What’s the Issue with the Sticky/Melting Dashboard?

Certain Lexus years and models have dashboards have a notorious problem of becoming sticky or melted over time. According to Lexus, this problem with the sticky/melting dash occurs over time due to heat and/or humidity with no real reason why this is occurring. The strange thing is that there are many affected owners who keep their vehicles garaged and even live in cooler climates with low humidity, yet they are still seeing the same issues.

lexus sticky melting dashboard problem

The specific issue with the sticky melting dash is that the dashboard literally becomes sticky to the touch and becomes brittle. This is even a problem with the front and rear door panels showing similar symptoms. Both the dashboard and door panels seem to fail in several ways: they can become very glossy-looking, can crack, and/or can break off in pieces. Regardless of what the exact issue is that you’re experiencing, you might be wondering what options you have so that you can address the issue with the dashboard and door panels.

Which Years and Models are Affected by this Issue?

The following Lexus years and models are supposedly affected, although it is entirely possible that your Lexus year/model is not listed below, yet still have a sticky/melted dashboard and/or door panels. The models and years listed below are specifically addressed with the ZLD warranty enhancement program and the ZLZ warranty enhancement program.

ZLD Warranty Enhancement Program
ES 350 (2007-2008)
GX 470
IS 250
IS 350
LS 460
RX 330
RX 350
RX 400h

ZLZ Warranty Enhancement Program
ES 350 (2008-2012)
GS F (2016-2018)
GS 200t (2016-2017)
GS 350 (2013-2018)
GS 450h (2013-2017)
IS F (2008-2014)
IS 250C (2010-2015)
IS 350C (2010-2015)
LS 460 (2007-2014)
LS 600h (2008-2014)

For more complete details, see the specific warranty policy bulletins:
ZLD warranty enhancement program
ZLZ warranty enhancement program

What are my Options for Fixing Sticky/Melted Dashboard and Door Panels?

It may seem frustrating to not know what to do about the cracked/sticky/melted dashboard on your Lexus, but you do have options. I’ve personally experienced the feeling of helplessness when I had to figure out how to fix the crumbling dashboard issue on my 2006 Lexus IS350. After all the research I had done, I put together all of the options that I came across with the hope that it helps you if you are running into the same problem.

The first thing you need to do is figure out is if you qualify for the Lexus Warranty Enhancement Program, which if you do, will provide you with a replacement of the affected dashboard and/or door panels for free. If you do not qualify, you can move forward with the rest of the options which have various pros, cons, and costs associated with them. I hope the options below helps you and gives you some insight into what might be the best choice for you.

Remember that the ZLD warranty enhancement program (currently expired) that addresses certain Lexus model years 2003-2009 and the ZLZ warranty enhancement program (still active) that addresses certain model years 2007-2019. Keep in mind that if you have previously had repairs done that should have been covered under the warranty enhancement program, that there is reimbursement consideration by Lexus. More on the reimbursements can be found on the specific ZLD and ZLZ warranty enhancement policies.

1. Take Advantage of the Lexus Warranty Enhancement Program

First, if you can get your dashboard and door panels replaced for free, then do it. In fact, with the more recent ZLZ warranty enhancement, the coverage extends to the glove box, console box, and other panels. Read through the two Warranty Enhancement Program details to see if you qualify and what the next steps would be if you do qualify.

The two warranty enhancements offers a primary coverage and a secondary coverage:

Primary Coverage: offers warranty enhancement until May 31, 2017 (ZLD Program) and until March 31, 2021 (ZLZ Program), regardless of mileage or date of first use of the vehicle.

Secondary Coverage: supplements the Primary Coverage for some owners by offering the warranty enhancement for 10 years from the date of first use of the vehicle (first use as a new vehicle, not first use if purchased used), regardless of mileage.

At the time of writing this post in mid-2021, we are pretty much past the timeframe that is offered for both primary and secondary coverage for the ZLD Program, but the ZLZ Program is still active. If your vehicle qualifies for the ZLD Program, you may still try reaching out to Lexus Corporate to see what they can do, since the ZLD Program has already expired.

2. Call Lexus Corporate to see if they will Still Offer Assistance

In a last ditch effort to try to get your Lexus dashboard and/or door panels replaced under the warranty enhancement program even though the deadline has passed, I personally called Lexus Corporate to see what they could do about the dashboard and door panels that have started to crumble and break apart on my IS350. I informed them that I never received a notice in the mail, but I was past the timeframe given in the warranty enhancement that I learned about online. To my surprise, the representative told me to call my local Lexus dealership to get a quote and to email it to them, and they would see what could be done.

