Quality and safety problems are continuing to plague Toyota when it comes to new-car buyer consideration, according to a study by J.D. Power and Associates.
The market research firm's 2010 Avoider Study, which was released last week, found that 19 percent of new-vehicle shoppers surveyed said they avoided the Toyota brand because of "bad reputation of manufacturer" -- an increase of 17 percentage points from a year ago.
Fifteen percent of respondents cited a "bad experience with this manufacturer," up 12 percentage points from 2009. And 15 percent said they were "concerned about the future of this vehicle brand," up 11 points from 2009. Respondents could cite several reasons why they did include a brand in their search.
"Vehicle owners were surveyed during a period of high profile and highly publicized recalls; it is not unexpected that many potential buyers' perceptions of Toyota's long-standing reputation for quality and reliability might be influenced," Toyota said in a statement.
"Since that time, there have been many positive indicators showing that shoppers are again strongly considering Toyota, recognizing our commitment to the safety, quality and value of our vehicles."
Toyota is still the third-most considered brand, according to Power, behind only BMW and Honda.
In a separate study released last week, Toyota was once again the most considered auto brand among new-car shoppers, according to Kelley Blue Book.
The third-quarter Market Intelligence Brand Watch study indicates that 25 percent of new-vehicle shoppers who visited kbb.com showed interest in Toyota. Close behind were Ford with 24 percent interest and Honda with 23 percent interest.
Between the first quarter of 2007 and the third quarter of 2009, Toyota topped all other brands in all vehicle segments but then fell to second place between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010.
Between August and October, Power surveyed 25,000 owners who registered a new car in May 2010.