UPDATE: As of later in the day, April 13, the Associated Press is reporting that Toyota will temporarily stop selling the 2010 Lexus GX 460 while it conducts its own testing.
For years, Toyota products earned high marks from Consumer Reports, which in turn led to a reputation for quality and reliability, which in turn led to a dominant sales position in the market.
So it might come as a bit of a shock that for the first time ever, a Toyota product is receiving the influential magazine's "don't buy" warning.
The magazine is warning consumers to stay away from the 2010 Lexus GX 460 because during testing, Consumer Reports editors noticed slow response times from the electronic stability control after lifting their feet off the throttle during hard cornering. Quick lifts of the accelerator while turning can produce oversteer, and the editors had concerns that the oversteer could lead to rollovers.
The magazine doesn't often slap this label on vehicles--the last one to be labeled a "don't buy" was the 2001 Mitsubish Montero Limited.
Consumers have purchased about 5,000 2010 GX 460s, which have been on sale for about three months. The GX shares a platform with the Toyota 4Runner, but that vehicle did not earn the "don't buy" label because its stability control kicked in faster. Consumer Reports speculates that differences in weight and tires could be the reason.
For its part, Lexus released a statement saying that the 2010 GX 460 "meets or exceeds" all federal safety regulations, and that the company will look into the matter.