Saturday, May 8, 2010

2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV Lift-off Oversteer Problem Corrected

Consumer Reports is lifting the Don't Buy: Safety Risk designation from the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV after recall work corrected the problem in a test where the vehicle is driven through a turn and the driver quickly lifts his foot off the accelerator pedal to see how the vehicle reacts. Consumer Report's testers found the GX460 rear end slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways. Although the GX 460 has electronic stability control, which is designed to prevent a vehicle from sliding, the system wasn't intervening quickly enough to stop the slide. Lexus duplicated the problem on its own test track and developed a software upgrade for the vehicle's ESC system that would prevent the problem from happening. The software fix takes about an hour and a half at the dealership.

After the fix, Consumer Report's engineers again put the SUV through the full series of emergency handling tests and found that this time, the ESC system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test.