In addition to agreeing to pay $16.4 million dollars in fines for concealing safety defects related to sudden acceleration issues in 2-3 million vehicles on Monday, Toyota Motor Corporation also announced a voluntary safety recall of its 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV’s.
As reported by USA Today, Toyota says it will recall approximately 9,400 vehicles to address potential concerns with the SUV’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) which functions to prevent possible rollovers.
Last week, Consumer Reports Magazine issued a don’t-buy warning due to problems engineers encountered during standard emergency-handling tests. Test drivers found the problem during a routine exercise where drivers abruptly lifted off the gas pedal while driving quickly through a sharp turn. The maneuver caused the rear end of the vehicle to slide outside of the turn. It was reported that unlike in other SUV’s previously tested, the Vehicle Stability Control system in the Lexus GX 460 acted too slowly to stop the slide and allowed the vehicle to turn sideways, greatly increasing the chance of a rollover.
In a press release on their website, Toyota Motor Sales announced the recall will involve a software update on the SUV’s Vehicle Stability Control system. Steve St. Angelo, Toyota Chief quality officer for North Carolina stated:
“Our engineers have conducted tests to confirm the VSC performance issues raised by Consumer Reports, and we are confident this VSC software update addresses the concern.”
Toyota executives announced that all Lexus dealerships will have the VSC update by the end of April and Lexus will begin mailing letters to GX 460 owners in early May.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics have shown:
• Rollover crashes account for 33% of all passenger vehicle fatalities
• More than 10,000 people a year are killed in rollover crashes
• Taller, narrow vehicles are more likely to rollover
• You are 75% less likely to be killed in a rollover if you are wearing your seatbelt
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