All Toyota 4x4s to undergo safety tests
* Urgent safety tests * including the Land Cruiser and RAV4 * Fears after Lexus GX460 sales suspended...
Toyota is to test the safety of all its 4x4s including those available in the UK after safety concerns led to the worldwide suspension of Lexus GX460 sales.
A Toyota UK spokesman said: 'We are now conducting driving tests for all Toyota/Lexus 4x4s including the Land Cruiser, Land Cruiser Prado and Rav4.
'The tests will be as close as possible to the emergency-handling tests that the Consumer Reports magazine [the US publication which labelled the Lexus GX460 a 'safety risk'] has conducted.'
The manufacturer has also confirmed that, unlike the GX460, sales of its other SUVs will continue as normal.
Safety fears spark tests
The latest safety problem to hit Toyota was sparked by the global suspension of sales of its new Lexus GX460 SUV.
An article published by Consumer Reports, a US-based independent review organisation, warned consumers not to buy the Lexus GX460 after its test revealed serious flaws with the vehicle's handling.
Out of control
The article said: 'When pushed to its limits on our track's handling course, the rear of the GX we bought slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control.'
The review continued: 'In real-world driving, that situation could lead to a roll-over accident, which could cause serious injury or death.'
Sales suspended globally
Toyota has confirmed that sales of the flagship 4x4 will be suspended while it undertakes safety tests of its own.
A statement from the company said: 'At this time we have asked our dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the 2010 GX460.
'Lexus' extensive vehicle testing provides a good indication of how our vehicles perform and we are confident that the GX meets our high safety standards.'
The Lexus GX460
The Lexus GX460 was launched in the US three months ago, and around 5000 vehicles have been sold.
Other than the US and Canada, the 2010 Lexus GX 460 is sold only in the Middle East and Russia.