According to Consumer Reports, Toyota is set to release a fix for trunk release pulls on certain Lexus vehicles that could snap off in an emergency. As you may recall, CR found the federally-mandated emergency releases could break if pulled toward the user. As it turned out, the trunk surround behaved like a fulcrum, putting more force against the center of the release than toward the trunk mechanism itself. While the organization found the problem to exist on 2013 Lexus ES and GS, Toyota was able to replicate the flaw on the IS as well.

Toyota will alert 700,000 owners of 2007-2013 Lexus ES models, 2006-2012 IS vehicles and 2013 GS cars and replace the old ABS plastic release with a sturdier polypropylene part free of charge once the components are available to dealers. The service campaign is expected to begin in January.


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  • 43 Comments
      MAX
      • 2 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports is a marketing arm of Toyota at this point.
        JDM
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        And you are the marketing arm for chrysler.
        Big Rocket
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
        @Max: "As a nonprofit organization, we are not beholden to any commercial interest. We accept no free samples, and we pay for all the products and services we test. We also accept no advertising." http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/about-us/no-commerical-use-policy/index.htm
          Walt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          But Consumer Reports does accept donations. So they're beholden to their donors, and to date CR has not released the names of their top donors. Same bias, different means of funding. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/donate/rd08/overview/home.htm
          Big Rocket
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Rocket
          @Walt: If CR was really beholden to Toyota, as the OP claimed, why was it the first to report on Toyota's failing trunk release? And this is not an isolated incident, either: Back in 2010, CR put the Lexus GX on the do not buy list. That's not something you would expect from a biased organization accepting money from Toyota. If you or anyone has proof of bribery to CR, then please share it with the rest of the world. The absence of such proof is what is commonly referred to as a groundless or unfounded accusation. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/13/consumer-reports-puts-lexus-gx-on-do-not-buy-list-due-t/
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MAX
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      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      The easy fix here is don't get stuck in the trunk (or stuff someone in there). Idiots.
        Cayman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carguy1701
        I think it's generally for kids that are playing and get stuck in the trunk. Although, I don't know how many kids are really going to know to pull that handle.
          Cayman
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cayman
          FWIW, I doubt you will hear of many cases of a succesful use of these. A story about a kid getting locked in a trunk and releasing himself 2 minutes later generally doesn't make the newspaper. You'll only hear about the cases where the lever broke, it was built prior to 2000 (or whenever they were mandated) or when the kid couldn't activate it.
          Generic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cayman
          Exactly. They aren't and anyone who forcefully wants to keep kids in a trunk is going to remove them. I haven't heard of a single successful case of release handles saving a child's life.
      Generic
      • 2 Years Ago
      I remember CRs test on this thing. An adult broke it with the trunk lid open pulling really hard on it. Perhaps Toyota tested it with the lid closed and a small person trying to get out. Either way, I've spent my whole life without getting stuck in a trunk. I don't know anyone who has been stuck in one. About the only way to get stuck in a trunk is to be thrown in one forcefully. I'm sure any baddie with half a brain cell would know to cut or break the escape handle. So, WTH are these things for, and why do they even need to be on cars?
        merlot066
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Generic
        There was just a story on AB about a woman who put her son in the trunk after going to a waterpark because she didn't want her seats (of her Lexus, ironically) to get wet. Crazier things have happened.
        Cayman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Generic
        They need to be on cars because the government mandates them. The government mandates them becuase there are a small number of instances where children get themselves locked in trunks every year. It probably costs manufacturers (car buyers actually) a few dollars to put these in.
          Generic
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Cayman
          News flash. The government doesn't always know what is best for people. We live in a world of over protection and under education. Teach a kid not to follow strangers to get stuck in a trunk in the first place. Someone who wants to do harm is going to do harm. No way around that.
      Houmpheng Phonsavath
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wish they would fix the rear end to look like the 2013 Avalon.
      Scooter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cleft lip grille, rear design of a Hyundai elantra. What happened Toyota?
      Cayman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice, I can start locking my kids in the trunk again.
      Dean
      • 2 Years Ago
      This sounds like a stupid recall. If I put someone in the trunk of my car, I probably don't intend for them to be able to get out.
      DarkKnight67
      • 2 Years Ago
      This sounds like an engineering problem - can't blame this on a subcontractor.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      How many wet, cold teenagers have suffered in a dark trunk of a luxury sedan over the past 8 months while a foreign automaker drags their feet on this critical issue for the health and welfare of our nation? I demand congressional hearing on this matter NOW!
      Jesus!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Must be opposite day at AB today. I downvote, someone gets upvoted again.
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