Lexus ES and GS luxury sedans are being singled out for emergency trunk release mechanisms that may break, leaving occupants inside trapped says a new report by Consumer Reports.
According to the consumer publication, the emergency trunk escape lever on the inside of the 2013 Lexus ES and GS models can, “easily snap off during use, potentially leaving a trapped occupant without any way to escape.”
Since 2002, all new vehicles must be equipped with such a safety mechanism.
Discovered by accident, says Consumer Reports, the publication admits that testing the release mechanism isn’t part of its regular test methodology. In a blog post written by CR staffer Jake Fisher he explains how his 4 year old son was able to snap off the level while play-testing its effectiveness.
Analyzed in more depth, CR tested two other Lexus models it currently owns and found that when the level is pulled straight or towards the passenger side of the vehicle it functional properly, though when pulled toards the driver’s side it snaps off.
CR has notified Lexus and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and considering the source an investigation is likely by the government agency while Toyota has said it is already looking into the problem.