Toyota halts Lexus GX 460 sales

An American magazine's label of "Don't Buy: Safety Risk" has led to car giant Toyota stopping sales of its Lexus GX 460.

Consumer Reports' latest issue warned that the SUV could roll over and advised its readers not to buy the car.

Toyota has asked its dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the seven-seat SUV while it looked into the matter.

Lexus vice president and general manager Mark Templin said: "We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified."

The problem with the Lexus GX 460 is the latest blow to the car giant's tarnished image after the company had to recall millions of car and truck models due to issues in accelerator pedals that retracted too slowly or became stuck under floor mats.

Around 6,000 GX 460s have been sold since the vehicle was launched in late December, the company said. The car was not covered in the previous recalls.

Consumer Reports is a widely-read magazine that is referred to by US buyers for recommendations of a vehicle. In January the magazine removed its "recommended" rating on eight vehicles recalled by Toyota.

The magazine said the Lexus problem came to the fore as they conducted tests on its track. A standard test sees the driver approaching a turn unusually fast, and then releasing the accelerator pedal to simulate the response of an alarmed driver.

In this condition, the rear of the vehicle tends to slide outwards. Under normal circumstances, the electronic stability control will quickly rectify the loss of control and prevent the SUV from going off its path.

However, when this test was conducted on the GX 460, the stability control did not adjust quickly enough, which could cause a rollover accident if one of the sliding wheels hit the curb or another obstacle, Gabriel Shenhar, Consumer Reports' senior car test engineer pointed out.

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