Report: Toyota image going down image

More car shoppers are staying away from Toyota because of the company’s recalls and bad publicity over the last year, according to a study by research firm J.D. Power.

According to the same source, 19 percent of new-vehicle buyers said they avoided Toyota because of “bad reputation of manufacturer”. In comparison, that’s an increase of 17 percentage points from a year ago.

Fifteen percent of the shoppers surveyed said they had “bad experience with this manufacturer,” up 12 points from 2009. That makes sense because Toyota has had so many more contacts with consumers over the recalls that the number of unhappy people is bound to climb.

Toyota has recalled 6.75 million vehicles in the United States this year, most linked to a risk of unintended acceleration. Its U.S. sales this year are flat in a market that has grown 11 percent.