Almost 20 percent of prospective new vehicle buyers in the US avoided the Toyota brand in 2010 due to concerns over safety and quality.
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According to the ‘2010 Avoider Study’ by industry analysts J.D. Power and Associates, around 19 percent of new car buyers surveyed avoided the Japanese brand due to “bad reputation of manufacturer”, up from three percent in 2009.

A total of 15 percent of those surveyed were “concerned about the future of the brand” (up 11 percent), while a further 15 percent personally had a “bad experience with this manufacturer” (up 12 percent).

The study was based on the responses of around 25,000 new vehicle owners who registered a vehicle in May 2010. The survey was conducted between August and October.

Toyota released a statement regarding the study, admitting the vehicle owners were surveyed during a period of high profile, highly publicised recalls.

“It is not unexpected that many potential buyers' perceptions of Toyota's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability might be influenced," the statement read."Since that time, there have been many positive indicators showing that shoppers are again strongly considering Toyota, recognising our commitment to the safety, quality and value of our vehicles.”

According to J.D. Power, Toyota is the third-most considered brand in the US, after BMW and Honda.

In a different study, Kelley Blue Book’s ‘Market Intelligence Brand Watch’ found that Toyota was still the most considered brand among new vehicle buyers.

One-in-four people surveyed by KBB considered Toyota in the purchasing process, followed by Ford (24 percent) and Honda (23 percent).

Toyota Motor Co sales in the US are down slightly so far in 2010, in a market that has grown on average by more than 10 percent.