I quickly scheduled an appointment with my local Lexus dealership to get my dashboard and door panels looked at. When I got there, the service consultant asked for my keys, went out to look at the dashboard and door panels, snapped some pictures, and said that he would send an email with the photos to Corporate for their assessment.

Later that day, I saw an email with a few ridiculously small photo attachments sent to corporate for consideration. A few days later, I got a call from Lexus Corporate telling me that they would unfortunately not be able to help me. I felt like that was the biggest waste of time especially when they had given me false hope all along.

At the end of that whole debacle, I ended up empty-handed. However, I do leave this option here as a Hail Mary for those of you out there that want to try their luck if your warranty enhancement period has passed. I still do think it’s possible to get your warranty enhancement honored even though you are past the timeframe given by Lexus…

The fact that Lexus still asked me to get a quote from the local Lexus dealership makes me believe that it is possible that there might be times that they will honor their warranty enhancement even though the deadline has passed. Perhaps, they would make exceptions for dashboards that present an immediate safety hazard (e.g. glossy dashboard that reflects off the windshield.) Since my dashboard was just crumbling is certain areas around the touch screen and climate control, perhaps Lexus did not feel it posed an immediate danger.

So, if you have a glossy dashboard and it reflects off your windshield causing danger to the driver (or some other dangerous scenario), maybe they are more likely to act. Continuing with the safety theme, I would imagine that there is little chance of them replacing door panels unless they had a compelling reason for doing so. But as for the dashboard, it might be worth explaining or showing Lexus how the damage on your dashboard is posing an immediate risk to you and your passengers; give them a good reason why they need to fix this problem (think about how inaction on their part could lead to a lawsuit on their hands.)

Obviously if the dashboard damage is not at all a driving distraction, then you should not say it is or try to reason it as such. However, I have found that even small cracks, sticky/melted, crumbling dashboards have been extremely distracting while driving, especially with the sun reflecting off these flaws in the dashboard.

3. Replacing the Dashboard and/or Door Panels through a Dealership or by Yourself

After dealing with the Lexus folks resulting in them not replacing my dashboard under the warranty enhancement program, I looked a little closer at the quote that the dealership provided to corporate. They itemized the replacement of the dashboard and the door panels by part and labor cost. I realized that if I really wanted a new dashboard and door panels, and I was willing to pay for it, I could always pay to get it done. Obviously if you are able to do it yourself, then you would just be paying for the materials while saving on labor costs. Here is the breakdown of the parts and labor costs for my IS350 when I got quoted at the local dealership.

Example Cost of Parts/Labor for 2006-2009 Lexus IS350:

PartMaterial CostLabor Cost
Left front interior door panel$810.06$80.00
Right front interior door panel$810.06$80.00
Left rear interior door panel$659.02$80.00
Right rear interior door panel$696.77$80.00

Keep in mind that if you look online for OEM part numbers for your vehicle, you’ll get the “service” part numbers which would be the standard OEM part numbers. There are also “kit” part numbers that are basically a replacement for the “service” numbers as part of the warranty enhancement program. These new “kit” numbers may be part of a different manufacturing line and could be a part that doesn’t have the same issues as the previous “service” part numbers.

4. Installing a Dashboard Cover

Another option for dealing with unsightly damage to your dashboard is to simply get a cover for it. Yes, this just covers the damage (out of sight, out of mind), but it could be much better looking especially if your dashboard is pretty messed up to begin with. I’ve seen two main dashboard cover types out there: one is the Coverlay dashboard cover, which is an ABS plastic-molded cover that fits right onto your existing dashboard; the other is a soft felt/fabric type of mat cover that sits right atop the existing dashboard.

Coverlay Dashboard Cover

The Coverlay Dashboard Cover is molded to fit your specific year/make/model, so the fitment is usually quite seamless. I haven’t personally seen one in person, but based on all the videos and photos I’ve seen, it looks really good. Do a search online for photos to see for yourself. The Coverlay cover is installed by applying silicone caulking to the backside of it and sticking it onto the existing dash. There are even cutouts for the airbag cover as well.

coverlay on a 4runner 4th gen
Image from: Facebook group 4th Gen 4Runner Familia

The downside to using this product is that you’ll have to be pretty sure you’re going to keep the Coverlay dashboard cover on forever as I can’t think of how you’d ever remove this from your existing dash without causing some serious damage. So, if you’re okay sticking this cover with silicone caulking onto your existing dash as a permanent solution, then this might be for you. Just make sure to get the one made specifically for your vehicle year, make, and model to get the best fit.

