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March 02, 2022

Canadians not scared off by Toyota recall

In the wake of a massive product recall linked to at least 30 deaths, you’d think Toyota consumer confidence would wane just a little.

You’d think.

Defying analysts everywhere, the embattled auto maker’s Canada division boasted a sales jump of almost 25 per cent last month, a period that saw the manufacturer’s boss ushered in and out of U.S. Congress like he was accused of steroid use.

According to the Star, Toyota’s main brand sales surged 24 per cent in February – including a 45 per cent increase in trucks – while Lexus, its luxury line, jumped 26 per cent.

It was, somehow, Lexus’ best February for sales in the history of the company.

So, how does this make sense? How can an auto maker, embroiled in a massive North American recall with allegations its vehicles developed minds of their own, actually increase its sales during said controversy?

Ah, here’s the catch …

While sales in Toyota’s Canada division spiked, its U.S. arm – where the bulk of the anti-Toyota safety claims were levied – saw its numbers tumble by 9 per cent in that same month.

The auto giant’s Camry and Corolla, its top-selling models, were sidelined the most: Camry sales fell 20 per cent, Corolla six per cent.

Now those are numbers that make more sense. Especially when you consider the safety issues, which saw accelerator pedals get stuck and allegedly send passengers hurtling 100 miles per hour forward, weren’t limited to the United States.

Why doesn’t it seem Canadian car buyers are more concerned by this?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...