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View Full Version : Consumer Reports: 2010 Lexus GX 460 is a safety risk, don't buy


Hulk
04-13-2010, 04:28 PM
Wow.

April 13, 2010

Don't Buy: Safety Risk--2010 Lexus GX 460

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/.a/6a00d83451e0d569e20133ec9339f0970b-800wi

Consumer Reports has judged the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV a Don’t Buy: Safety Risk because of a problem we experienced during our standard emergency-handling tests. 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.

We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports.

All four of our auto engineers who conduct the test experienced the problem in an exercise used to evaluate what’s called lift-off oversteer. In the test, as the vehicle is driven through a turn, the driver quickly lifts his foot off the accelerator pedal to see how the vehicle reacts.

We perform this evaluation on every vehicle we test, which includes the 95 SUVs in our current auto Ratings. 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.
In real-world driving, lift-off oversteer could occur when a driver enters a highway’s exit ramp or drives through a sweeping turn and encounters an unexpected obstacle or suddenly finds that the turn is too tight for the vehicle’s speed. A natural impulse is to quickly lift off the accelerator pedal. If that were to happen in the GX, 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. And because the GX is a tall SUV with a high center of gravity, our concern for rollover safety is heightened.

Like almost all current SUVs, the GX has standard ESC. That system is designed to prevent a vehicle from sliding out in a turn and has generally worked very effectively in the vehicles we’ve tested. It does that by applying individual brakes and cutting engine power to help keep the vehicle on its intended path. But the GX’s system doesn’t intervene quickly enough to stop the slide, and the rear end swings around too far.
As a result, we are urging consumers not to buy the GX 460 until the problem has been fixed. The GX 460 has been on sale for about three months and about 5,000 vehicles have been sold. We have notified Toyota, Lexus’ parent company, of the problem. We urge the company to develop a remedy as quickly as possible and implement it in new vehicles produced at the assembly plant and those already purchased.

In an e-mail response, Toyota spokesman Joe Tetherow said, “We’re concerned with the results of Consumer Reports testing on the Lexus GX 460 and their suggested buyer recommendation. Our engineers conducted similar tests during the development of the new GX and had no issues. However, we will try to duplicate the Consumer Reports’ test to determine if appropriate steps need to be taken. Please keep in mind that the 2010 GX 460 meets or exceeds all Federal Government test requirements. Customer safety and satisfaction remain our highest priorities. We take the Consumer Reports’ test results very seriously and appreciate them bringing it to our attention.”
We have also informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The designation is rare for Consumer Reports; the last time we judged a vehicle’s performance not acceptable was with the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Limited in the August 2001 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Current GX 460 owners: If you own a 2010 Lexus GX 460, we recommend exercising care when exiting the highway or traveling twisty roads. Obeying the speed limit and being alert for potential road hazards should limit the risk of experiencing a problem, like that recorded at the test track. We hope that Toyota can quickly develop a software update for the stability control system and update current models with revised programming.
Customers who have any questions or concerns can contact Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-255-3987.

Update: 4/13/10, 1:30 p.m. - Toyota revised statement. Added 800 number.

rover67
04-13-2010, 04:46 PM
Interesting that just because a car won't save your a$$ they label it as a safety risk.

Maybe it'd be a better idea to actually teach folks how to drive rather than waste time writing an article about how a certain vehicle behaves just as would be expected.

Too bad the tester wasn't driving a porsche 930, that would have made for an amusing article.

I am going to hate it when all you can buy new is some silly car that neuters itself any time you go over 45mph and try to go around a corner. Maybe they'll figure out how to make the cars stop by themselves at red lights, and how to avoid pedestrians by themselves... then they can write reports about how a car they tested plowed straight through a test dummy at 40mph when the test driver drove through the intersection without lifting his foot of the gas.

rover67
04-13-2010, 04:48 PM
And that's actually a pretty cool picture of the truck.. I tried it with my truck and almost rolled. Too bad I didn't.. I could have sued toyota for $$ and gotten lots of replacement parts for the 40.

Jacket
04-13-2010, 04:56 PM
So who's starting to wonder if there's a conspiracy at work here. I mean - the economy tanks, and the big 3 auto makers nearly end up in the history books. Toyota is still sitting atop the leader board, even though it too suffered some loses resulting from the economic downturn. Now all of the sudden, Toyota has a myriad of quality issues, cars that can accelerate and kill people, and an SUV that is branded "unsafe" because it's VSC failed to operate properly.

