After Consumer Reports issued a “do not buy” warning for the Lexus GX 460, having found it patently unsafe in rollover accidents, Toyota (which owns Lexus) announced it would temporarily stop selling the SUV.
Consumer Reports testing revealed a handling issue in the Lexus GX 460 that could lead to rollover accidents and potentially cause “serious injury or death.”
Until Toyota-Lexus can fix the issue at hand, it’s offering a free loaner car to anyone with a GX 460 who is now worried about driving it. If you are a GX 460 owner, please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this offer—the SUV is clearly not safe to drive.
A larger issue at hand is how much Toyota knew about this problem before Consumer Reports called it out. For several months, ex-Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller has been saying that Toyota routinely conceals relevant documents in liability lawsuits filed against it. According to Biller, US Toyota units destroyed engineering and testing evidence that would have impacted over 300 suits over SUV rollover accidents.
Dimitrios Biller…contends that Toyota has managed to avoid paying much larger awards by withholding data from what are known inside the company as the "Books of Knowledge." The Books are a collection of sensitive electronic records about internal vehicle design, testing and performance, he says.
Toyota acknowledges that it hasn’t given information from the Books to plaintiffs who have sued the company after crashes. But Toyota also says it either wasn’t required to turn over such information or wasn’t asked for it.
Biller said the Books consisted of hundreds of thousands of electronic documents covering "Toyota’s philosophy and specific tools it uses to develop, design, engineer, evaluate and test vehicles."–Automotive News
According to Biller, some of the records contained in the Toyota Books of Knowledge show that Toyota continued to sell several models after they failed to meet the company’s own internal testing standards.
At this point, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that Toyota has known about the rollover issues with the Lexus GX 460 for several months, and has said and done nothing to protect its customers. The time to stop trusting this company with our lives and our families is long overdue.