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Toyota Resale Values Take Another Hit

Posted: Feb 09, 2010 10:33 a.m.

“The Toyota in your garage,” ABC News reports, “Is losing value by the week.” In the wake of a series of high-profile safety recalls, the company’s public image has taken a hit – and sales of used Toyotas have slowed.

The used car value analysts at Kelley Blue Book “dropped the resale values of recalled Toyotas for the second time in four days Monday, leaving them as much as 4 percent or $300 to $750 lower than a week ago, depending on the model” ABC says.

The San Francisco Chronicle explains, “The company updates values on a weekly basis. Last Friday, it initially decreased the used-car values of recalled Toyotas by 1 to 3 percent in response to slowing demand.”  That initial reduction, “lowered values by $200 to $500 per vehicle. The next cut will take them down by a total of $400 to $1,000, with the more expensive models taking the biggest hit, says [Kelley Blue Book] spokeswoman Robyn Eckard.”

The decline may not be over.  The Detroit Free Press reports, “They could fall again next week if Toyota continues to stay in the news with quality problems.”  Today’s worldwide recall of the Prius hybrid, as well as upcoming Congressional hearings into Toyota’s slow response to consumer complaints, could be the spur for another devaluation.

Even some longtime Toyota fans are showing doubts in the wake of the recent recalls.  The New York Times reports, “The recall of millions of Toyota cars and trucks for problems with their accelerator pedals, however, is giving some…Toyota loyalists second thoughts.”  The company has said that it expects to lose about 80,000 sales in the U.S. this year to its dented reputation, and another 20,000 outside the U.S.  Analysts aren’t sure whether that estimate is accurate. 

If you’re looking to sell a used Toyota, analysts say, your best bet may be to wait out the storm of bad publicity.  Jesse Toprak, lead analyst for TrueCar.com, tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer “consumers should wait to sell. After a while…prices will settle. Values will be lower than they were a year ago, but much better than they are now.”  The auction services that provide most used car lots with their inventory are doing just that – most have stopped selling Toyota products.

Check out the latest Toyota recall news and information, including how the company's recent troubles affect our rankings. If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.