Anybody else wonder if there's a deep-seeded conspiracy to dethrone Toyota as a part of the overall recovery of the American branded auto makers?

nuclearlemon
04-13-2010, 05:33 PM
Interesting that just because a car won't save your a$$ they label it as a safety risk.




'nuff said.

wesintl
04-13-2010, 05:39 PM
Interesting that just because a car won't save your a$$ they label it as a safety risk.

Maybe it'd be a better idea to actually teach folks how to drive rather than waste time writing an article about how a certain vehicle behaves just as would be expected.

Too bad the tester wasn't driving a porsche 930, that would have made for an amusing article.

I am going to hate it when all you can buy new is some silly car that neuters itself any time you go over 45mph and try to go around a corner. Maybe they'll figure out how to make the cars stop by themselves at red lights, and how to avoid pedestrians by themselves... then they can write reports about how a car they tested plowed straight through a test dummy at 40mph when the test driver drove through the intersection without lifting his foot of the gas.

huh. those are great drivers that test the vehicles systems. the electronic stability control doesn't work (or work right)

I don't necessarily agree with everything about CR but if something doesn't work it should be reported...

furthermore if toyota didn't think it was an issue would they suspend sales of gx460's?

Bikeman
04-13-2010, 05:44 PM
CR is all BS. Remember what happened with the Samauri and the Montero?

corsair23
04-13-2010, 05:57 PM
I'm with Marco...and Wes :hill:

I guarantee you if any of us take the C470 to southbound 285 exit too fast in our 80s, we are going over, or at the very least into the dirt. Many a vehicle has done just that.

All of the new electronic nannies are IMO creating some really crappy drivers who figure the car will save their bacon. Usually it will, but being a crappy driver isn't an excuse.

That said, if Toyota puts in a system that shouldn't let that happen, and it isn't working as advertised/sold, then it needs to be fixed.

I'm not fond of all the electronic nannies manufacturers are installing in vehicles lately...I shudder everytime Dave tells of his experience trying to get through an intersection in his old 4Runner....

rover67
04-13-2010, 06:49 PM
So how "well" does ESC have to work before it is deemed OK? Is it the random standard that CR establishes? I guess there probably is some standard now that I say that.

If I were Toyota I'd probably do something about it no matter what.. it's not like they can argue for themselves here..

rover67
04-13-2010, 06:58 PM
I've driven lots of cars with varying levels of ESC. Lots of them had switches you could use to disable the ESC. Maybe they should get rid of those switches.

I dunno Wes, I mean what is deemed enough ESC in a situation like this? I bet I could make pretty much any truck roll by pitching it sideways and hitting a curb. Hell, we were able to roll my Tundra only going about 20MPH. Granted that was on a sloped surface that was irregular. Maybe My Tundra needed ESC.. maybe that would have kept us from rolling it. Maybe not making stupid descisions would have kept us from rolling it. IMHO, the second is the most difinitive answer... the first will always be a maybe.


Quote:

In normal cases, the electronic stability control should quickly correct the loss of control and keep the SUV on its intended path. But with the GX 460, the stability control took too long to adjust, which could cause a rollover accident if one of the sliding wheels were to strike the curb or another obstacle, said Gabriel Shenhar, Consumer Reports' senior auto test engineer who was one of four testers who experienced the problem.

The magazine said it is not aware of any reports of the GX 460 rolling over. It tested two separate vehicles, both of which experienced the problem, but neither rolled over.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041304187.html

Corbet
04-13-2010, 07:08 PM
I can't speak for the new stuff now, but in 2003 I got to drive SUV's from most manufactures on a test track. I found that of all the large SUV's they had available the Sequoia's electronics kicked in faster than anything else I drove. Way too early IMO. So unless Toyota has toned it down a lot realitively to other makers there must be a honest problem.

But that said people need to learn how to drive again and take responsibility for their mistakes behind the wheel.

Beater
04-13-2010, 07:28 PM
Marco - I hear ya, but in all seriousness, today's vehicles are overly dependent on technology. some manufacturers are using tech systems to overcome mechanical design, not to aid it. With that statement in mind, if that tech system doesn't perform to expectations, there is a huge issue.

I have the vw/porsche/audi control system in my w8. With around 310 bhp, in that small car, I can't make the car skid without a total loss of friction. My system monitors pitch/yaw/slip. If I switch it off, I still have a tough time making the 4motion/quattro break free without a total loss of friction.

