Post-Elk Test, Toyota Halts Sales of Big-Wheeled Hilux

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes

Last month. we broke the news (to the English-speaking world) that Toyota's Hilux pickup truck failed Sweden's now infamous Älgtest (Elk test). News flash from the frozen north: Toyota has admitted the problem and is taking drastic if limited action to correct it. According to Teknikens Värld, Michel Koch of Toyota Europe confirmed that the Japanese automaker is halting sales of the Hilux with 16" wheels. Although the Swedes found that a Hilux shod with 15" wheels Elk-tested just as poorly as one with 16" wheels, ToMoCo "does not consider the 15" version to perform dangerously." When faced with the same issue re: their new A-Class, Mercedes fit ESP to the car, and retrofitted a few thousand customer cars at the company's expense. While Toyota has the technology to add stability control to the new Hilux, given the vast number of Hilux that have already hit the highway (hopefully not literally), the money needed to retrofit existing Hilux would make the A-Class expenditure look like pocket change. The extra (some say needless) expense would put the product at a competitive disadvantage/dramatically lower Toyota's profits. But this could be the start if a general move towards stability control on pickups– as U.S. federal law is already mandating the systems for SUVs.

Alex L. Dykes
Alex L. Dykes

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  • Dean Dean on Nov 13, 2007

    What is amazing is not that people are surprised, but that they demand something be done about it. If you're worried about wiping out trying to avoid an elk, then slow down. Don't tell everyone else that they have to keep paying more and more for mandatory safety equipment because you can't be bothered to consider the conditions when driving.

    I'm sick of this crap. I want to buy a car without airbags, esp or esc or dsc or whatever the hell they want to call it. Give me seatbelts for each occupant and let me take responsibility for my own safety.

  • 68stang 68stang on Nov 13, 2007

    I'm with you on that one dean. Also, who cares about elk when the Hilux made it too the north pole! (see the top gear polar special)

  • Sajeev Mehta Sajeev Mehta on Nov 13, 2007

    15" wheel = taller tire = more sidewall flex and less grip. This is a good warning that fast maneuvers are a rollover threat in a truck. People need to know that trucks have to be treated with more respect than cars. They'll reach the limits sooner and faster this way. Pavlovian conditioning, perhaps?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Nov 13, 2007

    If you don't want any of that stuff, buy an older truck. You can keep a body on frame truck on the road forever. In fact, buy 2. One to drive, and one to recondition. It's still cheaper than buying new and nothing beats a second car for reliability.