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April 20, 2010

Troubles continue to mount for the Toyota Motor Company with the latest news that Consumer Reports issued a rare Do Not Buy recommendation for 2010 models of the Lexus GX 460 sport utility vehicle. The popular product rating publication reported that the model’s handling problems could lead to rollover accidents if the driver made sharp turns. Toyota, owner of the Lexus line of luxury vehicles, suspended sales of the GS 460 to conduct its own tests on the luxury SUV’s reported tendency to roll over when making sharp turns.

Since the model went on sale in December 2009, around 6,000 2010 Lexus GX 460s have been sold, and Toyota claims that another 1,600 models remain on dealers’ lots. Within a few hours of Consumer Reports issuing its Do Not Buy rating, Toyota issued a temporary “stop sale” order. This appears to be an attempt to react to safety concerns more quickly after suffering unprecedented negative publicity for failing to address safety concerns in other models in a timely manner.

The stop sale order is another in a series of safety and reliability problems with which the world’s largest automaker is contending since consumer complaints about sticking accelerators, faulty brakes and rusting frames in recent years. Toyota initially dismissed these safety concerns as operator errors and attempted to deflect responsibility for the sticking accelerators by recalling floor mats, which the company claimed were bunching up behind gas pedals, causing them to stick.

In addition to reeling from product recalls affecting more than eight million other Toyota models, the company received a $16.4 million fine from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently and has yet to respond to that fine. The sticking gas pedal recalls do not affect the Lexus GS 460 models.

Lexus vice president and general manager Mark Templin responded to the Consumer Reports review quickly by saying, “We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified.”

Owners of 2010 GS 460 models who are concerned about driving their vehicles may call Lexus toll-free at 800.255.3987 to receive a loaner vehicle while the company investigates potential safety issues. Consumer Reports tested the GS 460 as part of its routine vehicle reviews, which involves standard tests that imitate different driving situations. In the test that led to the poor rating, the CR driver approached a turn unusually fast and then took his foot off the accelerator to simulate the response of a startled driver. This caused the rear of the SUV to slide outward as the electronic stability control was low to react to the maneuver.

If you or someone you care for has been injured due to a GS 460 rollover or another Toyota recall, Toyota recall accident lawyer James O. Cunningham may be able to help. He has more than 33 years of experience representing clients in personal injury cases, as well as the expertise and resources to take on cases against large corporations. To schedule a free consultation with Toyota recall injury attorney James O. Cunningham, call him today toll-free at 888-425-2004 and 407-425-2000 in the Central Florida area.

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James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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