Consumer Reports Drops Warning from Lexus GX 460

Posted: May 10, 2010 10:59 a.m.

It’s safe the buy a Lexus GX 460 again.  That’s what Consumer Reports has concluded, after testing a GX that had been through the repair process Lexus has designed to correct a problem CR first identified last month.

Edmunds Inside Line explains, “In April, CR said that in its test of emergency handling, the GX 460's stability control system didn't intervene quickly enough to prevent the vehicle from sliding in a test of lift-off oversteer, in which the driver quickly lifted his foot off the accelerator pedal in a turn.” 

The risk was serious enough that, CR testers said, it could cause the big SUV to roll over during a maneuver many drivers make regularly. The magazine put a rare “don’t buy” warning on the Lexus SUV.  In response, “The automaker had earlier suspended sales of the vehicle while it updated software for its electronic stability control system to address the publication's complaints.”

The fix worked, Consumer Reports says.  The magazine, which buys the cars it tests, brought its own GX in for the recall repair.  To avoid receiving special treatment from the dealership, editors didn’t identify themselves to the dealership.  CR then “put the SUV through our full series of emergency handling tests. This time, the ESC system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test.”  Satisfied, the magazine has lifted the warning.

Kicking Tires notes, “Toyota had already resumed sales of the SUV in late April after updating the electronic stability control software at individual dealerships.”

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.