Toyota Owed An Apology By Consumer Reports

April 14, 2010

Toyota is owed an apology by Consumer Reports and from the mainstream media as well. Enough is enough. Now Toyota is being picked on.

Toyota has faulty accelerator pedals and floor mats that are being recalled--that has been established and explained in my previous article. What must first be clarified is that the problems caused unintended continued acceleration, not unintended acceleration. The pedals did not apply themselves. Now, Consumer Reports gives a "don't buy: safety risk" because the stability control on two different 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUVs didn't activate at an acceptable level during intended induced oversteer (fishtailing)--but no rollover!

Consumer Reports tries to put this in perspective by stating: "no other SUV in recent years slid out as far as the GX 460". Allow me to put this in real world perspective; millions of vehicles on the road don't have stability control at all. Whether this is a sensor calibration or software issue, it doesn't matter. It's good to bring it to Toyota's attention but it does not merit a "don't buy" rating. Not in the slightest. Oh, by the way, Toyota didn't encounter the problem during the vehicle’s development, and oddly, Consumer Reports didn't have the problem with the Toyota 4Runner, which is based on the same platform as the new Lexus GX 460.

It's bad enough drivers are calling 911 instead of taking proper steps like shifting into neutral while continuously applying the brakes and then turning off the car when it starts accelerating. Now an organization that has been discredited in the past has done it again. I've written about trucks that have been lifted beyond their stock height that should be lowered, but this is an abomination in the opposite direction.

The bottom line is any vehicle can flip over during a high speed maneuver and striking an object. Apparently Consumer Reports discovered a Lexus SUV can be drifted--now that is an SUV that is fun to drive.

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