Shop for Coverlay Dashboard Covers

Soft Felt/Fabric Dashboard Mat Cover

An alternative to a Coverlay cover is to use a dashboard mat cover, which is basically like a carpeted mat that is cut to fit your dashboard. If you’re okay with the look of a fabric mat covering your dashboard, then this might be a viable option. As for the fitment, the fit of the mat cover is probably not going to be as good as a fit as the Coverlay.

dashboard covers
Image from: https://amazon.com

The issue that I have with these is that all the ones I’ve seen utilize sticky pads with hook and loop fasteners to secure the whole dashboard mat to the dashboard. In the future if you ever wanted to remove these sticky pads, good luck doing so without damaging the dashboard even more. This is a more affordable option if you just want to easily cover up the damage on your dashboard. Again, get the one that fits your year, make, and model for a better fit.

Search Ebay for Dashboard Mat Covers

5. Repairing with a Moldable Glue such as Sugru

This is probably what I’d call a last resort if you could not get your car covered under the warranty enhancement, and don’t want to use a dashboard cover. I’d caution that fixing your dashboard with a moldable glue like I did will work mainly for spot repairs, not if you have extensive damage to your dash. The work involved with this repair is also not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of patience and finesse to make a repair with a moldable glue such as Sugru.

If you want to see an in-depth guide to repairing with Sugru, see this post: Repairing a Dashboard with Sugru

lexus sticky melting dashboard problem - sugru moldable glue

This is the option I took as I needed to fix some spots around the climate controls. I mixed up several batches of different colors of Sugru to color-match my IS350 dashboard, and then applied it while shaping it to match the existing dashboard. I then imprinted the dashboard texture onto the glue using a stamp that I made. The result is not perfect, but it does look a lot better than it did before the repair.

I wrote a full guide to how you can use Sugru to repair your dashboard on here, if you choose to go this route. Again, this is not for the faint of heart, but it can make the dashboard look a little more bearable to look at as long as you patient with the repair and ensure that the color-match and texture-match is done well. Obviously the downside is if you mess up it will probably not look very good and you are stuck with the results.

Conclusion on the Lexus Sticky Melting Dashboard Problem

When it comes down to what options you have if you are dealing with a sticky or melting dashboard on your Lexus, you have a choice to make as each option comes with its own upsides and downsides. You always have the option to just leave it alone if it doesn’t bother you. Otherwise, it may be reassuring to know that you actually do have options available to you especially if you’ve missed the warranty enhancement period.

For several years, I tried desperately to find a solution to my dashboard issue and wish that I had a resource to guide me in making a decision to rectify my dashboard issue. I hope that this post helps you if you are dealing with the same problem and that it provides you with enough options to help you make a decision with addressing the infamous Lexus sticky melting dashboard problem.


Hi there! I'm Scott and I run The Track Ahead. My goal is to provide helpful articles and tutorials based on my experience and research related to car maintenance and automotive detailing. When I'm not writing and not working my day job, you can find me spending time with my family and working on home and car projects.


  1. Sandeep Singh Reply

    I saved up and bought my dream car a pre-owned Lexus Ls460 2007. I have only driven the car approx 3000km (1875miles) per year over the past 6 years and the car is always garaged.
    This year the sticky dash and chaulky interior has come to light and to its been so upsetting and depressing to say the least.
    I believe in Canada there has been no extended warranty offer to fix this – I met with the dealer who put in a case with Lexus Canada but i will escalate and take whatever action necessary to hold Lexus Canada accountable to fix.
    I have seen old 1995 honda civics with dashboards in better conditions or even 1980’s Pontiac with no dashboard issues.
    This is a manufacturing flaw and Lexus should be fixing these issues. Its a shame to say that this will be my last Lexus i own.

    • That’s absolutely ludicrous. I do hear that Lexus Canada is a separate business entity from Lexus USA so the warranty enhancements that are offered here are not extended elsewhere. You are correct that there is a manufacturing flaw and I agree they really should be taking care of the issue no matter where the car is located. Maybe one of these days Lexus Canada will take some action, sorry to hear about those issues.

