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Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Program Review

Written by Ray Shefska

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December 20, 2020

Lexus is one of the leading names in luxury cars. Along with that comes a larger price tag than other vehicles. That’s why many buyers opt to buy a Lexus certified pre-owned vehicle instead of a brand-new car. It’s a great way to drive a Lexus without breaking the bank.

We’re about to investigate the Lexus CPO program, including their warranty, inspection process, and other perks.

TLDR; The standout feature from the Lexus CPO program is a specific CPO warranty that has unlimited miles for two years. The biggest downside is that the warranty is not transferable. Lexus CPO vehicles undergo a thorough inspection before being certified. Lexus also provides some above-average perks to go along with their cars.

Lexus’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Information

The Lexus certified pre-owned program provides a good warranty combined with a comprehensive inspection. All vehicles must pass the inspection with a 100% score to be included in the CPO program.

What does Lexus’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus provides an L Certified Limited Warranty to all of Lexus certified pre-owned vehicles. This warranty covers any repair or replacement of components that fail under everyday use. The cause of failure must be determined to be a manufacturer’s defect.

You can view an extensive list of what is not covered in the warranty brochure (page 10), but we’ll cover the highlights:

  • Batteries
  • Body panels
  • All fluids
  • Glass
  • Hybrid battery
  • Sheet metals
  • Structural framework and welds
  • Wheels and rims
  • All accessories
  • Any component that has not failed, but a repair facility is recommending be replaced
  • Any damage caused by collision, abuse, misuse, larceny, or negligence
  • Contamination of fluids and fuels
  • Alterations to the vehicle and related components
  • Wars, riots, insurrection, natural disasters
  • Failures caused by modifying factory parts
  • Lack of maintenance

While this list might look long and intimidating, these are all standard exclusions for CPO warranties and even new car warranties. Lexus is more forthcoming about their exclusions than other automakers, making the exclusions look like a drawback of the program.

There is no charge or deductible for repairs while under warranty.

How long does Lexus’s Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Last?

The L Certified Limited Warranty begins when the Basic Warranty expires or when you purchase the vehicle and lasts two years. There is no mileage cap.

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Lexus explicitly states that the warranty is not transferable, and if you buy your Lexus from anyone other than an authorized Lexus dealer, the warranty is void. Unfortunately, for anyone looking to buy a Lexus, this harms your resale value since you won’t be able to offer a warranty along with the sale.

Lexus’s Certified Pre-Owned Inspection

Every Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection before being admitted into the Lexus certified pre-owned program. You can view all 161 points on their website, but we’ll cover the main highlights below:

  • Vehicle history, including verifying VINs match and checking or recalls
  • Exterior appearance, including body damage and dents
  • Door lock system, including master key remote entry and warning chime when a key is in the ignition or vehicle
  • Lights/Indicators, including fog lights and headlights
  • Interior appearance, including armrests and radio markings
  • Seats, including memory control and headrests
  • Instrument panel, including brightness control knob and gauges functionality
  • Windows, including auto windows and window lock
  • Steering wheel, including tilt and horn
  • Windshield wiper, including clean wiper blades and rain-sensing wipers
  • Center console, including climate control and cooler box
  • Inside/Outside rearview mirror, including controls and overall condition
  • Glove compartment, including lamp condition
  • Release lever, including fuel lid and trunk lever
  • Trunk compartment, including first aid kit and light functionality
  • Fluid levels, including oil and coolant
  • Mechanical, including engine noise and emission control test
  • Battery, including no damage and testing charge
  • Tires and wheels, including tread depth and sidewall condition
  • Brakes, including rotors condition and calipers functionality
  • Chassis, including body plugs and transmission mounts
  • Road test, including starter system and engine performance

That may seem like a more comprehensive checklist than other automakers, but that’s only because they broke it down into more categories. It’s still a thorough inspection, and we’d expect nothing less from Lexus.

Other Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Perks

All automakers include some perks with their CPO programs. Lexus provides quite a few bonuses to go as well:

  • Complimentary maintenance for two years or 20,000 miles, up to four occurrences, beginning when you purchase the vehicle
  • Rental car reimbursement, up to $50 per day for five days, if your vehicle needs to be in the shop for more than eight hours
  • Travel protection, including three nights (up to $200 per night) and substitute transportation ($50 per day for five days), if the vehicle is down for more than eight hours and the incident occurred over 100 miles away from home
  • Roadside assistance, including towing, lockout services, and battery jumpstarts

This perk offering is quite generous, especially the travel protection and rental car reimbursement. The threshold for receiving both perks is that your vehicle is incapacitated for more than eight hours, which seems reasonable. Including roadside assistance is standard yet valuable. When compared to Acura, you’ll notice fewer perks but more maintenance visits.

What stands out the most from their perk offering is the complimentary maintenance. While a few other automakers offer a similar perk, Lexus is well above the industry standard with this offering.

Overall, the Lexus certified pre-owned offering is slightly above average, and we recommend it for Lexus fans. Their inspection is thorough, and their warranty offering is standard, which are the two most important aspects of a CPO program. We suggest that you have an independent mechanic perform a pre-purchase inspection before you make your purchase. The perks are nice but don’t sway us one way or the other.

The Lexus certified pre-owned program is perfect for Lexus fans who want a reliable, warrantied vehicle without paying new car prices.

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