Lexus RC Custom Build - Factory "Rejected Order"

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Hi -

I am new to the forum and hope I am posting in the right spot. If not please let me know.

I recently purchased a Lexus RC F-Sport. It was a custom order, as none of the dealerships I went to had black on black with the internal specifications I wanted. This is my first car purchase in over 15 years so I didn't want to settle for a car on the lot.

Two months after placing the order and already putting down a $5k deposit, I received a call from the dealership today claiming that the factory rejected my custom order. They claim a few of the features listed everywhere on the Lexus website as "optional" are actually mandatory. If these were safety or engine related I would understand but they told me things like the "premium" audio package, brake calipers, and heated steering wheel were mandatory. To be clear, this is not to be confused with certain features and add-ins that come standard in the F-Sport model. To illustrate I am fully aware that the navigation system is standard in F-Sport models, so obviously this is a "mandatory" feature; but the premium audio package is not. Yet they are telling me this must be included. They never mentioned this to me when I was negotiating with them and placing the order two months ago.

At this point I don't want a couple hundred dollars to derail my car purchase but i'm a bit upset and i'm concerned that someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. Does anyone have experience with this, know what my options are, know if I would have any restitution if they cancel my order completely, etc? Again, I may be overreacting but after already waiting two months for the car, it's a bit upsetting that no progress has been made.

Thank you in advance.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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Welcome, achilles529.

To be told this two months after order placement is definitely aggravating and frustrating. I custom-ordered a Lexus IS 300 back in late 2001/early 2002 and had zero issues (except that the originally-promised 3 months' wait turned out to be almost 4) but that was over 17 years ago.

What state are you in? I do know that dealers located within Lexus' (and Toyota's) Southeast and Gulf regions have, for historical reasons, a certain amount of extra autonomy in order placing, packaging and so forth versus other parts of the country. Yet, my order was placed in Miami (solidly in the Southeast region) and, again, I had no issues nor pushback from anybody.

If you go into the Lexus USA website's vehicle configurator and enter your zip code, does it let you build your RC F-Sport exactly the way you want it?
 
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Hi - thanks for your response. I am in New Jersey. I went to three separate Lexus dealerships during the process and each time I built the car in real time on the website with the sales associate; each of the features they are now telling me are mandatory (premium audio package, heating steering wheel, and brake calipers) are optional on the website. The audio package is an optional "package" and the steering wheel/brake calipers are "individual options."

Bottom line is that I hated the negotiation process since I hate confrontation. And I feel like they're trying to pull a fast one on me now, so i'm wondering if anyone had this happen to them before, and/or whether I have the ability to push back without voiding the deal. I don't want to start over at this point.
 

RAL

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Welcome @achilles529 ... I wish you well in resolving this problem. Years ago I decided the ordering process wasn't worth it. My dealer works hard to find a vehicle close by and close to my wants, but I sometimes have to be more flexible than I would like.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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Playing devil's advocate here, there is a possibility that the dealer is being truthful and that Lexus did, indeed, juggle the packaging and ordering requirements. Most carmakers have fine print in their print brochures (and, likely, somewhere on their websites) with words to the effect that (Carmaker) reserves the right at any time to cancel or vary models, equipment and options. Perhaps Lexus took advantage of the 2019 mid-life RC refresh to tinker with equipment levels the way the dealer stated. Then again, forcing you into the premium audio package (presumably the Mark Levinson) does seem particularly shady.

This whole discussion did jog my memory about one situation that arose with my custom-order 2002 IS 300. My build configuration was no sunroof and leather/ecsaine (faux suede) interior (cloth was standard back then). Roughly midway through the 4-month build period, the dealer sales rep calls me to double-check that my car was no sunroof, which I confirmed. I thought the call to be odd, but a few days later realized where he was coming from. Lexus had announced a price increase, which was mitigated by a new sunroof and leather/ecsaine seats package that was actually cheaper than the stand-alone leather/ecsaine seats I had ordered! I called the dealer to note and complain about this and was given a minor price break if I stuck to the originally-ordered configuration, which I accepted.
 

flipside909

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Hi -

I am new to the forum and hope I am posting in the right spot. If not please let me know.