    • Lyle Garland Reply

      It’s sad that Lexus won’t recall the vehicles affected with the sticky dash. I had no idea they were fixing the dashboards until after the March 31, 2021 deadline was over. I called Lexus corporate numerous times about the dash but they gave me the brush off. All they could do was to put it in the notes that our 2008 ES 350 had a sticky dash. Won’t buy another Lexus.

  2. Thank you for the write up Scott. Wow I had no idea Lexus was so lame
    I have a 2006 IS350 I bought new and just noticed this problem, glossy sticky dash and door panel last year 2021. I thought someone put Armorall or some cleaner on it. The only place that cleaned it besides me was Lexus during their other recalls. Now I have a vague recollection of a letter quiet some time ago but it didn’t explain the problem and at the time there was no problem with my cars. Mind you my car is always garaged and I rarely drive it. It only has 20,000 mile to date. So, now it looks like I’m on the hook for a manufacturers defect to the tune of roughly 4 grand. Lexus made this a warranted issue just to get around a recall which have no exploration date. It’s really too bad that this dash problem has affected so many people and it literally takes a wonderful car and make it crappy. I’m really surprised Lexus isn’t fully owning this problem. That will be my last Toyota / Lexus.

    • No problem, I think a lot of us felt screwed over by this situation especially if we were not able to get the warranty enhancement. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this situation, especially with the amount of care you’ve taken with how it was stored. If you haven’t already tried to reach out to Lexus already, maybe you can still try. I’d be sure to emphasize how glossy the sticky dash is, as I’m sure it has almost caused several accidents from already blinding you from the reflection of the sun. Good luck.

  3. Well, I noticed this issue some few years back, I have a 2007 IS220D SE, always garaged less than 15K miles, body pristine, I went through 2 batteries since it is hardly used, now I am keeping it on trickle charge constantly. The sticky Dash and door panels where evident back in 2010, a white flare appeared on the plastics materials, I use to apply and still do a dash silicon spray and will look nice but shiny for a short time, but will reappear in few weeks time.
    Luckily it is still soft and no cracks are evident.

    • Sounds like you’ve babied it. The good thing is that you’re aware of the issue and understand how fragile they are; so you know how careful you have to be if you ever have to work on the interior in the future. Even using plastic trim tools and removing trim from the interior has a high chance of damaging these parts. Take care!

  4. so basically you’re saying that if I spend $400 I can be sure that I’ll be happy with the dashboard repair

    May I ask which option you chose?

    • Hi Eva,

      That would be $400 for the dashboard itself. And around another $400 for the labor if you’re not doing it yourself.

      I personally went with repairing it with Sugru (link to my post outlining the repair here) it was not perfect, but it looked better than it initially did.

      If I were to do it again, I would probably look into a Coverlay dashboard cover as it can look seamless and cost much less than replacing the dashboard completely. Best of luck!

  5. Oh, thanks so much Scott. I will check out Coverlay right now. Best thoughts, Eva

  6. Hi Scott — Right after the 10 day heatwave we had a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a large shiny and sticky area on the dashboard of my 2008 RX 350. I was ready to blame this hotter weather completely for the problem. But now I understand that the fault is with the material Lexus used for these surfaces that degrades over time. I am surprised that Toyota doesn’t own up to their poor material choice for their high end vehicles. I’m not sure what I will do at this point regarding repair, but it’s difficult now to hold Toyota in the high esteem that I used to. Thank you, Scott, for your help!

    • Sorry to hear that, Cynthia. A lot of us have had the misfortune of dealing with this issue. We had both a Lexus AND a Toyota that both had the sticky/cracking dashboard issue! Glad to have helped and hope you find a solution to minimize/eliminate the issue.

  7. Thanks for putting the info up together. I got my 3rd hand Lexus RX350 back in Spring 2018 from a family friend. I think it was fine back then, or it might be starting to have a short “cut like” line, which I did not know it would become much worse later on.

    By the time I have a better idea of the situation about the defect, it’s already 2020. I found out they actually have a warranty “enhancement” program in 2021, but that program expired back in 2017.

    I tried contacting the local Lexus with 0 response. Being in SoCal and having the car parked outside, the lines grew fast and pieces start coming off. So far the cracks and “hole” are on the passenger side, and I am just using a sun visor to cover it when parked to hopefully prolong the deterioration. I just tried calling Lexus Corporation again (Oct 2022) just to give it a shot, and the CSR just said the program ended 2017 after they sent out the notices 2x in 2017. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the primary contact it seems like.

