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Toyotas Still Selling Briskly, Despite Recalls and "Stop Sale"

According to, the unrelenting stream of bad news about Toyota, which includes millions of recalls and a "stop sale" involving eight popular models, hasn't, at least not yet, dampened consumer enthusiasm for what was until recently probably the most globally admired brand.

" looked at its real-time shopping data, and discovered something counter-intuitive considering the media coverage of the situation," said Brian Gluckman, a spokesman for the popular online car-vending website. "Shopping activity on new Toyota vehicles has actually increased in the last several days. In fact, several recalled vehicles, such as the Highlander and Matrix, are seeing the most shopping activity that they've seen all month."

AutoTrader claims 14 million qualified buyers a month. It hooks up those buyers and sellers, and has three million listings of both new and used cars at 40,000 dealers and 250,000 private owners. So much of the Toyota activity it's tracking is in used examples of cars like the Highlander and Matrix, which Toyota can't control.

It's likely that much of the activity is from bargain hunters--people taking advantage of low Toyota trade-in value right now. They're gambling, probably rightly, that sudden acceleration will never happen to them, and that any car they buy now will be fixed in an upcoming recall.

Flickr photo/Harry_NL