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Toyota testing all SUVs for rollover risk

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Toyota's woes grow
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Toyota tests all SUVs
  • Toyota: Suspension of Lexus GX 460 expands to the Middle East and Russia
  • Consumer Reports magazine cites turnover risk in warning not to buy SUV
  • Magazine: Concern magnified because Lexus GX 460 has high center of gravity
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Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Toyota announced Thursday it was testing all its SUVs after it suspended worldwide sales of the Lexus GX 460 because of a reported risk of rollover.

The carmaker does not plan to suspend the sales of other vehicles it's testing, said Ririko Takeuchi, a spokeswoman. But it will suspend Lexus GX 460 sales.

Testing will include current models of Toyota's Rav4, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, 4Runner, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and Sienna, said Paul Nolasco, a Toyota spokesman in Tokyo.

"Toyota is testing not only the GX, but other SUVs simply because we want to make sure everything is right for our customers. Customer safety is our top priority," Nolasco said. "There has been no indication there would be any problem in the other vehicles, so, for the time being as soon as we have results of those tests, including the test of the GX, we'll be sure to make those public."

Is Toyota 'moving forward' as its tagline says?

Suspension of GX 460 sales is another blow on the automaker, which recalled about 8 million vehicles earlier this year because of multiple problems.

Consumer Reports magazine warned readers Tuesday not to buy the GX 460 because it could flip over in hard turns. Shortly after the magazine issued its warning, Toyota announced it was suspending sales of the luxury vehicle in the United States and Canada.

Toyota spokeswoman Mieko Iwasaki said Thursday that the company was expanding the suspension to the Middle East and Russia, the only other markets where it was sold.

"We have no specific target in mind when to resume the sales," she said. "We are now investigating the case by trying to replicate the situation that Consumer Reports pointed out."

Consumer Reports said it judged the 2010 model to be a safety risk after a problem cropped up during standard emergency-handling tests.

"When pushed to its limits on our track's handling course, the rear of the GX we bought slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control," the magazine reported. "We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports."

The editors said their concern about rollover risk was magnified because the vehicle has a high center of gravity.

The magazine urged owners to drive carefully when exiting the highway or driving on twisty roads while the carmaker prepares a software update for the stability-control system.

Toyota put total sales at 5,400 in North America, 400 in the Middle East and 140 in Russia.

In its response, Toyota said its engineers conducted similar tests and found no such issues.

Edmunds.com lists the price for a new 2010 Lexus GX 460 as beginning at $51,970. -- CNN's Patty Lane contributed to this report.