If you ever find yourself locked in a trunk, pray it’s not a 2013 Lexus ES or GS. According to a recent report by Consumer Reports, the emergency trunk release in both of its Lexus test vehicles broke during testing. Both trunk releases in the 2013 Lexus GS and ES fractured when tugged on, effectively trapping anyone unfortunate enough to be inside.
In the US, all vehicles from the 2002 model year on are required by law to have a trunk release latch in case someone gets trapped inside. The release latch is required to glow in the dark, too. These rules were put into place in order to prevent anyone from getting trapped in the trunk without having a way to escape. Consumer Reports doesn’t normally test trunk release latches during its normal testing procedures, but just happened to break the release latches by accident. With the release latches broken off, it heightened concerns that the ES and GS weren’t up to snuff when it came to trunk safety precautions.
When CR pulled straight down or to the passenger’s side on the latches, it acted as designed. However, when the latches were pulled towards the driver’s side, fracturing occurred. This can spell trouble for owners with small children who want to explore every crevice of the ES or GS. If the child is left unattended and the latch breaks, a potentially tragic situation could emerge. CR also determined that the Lexus IS shares the same trunk release system as the ES and GS but it’s still unknown if those trunk latches are affected. Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration have both been alerted to CR‘s findings and each issued a statement.
The NHTSA said it “is aware of the issue and is evaluating available information to determine if additional action is warranted.” Toyota chimed in saying that after first learning about CR’s findings, the automaker “immediately began investigating the durability and ergonomics of the emergency trunk release lever. This is an active investigation and we cannot provide more details at this time.”
Stay tuned as more details unfold. Do you think this is a major issue or simply a quick fix? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.
Source: Consumer Reports