Toyota will carry out safety tests on its entire SUV range following reports in a leading US magazine that the Lexus GX460 is a “safety risk”.
Consumer Reports magazine branded the big Lexus, which based on the Toyota Land Cruiser, as unsafe after the car’s electronic stability system failed to stop the car sliding in testing.
Sales of the Lexus GX460 were immediately suspended, initially in the United States and then in the other markets where it is sold, which include Russia, Australia and the Middle East.
According to reports on the Reuters news agency, the company then announced it would conduct tests on the stability control systems of all its SUVs, including the Land Cruiser and RAV4. This is despite both Consumer Reports and Toyota saying that the Land Cruiser is safe.
Toyota has not yet taken the step of recalling the GX460, but spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said such a move could not be ruled out.
"There is no way of recalling a car - voluntarily or otherwise - unless we find something wrong with the car, and we haven't done that yet. It's premature to talk about any recall steps at this point," she said.
The negative publicity for the Lexus GX460 could not have come at a worse time for Toyota, as it planned to launch the SUV in China at the Beijing Auto Show.