Consumer Reports magazine rated the new 2010 Lexus GX 460 “Don’t Buy, Safety Risk” referring to the possibility of rollover accidents during sharp turns. This is only the twelfth such rating issued by the magazine and the automaker has taken it very seriously. The last time it was issued was in 2001, on the Mitsubishi Montero.
The report was issued after a problem was detected during its standard emergency-handling tests-- one in which a vehicle's back end slides outward when the driver lifts his foot from the gas pedal during a turn. The GX's ESC system did not become active until the SUV had already skidded dangerously.
“When pushed to its limits on our track’s handling course, the rear of the GX we bought slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control,” the report said. The test was conducted at 60 mph, obviously a high speed cornering maneuver.
The test mimics a driver's typical response to encountering an obstacle in the midst of a turn or to finding a turn to be unexpectedly tight.
"CR believes that, in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident which could cause serious injury or death," the magazine said in a statement.
After Consumer Reports issued its rating, Toyota immediately ordered a temporary ’stop sale’ of these new 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV cars to investigate this problem. According to the automaker's statistics, Toyota has about 6,000 Lexus GX 460’s sold since the SUV hit showrooms December of last year.
"For more than 20 years, Lexus has made customer safety and satisfaction our highest priorities," Lexus group vice president and general manager Mark Templin said April 13.
“We are taking the situation with the Lexus GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified,” Mark Templin, Lexus vice president and general manager, said in a statement.