Toyota has put Lexus GX sales in the U.S. on hold following a report earlier today in which Consumer Reports issued a "safety risk" label on the new 2010 Lexus GX 460. The automotive publication claims the SUV has a tendency to drift dangerously when the throttle is lifted mid-corner.
The Consumer Reports article states, “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 program was able to regain control. The rear could slide around far enough that a wheel could strike a curb or slide off the pavement. Either of those scenarios can cause a vehicle to roll over. That situation could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports.”
In response, Toyota has issued a statement saying that it will put a halt to sales of the model while it investigates the matter. When we talked to Toyota spokesman John Hanson, he told us, "We trust [Consumer Reports] completely. Four of their guys made it do the same thing, so we presume there may be a calibration issue that needs to be investigated. I understand we've stopped sale on the vehicle, and there are about 5500 out there. It's unfortunate, and it's surprising because that is a very sophisticated stability control system."
Toyota has also advised that it will provide complimentary loaner vehicles to customers who do not feel safe driving their 2010 Lexus GX models while the investigation is taking place. Below is Toyota's full statement:
Lexus' Statement Regarding Consumer Reports' Testing of the 2010 GX 460 From Mark Templin, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager
"For more than 20 years, Lexus has made customer safety and satisfaction our highest priorities. 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' extensive vehicle testing provides a good indication of how our vehicles perform and we are confident that the GX meets our high safety standards. Our engineering teams are vigorously testing the GX using Consumer Reports' specific parameters to identify how we can make the GX's performance even better.
For any customer who has purchased a 2010 GX 460 and is concerned about driving their vehicle, we will provide a loaner car until a remedy is available.
As always, Lexus is committed to providing our customers with outstanding products and service.
Customers who have any questions or concerns should contact Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987."