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As previously reported in this blog, the influential Consumer Reports delivered one more blow to troubled car maker Toyota on April 13 when they issued a 'don't buy warning' for the Toyota 2010 Lexus GX 460. Late last week, it was reported that CR has lifted the warning.
According to the Associated Press, Consumer Reports has retested the SUV and found the problem had been addressed. The original test by CR was performed to mimic a real life driving emergency which showed that the back of the Lexus slid sideways when testers suddenly lifted their feet off the gas pedal during a high-speed turn. This test would reflect the same kind of situation drivers would face if they were approaching a curved highway on-ramp and found the car moving to fast for the turn. CR testers felt the SUV's rear wheels could slide into a curb or off the pavement, raising the risk of rolling over.
The AP reports that under normal circumstances, the electronic stability control should quickly correct the loss of control and keep the SUV on its intended path. But with the GX 460 model, the stability control took too long to react, according to the CR engineers.
Toyota reacted swiftly to the review from Consumer Reports and recalled about 10,000 of the cars in the U.S. According to the Examiner.com, Boston, after duplicating the CR test, Lexus engineers developed a software upgrade that triggered quicker intervention of the stability control system. This was confirmed by Consumer Reports after the software upgrade was installed in its GX 460 test vehicle.
The problems with the 2010 Lexus come on the heels of the numerous recalls and lawsuits stemming from issues with sudden unintended acceleration in several Toyota vehicles, beginning last fall. In April, the carmaker agreed to a record $16.4 million fine from the U.S. government for a slow response to the acceleration problems. The government accused the company of hiding defects involving gas pedals, a contention Toyota still rejects.