Influential US magazine Consumer Reports (CR) on Friday said it was lifting its recent ‘Don’t Buy: Safety Risk’ designation from the 2010 Lexus GX 460 SUV after recall work corrected the problem it displayed in one of its emergency handling tests.

CR’s engineers originally experienced the problem in a test used to evaluate lift-off oversteer. In this test, as the vehicle is driven through a turn, the driver quickly lifts his foot off the accelerator pedal to see how the vehicle reacts. When testers did this with the GX 460, its rear end slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways. Although the large luxury SUV, redesigned for the 2010 model year, has electronic stability control, designed to prevent a vehicle from sliding, the system wasn’t intervening quickly enough to stop the slide.

CR said this was a safety risk because in a real-world situation this could cause a rear tyre to strike a curb or slide off of the pavement, possibly causing the vehicle to roll over.

“Tall vehicles with a high centre of gravity, such as the GX 460, heighten CR’s concern. CR is not aware, however, of any reports of injury related to this problem,” the organisation said.

CR said Lexus recently duplicated the problem on its own test track and developed a software upgrade for the vehicle’s ESC system that would prevent the problem from happening. Dealers received the software fix last week and began notifying GX 460 owners to bring their vehicles in for repair.

CR contacted the Lexus dealership from which they had anonymously bought the vehicle and made an appointment to have the recall work performed. The work took about an hour and a half.

Following that, engineers again put the SUV through the full series of emergency handling tests. This time, the ESC system intervened earlier and its rear did not slide out in the lift-off oversteer test. Instead, the vehicle understeered – or ploughed – when it exceeded its limits of traction, which is a more common result and makes the vehicle more predictable and less likely to roll over. Overall, CR did not experience any safety concerns with the corrected GX 460 in CR’s handling tests.

CR has urged all affected GX 460 owners to have the recall work performed as soon as possible. Meanwhile, repaired GXs have gone back on sale.

“With the fix, the GX 460’s handling is ultimately secure but is still ponderous and ungainly, as is common with traditional body-on-frame SUVs,” CR said.

“In addition, the vehicle rides comfortably, has a plush, quiet, interior, and provides quick acceleration, but its third-row seat is cramped. Overall, there are better choices [for potential buyers] looking for a seven-passenger SUV, including the Acura MDX and Buick Enclave.”