However, we were not able to replicate the same behavior while on an extended road trip with the GX 460 involving hundreds of miles of city, highway, and off-road driving. Never once did the GX put a tire wrong, despite some fast blasts on dusty dirt roads and even a bit of rock climbing. Comments from the log books do call out the ESC system for some notably un-Lexus-like behavior. "The GX's stability-control system does indeed feel "looser" than many we've tried," noted editor-at-large Arthur St. Antoine. Senior editor Ron Kiino dubbed it "surprisingly sporty."
Our feeling is, like many of the problems highlighted by recalls of all manufacturers, the handling issue that plagues the GX 460 would have likely gone unnoticed by the average (even enthusiastic) driver. Lexus' rapid response to the issue speaks less to the seriousness of the problem itself, and more to the high charged atmosphere Toyota currently finds itself in.
Here's the official word from Lexus on where the company stands on the GX 460 recall, attributed to Mark Templin, Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager, on May 7:
Lexus dealers began contacting customers as soon as details for the VSC update were available. Virtually all of them were contacted by their dealers within a few days and an estimated 75 percent of GX vehicles have already been updated. In the process, they’re providing free loaner vehicles, remote repairs, pick-up and delivery service, and fueling and washing customer cars.
Since it was launched more than 20 years ago, Lexus has built its reputation on customer respect and concern for safety. When Consumer Reports announced on April 13 that the 2010 GX 460 did not pass their ‘Throttle Lift-Off’ test, we immediately stopped selling the vehicle and commenced a vigorous investigation. Thanks to the quick response and hard work by our engineers, we were able to identify and address the issue in just about two weeks. This is our assurance to Lexus customers that their safety and satisfaction are our top priorities.
As previously announced, we will continue to provide a courtesy vehicle to anyone who has purchased a 2010 GX 460 and has concerns about driving it until the recall work has been completed.
Customers who have any questions or concerns should contact their local Lexus dealer or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987.
So there you have it. Our test of a pre-recall Lexus GX 460 finds this controversial luxury SUV to be capable and comfortable whether on and off road.