Consumer Reports magazine has found that the new Lexus ES and GS sedans have emergency trunk release handles that break too easily, increasing the risk of trapping someone in the boot.
The consumer magazine found the fault by accident, during an evaluation of 2013 ES and LS models. According to a statement from Consumer Reports, the 4-year-old son of Jake Fisher, director of vehicle testing, got into the ES 350’s trunk to try the interior release. What happened next is that the boy’s “small hands snapped off the lever that opens the lid. He was not able to escape from the trunk until I opened it from the outside,” Fisher said in the statement.
Fisher added that tests of release handles in 2013 ES hybrid and GS 350 sedans showed they too could snap when pulled toward the driver’s side. Toyota replied to the report by saying it is investigating the durability and ergonomics of the emergency trunk release lever, according to Toyota Motor Sales’ spokesman John Hanson.
From the 2012 model year, all cars with trunks have a safety release that glows in the dark and allows a person to open the trunk from inside, helping avoid a potentially tragic situation. Consumer Reports said it notified both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the matter.