• Apr 17, 2010
Toyota engineers in Japan have apparently replicated the lift-throttle oversteer problem recently found by Consumer Reports on the new 2010 Lexus GX460 and are working on a fix. Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong has confirmed the existence of the handling problem to The New York Times.

According to the NYT, as soon as CR discovered the problem, they contacted Toyota and worked with the automaker to make sure it understood the organization's test conditions. The engineers in Japan are currently trying to understand the root cause and come up with a robust solution.

For now, Toyota has stopped selling the GX globally until a corrective action is identified, and owners in the field can get loaner vehicles from their dealers until their SUVs are repaired. The solution could end up being either hardware changes or software updates to the stability control, or a combination thereof. For more on the testing and what might be causing the oversteer problem, check out our in-depth analysis.

[Source: The New York Times]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, nothing quite like a refrigerator on wheels sliding around!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let's say for a minute that all SUV drivers are thoroughly trained professionals who can handle a drifting, high C/G vehicle as if it were a Formula1 racer. What do they do when the the rear tires clip a curb, causing a rollover?
      Suddenly, control is taken from their skilled hands (and feet) and put in their physics teacher's lesson plan. Then they're just like anybody else, except maybe they're not texting or gabbing like the rest of the SUV aimers. Their injuries are just as bad.
      These rides have to be fool resistant and entirely predictable. They're appliances to most drivers, who are unable to handle any surprise, and whose attorneys stand by to sue the mfr. that made something like this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @tankdog

        You cannot make "virtually any" car do that on dry pavement. The majority of SUV's, and many cars, will absolutely shut you down before you get even close to that sideways by braking the front outside wheel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Since I can make virtually any car do what that Lexus did I would be interested in seeing all the other vehicle tests and what exactly they did. The only way software could compensate for that situation in a two wheel drive vehicle would be to continue to apply power to the rear wheels even when you don't want it to. Sure, it may stop a slide, but you're still going to hit what you were trying to avoid if you were going too fast into the corner to begin with.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The situation resulted when the power to the rear wheels was cut. No brakes were applied. See the video. The ESC in similar vehicles would have applied the rear brakes to try to cut the slide intensity and to stop with minimum drama. This was not the case here. It's simple lift-throttle oversteer with steering input adjustment to straighten the slide. Even many of us northeners can't do this in the snow. That's why there's ESC: to do what we are unable to.
        The Corvairs had this problem when their tires were filled improperly by those who didn't know that the rears were supposed to have 5# air to every 3 in the front. Maybe tire pressure has something to do with this problem. I suspect the ESC, compounded by spring/shock rates and travel, and tire design. This just keeps getting better and better.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im just glad it CR putting the warning out and not the government.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Arabs finally have something decent to play with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some people always criticize CR and don't acknowledge the benefits they bring by forcing manufacturers to make safer products. Get over it, corporations do not always look out for you and you need watchdogs like CR.
        • 4 Years Ago
        TigerMill: You speak with all the wisdom and experience of a 12 year old.

        Here are a few reasons to lift in a turn.

        1). The jack-off ahead of you got the corner wrong and does a Fred Flintstone.

        2). Animals don't always cross where the animal crossing signs are posted.

        3). Yet another jack-... spilled debris, oil etc. in said corner.

        4). Someone suffers a flat, breakdown at a blind-spot in the corner.

        5). Anyone driving a new (to them) stretch of road, could miscalculate the radius of a turn, and need to lift to adjust their speed.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Honestly, I wish CR would shut up and crawl back to the dark hole they came from. The junk that they seem to think every new car should have sickens me. I am tired of their "padding the walls" mentality and even moreso the fact that they and people like them keep getting the government to mandate more expensive ballast that I do not want on a new car.

        So, a big heavy truck will spin out if you try and hoon it? This is news? Fix: admit that you bought the post-minivan mommy-mobile and stop trying to pretend it is a sports car. Drive it like the 5000#+ pig that it is and it will drive in a stable, predictable manner without any electronic nannies.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why is this a problem? Don't lift in a corner!!! Learn to drive a truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The irony here is that CR lost its credibility when it was caught staging Suzuki Samurai rollover years ago.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Irony? Suzuki was never able to prove its case against CR, and when the two settled, Suzuki backed off its original accusations.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/09/business/suzuki-resolves-a-dispute-with-a-consumer-magazine.html
        • 4 Years Ago
        @thritter

        Those types of suits are extremely difficult to win because of the high burden of proof placed on the plaintiff. It isn't enough to prove that the report is false, or even that the publication was incompetent or negligent. The plaintiff has to show that the false reporting was deliberate and born of malicious intent or a desire for financial or other gain.

