NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Toyota ( TM) U.S.A. on Thursday reported March sales results of 186,863 units, an increase of 35.3% over the same period last year.

The company's Toyota division recorded March sales of 166,644 vehicles, an increase of 35.1% over the year-ago month, while Lexus reported sales of 20,219 units in March, up 36.5% over March of last year.

Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid and light truck sales were led by the RAV4 compact SUV.

Improved sales for Toyota in March were expected despite its massive recalls and still unresolved sudden-acceleration problems, given that the company has been offering aggressive customer incentives to lure them back into Toyota dealerships. It remains to be seen whether the stronger sales can be sustained and whether they have more to do with the customer incentives, rather than the genuine restoring of trust in the brand.

For the first quarter, Toyota reported sales of 385,686 vehicles, an increase of 8.7% over the same period in 2009.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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