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2013 Lexus ES, GS Flunk Emergency Trunk Release Tests


2013 Lexus ES 350

2013 Lexus ES 350

Enlarge Photo

The 2013 Lexus ES and GS luxury sedans may have a defective emergency interior trunk release that could be a trap risk for trunk occupants, according to Consumer Reports.

2013 Lexus GS 350 - emergency trunk release, Consumer Reports

2013 Lexus GS 350 - emergency trunk release, Consumer Reports

The flaw was discovered by accident by Jake Fisher, one of the publication’s testers, during an evaluation of the two models. In a statement from Consumer Reports, Fisher said his four-year-old son climbed into the trunk of the 2013 Lexus ES 350 to try the release after the father explained what it was.

His son’s “small hands snapped off the lever that opens the lid. He was not able to escape from the trunk until I opened it from the outside,” Fisher said.

2013 Lexus GS 350

2013 Lexus GS 350

Enlarge Photo

The video below shows the publication’s Lexus GS 350 test vehicle. The GS 350 shares the same mechanism and fails in the same fashion, said the magazine, but a spot check of many other vehicles in their testing program did not uncover similar issues.

Consumer Reports said it notified both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Toyota about the matter.

From the 2002 model year on, “all cars with trunks have included a trunk entrapment safety release that glows in the dark and allows a person to open the trunk lid from inside,” Fisher said in the statement.

As Bloomberg reports, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said the company is investigating “the durability and ergonomics of the emergency trunk release lever,” adding, “This is an active investigation.”

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