Last post on Dec 06, 2013 at 1:02 PM
You are in the Toyota Avalon
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Toyota Avalon, Sedan
May 20, 2005 (7:56 am)
I am a big Avalon fan and I’ve just found this forum….sure wish I had found it earlier. Lots of good info posted here and I am an internet forum junkie. My boss put me onto the Avy back in 99, and I have owned a 1999 and 2003. Both were trouble free. I am a 50+ female professional who fits right into the demographics that this car is targeted to.
I was VERY excited about the new Avy when I viewed the ad while watching the Super Bowl. Being a women and NOT a car enthusiast, I had no idea that a new model was going to be introduced. It was love at first sight and I had to have one! I went to the Toyota Website and checked her out. I knew the boss was looking to trade-in her ’97 this year so I let her know about the new model coming out. Friday after the Super Bowl we spent the day on the Website and we both decided we had to have one! I must have called every dealer in the Metro DC area to find who had what in stock….very few available that first week as you know. I was determined to get the Limited. We were both interested in the Blue Mirage and I also liked the Silver Pine Mica. The closest dealer to my home was in Fredericksburg VA and they had the Blue in a XLS but had a Limited due in mid-March loaded to my liking. I made arrangements with the sales staff to meet that evening to put a deposit on that car and get an appraisal on my trade. I had done my research and knew what they SHOULD give me. Unfortunately by the time I arrived, the XLS was sold so I didn’t get the chance to test drive it but that wasn’t a big deal. I was very upset with the sales staff at this dealership though as they were not prepared for my visit like they had promised. Apparently the person who handles the incoming inventory had already left for the day and the salesperson could not get the paperwork for the car I was to reserve. For that reason, they would not give me an appraisal on my car. They wanted me to “come back in the morning”. First off, I made it quite clear when I spoke to the salesperson in the morning that I would be in ready to deal….I was very put out that he wasn’t. He also told me that I could not order a car to my liking….I would have to take what they had already on order. That just didn’t ring true to me. I ran into similar problems with this dealer’s sales staff when I was in the market for my 99 & 03 and I purchased those in Northern VA. When I got back home I decided to call a few more dealers within driving distance from my home. The Charlottesville dealer had an XLS in green with NAV…he said he could special order the Limited if I wanted. The Richmond VA dealer had the exact Limited I wanted in stock but in Blizzard Pearl (didn’t think I wanted white). He promised to put a hold on the car for me to come look at. He was sure I would LOVE the BP but if I didn’t he too would find what I wanted if not through dealer trade, then special order. So, I was up and out early Saturday morning and was at the dealership when they opened. He was right, I LOVED the Blizzard Pearl. The car also has a thin gold pinstripe. It is one rich looking car. I just love the pearl finish. Like I said, I can tell most of you are savvy car enthusiasts/shoppers….but I knew what I wanted and though not a GREAT deal (I paid MSRP), I felt I got a great deal on my trade. The bottom line is I was very happy and the sales staff at McGeorge Toyota was top notch….no pressure to sell any add-ons, no problem with me getting my own financing etc. I would have liked to have added the gold package but the car was so new they didn’t have it in stock and from what I was just told by the parts dept in Fredericksburg, it still isn’t. Anyone know if this will be available in the future? I didn’t see it listed in the 05 Avy brochure so thought maybe it won’t be.
My two favorite features of the Limited are the Smart Key system and the Laser Cruise Control. I use the LCC ever day (unless it’s raining). I also have and like the NAV system but I haven’t had to use it often.
I ‘v now had the car just over 3 months and I had my 3,000 mile oil change last week. I had just noticed some spotting on my garage floor and they discovered that the axel seal was leaking. Unfortunately they have had a problem getting in the part. They told me that Toyota had to go to the seal manufacturer as they only had the number of seals they needed for production. Am I being snowed since I am a women? One came in Wednesday and they told me the car would be ready by 6:00 p.m. They have me in a rental….a Sebring base model which I HATE. I arrive at 6:00 pm. to find out the seal didn’t fit and they had to re-order it. I was told they expected to receive it today and will have the car ready for me tonight. I doubt that will happen…..it took the first seal 5 days to come in. I called early this a.m., and the part isn’t in yet. I am not a happy camper about this turn of events but I did realize that when buying a re-engineered model that this could be a problem. Other then this, I have noticed no other problems with my car. I love it and I really miss driving it.
