Toyota announced today that it will suspend production of its Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle following a Consumer Reports test that found the vehicles are too unstable and prone to rollover in certain conditions. The announcement comes after the automaker announced yesterday that it would suspend GX 460 sales in the U.S.
A team of Consumer Reports analysts who tested the GX 460 found serious flaws in the response of the vehicle’s electronic stability controls (ESC) in situations when the driver maneuvers a tight circle and abruptly removes his foot from the accelerator, either because he is traveling too fast or he encounters an obstacle.
In those circumstances, the GX 460’s ESC engaged only after the rear of the SUV had swung out almost sideways. The test team repeated the same “lift off oversteer” test on another GX 460 and experienced the same problem, leading them to determine that the drivers could easily lose control and hit a curb or leave the road. And because the SUV is top-heavy, it is especially prone to rollover.
Because of these worrisome test results, Consumer Reports gave the GX 460 its first “don’t buy” designation in 10 years, prompting Toyota to suspend sales and now production of the model.
Toyota says is will halt GX 460 production at its Tahara plant in Japan from April 16 to 28. In the meantime, the automaker says it will run its own tests to determine what flaws may exist and to develop a solution based on its findings.
About 6,000 GX 460 vehicles have been sold worldwide since Toyota / Lexus first introduced it to the world three months ago. In addition to the U.S., the GX 460 is also sold in the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.
Toyota announced today that it is expanding the GX 460 sales suspension to include all the other countries in which the vehicle is sold.