Sales Of 2010 Lexus GX 460 Halted For Rollover Safety Concern

April 13, 2010
2010 Lexus GX 460

2010 Lexus GX 460

Toyota Motor Corp. has decided to halt sales of the GX 460 sport-utility vehicle, after Consumer Reports noted a handling behavior—and possibly a malfunction of the electronic stability system—that could result in a higher chance of rollover.

Earlier today, Consumer Reports had disclosed the test results for the GX 460 as a cause for concern, saying that when the driver lifted abruptly off the accelerator while the vehicle was driven quickly through a turn (perhaps one that tightens), the back of the vehicle “slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control” in a cornering stability test.

"We perform this evaluation on every vehicle we test, which includes the 95 SUVs in our current auto Ratings," said Consumer Reports in a post explaining the test and the decision to place a "don't buy" recommendation on the vehicle. "No other SUV in recent years slid out as far as the GX 460, including the Toyota 4Runner, which shares the same platform as the GX."

"To confirm our results, we paid for the use of another GX 460 from Lexus and experienced the same problem," CR asserted.

While truck-like SUVs such as the 2010 Lexus GX 460 carry their center of mass quite high compared to most other vehicles, electronic stability control has greatly improved the safety of these vehicles in recent years by helping to keep them on course and reduce the chances that they will be 'tripped' by a curb, dropoff, or change in surface.

“For more than 20 years, Lexus has made customer safety and satisfaction our highest priorities," said Lexus group VP and general manager Mark Templin in a statement released late this afternoon. "We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified. At this time we have asked our dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the 2010 GX 460."

Lexus has sold about 5,000 GX 460 SUVs at this point; it had hoped to sell about 14,000 GX 460 models for 2010—a small fraction of the sales level several years ago.

The automaker said that its engineers are "vigorously testing the GX using Consumer Reports' specific parameters to identify how we can make the GX's performance even better."

Consumer Reports recommended that GX 460 owners limit speed and use care when on highway ramps or twisty roads. "We hope that Toyota can quickly develop a software update for the stability control system and update current models with revised programming," said CR.

In the meantime, for any customer who is concerned about the issue, Lexus will provide a loaner car until a remedy is available. For more information, owners are encouraged to call Lexus Customer Satisfaction, at 800-255-3987.

And to help understand what CR observed, check out the organization's test video below.

[Consumer Reports; Lexus]

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