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Consumer Reports lifts Lexus GX 460 'do not buy' rating

May 08, 2010|By Shawn Langlois

SAN FRANCISCO — — Hey, Lexus drivers, remember that red flag a few weeks ago? No, not about sticky gas pedals. The one from Consumer Reports about your SUV possibly flipping over?

Well, fear not. The consumer watchdog magazine declared Friday that Toyota Motor Co. had sufficiently remedied the situation.

"This time, the [electronic stability control] system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test," Consumer Reports said, adding that its engineers didn't "experience any safety concerns" with the updated vehicles.

Last month, the magazine piled on to the Japanese automaker's woes by urging drivers to avoid purchasing the 2010 Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle because of the rollover risk that arose during emergency-handling tests.

It had been almost 10 years since the influential magazine issued such an advisory, and that was on the Mitsubishi Montero.

That was the last thing a reeling Toyota needed as it was struggling to save its brand from the recalls of 8 million cars and trucks worldwide amid complaints of sticky pedals and sudden acceleration.

Toyota quickly halted the sale of the vehicles in question, then managed to replicate the problem, which led to the recall of about 10,000 of the SUVs to update the software in their electronic stability control systems.

Langlois writes for MarketWatch.com/McClatchy.

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