First it was Prius hybrid.
Now Toyota Motors Corporation has asked Lexus dealers in North America to stop the sales of the GX460 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV).
Consumer Reports, a non-profit magazine, published by Yonkers, a New York based “consumer reports” had labeled the GX460 a safety risk. It was according to the magazine, it’s first designation of a model in nine years.
Mark Templin, the U.S. general manager of the luxury brand car was reported to have commented, “We are taking the situation with the GX460 very seriously. We are determined to identify and correct the issue”.
What actually is facing the 2010 GX460 today?
Emergency driving tests have shown it might be proned to rollover during accidents.
Consumer Reports magazine said that it hadn’t deemed any other vehicle a safety risk since 2001.
The above rating on Toyota GX460 has complicated its effort to repair its image after it recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for defects linked to unintended acceleration and brakes failure.
The U.S. Transport Department had decided upon a hefty penalty of US16.4 million against Toyota recently for delaying a recall on sticky accelerator pedals.
However, Toyota’s shares at the Tokyo Stock Exchange remained unchanged at 3,705 yen.
The GX460 rear end was reported to have slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability system was able to regain control at the Connecticut test track. It was reported to be able to lead to a rollover accident. This situation could cause serious injury and death.
The world’s largest automaker, said its engineers would review Consumer Reports magazine’s findings and try to duplicate the test results.
After which, a decision on whether a recall would be issued, so said Toyota’s company spokeswoman, Ririko Takeuchi.
In the meantime, U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) said it was in the process of checking the GX460 to ensure Toyota has complied with safety standards for electronic stability control.
Meanwhile, owners of the Lexus GX460 should take care and caution when driving the vehicle. As of last Tuesday, NHTSA database of complaints has yet to receive any such complaints regarding the luxury SUV.
Toyota has been reported to have sold some 5,400 units of this model in US since November 2009. The company has sole 620 in the Middle East, Russia and the Oceania region.
Toyota US sales rose 41% in March after it offered incentives like no interest loans and discounts. In March, Lexus sales increased 42%, GX460 sales tripled to 1,785 and rose almost three fold to 4,787 in the first quarter of 2010.
For your information, the Lexus 460 is sold at a price of US52,000!
Once again, like the previous case, the U.S. Transport Department’s action on Toyota in the U.S. is hailed as a step in the right direction.