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Toyota Camry, Sedan
#2 of 29 Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service
Mar 06, 2004 (4:29 pm)
I recently had the most horrific experience I have ever had with regard to automobile repair.
I'll try to make this posting as quick and to the point as possible.
I went to the Toyota dealer where I purchased my 2003 Solara SLEv6 almost a year ago. This is
my first time owning a NEW vehicle and so I'm being extra careful in the early years and am
willing to pay the extra bucks to go to the dealer for maintenance. I know a lot about cars and
repairs and I have relatives/friends that are just as smart as the pros. I've been going to them for the
routine oil changes and tire rotations since I bought the car.
I went in for this dealerships own 15k service and I nearly fell on the floor when first told the cost
was going to be $285, but I was even willing to swallow it. The service included: oil/filter, check/service
battery, top off fluids, air filter, check wipers, etc.
The day after, I discovered that:
1) There were still remains of leaves inside the air filter canister.
2) Several battery cells were very low on water.
3) They never said or did anything about the passenger wiper blade which was obviously in need of
4) Cooling system overflow was (still) closer to the MIN mark, as opposed to MAX mark.
5) Brake fluid container was also (still) closer to the MIN mark.
6) Windshield washer fluid container was nowhere near full.
When I went back to the dealer I learned that the mechanic had been working there for several years. I suggested
they fire him.
The service manager of the dealership really acted very calm about this whole thing. He didn't seem very
apologetic or concerned at all. He didn't indicated to me that any steps would be taken to prevent this
from happening again, or that he would take any steps to find out WHY this happened to beging with.
He gave me a fraction of the money back, but I still wouldn't feel comfortable going back there. How do I really
know that ANY of the items/checks on their list were done at all ? How do I know they even changed the oil.
I'm going to try another dealership near me and hope for the best.
I was thinking of writing to the OWNER of the dealership OR the President of TOYOTA, but I'm not sure I want
any more aggravation. There is a part of me, though, that is so infuriated by this, and now that I've
remembered this website, I've decided to post this and see if anyone else has any ideas as to what other options
I might have and/or find out if other's have had any horrific experiences with DEALER (dis)service.
Is this typical of DEALER SERVICE ? Have you experienced anything as horrific as this ?
#3 of 29 solaraman2003
Mar 07, 2004 (2:09 pm)
If it was me, I'd definitely write the owner of the dealership. He's the one who ultimately is responsible. Poor service means you won't come back for another car, nor will you reccommend them to friends/family when they're looking, and it hurts him in the wallet.
If you don't make him aware of your dissatisfaction, he doesn't know what's going on. I'd be curious to see what the ultimate outcome is.
You might also call Toyota's customer service and let then know about the shoddy service. They want to sell more vehicles and they'll most likely look into your complaint. Just remember to keep it civil....
Just my $.02
#4 of 29 RE: Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service
Mar 20, 2004 (4:55 pm)
Keep everything calm and factual, and as documented as possible, and send it to the Manager of the Dealership, the Customer Relations Manager, and to the Owner. Give them full contact info, because I believe they will want to make it right ...
Because if they don't respond in two weeks, you should nuke them in the best possible way - Contact Toyota!
Toyota takes customer service Very seriously, and I have heard of owners making personal phone calls within minutes after someone contacted the manufacturer. Try the following:
Ask Toyota <toyota_carestoyota.com>
#5 of 29 Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service by solaraman2003
May 02, 2004 (2:02 pm)
I was passing through when I came upon your post about your unfortunate experience with that dealer's service dept. solaraman2003.
I've owned 3 new cars (a Camry included) and dealer service always left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I once found a banana peel in my Camry's engine right after service. Another dealer overflowed the engine with oil.
I'd call Toyota and follow with a letter, and a copy to the dealer. I wouldn't return to the dealer ever. I no longer take my car to the dealer for schedule maintenance. Instead, I have my trusty shop do the work. If warranty repair needs to be done, then that's when I go to the dealer. I'd risk voiding the manufacturer's warranty by not servicing the car at the dealer during scheduled maintenance. I'll go to court if I have to but I refuse to leave my car at dealer service departments.
#6 of 29 Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service by solaraman2003
May 02, 2004 (2:19 pm)
As for the $285 for the 15 mile service, any shop can do the same thing for a lot less. Dealers' shops have a large overhead and some charge as much as $90 an hour labor rate, prorated.
The key is to have a shop that you trust to do the work. In the almost 8 years that I owned by Camry I never needed warranty repairs. I took it to the dealer the first year because I didn't know better until I wised up and found a private shop.
#7 of 29 dealer
May 02, 2004 (5:22 pm)
I hate going to the dealership also, didn't have a good experience the first time I was there for simple oil change, left an oil mark on the carpet,adjusted the seat AND the steering wheel, AC left on full blast. It was like getting a different car back. I haven't been there since. I did get them to clean the oil spot. For scheduled maintance I'll go to a local mechanic.
#8 of 29 Re: Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service [solaraman2003]
Jan 14, 2005 (1:13 pm)
I have been to my local dealership 4 times this week and need to go again, but I am afraid to. My check engine light came on, took it to the dealership and they called me and told me that my water pump was leaking, told me my warranty had expired ten days ago, told me the amount to fix the car would be $525.00. After a few phone calls, placed to my warranty company and 800-gotoyota, found out my warranty was good until the 26th of this month. They fixed it with only a $50 deductible. Next day, check engine light back on, they told me it was the EGR valve, they fixed it, picked it up yesterday, light came back on, they told me the vsv valve needed to be fixed that it wasn't under warranty. I called the warranty company, it is covered, they just wanted the dealership to tell them why both valves went out at the same time. Service writer still trying to tell me that warranty won't cover. I haven't let him know that I know he is lying to me. I called Corporate to let them open up the investigation. After I hung up with Corporate, called my warranty company and they have authorized for the vsv valve to be replaced. Dealership still has not called me back.
#9 of 29 Re: Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service [solaraman2003]
Mar 03, 2005 (5:30 pm)
I, too, have had a horrific dealer experience. The intermittent wiper switch did not work. I was told they would order the part and call me. They never called me so when I called them they said the part was in. I took the care in and the part wasn't in. This went on for two or three more trips to the dealer. The first time I took my 2003 Camry in for service, I heard a rattle on the way home. When I pulled in the garage, a lugnut fell out. 2-3 lugnuts were loose on every wheel.
My next experience is when the airconditioning failed. After repeated trips to the dealership from 50 miles away, I contacted Toyota USA, THEN the service manager called me. He had never spoken to me or returned phone calls when I called repeatedly to tell them the A/c wasn't working. It required a new compressor, motor, and other components. I wonder what is next?
#10 of 29 Re: Horrific Toyota Dealer Repair (dis)Service [gloryb]
May 02, 2005 (2:53 pm)
what happened and what the heck is a vsv valve and what does it do ? confused!!