BTW, my boss also purchased a new 05 Avy the same day I did from a dealer in Springfield VA. She decided on the XLS as she isn’t into gadgetry. She too fell in love with the Blizzard Pearl. She has had a problem with the storage compartment door (were the cell phone holder is) being hard to open and close. And she has a noise that she can’t locate. She said the nose started after she took it into the dealer for undercoating. She has not taken it back to the dealer to be looked at. She plans on having it done shortly when she does her 3,000 mile oil change.
Well, as I am typing this saga my service writer called me. Just as I expected, I will be driving the Sebring at least till Monday evening . She said I could come get my Avy for the weekend as it is safe to drive but it would be just too much trouble. I did question her about the steering re-call mentioned on this forum and she said she was aware of it and she would double check to see if my Avy is part of the re-call. I would imagine it is since it seems by the post here those first off the factory floor are affected.
So, I’ll be here lurking and posting from time to time to let you know how things are with me and my Avalon.
#5791 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [ryandse]
May 20, 2005 (8:30 am)
I did not actually expect to speak to the President of Toyota. When you ask to speak to the President of the Corporation it lets them know you are serious! In most cases a customer relations manager will intercede and take care of your problem. Not with Toyota! They don't even call you back! I Had purchased 8 Honda / Acura products for my wife before giving Toyota a try. What a mistake! The Avalon could be the best car in the world, but if the Customer support is not there you have nothing. The Customer service rep I spoke with kept telling me to see the dealer even though I was asking HIM questions about the door panel. Why do the even advertise to call the "Toyota experience line if you have any questions or concerns" if they just refer you to the dealer? Just put a message on an answering machine to "call your dealer" Anyway I am writing a detailed letter to the President of Toyota Japan, and copying the President of Toyota America to let them know how I was treated by the phone reps on the Toyota experience line. It is a shame really, because I do like the car, but not enough to put up with rude and poor customer service. I could have bought a Ford or Chevy If I wanted that.
#5792 of 14965 Fog Lights, Hesitation, and "Black Hooks in trunk"
May 20, 2005 (8:31 am)
Took my XLS to the dealer to have part replace to fix loose fog light. It worked! I had showed it to dealer on a previous visit and was told a part had to be ordered to fix the loose light. Took about a week to get the part and it is fixed.
I also asked about the hooks in the trunk. The sales manager had to do some checking but told me the are to hag grocery bags so the contents won't spill out while driving home.
Car has about 500 miles and I TOO am noticing some hesitation in the transmission. Otherwise I love the car. I printed the list posted earlier of common problems and gave it to the dealership. Told salesmanager they might want to check this site and fix problems BEFORE giving car to customer.
#5793 of 14965 Another good review for the Avalon!!!!
May 20, 2005 (8:46 am)
Just thought I'd share a great review that was published in one of our local papers on May 13. This review was in the Kelowna Capital news here in Kelowna B.C.
You can access it by logging into www.kelownacapnews.com and in the story archives area type in "Toyota Avalon". Our new Avalon has lived up to this review and has been a great car so far. I have found only one minor problem with the interior right front pillar moulding coming loose. That will be addressed with the first oil change in a month or two. This forum has been a great source of information for owners and potential owners of the 05 Avalon. Keep up the great posts.
Gladiator 99 aka " havasmartavalon"
#5794 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [willie_z]
May 20, 2005 (9:07 am)
I did not actually expect to speak to the President of Toyota. When you ask to speak to the President of the Corporation it lets them know you are serious!
Ah, fair enough, then
In most cases a customer relations manager will intercede and take care of your problem. Not with Toyota!
I totally understand your frustrations. General speaking, this is bad customer relations. That being said, it sounds like that you may have went through the wrong channel in resolving this (even though I completely understand why your decision to give this one a shot).
The Avalon could be the best car in the world, but if the Customer support is not there you have nothing.
Customer service is important to me as well (hence the reason why I actually pay more for my cell phone service by going with Verizon). Given I haven't actually done much business with Toyota, as of yet, I don't have a complete sense of their customer support.
Why do the even advertise to call the "Toyota experience line if you have any questions or concerns" if they just refer you to the dealer?
