The Toyota Prius remains the top-selling car in Japan despite global recall woes that include braking problems with the popular hybrid.
More than 27,000 of the gas-electric hybrids were sold in February, making the Prius the best-selling model for the 10th consecutive month, according to Japan Automobile Dealers Association figures released Thursday.
The Prius’ continued popularity comes despite a recall debacle affecting 8.5 million the vehicles around the world, including the third-generation Prius in Japan, which was recalled for a glitch in the antilock braking system.
Sales of the Prius have been propelled by its reputation for delivering superb fuel-efficiency and boosted by tax breaks and other government incentives for purchasing energy-efficient vehicles.
The Prius, which is the world’s top-selling hybrid, has been so popular in Japan that it has a waiting list of about six months.
Toyota officials acknowledge that some orders have been canceled since the recall, and the automaker began offering new software to fix its braking system problem since last month.
Toyota’s handling of the quality lapses, which emerged in the United States last year, has received widespread attention in its home market, but loyalty remains relatively strong because the other defects — sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats that could jam the accelerator — have not affected any of the models sold in Japan.
In Japan, Honda Motor Co.’s Fit subcompact came in second in sales in February at nearly 14,000 units, followed by three of Toyota’s smaller models — the Vitz, Passo and Corolla.
There have been no high-profile accidents or public complaints of unintended acceleration in Japan compared with the U.S., where Toyota’s once-stellar reputation for quality is getting hammered.
Toyota’s sales in the United States for February dropped by a smaller-than-expected 9 percent year on year, according to data released Tuesday.
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