In a large four wheel drive suv, the issue is not so much skid, but pitch/yaw and controlling body roll through breaking and torque to affected wheels, much like touching the rear brake during a power wheelie on a bike.

I hear your thoughts, but the fact is these vehicles are expected to handle like cars, when the physical design isn't meant to. I heard all the time about "my lifted/modded 80 rev's to high at 80mph.." I'm sorry, but who would want to drive their lifted modded vehicle at 80mph in the mountains on a freeway?

There has to be level set on what vehicles are expected to be safe doing. Some of this is common sense, but alas, common sense in the american society is becoming less common.

I fully expect my T100 to be more prone to roll in a panic situation, and I drive accordingly. Suzie soccer mom and tommy the trader, on average, do not. With our litigious society, that is an issue.

oh and conspiracy my arse...

farnhamstj
04-13-2010, 07:40 PM
Hogwash.

Corbet
04-13-2010, 08:43 PM
common sense in the american society is becoming less common.

Here lies the problem

Old40Dog
04-13-2010, 09:11 PM
So who's starting to wonder if there's a conspiracy at work here. I mean - the economy tanks, and the big 3 auto makers nearly end up in the history books. Toyota is still sitting atop the leader board, even though it too suffered some loses resulting from the economic downturn. Now all of the sudden, Toyota has a myriad of quality issues, cars that can accelerate and kill people, and an SUV that is branded "unsafe" because it's VSC failed to operate properly.

Anybody else wonder if there's a deep-seeded conspiracy to dethrone Toyota as a part of the overall recovery of the American branded auto makers?

Thank you to one of the "real" Matt's......Let the truth be known.

Bottom line, and it's no coincidence, CR is totally out for grabbing the headlines!

IMHO, Nothing but media trash! The public is so frigin' gullable to this kinda crap:mad: Please, learn how to drive...or just stay home!

In today's world, nobody is responsible for their own actions. (Webmaster: We need a Smilee for BS) The machine you buy should be capable of taking care of every possible situation that "might arise" give me a break....get a life people....don't blame someone else for your lack of whatever!

Seems to me, the economy is in the tank....and Governmet Motors (GM) is too, any possibility that CR might be looking for subscribers and in bed with GM?

I recall Suzuki was killing the market in 1988-89 when the Samurai hit the news courtesey of CR. I drove one of those dogs for over 250K iles and unless you were totally an idiot, you couldn't roll it on purpose. I twice put it down over a 30ft. road embankment in the snow and it never even hinted of tipping. At 50 MPH, if you yanked on the wheel two or three times you might get a tire to lift off the pavement....but you had to be going down Mt Vernon canyon to get up that much speed!:lmao::lmao: :lmao:

Lets all have a :beer: or three and then (Hey Hulk! Where's that Smilee for BS?) Take it for what it's worth. Other comments....Please~!

Hulk
04-14-2010, 12:25 AM
I'm sorry, but who would want to drive their lifted modded vehicle at 80mph in the mountains on a freeway?

That would be me. (koff koff).

(Webmaster: We need a Smilee for BS)

Actually, we were planning a smiley intervention for you, Dave. Just back away from the smileys, slow and easy. :D

DaveInDenver
04-14-2010, 06:22 AM
That would be me. (koff koff).
Just because you do or can doesn't mean you should. It's not fundamentally safe, at least reasonably so, compared to the right car for going 80 on the highway.

I had a design class that was partially covering technology and humans. Something that has always stuck with me is that we get dazzled by the latest gizmo without considering how we use or interface with it. For example computers. Staring at a screen and QWERTY keyboard are horrible ways to use a computer, laptops are even worse. You get neck pain, wrist pain, bad eyes.

The prof suggested that technology should adapt to you, not require you to adapt to it. When you think about this you start to see how we allow our stuff to define how we function. To some extent this is unavoidable, but doesn't have to be set in stone. Like Jeff's example when I've talked about the VSC system in our 4Runner kicking in on snow packed roads in the middle of intersections. I hated that and when it did that I wanted to throw it in park, pull out that VSC ECU and bash it with a Louisville Slugger. I of all people understand that no system can ever anticipate all scenarios correctly, but it really irritated me was that it could not be defeated in normal operation. This is the dumbing down of people, the assumption that operators are too stupid to know how to work things.

