December 12, 2012

4yo Car Tester Stuck In Lexus Trunk Triggers 700,000 Car Recall

So when you're a car tester, you can put your kid in the trunk and call it research? What a boondoggle! Consumer Reports tester Jake Fisher's 4yo son was eager to test the inside trunk release lever in the 2012 Lexus ES 350. It broke off in the kid's hand, leaving him stuck in the trunk.

The same cheap-ass plastic release lever turned up in CR's new ES 300h, too. And now it turns out that Lexus has been using these instantly useless levers in ES, IS and GS models since as early as 2006.

And they would've gotten away with it, and not have issued a 700,000-vehicle recall, if it weren't for these meddling kids!

Do you have any expert tips for teaching kids how to get out of a trunk? What are your favorite places to stash a kid "for test purposes"? Tell us in the comments!

Video: Emergency Trunk Release Fails on Lexus ES, GS Test Cars [ in october]
In Dec: Toyota to repair 700,000 Lexus Trunk Releases, Consumer Reports Says [nyt]

1 Comment

While I've never put my kid in a trunk to find out, I have wondered how these glow-in-the-dark levers stay bright. I'm sure it's some federal requirement that the levers be made of a glow-in-the=dark plastic. But we see that other glow-in-the=dark objects need to be energized (usually exposed to light or radiation) in order to glow for a period of time. A trunk is an inherently dark place. Does the few seconds of light that enters when the trunk is opened actually keep these things charged long enough to glow for a period of time?

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