    At least I got the car fairly cheap for under $5000. Probably just going to get a felt dash cover, but no more Lexus if they are not making quality products.

    • Hi Pete, sorry to hear about that. The good thing about getting a nice vehicle like that for such a low price is that you can set some money aside to either replace the dash or to do something to make it look better. The felt dash cover looks OK, but if I were to do it all over again, I would probably go with a CoverLay dashboard cover. From the many pictures I’ve seen on the IS350 and for the 4Runner (same dashboard issue) that I used to own, you could barely tell that it was an aftermarket cover on top of the existing dash. Good luck!

  8. Vinod kumar Reply

    Hi Scott
    Thanks for the most comprehensive description and possible solutions of the problem. Three questions:
    1. Fabric cover – if the dash board is sticky / melting will the cover stick to the dash and leave residue on the dash? Can Coverlaymfg cover be installed after removing the fabric cover?
    2. Coverlaymfg cover: will the original dash continue to melt under the Coverlaymfg cover and will it cause any further problems? I am dash will still get hot under the Coverlaymfg cover. Coverlaymfg cover is quite thin and in all likelihood not reduce the temperature much.
    3. I presume that in case we don’t like either of the above, the dash could still be replaced by a regular dashboard.

    Your comments will be appreciated.



    • Hi Vinod,

      I cannot say for sure what will happen if the dashboard is already sticky/melting and you place a fabric cover on top. From the many fabric cover’s I’ve seen, they have some sticky velcro tabs that are stuck onto dashboard in various places to keep the dashboard mat from sliding around. This will probably leave you with more damage/residue at the locations where you place these tabs. I don’t believe these types of mats are intended to be used without those tabs as it may be a safety hazard if it for some reason slides off.

      My belief is that the dashboard will stop getting damaged further if you have a mat or a Coverlay mat on top of it because technically the dash is not being exposed to the UV rays. However, keep in mind that the Coverlay is installed by permanently sticking the Coverlay mat over your existing dashboard (I remember it being silicone which is virtually impossible to remove without causing damage).

      And yes the dashboard can always be replaced. Hope that all helps to answer your questions.

  9. Vinod kumar Reply

    Hi Scott,

    Thank you very for your comments. I
    Have ordered a carpet dash cover. I will try that first and if the dash still gets sticky under it. If I park the in garage the dash looks like normal. If I have to park it outside I will use sun screen to protect the dash.

    As you say I always have the option of replacing it with a regular dash board.

    Let me see where I end up.

    Thanks again.

  10. I know the program has been over with for a couple years now. What number did you contact for Lexus Corporate? The dealerships service dept isn’t much help.

    • I tried looking in my emails, but I couldn’t find a corporate phone number. I did a quick search on Google for “Lexus Corporate Phone Number” and came up with: 1 (800) 255-3987. If that’s not it, I’d expect them to be able to forward your call to the right place. Good luck.

  11. Have the same problem and never received any notice from Lexus while received all other recall notices and fulfilled by Lexus. They acknowledged that fact themselves but declined to cover the replacement simply it’s over time. I regret greatly being a loyal customer as I own 2 purchase-new Lexus.

    • Wow, they acknowledged they never sent anything to you and still declined? Sorry to hear that… hopefully the new ones don’t have the same issues as the previous ones do.

  12. Yeah what really bugs me is the associate who called me said yes to the following questions I asked “You acknowledged there was a bad product being installed in the vehicles you sold to the consumers?”, “You represent a company and think this is (not offering a replacement) the right thing to do?”, etc. Really that was the end of my Lexus journey. Will never buy another.

  13. Sad sad issue for such a great car. I m reverted when I brought it I didn’t know if this problem I’m going try something I don’t know what yet but I’ll keep you informed of what we come up with. Good luck guys.

  14. I bought my 2007 es350 in 2010 as a Lexus pre-certified vehicle at the local dealership/ I too never received a recall, and thought someone who had detailed my car put some ArmourAll on it. The sad thing is that I was getting my car serviced through the dealership the vast majority of this time, and no one told me anything. This is really disgusting to me because I have since bought a 2015 RX from the same dealership! I will look into the Coverlay, as my mother-in-law is still using this vehicle after 260000 miles. Thanks for this information!

    • That is really unfortunate, sorry to hear. Definitely would have been good faith for your service advisor to notify you if they noticed that you hadn’t done the recall yet and had issues with the dash. You’re welcome and take care!

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