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Posts Tagged ‘lexus gx460 recall’

Consumer Reports Re-Issues Buy Rating on Lexus GX 460

May 7th, 2010

Consumer Reports re-issued a “Buy” rating on the 2010 Lexus GX 460 after the full-size luxury SUV failed one of the magazine’s emergency handling tests earlier last month, a hazard that could have resulted in the 6600-pound SUV from possibly flipping over at speed.

Toyota, Lexus’ parent company, fixed the issue by reprogramming the ECM which controls the GX 460′s stability control system.   The problem initially affected 34,000 vehicles worldwide, and sales of the GX 460 were subsequently halted.

Interestingly, buyer interest on CarsDirect.com for the GX 460 shot up 73% the week that CR reported the issue, proving that car shoppers still believe that Toyota and Lexus still produce  some of the most reliable vehicles currently offered.

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Lexus GX460 Buyer Interest up 73%

April 27th, 2010

The Lexus GX460 has been making headlines this month after Consumer Reports put the SUV on its “Do Not Buy” list after its tests indicated that it had a high risk of rolling over during certain emergency maneuvers. Lexus immediately stopped sales of the GX on April 13, and recalled all GX40s that had been sold on April 19. Finally, Toyota announced a software fix to correct the problem on April 21.

So how did all of this news affect buyer interest in the GX460?

We took a look at exclusive CarsDirect traffic statistics to find out.  According to our data, buyer interest surged 73.5% the week of the Consumer Reports announcement. Interest has since waned, but remained elevated through the week of April 19, with 30.4% higher interest than the week before the Consumer Reports announcement.

Our conclusion: Being in the headlines—even for not-so-positive reasons—put the GX460 on the minds of buyers who may not have considered the SUV prior to the controversy.  It will be interesting to see if this interest translates to sales in the near future.

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Lexus GX460 VSC Fixed Via Software Update – Video

April 21st, 2010

That was fast.   About 72 hours after  Toyota recalled over 9,000 Lexus GX 460 SUVs for a safety risk involving a possible loss of control during high-speed turns, Lexus in Japan have fixed the problem via a software patch to the GX’s Vehicle Stability Control.

Now, part of the reason as to why the Lexus GX 460 featured in Consumer Reports’ test drifted so wide during the high-speed turn was partly due to the vehicle’s fuel tank, and more notably when the tank is filled to capacity.

A 6,600-pound GX 460 has a 23-gallon tank.  That 23-gallon tank, when filled to the brim, weighs 138 pounds (fuel weighs 6 lbs/gallon).   Add your typical 170-lb driver-only scenario carried out in most commutes, and you have roughly 308 pounds of eight above the vehicle’s roll center, raising the GX’s center of gravity while effectively making the SUV break traction if driven to fast into a turn, as evidenced in the video here.

Our guess is that Toyota engineers initially goofed in programming the GX 460′s Vehicle Stability Control in instances involving fuel tank chock full of fuel and a driver-only commute.  An partially full tank along with an additional passenger added to the commute would probably net different results.  That being said, the VSC needed programming which would take into account all driving scenarios.

Engineers have been hard at work for a solution to the problem, and it appears that the VSC re-programming is complete. Check out the before and after video by clicking here.

[source: The Lexus Enthusiast]

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Update: Toyota Recalls 2010 Lexus GX 460

April 19th, 2010
Image Courtesy of Consumer Reports

Image Courtesy of Consumer Reports 2010

Toyota has reportedly issued a recall on the 2010 Lexus GX 460 to fix the potential issue of the SUV rolling over, effecting some 6,000 units that have been sold since the GX 460 went on sale in December 2009.  This comes after Consumer Reports issued a stern “Don’t Buy” label in its ratings due to the vehicle skid control activating too late during high-speed emergency maneuvers.

The fix may be as simple as a re-flash of the vehicle’s ECM, in essence updating the timing of the GX 460′s vehicle skid control so it kicks in sooner.  If you are the owner of a 2010 Lexus GX 460, you will be contacted by Lexus regarding what to do.  If you do not want to wait, contact your Lexus Dealer by clicking here.

See the video of the Lexus GX 460 almost rolling over here.

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Toyota Temporarily Halts Sales of 2010 Lexus GX 460

April 13th, 2010

2010 Lexus GX 460

The last thing that Toyota needs is its luxury brand, Lexus, to come under fire for safety reasons. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what seems to be happening. Consumer Reports has issued a rare “Don’t Buy” rating for the 2010 Lexus GX 460. When the trusted consumer publication put the GX through its routine handling test, it performed poorly when taking an “unusual turn” and slid until it was sideways. Mind you, that’s a pretty fast turn.

[Scroll down and click the link at the end of this post to see the video]

The problem, according to Consumer Reports, is the SUV’s traction control system.  Apparently, the TCS kicked on too late to make a difference in the aforementioned “unusual turn”. In a real-world driving situation, Consumer Reports believes this could lead to the vehicle completely rolling over and is the reason why it has placed the warning on this model.

To its credit, Toyota, certified professionals in situations like this, responded rapidly, stating that it is very concerned with the organization’s findings and will work to duplicate the conditions of the test in order to see just how serious the problem really is.

In the mean time, production of all Lexus GX 460 models has been halted and Consumer Reports’ “Don’t Buy” rating still stands until the issue has been fixed.  For what it’s worth, it should be noted that only 1 out of 4 road test editors found this to be an issue.

And we don’t know anyone who takes a 5000-lb SUV and throws it into a turn that fast. Unusual turn, is right.

Here’s the video: 2010 Lexus GX 460 Safety Risk Video.

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