Consumer Reports considers Lexus SUV a safety risk

UNDATED (Consumer Reports) - Toyota has been in the news a lot this year, and now there's a new problem for the troubled automaker.

Consumer Reports has uncovered a potential safety risk with Toyota's recently redesigned SUV, the 2010 Lexus GX 460. In one of Consumer Reports' emergency handling tests, when pushed to its limits, the rear slides way out. The electronic stability control does kick in, but it takes too long to regain control of the vehicle.

Now seen in slow motion — this is a standard evaluation Consumer Reports performs on all vehicles it tests. Going through the turn, the driver quickly lifts his foot off the accelerator — what you might do if you were exiting a highway ramp too fast.

"The Lexus GX has a high center of gravity," said Jon Linkov of Consumer Reports. "While there haven't been any injuries reported, the way the tail slides out, if a wheel went off the pavement or hit a curb the vehicle could roll over. None of the other SUVs we've tested in the last few years have performed this poorly in this test."

Consumer Reports is urging people not to buy the Lexus GX 460 until the problem has been fixed. It has notified Toyota of its findings.

In a statement to Consumer Reports, Toyota said, "We're mystified by the results of Consumer Reports testing on the Lexus GX 460. Our engineers conduct similar tests during development of all SUVs.  We will look into this and we appreciate Consumer Reports bringing it to our attention."