Toyota announced a voluntary recall on Monday for some 9,400 Lexus GX 460 SUVs for wheel slippage that could occur during high speed turns. The company acted quickly in stopping sales of the GX after Consumer Reports gave the SUV a Do Not Buy rating following its own tests that showed the big SUV had trouble maintaining composure during high speed maneuvers. Toyota's press release at the time stated the recall involves reprogramming software in the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system. We weren't sure how long it would take Toyota to develop a software patch, but apparently it didn't take long at all.
The main culprit appears to be the fact that the fuel tank is located on the left side of the vehicle. A full tank of gas plus the weight of a driver in left-hand-drive vehicle could result in some hairy handling when taking right turns at high speed. That is, at least, before Toyota's software fix for the VSC system.
Follow the jump to see the effect a little reprogramming has on how a vehicle behaves. In the video, two Lexus SUVs take a right turn at 59 miles per hour. One puts on an impromptu drifting session and the other makes it through just fine. We'll let you guess which one had its VSC reprogrammed.
[Source: The Lexus Enthusiast]
Toyota City, Japan-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces its remedy for the problem concerning the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) program in its Lexus GX 460 and certain Land Cruiser Prado vehicles.
In circumstances in which advanced driving skills are required, such as when a driver of the involved vehicle sharply turns the steering wheel in high-speed conditions, or when the driver negotiates a curve at excessive speeds, the vehicle could slide sideways, due to the insufficient activation of the VSC.
The following conditions combine to cause the problem:
- In the GX 460 and Land Cruiser Prado, heavy components, such as the fuel tank, are located on the left side, and in left-hand drive versions, the left side is made even heavier because of the presence of the driver.
- For vehicles with certain tires (on 18-inch wheels) and equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS*) and VSC, the activation of the VSC may not be sufficient in certain circumstances due to the setting of the VSC program.
- Circumstances may require advanced driving skills, such as sharp turns of the steering wheel in high-speed conditions or negotiating a curve to the right at excessive speeds.
As a remedy, Toyota will update the VSC program to enhance the effectiveness of the VSC so that the risk of the vehicle sliding, even to the point that it is almost sideways, will be reduced.
Vehicles involved are as follows:
- GX 460: Approx. 13,000 units in total Approx. 9,400 units in the United States, approx. 1,000 units in Russia, approx 1,000 units in Oman
- Land Cruiser Prado: Approx. 21,000 units in total (only left-hand drive vehicles with KDSS and VSC) Approx. 4,400 units in Oman, approx. 4,000 units in Russia, approx. 1,500 units in the United Arab Emirates. No right-hand drive units have this problem.
In total, approximately 34,000 units worldwide are involved. In North America, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) each announced a voluntary recall on April 19 (local time). As for other regions and countries involved, such as in Europe and the Middle East, TMC will work to implement similar measures as soon as possible.