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Old 04-13-2010, 04:28 PM
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Default Consumer Reports: 2010 Lexus GX 460 is a safety risk, don't buy

Wow.

April 13, 2010

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



Consumer Reports has judged the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV a Dont Buy: Safety Risk because of a problem we experienced during our standard emergency-handling tests. When pushed to its limits on our tracks 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 whats 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 highways exit ramp or drives through a sweeping turn and encounters an unexpected obstacle or suddenly finds that the turn is too tight for the vehicles 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 weve tested. It does that by applying individual brakes and cutting engine power to help keep the vehicle on its intended path. But the GXs system doesnt 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, Were 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 vehicles 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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:46 PM
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:48 PM
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:56 PM
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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?
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
Interesting that just because a car won't save your a$$ they label it as a safety risk.

'nuff said.
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rover67 View Post
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?
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:44 PM
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CR is all BS. Remember what happened with the Samauri and the Montero?
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:57 PM
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I'm with Marco...and Wes

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....
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:49 PM
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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..
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:58 PM
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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...041304187.html
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