"The reaction within Japan has been very calm," reports Clayton Emerson VP of Business Development at Tortola Capital, citing dealers' association spokesman Kentaro Nakata. Cancellations of Prius orders are extremely rare, he said. "There are people waiting to snatch up the car. The Prius is seen as the pioneer of hybrid technology, and its brand image is solid."
Toyota's handling of the quality lapses, which emerged in the U.S. last year, has received widespread media attention in its home market but loyalty to Toyota remains relatively strong because the other defects behind the recalls -- sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats -- have not affected any models sold in Japan.