Hmm, that's a very good question.
It is a shame really, because I do like the car, but not enough to put up with rude and poor customer service.
You know, even though this is a valid stance: to be honest, when it comes to get a high-quality performance luxury sedan, the choices are quite slim. Firstly, we can eliminate all the junk that the European and US manufacturers are spewing into the market. But, we do have Infiniti: which has taken significant strides towards achieving high-reliability (albeit isn't quite there yet). Then there is the Acura TL and RL (which are both nice, although I am not all that thrilled with the styling and the fact that the TL's reliability has been taking a nose-dive recently). That leaves only Lexus and Toyota, remaining. They appear to be the true star of the industry with their reputation for high quality and excellent gas mileage. Although, I must admit that with the questionable Transmission designs they have been pushing lately (which as I have read effects the Avalon, Lexus ES, and possibly even the GS): I am wondering if this gas mileage could be higher only as a result of an unsafe transmission (I will need to confirm this with further research - but if I am right then that would mean Toyota/Lexus are also about to drop in overall reliability).
So, here is my thinking: I like the Toyota Avalon, Lexus ES, and GS cars (as options). But, If there is indeed something wrong with the Avalon transmission, assuming an effective fix doesn't come out soon: I might need to resort to looking at either the ES or GS more closely. Of course, they too may have the same issue. If it turns out they don't I will probably choose between these two. And since I have concerns about Acura TL's recent reliability issues there is only one other option: Infiniti. Both the G35 and M would options that I would consider, in this case.
#5795 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [badgerfan]
May 20, 2005 (9:11 am)
I could not post all the details or you would all be asleep reading it! I will respond to each of your points.
1. you seem to have diagnosed the problem yourself. - Not hard to do when the bin rattles over bumps. you can also feel a lack of resistance on one side of the bin.
2 Why did you not put it in yourself. - As you said ,you do not have the car so you could not possibly know what is involved. Also I just paid a lot of money for a new car, why would I want to work on it myself?
3. Your first recourse is to contact the dealer - Per various Toyota literature, "please contact the Toyota experience if you have any questions or concerns"
4 Calling Toyota and making a big stink...was a mistake from the start.- I called the company to find out if The part could even be re-installed or I needed a new door panel. The stink started at Toyotas end when the rep got rude.
5 Had you contacted your dealer first you would be happy - I did contact my dealer first, they could not tell me if the part could be put in after the fact or I needed a new door panel. Thus the call to Toyota
6 Your approach was wrong from the get go - Just you opinion.
7 Good and bad dealers are not isolated to any particular brand. - very true, but even the best dealers can' t save poor engineering. That is why I will NEVER buy a car or truck from the big 3 again!
In short it appears you read my post, but obviously did not comprehend it! Maybe you should buy a new Avalon so that you comments would have more relevance.
#5796 of 14965 Re: Consumer Reports' First Look at Avalon [havalongavalon]
May 20, 2005 (9:14 am)
Good, it looks like Consumer Reports is in the process of evaluating the Avalon 2005. I am eagerly awaiting their response (in particular: to the controversal "hesitation" issue).
#5797 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [jimex]
May 20, 2005 (9:19 am)
Your comment is inappropriate. Would you expect the same level of customer service at a sleazy motel as you would at the Waldorf Astoria? Would you be disappointed if you booked a room at the Waldorf, paid their prices and was then treated like you were staying at a sleazy motel? I rest my case
#5798 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [ryandse]
May 20, 2005 (9:29 am)
I agree with your post. Although Acura is not perfect, Client services has always gone way above the call of duty when responding to problems, and they have always treated me as a valued customer. You would think Toyota would have seen that I am a first time customer and treated me better! I will also look at Infinity!
in the future. Love that M series! Anyone have experience with Infinity factory support?
#5799 of 14965 Re: The Toyota Experience Line is a Bad Experience! [willie_z]
May 20, 2005 (9:49 am)
Willie, probably a better place to ask about Infiniti factory support would be in our Infiniti M35/M45 2006+ discussion - or any of our Infiniti discussions which you can find using the Browse by Vehicle search on the left side of the page.
I think this is probably the wrong place to get into talking about what you are going to buy to replace your Avalon.