Toyota has temporarily stopped selling its Lexus GX 460 SUV following the
Consumer Reports’ warning to buyers that they should stay away from
the sport utility vehicle. The magazine, known for independently testing
motor vehicles and its recommendations regarding what people should buy,
issued a rare “Don’t Buy” warning and said that not
only did the SUV fail to pass a key emergency-handling test, but it is
a rollover risk that could result in “serious injury or death.”
The lack of endorsement is another blow to Toyota Motor Corp. The car manufacturer is trying to win back consumers’ confidence in the wake of its recalls of millions of motor vehicles because of gas pedal defects, ill-fitting floor mats, acceleration problems, and brake issues. Earlier, the automaker said it was “mystified” by the magazine’s test findings and would conduct the same test performed by Consumer Reports to figure out if further action needs to be taken. The car manufacturer says the Lexus GX either satisfies or exceeds the US government’s testing requirements.
According to Consumer Reports’ testing team, when the SUV was “pushed to its limits” while on the magazine’s test track, the back of the vehicle “slid out” until it was “almost sideways” before the electronic stability control system finally kicked into gear. All four test drivers had the same problem when driving the Lexus GX.
Consumer Report says that this “lift-off oversteer” problem could result in a rollover crash. If the driver were to quickly take his/her foot off the gas pedal while making a turn that is “too tight for the vehicle’s speed,” the rear of the SUV could “slide around far enough… the wheel could strike a curb or slide off the pavement.”
The magazine says that none of the other SUVs it tested in recent years “slid out as far” as this Lexus and that that a second GX 460 it tested exhibited the same problems. David Champion, the Consumer Reports auto test division’s senior director, says that this is the first time the magazine has seen this problem in an SUV that has ESC. Consumer Reports has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of its worries.
About 5,000 GX 460′s have been sold since it became available earlier this year. No injuries or deaths have been linked to this issue.
SUV Rollover Accidents
Every year, thousands of people are killed in rollover accidents, many of them in SUV’s. Head injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, and traumatic brain injuries are just some of the catastrophic injuries that can occur.
Unfortunately, there are many SUV’s that are not designed well enough to prevent a rollover crash from happening or protect passengers in the event that the vehicle does overturn. A vehicle design defect can be grounds for an auto products liability complaint.
Toyota halts sales of Lexus SUV as Consumer Reports deems it rare √Ç¬ësafety risk’, Washington Post, April 14, 2010
Consumer Reports Says Lexus GX 460 Is Unsafe, New York Times, April 13, 2010
Toyota temporarily halts sale of Lexus GX 460 SUV, Los Angeles Times, April 13, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Toyota Motor Corporation
Our SUV rollover crash lawyers represent injury victims and their families throughout the US. Gilbert & Ollanik, PC is also continuing to work with clients affected by the Toyota sudden acceleration defects.