Toyota's having a bad 2010. A week after learning that 200 lawsuits over so-called "sudden acceleration" and other alleged Toyota defects would be heard here in Los Angeles, the carmaker's North American leaders in Torrance woke up to the headline that Consumer Reports magazine has deemed the company's 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV "a Don't Buy: Safety Risk."
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"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 publication states. " ... We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death."
Eek. What next? Are Toyotas going to explode like a Ford Pinto after a good rear-ending? It's no wonder that in Japan Toyota's problems stateside are seen as a U.S. government conspiracy to help the Big Three automakers in Detroit get back up on their feet.
We have to admit, it's bad timing. We would feel sorry for the industrial giant. But Toyota's attitude -- blaming the victims, at least those who have survived, for alleged sudden-acceleration incidents in hybrids and other vehicles -- doesn't help its case.