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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Toyota brand isn't out of the woods just yet, according to Edmunds.com. It appears to still be struggling from an onslaught of "image problems" and the proof is in its early May numbers.

The manufacturer has seen a 12-percent month-over-month slowdown in sales so far in May. Compare that to chief rival General Motors, which has enjoyed a 9-percent uptick.

The Toyota brand has shown a 17-percent decline from April, but the Lexus brand's sales have jumped 22 percent thanks to low financing and special lease offers, according to Edmunds.com

"We're noticing that Toyota's incentive program is starting to fall on deaf ears since most of the people who were open to getting deals from the automaker already made their purchases," explained Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell.

"Our Toyota cross-shopping data indicates that the brand has not yet recovered from recent image problems," she continued.

In fact, the proportion of Edmunds.com shoppers browsing a main rival to Toyota that also researched the Toyota brand has fallen from roughly 37 percent last spring to a current average of approximately 30 percent, the site indicated.

In other words, Toyota is losing ground in the "reverse cross-shopping" rate.

Based on mid-month trending, Edmunds.com believes, that Toyota will show 22 percent year-over-year gain, while GM is expected to be up 24 percent. An Edmunds.com spokesperson emphasized mid-month trending is different than its monthly forecast, which the site plans to release next week.