Toyota to halt sales of Lexus GX 460 SUV in U.S.

16:27, April 14, 2010      

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Toyota Motor Corp. told its dealers late Tuesday to stop selling its Lexus GX 460 SUV, after an influential magazine in the United States urged consumers not to buy the vehicle, the Detroit News reported.

The automaker has sold about 6,000 of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 model since it was introduced last fall. It is unclear how many vehicles are on dealer lots.

"For any customer who has purchased a 2010 GX 460 and is concerned about driving their vehicle, we will provide a loaner car until a remedy is available," Mark Templin, Lexus Group vice president and general manager, said in a statement late Tuesday.

Toyota said earlier in the day that it was concerned about the Consumer Reports magazine's findings.

Consumer Reports said its engineers experienced problems in emergency-handling tests that suggest the vehicle may be prone to rollovers, although it was not aware of any such reports.

The magazine said it is urging consumers not to buy the GX 460 until the problem is fixed. It is reportedly the first time since 2001 that the U.S.-based nonprofit organization issued such a warning.

The Japanese automaker is already struggling to stem the damage to its reputation after recalling 8.5 million vehicles worldwide, including 6 million in the United States. It is recalling vehicles mostly because of acceleration-related issues, but also to fix braking and other problems.

Toyota faces the largest-ever U.S. fine -- 16.4 million U.S. dollars for failing to act quickly enough on the recalls.

Templin said Toyota executives "are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified."



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