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Toyota's Lexus SUV a Potential Rollover Risk

April 13, 2010
By Gabriel Mejia, Esq. on April 13, 2010 1:39 PM | | Comments (0)

Florida residents and consumers across the country have been advised not to purchase the Lexus GX 460 SUV until issues with the vehicle's electronic stability control are resolved. This latest warning comes from Consumer Reports after labeling the car a "Don't Buy: Safety Risk" as a result of on-track safety testing. According to ConsumerReports.org, the Lexus SUV is a rollover risk because the electronic stability control fails to engage quickly enough to prevent the back wheels from sliding and causes the vehicle to go sideways.

The test conducted by Consumer Reports simulated a driver taking a curve at high-speed and then attempting to slow down by releasing the accelerator through the turn. Although most cars with electronic stability control compensate for such a situation by cutting engine power and braking individual wheels, the Lexus stability control took too long to engage and correct such driving pattern and allowed the wheels to slide out from under the vehicle. Consumer Reports conceded that neither of the two Lexus SUVs tested actually rolled over during testing, but the poor performance of the vehicle makes the back wheels more likely to come into contact with a curb or leave the roadway causing the vehicle to overturn.

Vehicles that fail to properly prevent rollover accidents because of defective safety equipment should be of great concern to Florida drivers since this state sees more than its fair share of rollover accidents every year. According to the 2008 Traffic Crash Statistic Report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 348 fatal crashes, 8,748 injury crashes, and 1,729 vehicle/property damage crashes involved an overturned vehicle during the reporting year.

Toyota responded to the concerns over its luxury brand's SUV by agreeing to conduct similar testing to identify the problem. Toyota said that similar testing was conducted on the Lexus GX 460 during development and that the vehicle had met all federal testing requirements. This latest safety concern adds to the growing list of Toyota complaints that began with defective pedals and uncontrollable acceleration of many of their models.

Consumer Reports is advising people not to purchase the Lexus GX 460 until a solution is made available potentially through a software update. Owners of the Lexus SUV were instructed to exercise caution when on highway exit ramps and winding roads, to be alert for road hazards, and to always obey the speed limit.

Gabriel Mejia, Esq. is a Coral Springs personal injury attorney handling accident and injury cases in Florida for Law Offices Cytryn and Velazquez, P.A.

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