Kelley Blue Book lowered the used-car values of recalled Toyotas for the second time in two weeks. It initially decreased the value of the recalled vehicles by 1% to 3% but followed the next week with another downward tick of 1.5%.
A KBB spokesman said this was largely due to the growing supply of unsold Toyotas, not only on dealer lots but also at auctions. “At this point, it’s clear that the market is shifting away from these Toyota products right now, allowing us to project their lowered values,” said Juan Flores, director of vehicle valuation at KBB.
Flores said the values could be pushed even lower as more data become available in the coming weeks and months.
In other news involving issues with Toyota’s ongoing recall issues:
- The Detroit News reports that State Farm reported rising claims of unintended acceleration incidents in Toyota vehicles to federal regulators in September 2007. Congress will review whether the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to connect the dots when it conducted six different investigations into the acceleration issues that led to a recall of only 55,000 floormats.
- In an NPR report, a State Farm spokesman suggests that Toyota owners who’ve been involved in accidents may seek partial refunds on their insurance by claiming — rightly or wrongly — that sudden acceleration was to blame. State insurance regulators are preparing for a surge in those appeals.
- The Associated Press reports that a House oversight panel will postpone its hearing on the Toyota recalls until Feb. 23 due to snowstorms in Washington. The panel will hear testimony from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Toyota’s North American CEO Yoshi Inaba, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland and two safety experts.
- Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota, has an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he acknowledges that “Toyota has not lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves.” Toyoda promises that his company is performing a “top-to-bottom review” of its global operations and that it will work to regain the trust of American drivers.
- The Los Angeles Times has a story on why it’s so hard for people to react in an emergency like unintended acceleration, pointing to a confluence of human psychology and increasingly complex vehicle technology. “When people are in an intensely fearful situation, their ability to problem-solve is greatly diminished,” according to psychiatrist Broadie Dunlop.
- The Boston Globe reports that Zipcar, the car-sharing service based in the Cambridge area, will pull all the 2010 Prius vehicles from its fleets until the issue with the brakes has been resolved. Zipcar says this affects less than 1% of its fleet.
- The AP also reports that the NHTSA will look into roughly 80 complaints from drivers of the 2009 and 2010 Corollas, who say their cars wander during highway driving and tend to drift out of the lanes. This is not yet a formal investigation, though, and the agency stresses that it receives and reviews thousands of driver complaints each year.