I recently purchased a Lexus RC F-Sport. It was a custom order, as none of the dealerships I went to had black on black with the internal specifications I wanted. This is my first car purchase in over 15 years so I didn't want to settle for a car on the lot.

Two months after placing the order and already putting down a $5k deposit, I received a call from the dealership today claiming that the factory rejected my custom order. They claim a few of the features listed everywhere on the Lexus website as "optional" are actually mandatory. If these were safety or engine related I would understand but they told me things like the "premium" audio package, brake calipers, and heated steering wheel were mandatory. To be clear, this is not to be confused with certain features and add-ins that come standard in the F-Sport model. To illustrate I am fully aware that the navigation system is standard in F-Sport models, so obviously this is a "mandatory" feature; but the premium audio package is not. Yet they are telling me this must be included. They never mentioned this to me when I was negotiating with them and placing the order two months ago.

At this point I don't want a couple hundred dollars to derail my car purchase but i'm a bit upset and i'm concerned that someone is trying to pull a fast one on me. Does anyone have experience with this, know what my options are, know if I would have any restitution if they cancel my order completely, etc? Again, I may be overreacting but after already waiting two months for the car, it's a bit upsetting that no progress has been made.

Thank you in advance.

Special orders can get tricky. Unfortunately the Lexus.com website allows you to custom build your car however, it doesn't necessarily mean it's an order you can have exactly depending on what options must be packed with certain features. Builds are usually dictated by how a region (4 regions in US) orders cars. RC unfortunately is a low production vehicle.

Toyota/Lexus builds on a lean production system called TPS or Toyota Production System. Vehicle builds are built in batches to 1) produce cars efficiently 2) reduce cost which is why special orders take at least 90 days to do.

Sorry you had to go through that whole ordeal. I'm curious, how did you spec your RC F SPORT order?
 
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@achilles529 I recently placed an order for a 2019 RC 350 F-sport. I used an auto broker and listed exactly the features I wanted. I did not want the moonroof nor the heated steering wheel. My broker informed me the heated steering wheel is a mandatory option with the F-sport package. As is the F-sport brake calipers (not the OPTIONAL orange ones, but just the regular 6-piston black ones). Not sure why they list it separately, but I was told these are the standard larger brakes and calipers that come with the F-sport. I was also told that the car can't be built without a moonroof, and therefore that was also a mandatory $1000 option.

I've special ordered cars from BMW and Audi and now Lexus, and Lexus has by far been the worst experience. It is obvious they do not like taking special orders, and there are in fact mandatory options. So I don't think you are being swindled, other than the $5k deposit; deposits are typically no more than $1500 for special orders. My Lexus dealer (Newport Beach, CA) knew right away what options were mandatory and therefore I didn't have to wait 2 months like you to get a rejection. Your dealer's inexperience in this case could benefit you if you wanted to push for a further discount on the vehicle, or maybe partial refund of your deposit.

Good luck! Hopefully they make it right and you end up with the car you want (or at least as much as it can be with the "mandatory" options). :laughing:
 
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Thank you all for your replies.

By way of a quick update, I went back to the salesperson and explained that based on my research, the "premium" audio package, brake calipers, and heated steering wheel were not mandatory accessories. I reiterated the point from my earlier post indicating that the F Sport model included the navigation package, so I am well aware that this is "required," but the premium audio package should not be. She seemed genuinely surprised / confused when I told her this and said she would revert back to me. About a week later when I did not hear back, I asked for an update and she told me we were all set and apologies for the confusion.

Therefore, on the one hand I seem to have avoided the "optional" add ins, but then again it is now May and I am still waiting on the car. A very long and frustrating process for sure but I bet i'll be happy with the final product. This is only my second car so I have no real basis for comparison, my first car was simply bought off the lot. I'll provide an update once I finally have the car in my possession.
 

flexus

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It is funny to read these comments. You can really experience how vast the world is and how differently you buy a car. I cannot imagine that dealer could decide what kind of car you buy. Only car you would buy straight from dealers lot is showroom car with discount.
 
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Curious if your car ever came in. I'm 4 months and counting and not a single update or ETA.
 
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Curious if your car ever came in. I'm 4 months and counting and not a single update or ETA.
It has not. The last update I received was a few weeks ago when I was told that it would be arriving in “early to mid July.” So the time is upon us. I’ll update this thread once it comes.
 
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