And yes, I do think the GX460 is 'unsafe', but no more so that any other SUV. Like Beater mentions, the laws of physics are unbreakable and if the hairy edge determination between safe and unsafe is solely what technology upon which you rely, then you've got a more fundamental problem IMVHO. They are all the wrong vehicle for pavement pounding. I like their space but not their high CoG and poor mileage. This is why ours got replaced with the Jetta Sportwagen. I don't think all those stability controls should not be there, but they don't substitute for picking a different vehicle or driving it appropriately.

rover67
04-14-2010, 07:53 AM
So I guess the lexus is heavier up top than a runner?

DaveInDenver
04-14-2010, 08:36 AM
So I guess the lexus is heavier up top than a runner?
They've always looked taller to me, so maybe they really are. Could also be where they put stuff. The Lexus has I would guess more options and that means more boxes and things above the center line.

DaveInDenver
04-14-2010, 08:55 AM
Anybody else wonder if there's a deep-seeded conspiracy to dethrone Toyota as a part of the overall recovery of the American branded auto makers?

Worst-Made Cars on the Road (http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/109278/worst-made-cars-on-the-road?mod=family-home)

With a 22% improvement in sales last month, and despite the six-month, $4.3 billion loss it announced Wednesday, General Motors is likely to have its strongest spring and summer in years. Plus, the automaker had critically acclaimed new products at the recent New York Auto Show and the much-anticipated Chevrolet Volt is due out this fall.

Year-over-year sales of GM's Cadillac division alone are up almost 76%; sales in the Buick, Chevrolet and GMC divisions were each up more than 40% for March. The industry as a whole was up 24.3%.

Unfortunately just because GM's cars are selling well now doesn't mean they're the best bet for durability or value -- yet. It'll take awhile before GM's new direction shows up in tangible new products at the dealership.

Four of the seven vehicles on our list of the worst-made cars on the road come from GM brands. And all of the cars on the list -- including Chrysler's Dodge Nitro and Jeep Wrangler -- are made by Detroit's Big Three. Only one car on the list is made by Ford Motor.

Jacket
04-14-2010, 09:01 AM
They've always looked taller to me, so maybe they really are. Could also be where they put stuff. The Lexus has I would guess more options and that means more boxes and things above the center line.

Same here. Isn't it really just a 4Runner/Prado-based platform with all the same components, topped with a Lexus body and interior?

FJBRADY
04-14-2010, 09:05 AM
There's no way I could get the FJC in 2wd with the stability control that excited! Can't turn it off in the 07 FJC in 2wd maybe you can in the Lexus?

Jacket
04-14-2010, 09:08 AM
Most of the newer Toyota trucks/SUV's have a VSC kill switch for 2wd. I think the Tacoma added one in 08 or 09.

Beater
04-14-2010, 09:28 AM
i for one hope that the market continues to move towards the smaller crossover type four wheel drive wagons... Interior space wise they are similar, and probably less than 10% ever use the capabilities of a suv

Caribou Sandstorm
04-14-2010, 01:50 PM
The VSC kill switch is new for last year or this year.. I don't have a kill switch on my 08...

It sucks...It catches way after the fact..Once I was on 285 headed to Gunnison with an inch of snow on the ground and I was almost sideways before it caught on..I went to 4high after that...

I wish I could turn it off.

I do wonder why Toyota is all of the sudden the devil...as much as I hate to admit it, it might be the Dems...since Toyota is non union...

pmccumber
04-14-2010, 02:22 PM
I guarantee you if any of us take the C470 to southbound 285 exit too fast in our 80s, we are going over, or at the very least into the dirt. Many a vehicle has done just that.


I'm having a trouble with the "too fast" and "80s" in the same sentence. :p:

Beater
04-14-2010, 02:44 PM
T

I do wonder why Toyota is all of the sudden the devil...as much as I hate to admit it, it might be the Dems...since Toyota is non union...

please -

Ford was union, and there was republican leadership at that time when they were roasted in the media and by the nhsta... give me a break... really

rover67
04-14-2010, 02:47 PM
So did anybody find out if there are standards for how "well" ESC should work?

corsair23
04-14-2010, 03:32 PM
I'm having a trouble with the "too fast" and "80s" in the same sentence. :p:

True...But in this case "too fast" would only be about 40 + or - which luckily most 80s can handle...:hill:

SRT08BUS
04-16-2010, 01:02 PM
There's no way I could get the FJC in 2wd with the stability control that excited! Can't turn it off in the 07 FJC in 2wd maybe you can in the Lexus?

I think there's a link at AllProOffRoad.com or on the FJCForum.com on how to install a kill switch for the VSC. I HATE MINE! When I want to have fun it denies me. Keryn's 2010 has one (stock) but I'm waiting to install mine.