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The Lexus GX and the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which isn't sold in the US, have gone without visual updates since the current generation was launched in 2009. But what appear to be patent filing sketches and pictures of the sibling sports utility vehicles' mid-cycle updates have been leaked on a Russian Land Cruiser Club forum.
Major changes to the GX's front end will be made to incorporate Lexus' signature grille. Gone are the awkwardly shaped headlamps and the soft-looking triple-slat grille. The sketch shows the Lexus with a new bumper, lower-profile headlights and a more aggressive, angular grille with one more slat and a gaping lower air-intake opening. The vehicle's profile looks unchanged, but the rear bumper will be reshaped slightly to fit new, better-integrated horizontal reflectors.
The Toyota gets a handful of styling updates as well, including a new front bumper with higher-profile headlamps that look a bit out of place to us. The Prado's profile also looks unchanged, but the rear end gets restyled taillights and a reshaped license-plate enclosure.
Take a look at the galleries we've included of the restyled GX and Land Cruiser Prado and the current GX for comparison.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Lexus Safety Experience - Click above for high-res image gallery
You're an auto enthusiast. You know what all the acronyms on the buttons around your dash stand for. You understand that braking power can beat engine power 99% of the time. That feeling you get from activating the anti-lock braking system? It's not "scary" and you know you should keep your foot down. The problem is that the average driver or new-car shopper is not an enthusiast. Lexus knows this and it has created an event to help educate its salesmen around the country, who in turn can better explain the safety systems available on the cars in the showroom.
The Lexus Safety Experience is a half-day event that highlights the safety tech fitted to most Lexus vehicles (some 2010 models and all 2011s). In short, it decodes the aforementioned acronym alphabet soup and then demonstrates exactly what each one does. What does VSC stand for? What is TRAC and VDIM? Is EBD something I should get tested for?
Answers: Vehicle Stability Control. Traction Control Activity Area and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management. No, it means Electronic Brake-Force Distribution.
The terms might be foreign concepts to many of its customers, but Lexus is trying to change that. Not by telling its sales force what everything means - by showing them.
Gallery: Lexus Safety Experience
Photos by Drew Phillips/Copyright 2010 (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: 2011 lexus es 350, EBD, featured, Lexus GX, Lexus RX, lexus safety experience, smart-stop, TRAC, traction control, VDIM, vehicle stability control, VSC
According to Consumer Reports, it's officially safe to wade back into Lexus GX waters. The luxury SUV has been removed from the infamous "Do Not Buy" list after Toyota solved the handling issues that landed the high-riding people mover in time-out. The Japanese automaker has corrected a software issue that allowed the vehicle to lose control during emergency braking maneuvers. All new models will be sold with the fix, and current owners have been asked to bring in their vehicles so that the repair can be made free of charge.
About a month ago, Consumer Reports found that during testing, the stability control on the new GX failed to reign in wild slides, thereby creating a potential recipe for a roll-over. The magazine's testing resulted in an internal investigation at Toyota that eventually produced the software fix. To date, no one has been injured due to the glitch.
While the Lexus GX is officially back in the game, it may take some time before buyers stop associating the truck with the Consumer Reports black list.
[Source: Automotive News]Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: 2010, 2010 Lexus GX, 2010 lexus gx460, 2010LexusGx, 2010lexusgx460, GX, gx 460, gx consumer reports, gx460, GxConsumerReports, Lexus GX, LexusGx, LexusGx460
Click above to watch video after the jump
Toyota announced a voluntary recall on Monday for some 9,400 Lexus GX 460 SUVs for wheel slippage that could occur during high speed turns. The company acted quickly in stopping sales of the GX after Consumer Reports gave the SUV a Do Not Buy rating following its own tests that showed the big SUV had trouble maintaining composure during high speed maneuvers. Toyota's press release at the time stated the recall involves reprogramming software in the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system. We weren't sure how long it would take Toyota to develop a software patch, but apparently it didn't take long at all.
The main culprit appears to be the fact that the fuel tank is located on the left side of the vehicle. A full tank of gas plus the weight of a driver in left-hand-drive vehicle could result in some hairy handling when taking right turns at high speed. That is, at least, before Toyota's software fix for the VSC system.
Follow the jump to see the effect a little reprogramming has on how a vehicle behaves. In the video, two Lexus SUVs take a right turn at 59 miles per hour. One puts on an impromptu drifting session and the other makes it through just fine. We'll let you guess which one had its VSC reprogrammed.
[Source: The Lexus Enthusiast]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: consumer reports gx 460, ConsumerReportsGx460, GX, gx 460 recall, gx recall, Gx460Recall, GxRecall, lexus recall, LexusGx460, LexusRecall, Toyota Recall, ToyotaRecall
The moment Lexus GX owners have been waiting for since Consumer Reports first blacklisted the SUV last week has finally arrived - Toyota has recalled the vehicle. According to The Detroit News, the Japanese manufacturer will announce the move later this afternoon, and the recall is expected to cover around 5,000 vehicles currently on the road. As expected, Lexus dealers will install new traction control software to correct potentially dangerous handling characteristics.
Last week, Consumer Reports branded the Lexus GX with its infamous "Do Not Buy" rating after the vehicle failed a standard test. During hard downhill braking, the traction control would allow the vehicle's rear-end to step out much farther than normal. On a public road, CR says, that could lead to a rollover.
The GX recall joins a flurry of others that have cropped up over the past few months. From stuck accelerators to rusting frames and corroding spare tire carrier cables, Toyota has had to deal with one problem after another. At least this time the company acted swiftly enough to comply with department of transportation regulations. The carmaker recently agreed to pay a $16.4 million fine for failing to recall 2.3 million vehicles in a timely enough fashion.
*UPDATED: Official Toyota press release added after the jump. 9,400 Lexus GX 460 units recalled.
[Source: The Detroit News]Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: gx 460, gx460, Lexus GX 460 Recall, Lexus GX Recall, lexus recall, LexusGx460, LexusGx460Recall, LexusGxRecall, LexusRecall, Recall, Toyota Recall, Toyota Recalls, ToyotaRecall, toyotarecalls
Toyota engineers in Japan have apparently replicated the lift-throttle oversteer problem recently found by Consumer Reports on the new 2010 Lexus GX460 and are working on a fix. Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong has confirmed the existence of the handling problem to The New York Times.
According to the NYT, as soon as CR discovered the problem, they contacted Toyota and worked with the automaker to make sure it understood the organization's test conditions. The engineers in Japan are currently trying to understand the root cause and come up with a robust solution.
For now, Toyota has stopped selling the GX globally until a corrective action is identified, and owners in the field can get loaner vehicles from their dealers until their SUVs are repaired. The solution could end up being either hardware changes or software updates to the stability control, or a combination thereof. For more on the testing and what might be causing the oversteer problem, check out our in-depth analysis.
[Source: The New York Times]Permalink | Email this | Comments