        Consumer Reports and other publications can get away with false, sloppy reporting because intent is very very difficult to prove. That's why magazines and newspapers are rarely sued, and why such suits rarely succeed in the USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If they could only stage me having a torrid love affair with Tigers wife I would subscribe forever.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @thritter

        Marcia Clark was also never able to prove that OJ was the killer.

        Just because they resolved the dispute, it doesn't mean CR didn't royally screw up.

        If you're bored, I'd watch these two short clips.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0Xq4kH8gNM
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui9oAeXniqg&feature=related

        Because CR's tests were so rigged and flawed, NHTSA and all gov't agencies world wide never issued any safety warning, because the vehicle never posed any threat.

        Unfortunately for Isuzu, the damage had already been done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can flip a Lambo who cares about this silly recall
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think their trouble stems from getting advice from American managers who cut corners to improve the bottom line. There's no regard for tomorrow, only today. Guess what? Tomorrow is here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No news down under.

      Years ago Wheels magazine exposed the inadequacies of the stability system in the HIghlander SUVs during COTY testing.

      Results disputed by Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean "results disputed by ToyoJUNK"

        Now they're scam artists. What a great company!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        If you are going to tell a story, tell all of it and not part off.

        Toyota disputed the roll-over because telemetry evidance downloaded from the Kluger aka Hylander differed consideredly to the story told by 'Wheels' - critics have always conveniantly forgotten to tell the rest of the story.

        Truth be told, Wheels was caught short in thier affair and sales of the Kluger have remained strong eversense without a single report to have ever support the Wheels.

        Infact, 'Top Gear' magazine stated any reports suggesting the Kluger / Hylander to be unsafe is bluntantly wrong.

        People lie ... telemetry evidance doesn't - Wheels dropped their attack of the Kluger very fast and i notice they have never revisited the story either.

        Gee ... i wonder why !!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't see what the big problem is with the GX460: powerful V8, beautiful interior, all wheel drive, and you can drift with it. What's not to love?
        • 4 Years Ago

        @Hamhock
        "I don't see what the big problem is with the GX460: powerful V8, beautiful interior, all wheel drive, and you can drift with it. What's not to love?"

        The problem is that this Lexus can roll & lose cocntrol more than the other SUVs & you could possibly DIE in it. Not everyone is a race car driver & I've seen plenty of inexperienced drivers go too fast into a turn & lose control...
        • 4 Years Ago
        The problem is Lexus SUV owners base their purchase decision on luxury, comfort and safety, not it's hoonage potential. I'm pretty sure the exilerating "OMG WTF!?" feeling that comes with taking a corner a little too fast then lifting the throttle isn't the driving experience they signed on for.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Welcome to the future of cars. Soon you won't even be ABLE to defeat the ABS and ESC on even the most "hard core" sports car. It makes me sick.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Trailing throttle oversteer, within limits, can be fun in a sports car or sports sedan. But even Porsche dramatically reduced the 911s propensity to oversteer. They did that for a reason.

        Trailing throttle oversteer in a top-heavy, softly suspended, body-on-frame truck is not fun or safe. I have a Toyota 4Runner. I greatly prefer that it understeers if I overcook a corner.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I must admit I too woohooooed when I watched the video, but the line between excitement and OH SH!T in a high centre of gravity vehicle is pretty small; a lot smaller than the average driver can hold on to.

        I have a simple fix for this problem. Remove the spare tire (replace tires with run flats) replace spare tire with a suitable sized anchor on the spare tire retaining cable. If Toyota takes me up on this solution please add additional strength to the retaining cable as we wouldn't want any Sienna issues, if you know what I mean.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's nothing scarier than understeer when you were expecting oversteer.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So does this mean Toyota didn't even run the GX through the same tests as the 4 runner? they tested the 4runner, said handles great, no problems. gave it to lexus who added luxury, power, changed the suspension, and threw it on the market without unit testing the product? encouraging.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This lends credence to the criticism that Toyota has rushed products to market utilizing cyberspace testing, rather than the time and money consuming practice of testing physical prototypes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Credence? Toyota's been pretty clear that's what they've been doing for at least a generation now, this lends credence to the underlying problems which occur when predominantly virtually testing cars.
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