With Toyota Motor Corp. already mired in hot water, here comes another blow to its reputation. In what is being seen as an unusual action by the troubled Japanese automaker, Toyota has suspended the sales of its Lexus GX460 model in North America.
The world’s largest automaker took this decision following safety concerns related to its vehicles.
Toyota is not sure how long the suspension will last. It is even uncertain regarding the recall of the vehicles already sold. The company has so far sold 6,020 units of the vehicle since its launch last year.
The problem linked to Lexus GX460 model is completely different from the problem of faulty accelerator pedals, which led to the recall of 2.3 million defective vehicles in January.
‘Don’t Buy: Safety Risk’ warning slapped on Lexus GX460
This move by Toyota comes within a day after a consumer magazine named Consumer Reports tested the vehicle and declared it ‘Don’t Buy: Safety Risk.’
Explaining the reasons behind judging the Lexus GX460 model a safety risk, the magazine stated that while conducting the emergency-handling tests, they experienced many problems with the vehicles.
The Tokyo-based carmaker has immediately reacted to the problem pointed out by the Consumer Reports to ensure that it does not again land itself in trouble with the U.S. Transport Department.
“We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports,” the magazine added.
Toyota testing vehicles
The Tokyo based carmaker has immediately reacted to the problem pointed out by the Consumer Reports to ensure that it does not again land itself in trouble with the U.S. Transport Department.
Toyota has been fined $16.4 million by the transport department for failing to disclose information related to faults in its vehicles.
The department is even considering charging additional penalty on the automaker for failing to report the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the problems with its pedals.
In order to avoid facing any such penalty, Toyota has halted sales of the vehicle and is conducting tests to find out the problems pointed by the consumer magazine.
The company said in a statement, “For more than 20 years, Lexus has made customer safety and satisfaction our highest priorities. We are taking the situation with the GX 460 very seriously and are determined to identify and correct the issue Consumer Reports identified.”