In an unusual move, Consumer Reports is prompting Lexusto fix a flaw with its ES and GS models that could leave people trapped in the trunk.
The publication published a report in October after discovering that the trunk release handle can easily snap off if pulled in the wrong direction. All new cars built since 2002 have been required to be equipped with the safety mechanisms.
Now, in a rare result that circumvents responsibilities normally carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the automaker is expected to fix the flaw free of charge to consumer in January. Affected models include 2007-2013 ES models, 2006-2012 IS models and 2013 GS models, which in total account for about 700,000 vehicles.
Testing the release isn’t part of the outlet’s regular testing routine, but after stumbling across the issue, it found similar results on other Lexus vehicles in its owned fleet.
Despite the fact that Toyota is acknowledging the issue, this doesn’t qualify as a recall and there haven’t been any reports of people being trapped, injured or killed as a result.