The RX400h was being advertised by Lexus as "perfect for today's climate (and tomorrow's)", and that "driving the world's first luxury hybrid SUV makes environmental, and economic, sense."
This raised a few eyebrows at the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in England, a consumer watchdog for the advertising industry. The ASA essentially accused Lexus of misleading consumers into believing that the car had "little or no impact on the environment", and that the claims were untruthful.
Lexus was forced to change the advertisements to solely state that the RX400h was "perfect for today's economic climate" and also remove any other environmental claims made, reports the Associated Press. The carmaker was also cautioned by the ASA just last year for advertisements also regarding the RX400h, which stated that the hybrid SUV featured "high Performance, low emissions, and zero guilt."
As the stakes increase in the 'green car' game, manufacturers are more and more desperate to have their cars seen as environmentally friendly. While Lexus' marketing team has been singled out twice already, GM's Saab brand was also taken to court recently in Australia regarding claims it was advertising about its own model range.
Bizarrely, the Swedish company was claiming that its cars were carbon neutral over the course of their lives due to the planting of just 17 trees to absorb that carbon. It was later discovered that 17 trees would need to be planted for every year the car was in operation to offset its carbon emissions.