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Toyota to Test Stability of All SUVs

Apr 15, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Two days after Consumer Reports issued a "not acceptable" rating for the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV, Toyota has announced it wil be testing all of the SUVs it manufactures to make sure they handle safely.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Toyota is now seeking to recreate the situations in which the GX 460 was examined by Consumer Reports to determine whether its SUVs have stability problems. Testing will include current models of Toyota’s Rav4, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and Sienna. It is not known how long the tests will take to complete.

Consumer Reports issued the rare “not acceptable” rating Tuesday, after its tests determined that the GX 460 SUV was prone to slide when driven in sweeping turns. According to the report, this could cause rollover accidents resulting in serious injury or death. Ideally, the vehicle’s electronic stability control system would stop such a slide. The publication advised consumers not to buy the Lexus GX 460.

The “not acceptable” rating is extremely rare. In fact, the last time Consumer Reports concluded that a vehicle was “not acceptable” for consumers to buy was in 2001.

Hours after Consumer Reports published its rating, Toyota announced it was suspending sales of the GX 460 in the U.S. and Canada. The utomaker has since suspended sales of the vehicle in markets elsewhere in the world.

While the automaker has not decided if it will issue a recall for the SUV, it is offering current owners use of loaner cars while it tries to figure out why it failed Consumer Reports’ handling test.

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