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6 Common Problems Of A Lexus CT200h

6 Common Problems Of A Lexus CT200h

What kind of problems does a Lexus CT200h usually have? In this blog, we’ve outlined all the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a CT200h. However, let’s first start with a quick answer:

All generations of the Lexus CT200h have problems with loud braking noises caused by failing brake actuators. Furthermore, 2011 – 2013 models have excessive oil consumption as well as prematurely wearing halogen headlight bulbs. The same model years are susceptible to engine misfiring in temperatures below 45F (4.5 Celcius).

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll let you know how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!

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We Use Real World Vehicle Data To Create This List Of Problems

Before we dive into the most common problems, let’s quickly explain how we created this list.

This data comes from vehicle owners like you. It’s based on real data from real drivers. No guesswork or hypotheticals here.

We use resources like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and many others, to review the most common complaints issues by owners along with the full history of recalls and active investigations.

From there, our team of automotive experts takes a closer look into each problem and breaks down why it happens, what you can do to prevent it, and how to fix it.

We review the data and interpret the results to make your life easier. Now that you understand how we came up with this list, let’s get into it!

1. Loud Braking

One of the most commonly complained about problems in the CT200h is the car’s loud braking noise. This happens at lower speeds (below 15mph) for many people, although it’s not uncommon to hear the sound at higher speeds. Owners of the car describe typically hear two different sounds that can be categorized as a ‘screeching’ or ‘ticking’ sound. One of the owners described it like this:

The closest sound I could describe would be something like a car with a broken snowchain with 1 of them hitting the side or body of the car so it’s pretty audible.


Owners and dealerships quickly discovered that the problem was caused by failing brake actuators. For many Lexus models, Toyota extended this part’s warranty to 10 years of 150,000 miles. However, this was not the case for the CT200h which means owners have to fix this problem themselves.

However, failing brake actuators aren’t a cheap part to replace. An original Lexus brake actuator will cost $1,200, and labor will typically take 3 hours. This means you’ll have to spend $1,500 at least. Some owners have even reported being quoted $3,000 and up for this replacement.

Furthermore, the problem has been reported in CT200h manufactured in 2011 but was still detected in 2017 models, which means all model years of CT200h are susceptible to this problem. If you’re in the market for this car, make sure the brake actuators have been replaced with an original Toyota/Lexus brake actuator. If the brake actuators haven’t been replaced, make sure you don’t hear any strange noises when braking or turning.

2. High Oil Consumption

If the loud braking noise has the number one spot on this list, then the very high oil consumption of the 2011 – 2013 model has to be in second place. The problem here is the design of the 2ZR-FXE engine. This is the same engine used in some generations of the 2010 – 2014 Prius.

Owners report that they have to add 5 quarts of oil between oil changes. This also results in owners running out of engine oil on longer trips, resulting in overheating of the engine and severe engine damage.

Owners of the CT200h have reportedly been told by Lexus dealers that this is regular oil consumption. However, Toyota did issue a technical service bulletin for these engines. However, they only did so for the ones installed in the Prius and had the same problem.

Overall, CT200h owners were left hanging with an engine that uses an incredible amount of oil. The only solution here is to keep refilling the oil whenever you’re running on empty. Furthermore, this high oil consumption will result in more increased wear and tear, which means you’ll have to replace the engine at some point.

3. Problems With Exterior Lights

Another widely reported problem is the lifespan of the halogen low beam headlight bulbs. The problem with the halogen low beam headlight bulbs was that they wore out right after their warranty (after four years of 50,000 miles).

Because the problem was so common, Lexus extended the warranty of these lamps for the 2011 – 2013 models to October 2019. However, this also means that CT200h on the road these days can expect their headlights to be replaced prematurely.

Add to this the fact that the halogen lamps Lexus uses in the CT200h aren’t exactly cheap (they cost around $400 for a set plus another $80 – 100 for labor), and you can see why owners aren’t that pleased with this part.

