Consumer Reports: Lexus GX460 ‘unsafe’

Posted April 13, 2010 at 6:02 a.m.

Associated Press | Consumer Reports has given the Lexus GX460 a rare “Don’t Buy” warning, saying a problem that occurred during routine handling tests could lead the SUV to roll over in real-world driving.

In the latest blow to Toyota’s reputation, the magazine said that during a test of the vehicle’s performance during unusual turns, the rear of the vehicle slid until it was nearly sideways before the electronic stability control system kicked in.

Consumer Reports said in real-world driving, such a scenario could
cause a rollover accident. As a result, the magazine has given the
seven-seat SUV a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” label until the problem is

“In a real world situation, by that time, the car can hit the curb or
the side of the road and that’s the situation where, in a vehicle like
that, it could cause it to roll over,” said Gabriel Shenhar, senior
auto test engineer at Consumer Reports, who was one of four testers to
experience the problem.

Consumer Reports said the last vehicle to receive such a warning was
the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Limited. It said among the 95 SUVs in its
current ratings, no other slid as far as the GX460.

Starting at about $52,000, the GX460 is a small-volume vehicle for
Lexus, Toyota Motor Corp.’s luxury brand. But the warning represents
yet another blow for Toyota’s tarnished reputation for safety following
recalls of millions of vehicles for faulty gas pedals. The GX460 is not
covered by the pedal recalls.

Consumer Reports said the problem occurred during a handling test on
its test track. During the test, the driver approaches a turn unusually
fast, then releases the accelerator pedal to simulate a typical
driver’s response. This causes the rear of the vehicle to slide.

In normal cases, the vehicle’s electronic stability control should
quickly correct the loss of control. But Shenhar said in the case of
the GX460, the stability control took too long to adjust, causing a
risk of rolling over.

However, Consumer Reports said it is not aware of any reports of the
vehicle rolling over. The magazine said it tested two separate
vehicles, both of which experienced the problem, but neither rolled

Consumer Reports said it has notified Toyota and said the automaker is investigating the problem.



  1. sowhatandmetoo April 13, 2010 at 8:24 a.m.

    If you think a Toyota is unsafe, wait until the jerks posting above start selling Geelys, Cherys, and Volvos on this website.

  2. The Enemy April 13, 2010 at 10:38 a.m.

    So basically, it’s only dangerous if you decide to drive like a right imbecile. The problem then isn’t that the vehicle is unsafe, but that IMBECILE DRIVERS are unsafe. Unfortunately, there are so many of those these days that we’ve come to accept that the problem isn’t the imbecile drivers themselves, but that certain vehicles aren’t imbecile-proof.
    Has it occured to anyone that this is a backward approach to motoring safety, and maybe instead we should stop giving drivers licenses to any imbecile who shows up with a pulse and a 20-dollar bill?

  3. Hans April 13, 2010 at 11:50 a.m.

    So now cars that don’t drive themselves are considered dangerous and CR recommends you don’t buy them. Maybe people that can’t control their vehicles are unsafe and shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel. How does CR like all these new computer displays and entertainment systems in vehicles? Where is the recommendation not to buy vehicles designed to distract you from having to focus on driving?

  4. Chris April 13, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Your conclusion and logic is bizarre, thinking a vehicle’s safety rating should only be determined under normal driving conditions and a vehicle is SAFE if someone only drives it normally.
    When’s the last dangerous accident you heard of caused by someone doing something normal, and NOT dangerous, such as driving like an imbecile? Consumer Reports is quite right to evaluate vehicles for safety under adverse driving conditions BECAUSE THAT IS WHEN YOU NEED THE SAFETY OF THE VEHICLE THE MOST. That ever occur to you?

  5. The Enemy April 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Chris, when it comes to maintaining control of your vehicle, there’s no substitute for competent driving. If you’re heading into a corner too fast, that’s YOUR fault, not the car’s fault. Cars shouldn’t have to babysit imbeciles, nor should they be declared “dangerous” if they fail to sufficiently do so. Otherwise, let’s just be done with it and create an infrastructure where the cars do all the driving and the “drivers” are just passengers in a rolling 4,000lb steel coccoon.