic gutter type for my truck . They hold about a gallon of snow &#38; junk. They fit perfect in the locking hooks. No probs! What a great vehicle.
11/8/09 at 12:00 AM

Bob McGregor said...
I have looked in many cars and have seen floor mats pushed up in a ball by the accelerator pedal. Common sense would tell me that is not good. Look further and you will see that the anchors are not being used. If the mat is anchored properly it will not move. Check your mats after you have been to a car wash. Most or the people that remove your mats to clean them do not reinstall them correctly. Also Toyota has no control over people that put after-market mats in their cars and certainly should not be blamed when those items cause problems.
11/7/09 at 12:00 AM

Jeff said...
I've owned Toyota's for the last 12 years and have sold them for the past 7.5 years and have well over 1000 different customers with numerous vehicles and not one has had any issues. I have seen many potential problems though. For example, &quot;I don't want to pay $99 or whatever for Toyota's all weather mats so I'll just go to WalMart and buy their cheapo rubber ones and slap them on top of my normal floor mats&quot;. Common sense will tell you that they are not secure and could slide around and possibly under the pedals. Just look at all the NHTSA data from the testing that they have done. In the past 6 years, a number of Toyota &#38; Lexus vehicles have been test not once, not twice, not three times, nor 4 or 5 times, but SIX times and every time they have found &quot;the only defect trend related to vehicles peed control in the subject vehicles involved the potential for accelerator pedals to become trapped near the floor by out-of-position or inappropriate floor mat installations.&quot; To me, it sounds like Toyota is taking the rap and trying to protect people from themselves. My opinion is to spend the money on the proper floor mats or risk the possibility of the pedal getting stuck by your $10 WalMart jobs. If you want to complain about spending $99 for proper floor mats &#38; you can't afford it, or it's going to &quot;break&quot; you, now is probably not the time to be buying a new car. Just my $0.02.....flame away if you like.....
11/7/09 at 12:00 AM

tom crowley said...
Toyota is doing something? Yes, nothing but making excuses and hiding the truth from us! The cars are not safe and we are still getting the story line of how &quot;unapproved&quot; floor mats were used. So Toyota makes it a consumer problem. Enough is enough. Recall all the cars, fix them and stop selling the same models until a fix is developed. Reasonable considering peoples lives are at stake, and a practical approach to this mess. NO more BS
11/7/09 at 12:00 AM

Bob McGregor said...
I think it is difficult for Toyota to have a recall or campaign that will solve lack of common sense or stupidity. In my opinion that is all that is at issue in this case.
11/7/09 at 12:00 AM

Cs said...
The NHTSA has not found any problems at this time.
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

Charles said...
What model Toyota do you have? From my own personal experience with an 11-year-old Avalon, the mats &#40;properly installed - that's what the hooks are for on the floor, by the way&#41;, have never moved forward and will NEVER move. I really don't think there is an accelerator problem at all. Mats that become entangled with the accelerator pedal on ANY car can lead to this effect. If you doubt Toyota's sincerity, you should simply buy an American car and hope for the best. Hint - their track record is not that favorable.
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

Bill Marr said...
Read the Toyota Newsletter dated November 2 and go to the section that says What should you do if you experience accelerator pedal interference
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

Eric said...
Seriously why is it taking so long to get this recall going.
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

McCracken said...
&quot;Nightline&quot; did an investigation on this problem that aired this past week. Several people have been killed when their Toyota/ Lexus cars accelerated and the owners could not stop the vehicles by braking. Some even knew of the supposed problem with the floor pads and checked that while attempting to stop their car- the floor mats were not causing the acceleration! Nightline had a test driver show what to do if this happens to you. He recommended- 1&#41; Step on the brake- HARD! 2&#41; Shift the car into Neutral 3&#41; Turn off the engine. The word is out TOYOTA- Do something NOW before more people are killed or injured!
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

ROB PORTER said...
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

shawn in NY said...
I now have 165,000 miles on my 2003 Camry....my Father 185,000 on his 2004...his third one..my wife 77,000 on her 2004 Rav4....my Mom 35,000 on her 2008 Corolla....Sister 25,000 on her 2008 Corolla....Fater-in-law 56,000 on his Tundra...his third one....Mother-in-law 45,000 2007 Corolla..her 4the one..not one freeking floormat issue...not one....over 1,000,000 miles in my famly and not one issue with a floor mat. Clip the mats...stop trying to get paid by Toyota. Cant wait till we all replace our Toyotas with new ones...will never buy anything else....
11/6/09 at 12:00 AM

toni harlan said...
so what in the meantime?
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Caela brown said...
My daughter drives our toyota and we dont even have those mats and we have experienced some acceleration problems
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Chris Bell said...
use the existing clips in the floor to hold the mat and add additional &quot;safety clamps&quot; which are basically cables that attach to the seat rail area and have a clamp with teeth to grab and hold the back end of the mat in the event it pops out of the normal clips in the floor. The clamps would be very easy to install and very cheap to make. retro fitting vehicles with this would be very cheap and very quick. You can still use your existing mats without any modifications, and it can be unclamped to be cleaned. Just something for you to think about.
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Richard Charm said...
This is fine and dandy with the possible exception that my Toyota dealer told me that leaving the well-fastened mat in the car was no problem. I think all Toyota people should be on the same page when it comes to dealing with customers. Ie. What should I do with the mat? sincerely, Richard Charm
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Gray Joyner said...
We were considering buy a Toyota for the first time. However until this problem is resolved and Toyota is more forthcoming, the statistics say there is something more than the floor mat causing this throtle body problem. Having dealt with Japaneese business for years I know the the last social thing they want to do is say NO or admit and error for lose of honor. Toytoa had best get out in front on ths or it will be another Firestone/Bridgestone tire, or Ford Pinto nightmare.
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

Patrick Moore said...
check to see how old radar detectors or microwaves or even cell phones effect the computers in the runnaway vehicles. it should help to re-create the problem in the lab that no-one can seem to figure out. and consider even fault line magnetic effect on a non shielded computer. it will keep a car from running at all. we need to look outside the box on this and quick. everyone is at risk if this is the case.
11/5/09 at 12:00 AM

< back

You must be logged in to view this item.

This area is reserved for members of the news media. If you qualify, please update your user profile and check the box marked "Check here to register as an accredited member of the news media". Please include any notes in the "Supporting information for media credentials" box. We will notify you of your status via e-mail in one business day.

Copyright Notice

All materials on this site are for editorial use only. The use of these materials for advertising, marketing or any other commercial purpose is prohibited. They may be cropped but not otherwise modified. To download these materials, you must agree to abide by these terms.