iSeeCars Tip:

Thanks for the question. Not to worry, it is safe to buy the 2010 Lexus GX 460 now (note that GX is now called the 460 for 2010, its first redesign since the GX debuted in 2003), as long as the vehicle has been repaired at a Lexus dealership. Here’s the scoop, with information straight from Consumer Reports. The magazine had issued a “Don’t Buy” alert on the GX 460 in April 2010 after they purchased one and put it through their standard testing. During one procedure to evaluate “lift-off oversteer,” the testers experienced a problem and the rear end of the test vehicle slid out until the SUV was almost sideways. The standard electronic stability control (ESC) on the GX 460 wasn’t intervening quickly enough to stop the slide. This prompted the magazine to issue the alert, as they considered the failure to be a safety issue.

Lexus duplicated the problem on their own test track and immediately developed a software upgrade for the ESC system to prevent such an occurrence. Dealers received the update and Lexus voluntarily issued a recall and notified GX 460 owners to bring their vehicles in for repair.

Consumer Reports, acting anonymously, brought their test vehicle in for the repair, which took about an hour and a half. Following the repair, the magazine editors again put the GX 460 through the same battery of tests, and this time the ESC system intervened earlier and the rear end did not slide out during the lift-off oversteer test.

Consumer Reports lifted its “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk” on May 7, 2010, but urges all affected owners of GX 460s to have the recall work performed as soon as possible. Sales of new 2010 GX 460s have resumed.

The news hit the auto sites immediately. Edmunds Inside Line says: “GX 460 back on sale, dodges the CR bullet but is still damned with faint praise.” Cars.com’s Kicking Tires notes: “Toyota had already resumed sales of the SUV in late April after updating the electronic stability control software at individual dealerships.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists the recall of the Lexus GX 460 on its site. The recall affects a potential 9,400 vehicles that were manufactured from November 16, 2009 through April 10, 2010. The remedy notes that Toyota will notify owners and reprogram the vehicle stability control free of charge. The safety recall began May 18, 2010.

So, bottom line: If you’re shopping for a used Lexus GX 460, be sure that the vehicle has received the ESC software update. Don’t just take the selling owner’s word for it. Get a thorough vehicle inspection by a qualified mechanic before you buy one used. In addition, purchase a vehicle history report so you are assured required repairs have been completed. New GX 460s are already fixed and are safe to buy.

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