Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Lexus , Toyota The ES is Lexus’ top-selling sedan, but the Japanese luxury marque has never manufactured it outside of Japan. In fact, Lexus has never made any cars in the United States, one of its largest markets worldwide. But that’s about to change. Yesterday, construction began in Georgetown, Kentucky, on the first Lexus assembly line in America, the first concrete (or steel) step in a $360-million expansion of Toyota’s plant in the Bluegrass state that will create 750 new jobs. The expansion was announced last April by chief executive Akio Toyoda at the New York Auto Show . Once the new assembly line gets online in the fall of next year, Toyota plans on building some 50,000 units of the ES each year. Lexus sold a record 72,581 examples of the ES in the United States last year – 30 percent more than the previous year – so Lexus will either have to import some more from overseas or leave some buyers disappointed. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) also builds the Camry , Avalon and Venza , with a capacity to assembly 500,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines each year. Continue reading Construction of Lexus’ first US assembly line underway Construction of Lexus’ first US assembly line underway originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Jan 2014 14:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Safety , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Consumer Reports has found what it says is a flaw with the emergency trunk release handles in certain Lexus models. During testing, the organization found that the federally mandated emergency handles on new Lexus ES and GS sedans can easily break if pulled toward the user (presumably a person trapped inside the vehicle’s trunk). Once broken, the handles no longer function, creating a safety hazard. CR also checked other vehicles in its fleet, but found no such similar defect. As a result, the watchdog alerted both parent Toyota , which has launched its own internal investigation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the issue. Both the automaker and NHTSA are currently determining whether further action needs to be taken. As you may recall, this isn’t the first time Consumer Reports has blown the safety whistle on a Lexus model . In 2010, CR discovered a flaw in the stability control system of the Lexus GX SUV that lead to increased rollover risk during evasive maneuvers. In that case, Toyota quickly issued a recall, complete with a software update to take care of the problem. Watch the video below for a full explanation of the trunk release issue.