Interestingly, this problem isn’t necessarily caused by halogen bulbs. Instead, a faulty wiring harness is the real cause of the problem. In some cases, owners have even reported their car catching fire after the headlight bulbs were replaced. However, it must be noted that this is not the norm.

Finally, it’s essential to know that the problem has mainly been reported in the 2011 – 2015 models.

4. Violent Starting

The Lexus CT200h also has reported problems with violent shuddering when starting the car. This seems to be a problem when the outside temperature is below 40F (4.5 Celcius). Lexus did issue a technical service bulletin for the 2011 – 2013 models for this exact problem.

The problem seemed to be a rough idle or engine misfiring due to moisture build-up in the intake manifold. The service bulletin involved replacing the intake manifold. In many cases, this problem was fixed under a warranty that lasted six years or 70,000 miles.

If you’re in the market for a second-hand CT200h, it’s essential to be aware of this problem if you live in colder areas. People that live in warmer climates don’t ever seem to experience the problem. If you do live in colder climates, make sure to test the car when it’s cold outside (if possible). Also, make sure the current owner hasn’t warmed up the car to mask this problem.

If your CT200h does have this problem, and it becomes severe, it’s good to know that replacing an intake manifold on this car costs $300 – $400, including labor.

5. Airbags Not Deploying

Another problem not explicitly related to the CT200h was the recall of Autoliv airbags across 482,000 hybrid models of Toyota (including the CT200h). These airbags are located in the driver and passenger-side roof rails.

The inflators of these airbags consisted of two chambers that were welded together. However, these chambers had a welding crack between them which could grow larger over time. This was only the case for the 2011 and 2012 models.

If the chambers separate, the airbag could partially inflate. This would mean parts of the inflator would enter the cabin and potentially harm the occupants. The recall consisted of welding retention brackets around this part of the airbag to ensure they wouldn’t separate.

If you’re looking at a CT200h from this model year, make sure this recall has been carried out as airbag problems are a serious issue in any vehicle.

6. Slow Acceleration

One final aspect of this car we would like to mention is its acceleration. This is not so much a problem. However, it is something to be aware of. The CT200h weighs between 3,130 – 3,186 pounds, depending on the model year you pick. Furthermore, the car has a 1.8 L Prius engine that produces 134 horsepower.

All of this results in a car that’s slow at best. It has a 0-60mph time of 11 seconds which was slow when the cars were introduced and are even slower today. This is not an inherent problem. However, it does mean merging into highway traffic is a bit more of a challenge.

What’s The Worst Year Of The Lexus CT200h

Finally, we have to answer the question of which model years of the Lexus CT200h are the worst and which ones are the best. When we look at the website of the NHTSA, which gathers customer complaints about this car, and the research we’ve already done, the answer is as follows:

Lexus CT200h manufactured between 2011 – 2013 are considered the worst model years because they have the most problems with loud braking noises, excessive oil consumption, and premature wear and tear of the headlight bulbs. Furthermore, they have problems with rough starting in temperatures below 45F (4.5 Celcius).

Lexus CT200H manufactured between 2016 – 2017 are considered the best model years because the engines don’t have excessive oil consumption or premature wear and tear of the halogen headlight bulbs. Furthermore, their airbags do not have a problem with accidental inflation, and their engines aren’t susceptible to rough idle or misfiring.

The only problem you’ll have to deal with considering the 2016 – 2017 model year is that these cars still had failing brake actuators that could cause a loud braking noise. Furthermore, the acceleration is, of course, still the same at 0-60 in 11 seconds.

Closing Thoughts

In wrapping up, we’ve provided a comprehensive overview of the key issues commonly associated with the Lexus CT200h.

If you’re on the market for a Lexus car you might want to consider checking our other articles showcasing issues with other models like the Lexus RX450h Hybrid, and many more.

In conclusion, while Lexus CT200h has its fair share of problems, being informed and proactive can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Happy driving!


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