WASHINGTON - Toyota Motor Corp. has suspended sales of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 in response to a Consumer Reports warning that the vehicle has handling problems that increase the chance of a rollover during sharp turns, the Associated Press reported.
"We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified," Toyota said in a released statement. "At this time we have asked our dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the 2010 GX 460."
Toyota added that its "engineering teams are vigorously testing the GX using Consumer Reports' specific parameters to identify how we can make the GX's performance even better."
The automaker said it would provide a loaner car to any concerned 2010 GX 460 owner until a remedy is available. However, Toyota expressed confidence that the "GX meets our high safety standards."
About 6,000 2010 GX 460s have been sold and an estimated 1,600 of the SUVs are at Lexus dealerships.
According to Consumer Reports, the vehicle's electronic stability control took too long to adjust during a standard test. In that test, a driver approached a turn unusually fast and then released the gas pedal to simulate the response of an alarmed driver. The rear of the SUV then slid outward, the magazine said.
This vehicle response increases the chances of a rollover accident if one of the sliding wheels were to hit a curb or another object, Consumer Reports concluded.
Consumer Reports said that Gabriel Shenhar, the magazine's senior auto test engineer, was one of four testers who experienced the problem. The magazine tested two separate vehicles. Both experienced the problem but neither rolled over. Consumer Reports has issued a "Don't Buy" warning for the Lexus GX 460 as a result.
Vehicle owners can reach Lexus at (800) 255-3987.