Lexus GX 460 Recall Remedy Demonstration


Lexus Japan has released a video demonstrating the stability control update:

This video was accompanied by a press release which details the exact circumstances that caused the stability control issues discovered by Consumer Reports last week:

The following conditions combine to cause the problem:

  • In the GX 460 and Land Cruiser Prado, heavy components, such as the fuel tank, are located on the left side, and in left-hand drive versions, the left side is made even heavier because of the presence of the driver.
  • For vehicles with certain tires (on 18-inch wheels) and equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System and VSC, the activation of the VSC may not be sufficient in certain circumstances due to the setting of the VSC program.
  • Circumstances may require advanced driving skills, such as sharp turns of the steering wheel in high-speed conditions or negotiating a curve to the right at excessive speeds.

All of these circumstances came together to form a “perfect storm”—here’s a screenshot that shows the visible difference in stability:

Lexus GX 460 Recall Remedy

Considering the complexity and company pressure, Toyota did an excellent job in responding to this issue: sales stoppage, issue verification, issue resolution—all in the course of a week.

The full press release is included after the jump.

TMC Announces Remedy for Vehicle Stability Control in Lexus GX 460 and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Toyota City, Japan—Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces its remedy for the problem concerning the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) program in its Lexus GX 460 and certain Land Cruiser Prado vehicles.

In circumstances in which advanced driving skills are required, such as when a driver of the involved vehicle sharply turns the steering wheel in high-speed conditions, or when the driver negotiates a curve at excessive speeds, the vehicle could slide sideways, due to the insufficient activation of the VSC.

The following conditions combine to cause the problem:

- In the GX 460 and Land Cruiser Prado, heavy components, such as the fuel tank, are located on the left side, and in left-hand drive versions, the left side is made even heavier because of the presence of the driver.
- For vehicles with certain tires (on 18-inch wheels) and equipped with the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS*) and VSC, the activation of the VSC may not be sufficient in certain circumstances due to the setting of the VSC program.
- Circumstances may require advanced driving skills, such as sharp turns of the steering wheel in high-speed conditions or negotiating a curve to the right at excessive speeds.

As a remedy, Toyota will update the VSC program to enhance the effectiveness of the VSC so that the risk of the vehicle sliding, even to the point that it is almost sideways, will be reduced.

Vehicles involved are as follows:

- GX 460: Approx. 13,000 units in total Approx. 9,400 units in the United States, approx. 1,000 units in Russia, approx 1,000 units in Oman
- Land Cruiser Prado: Approx. 21,000 units in total (only left-hand drive vehicles with KDSS and VSC) Approx. 4,400 units in Oman, approx. 4,000 units in Russia, approx. 1,500 units in the United Arab Emirates.  No right-hand drive units have this problem.

In total, approximately 34,000 units worldwide are involved.  In North America, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) and Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) each announced a voluntary recall on April 19 (local time).  As for other regions and countries involved, such as in Europe and the Middle East, TMC will work to implement similar measures as soon as possible.

Comments


Comments


  1. wow… Impressive how it seems so simple now. The VSC in my LS simply goes crazy and then brings the vehicle to a full and complete stop. But does the vehicle really have weight bias to the left without a driver? Doesn’t that make the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System work overtime?

    I still don’t feel very comfortable with a vehicle that won’t let me completely turn off the traction control; it makes me feel vulnerable in emergency situations.

    Still, that’s mighty impressive. I think the reverse lights should’ve taken the place of those two bars to the left and right of the rear license plates like in the LX and the last GX.

    P.S.: I wish I were the tester in that video! ...and I get a big headache whenever I feel the traction control working unnecessarily.

  2. According to some sources the fix involves how the VSC reacts in conjunction with the KDSS during a fast right turn without pedal input.

  3. Weight does have an affect on the vehicle’s handling. The way the RHD vehicle are set up (more specifically SUV) is that the driver is on the right hand side creating a canceling affect with the weight of the gas tank which is on the left; in other words, Weight Transferring. Since the LHD GX you have the driver and the gas tank on the left hand side and with the maneuver that CR demonstrated, there is too much weight being transferred to the left hand side (in emergency or radical conditions).

  4. Great Job ! Now All The Toyota Is Dull & Not Fun To Drive !

  5. We’ll just have to wait til they release the FT-86.

  6. For me it’s a big “no thanks” on the FT-86.I’ve tried really hard to like it,but to no avail.It may be a very good car,but to me it’s just not a Toyota.Doesn’t pluck my heart strings at all.I don’t wish to sound like a snob,but if I wanted to buy a Subaru,I’d buy a…guess what…Subaru!

  7. Stop! I don’t believe it! Let Consumer Reports re-examine the car after the fix! You can manipulate any test, especially driving!

  8. @Morgan:

    Unfortunately CR is not a standard in any automotive testing. Besides, there are an infinite ways of driving technique and an infinite number of lines that CR can not reproduce. Only a trained motor sport driver can realize those lines.

  9. Fantastic response time by Toyota, for me it just reinforces my confidence in the company.  I wonder how long it will take for Consumer Reports to rescind their Don’t Buy judgment.

  10. I don’t believe RH drive models aren’t affected.  As if the weight of a driver would make a significant difference when that is exceeded by the difference between a full and empty gas tank!

  11. @Cyrus Lesser:

    Because the RHD are balanced.

  12. Good on Lexus/Toyota for making these fast changes.  smile

  13. After reading the assesment of the GX460 by Consumer Reports I was shocked that they insisted that no one buy this SUV. That is a bold undertaking on their part to make such a statement. They rate all the other vehicles in the US but on this particular one they issue a “Do not buy.” This isn’t what they do. They rate vehicles of all shapes and sizes and should not cross the line. Rate the GX460 with a poor rating but to insist that no one buy this SUV is absurd. At least offer a retest after said repairs have been completed and give the GX460 a Rating. Media mungering is very fashionable today and CR has gotten their Flash Headlines for this issue. What will they do next to sell magazines? Stay tuned.

  14. @Doug Clifford:
    I agree.The ethics are dodgy to say the least,and the infuriating thing is that it seems to be PR-suicide for a manufacturer to stand up to these twits.