Toyota to temporarily halt sales of Lexus GX 460

In this undated product image from Toyota Motors Corp., the 2010 Lexus GX460 is shown. Consumer Reports said Tuesday, April 13, 2010, it 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.(AP Photo/Toyota Motors Corp.)
April 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Toyota has halted the sale of its high end SUVs. The Lexus GX460 performed so poorly in a Consumer Reports test, the magazine issued a rare "Don't Buy" warning.

According to Consumer Reports, not being able to stop on a skid is a major problem.

In handout video, the rear of the GX460 slides way out, when pushed to the limit. The electronic stability control in the car does kick in help the driver regain control, but the report says it takes too long.

"While there haven't been any injuries reported, the way the tail slides out. If a wheel went off the pavement or struck a curb, the vehicle could roll over," says Joe Linkov from Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports gave the car a "Don't Buy" recommendation. It's the first time it has given this strong of a warning in nearly a decade. As a result, Toyota announced it would voluntarily halt all sales of the SUV.

At Lexus Stevens Creek, the entire line was moved out of the showroom and onto the roof.

"It's probably an over-reaction," says Syvlia Marino from Edmunds.com.

Edmunds.com tested the GX460 under normal driving conditions and found nothing wrong with the car.

"This is really if you're going to go out and you were really trying to take a corner pretty hard and pretty fast like you're going to stunt driving school and that's where the electronic stability control should've kicked in and it just looks like there's a hole in the software," says Marino.

Marino says the software glitch is an easy fix and Toyota is likely being over cautious because of its recent history.

Earlier this year Toyota recalled more than two million cars because a sticky gas pedal. In a statement Toyota says "We are very concerned about our image, but we are even more concerned about our customers." Lexus owners ABC7 spoke with are standing by the company.

"I would believe that Lexus would do the right thing and correct the issue," says Lexus owner Sylvie Cozgrove.

Toyota is trying to find a fix by replicating Consumer Reports' tests.

In the meantime, any worried GX460 owner can bring it back to their dealership and get a loaner.

Customers who have questions or concerns about the GX 460 can call Lexus at (800) 255-3987.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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