Used Toyotas Are Being Discounted. Would You Buy One?


Recently Toyota Motor Corp. has been plagued with bad news as it recalled millions of cars and stopped selling several of its products affected with braking issues. These problems have prompted Kelley Blue Book, the pricing guide for used car transactions, to lower suggested rates on the affected Toyota vehicles by 1 to 3 percent, and a company spokesperson said "there may be further devaluation ahead." Would you buy one of these vehicles despite of these issues?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's February 1st advisory lists the recalled Toyota vehicles as the following:

Pedal Entrapment recall:

  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350
  • 2008-2010 Highlander
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Venza
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe

Sticky Pedal Recall:

  • 2007-2008 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2009-2010 RAV4
  • 2010 Highlander
  • 2009-2010 Vibe

Additionally, the 2010 Prius is currently under investigation for a software bug in its anti-lock brake system that causes a less than one second lag when the system is engaged.

If you are in the market for a used Toyota, Lexus, or Pontiac you have a lot of possibly discounted models to choose from. Right now I think that Toyota's reputation as the maker of a safe and reliable car is severely tarnished even as it is trying to make repairs on millions of cars. It is possible that many Toyota owners will be looking to get rid of the affected vehicles and further devalue these models on the used cars market.

If you trust that Toyota repaired the issue, there may be a good deal out there for a used Toyota that is less than 10 years old. I guess the old cliche "they don't make them like they used to" is really true in this case.

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Guest's picture

No, but only because our nex car will be a minivan. I don't think any of those are their vans.

If we were in the market for a car, I it would be in the running.

Guest's picture

...I would buy one. I replaced my 1993 Camry last year with a 1997 Camry.

I get 35-39 mph (although 85% is highway driving and I hypermile a bit).

The reaction of Toyota to this problem and how they handle it will be more important than the problem I think.

Of course, the US gov't is hyping the problem with its incompetent officals making silly statements. At this point I don't trust the US govt not to be trying to tank Toyota to help out its state-owned car makers.

Guest's picture

I would buy one. I currently own a 2009 Toyota Corolla. I have not had any issues with braking or the pedal sticking. Love the car and don't regret buying it.

Guest's picture

It appears Toyota may have royally screwed up this time, but from personal experience, I have a Toyota 2001 Avalon that has been virtually FLAWLESS. It is well-kept, always garaged, looks great, runs great (currently 175,000 miles) follow the maintenance schedules religiously -- and has been a total delight.

Having said that, Toyota corporate seems to have gotten a royal case of the same stupids as corporate America. GREED and cutting corners. I believe epic fail may be at hand!

Guest's picture

Come on people, the only reason the Us government is so hard on Toyota is because they are the competition!! How many recalls have there been with other car manufacturers and there has not been a big issue made of it. It is the US government who owns GM so of course they want them to go under. Not going to happen. And no they are not getting greedy or cutting corners. They make the same excellent car they always have. Epic fail? ... crap!!

Guest's picture

I'd definitely buy one if I were looking for a new car right now. But my 1998 Toyota Avalon with 235,000 miles on it is still running perfectly and looks like it will be for quite a while yet, so I guess I'll miss out on this opportunity.

Guest's picture

I'd buy one, every company makes mistakes.

Guest's picture

I would love to buy a toyota! I wish I had enough cash to walk into a toyota dealer today and walk off with a car. I am sure some dealers would be taking a lot off the top to move some inventory now.

Too bad we are in debt! Next time :(

Guest's picture

IF I were to buy another Toyota, it would be a model from before the drive-by-wire system got regular use within the company. One would think Toyota would have learned from VW's reliability issues with being so reliant on the ECU for everything.

Stupid, stupid Toyota.

Guest's picture

I'm not in the market for a car, but all I know is that when I see a Toyota in my rearview mirror, I get out of the way!

Guest's picture

I would totally buy one. I think this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion. People love to bring down companies in the number one spot.

My parents had an American made mini-van that had not one, but FOURTEEN recalls (or at least, that's when we stopped counting) -- including issues with seat belts that came undone in a crash. The sliding door actually fell off too.

I guess domestic cars are like Windows products -- so used to bugs and problems that they're practically a source of entertainment.

Guest's picture

I'm tired of my VW dying all the time, so I'm going car shopping this weekend. I was going to look at Toyotas anyway; this couldn't have happened at a better time for me.

Guest's picture

There are thousands of recalls every year, only a fraction gain media attention. I agree with all the other "yes" comments up there:

Toyota is handling their crisis well.
Toyota has had, until now, a flawless reputation.
Toyota consistently lists as 5 of the 10 top used vehicles.

I have a 2007 Yaris. I like it very much, and I like the dealer as well. I think it is really unfortunate that so many people are willing to make decisions based on emotions and what they're seeing in the news rather than doing a little research themselves to uncover a fuller, more balanced story.

Guest's picture

Who would I be to look a gift horse in the mouth? If someone is willing to let go of a perfectly good vehicle at a discount all because of a bit of over-hyped media attention, I certainly won't complain!

As a matter of fact, the wife and I are planning on a replacement vehicle in a few months once things warm up a bit. So hoping the drumbeat keeps up for a little while longer... :)

Guest's picture

Definitely not. I was going to buy a Prius but was led to an article in a Seattle paper that covered many cases of automatic acceleration. There were no deaths, but the experiences recounted made me feel that car was unsafe. What disturbed me was the way that Toyota handled it. The company placed the blame on the driver, often claiming they must have run out of gas!

When Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple) tried to alert Toyota through his dealer and other sources, he was blown off until he blogged about it.

The reason I would never buy a Toyota is the way that the acceleration problems for the Prius were handled by the company. This is not a company that I feel has the safety of its customers foremost.

Yesterday the Seattle Times covered one unlucky motorist who survived:

"His complaint was one of more than 100 submitted by U.S. motorists who reported problems with Prius speed controls for model years 2004 through 2010."

Guest's picture

I'm currently driving a 1995 Toyota Previa van, and it is absolutely one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. It gets 34 miles per gallon and doesn't burn oil, plus it has more than 218,000 miles on it! When I want to check the oil, I don't have to get a magnifying glass to read a dipstick, I just lift the hood, look at the large oil reservoir and see if the oil has dropped to the line that says "fill." It plows through snow like a tank, and handles with precision on the highway. The rear seats flip easily to the side to add an extra 4 feet of cargo area.

A friend of ours finally sold their 1978 (yes- 1978) Toyota Corolla. Like our van, it started every time they turned the key, got great mileage and burned very little oil.

I would definitely buy another Toyota!

Guest's picture

Since I started driving 40 years ago, I've owned mostly American-made cars, and they were ALL subject to recalls of varying degrees. Two years ago I bought my first Toyota (Highlander) and I absolutely love it. First quality. A simple recall, even major as this one is, in the grand scheme of things should not dissuade anyone from buying Toyota.

Guest's picture
Frugal Rhino

40 years of driving gives you some street cred IMO. Besides, like you said, every car maker has recalls and the gov'ment doesn't make as much as a fuss. I agree with many others above. Seems like this administration is out to negatively impact Toyota so benefit GM.

Guest's picture

I wouldn't buy a Toyota, now, even though I've owned 3 of them. I don't think they have the whole problem. I have a 98' and in 2004 I was having problems with the car accelerating on it's own and also revving up w/o my foot pushed on the gas. It got fixed, but I'm concerned now that their problem could go back years more than 2002.

And tonight I listened to Charlie Rose's show (you can see it online) and really got the feeling that there is a lot more to the problem than even Toyota knows.

I would wait till all the problems have been fixed, even though buying will cost me more. Nothing more important than my safety.

Guest's picture

for a car at the moment but tbh with all this bad press and issues I wouldn't look into buying one if I was. Sorry Toyota. I like Hondas!

Guest's picture

I have a 2007 Prius that is wonderful! I've driven across the U.S. twice in this car and no problems whatsoever. Great mileage - 45 mpg in the winter and 55 mpg in the summer. Plus commuting to work everyday - it's a dream.
Let the hype subside and tweaks done to affected cars. Every American-made car I've ever had has been nothing but trouble. My husband even found out from several mechanics that his Pontiac Aztec's transmission is made to fail every 90,000 miles. How about that for trust?

Guest's picture
Christopher MacPhail

There have been 19 Toyota accelerator deaths over 5 years. This is out of appx 170,000 highway deaths in the US.

If we listed the leading causes of highway deaths, Toyota accelerator problems would be maybe #200 on the list. Probably way below etched headlight lenses and worn wiper blades and broken mirror.

But the press and the masses love a story. So we have congressional hearings and stories about the story and how everyone is reacting to stories about the story.

We have "shark attack" hysteria (Another danger that affects less than one in a million.) Nobody cares about the things that are 100 times more likely to kill you if it's not a feel-good story.

I remember Intel's "flawed pentium" chip in 1994. It actually mattered to less than one in a million people, but everybody felt and talked like the sky was falling.

Toyota will fix their mistake, and we should just move on to bigger issues.

Guest's picture
Ann McD

You make a mistake, you fix it- this is what Toyota is doing and we can expect no more- and shouldn't have to expect less! My little Toyota Echo has 130,000 miles on it, gets 35 mpg and has never given me a moment of trouble. I take care of the routine maintenance but other than that it gets no special attention. My goal is to drive it to 200,000 miles then buy another Toyota.

Guest's picture

I am in the market for 2004 - 2007 used Toyotas and I don't find their price any less than the other brands. I thought of these models for exactly the recall reason but I don't find any :(
Just in case anyone wondering where I live thats 10530.

Guest's picture

Yes of course! It doesn't matter whether it is 2nd hand or not. :-)

Guest's picture

Yes as long as Toyota discloses all problems and recalls all affected vehicles. With the lower prices, i'd consider it. But currently i wouldn't buy a new or used Toyota. If it weren't for the superb overall reliability of Toyota's, i would not likely buy a Toyota based on styling, cool factor and practicality. Right now, Hyundai, Ford, and Kia are hot as cakes. Lexus on the other hand, i'd buy their cars because they great in all areas including styling.

Guest's picture

Yes as long as Toyota discloses all problems and recalls all affected vehicles. With the lower prices, i'd consider it. But currently i wouldn't buy a new or used Toyota. If it weren't for the superb overall reliability of Toyota's, i would not likely buy a Toyota based on styling, cool factor and practicality. Right now, Hyundai, Ford, and Kia are hot as cakes. Lexus on the other hand, i'd buy their cars because they are great in all areas including styling.