There is a bright side to every story, you just need to look hard and sometimes challenge conventions. While American motorists are being worked into a frenzy by cascading Toyota recall stories, this may be a great time to get a deep discount on a used Toyota. Resale values have taken a significant hit, as many consumers have become wary of purchasing a Toyota product. At the same time, many owners are eager to move out of their recalled model into something else. For bargain hunters, this is opportunity knocking.
Toyota cars have long earned a deserved reputation for quality. While the company may have made noticeable cost-cutting measures in car, leading to plain interior and hard cabin plastics, the vehicles hold up well for many years of trouble-free operation. Survey after survey bears this out. The only difference between the Toyota cars today, versus last year, is fear. They are the same cars. And the problems may not be as great as head-turning headlines suggest.
We have covered the recall stories here in the autoMedia Auto News Blog.
For a quick refresher course and reality check, there are two main recalls: the extended floor mat entrapment recall and the latest sticky pedal recall. (The investigation continues on the 2010 Toyota Prius, but the reality there is that Toyota already discovered the issue and implemented a rolling production fix. It would be near-effortless to update already built models. It just has to figure out how to manage that without further damaging its tarnished reputation.)
Extended floor mat entrapment: The vehicles included in this recall have unintended acceleration risks due to too little clearance under the accelerator pedal. The long-term solution is that dealerships will replace the pedal itself in the spring. Short-term, just take the floor mat out. Really, that’s all. Dealerships have been trained how to cut some material off the bottom of the pedals, until the replacements become available. The dangers are real, as there have been documented accidents and deaths.
Sticking accelerator: This is a progressive wear issue that becomes worse over time, exacerbated by moisture. Symptoms include a pedal reluctant to return to its resting position. Most owners will never experience a problem, and the stamp-like shim for the recall fix is now at your local dealerships. Thus far, accidents are not attributed to this problem.
So, if you’re willing to deal with bringing a vehicle in for a free recall servicing and possibly live without a driver-side floor mat until the work can be performed, now may be the time to buy.
If you’re tempted to shop a Toyota, browse our exhaustive used car marketplace. There are current more than 1.4 million cars listed, including 94,000 Toyotas.
To help guide your bargain hunting, check out our Toyota Research Center, with quick access to pricing, photos, reviews, and more.