Last post on Nov 12, 2012 at 6:46 PM
You are in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid Maintenance & Repair
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Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Tires, Wheels, SUV
#211 of 220 Re: 08 HiHy 19" tires thoughts/questions [89fj62]
May 21, 2011 (1:17 pm)
First let me thank the previous posters who mentioned contacting Toyo in regards to replacing the A20's. I did just that about a week ago (May 2011), and I wanted to write up what happened to aid the other Highlander owners if you seek this route. Here was my experience....
I have an '09 Highlander Hybrid. 19k miles and the A20's are at 2/32nds (treadbar depth with pealing rubber). I had previously posted in about the Bridgestone Duelers at Costco, but after reading reviews decided against it. (Most reviews show similar problems as the A20's).
I called Toyo and spoke with Candace. Very polite and understanding with the frustration of Highlander owners in regards to the A20's. She reiterated this was a tire made with Toyota specs. Super soft for a smooth ride, but wears out extremely quickly.
I told her I wanted to replace them with the Open Country H/T's, and she approved. I had already done my research as far as authorized Toyo dealers close to my house, and there were 3 within a 5 mile radius. She instructed me to go to a certain dealer because only certain Toyo sellers deal with inspecting tires (at least as noted on the website). Although it was the one furthest away from my house, I figured if I was going to get an adjustment on the price, I didn't mind driving an extra mile or two. The one catch was I had to get to the dealer prior to 5pm because that's when the Toyo office closes where Candace works. (Basically, you bring your car to an authorized Toyo dealer, they inspect the tire and mileage, the dealer calls Toyo (Candace), and they authorize an adjustment (discount) on the tires.
A couple days later, on a Tuesday, I drove down to the Toyo dealer as instructed by Candace. I hop out of the car, tell the mechanic my situation, and he says, "We don't do that here."
I was a bit confused, and I told him I was SPECIFICALLY TOLD to go to this dealer BECAUSE they inspect tires. He turns to his, who was buying oil out the trunk of a car, and he says, "Nah, we don't do that."
Then the guy I spoke with first comes to take a look at the tires and says, "Yeah, don't really deal with these tires anymore." Meanwhile, there is a HUMUNGOUS Toyo sign over the garage, with multiple Toyo signs hanging all over the place. At this point, I'm just aggravated because I just drove nearly 30 minutes in rush hour traffic and this guy basically is just blowing me off.
Just because I was curious, I asked him if I could even order the tires from there. "Oh yeah, we could do that for you, but you'd have to pay full price."
At this point I get in my car and call Toyo, but it was already 4:30pm and they close at 5:00. I ended up on hold for a half hour, then lost the connection.
Feeling a bit bewildered as to what just happened, I decided to call the Toyo dealer closest to my house and explain the situation. I explained they would have to check the tread depth and the mileage, call Toyo, and they would authorize an adjustment on the price. "No problem," says the guy, so I drive over.
I get there, and the guys are super nice, take down my info., check the tires and the mileage, then tell me they will call me the next day, since the Toyo office was closed already. (At this point it was 5:30pm).
I didn't hear back from them the next day, so I called them the day after. They said they had contacted Toyo, and they could do the deal for $1150 for four H/T Open Country tires to replace the A20s. He also explained that just getting the tires full price would cost $1400. I figured that out to be right around 17% off full price.
So I asked him if this was the specified discount Toyo authorized, and he said it was an "in-house" discount because the manager didn't want to have to deal with returning A20's to Toyo.
I told him I would call him back, and I called Toyo myself.
When I called Toyo, I spoke with a representative who looked up my file. They had the guy's name from the tire place that called. I asked about the adjustment given, and the Toyo person said they authorized FIFTY PERCENT OFF A NEW SET OF H/T'S!
I couldn't believe it.
I asked the Toyo lady what I should do, since the guy was basically trying to give me the run around. She said I should call the guy back ask them about the 50% off. I told her I didn't really want to give some place business that was trying to dupe me, so she let me know I could go to any authorized dealer, they could call in and get the authorization (discount) number, and we could go from there.
So that brought me to my THIRD Toyo dealer. I explained everything (again) on the phone, and the guy told me to come over. By the time I got there, he had already contacted Toyo and got the paperwork, but he explained why some of the other dealers might have been hesitant.
You see, the dealer has to pay FULL PRICE for the tires up front, the customer pays the discounted price, and then the dealer sends the tires back, and Toyo REFUNDS the dealer with approval of the tires. I guess some dealers have had problems getting the refunds from Toyo, so that's why they were either denying the adjustment or trying to work with an "in-house" discount.
Anyway, my suggestion to anyone seeking to get a discount price on a new set of tires because of poor performance on the A20's.....
1. Contact Toyo
2. Contact the dealer BEFORE GOING THERE and make sure they are completely willing to go through with the process, or don't be bothered
3. Call Toyo after having the tires inspected to verify the dealer is giving you the correct discount
You might be asking, "Is all this effort to get a discount on the tires worth it?" Well, in the end, I received 50% of a new set of H/T's, so I would say YES.
Hope that helps,
#212 of 220 Success story
May 21, 2011 (5:14 pm)
Not only did you get a great price on the HTs, you got a great tire. I've had mine for a year and a half and almost no wear when I check tread depth. Great snow traction, too. A little noisier than the A20s but not objectionable.
#213 of 220 Re: 08 HiHy 19" tires thoughts/questions [mcgusto]
May 22, 2011 (4:50 am)
I just wanted to point out that McGusto's experience also occurs with other tire dealers and other tire brands. Many tire dealers are very willing to SELL you a set of tires, but some are reluctant to do warranty - especially if they didn't sell you the tires to begin with! They just don't see a guy with a tire problem on a new car as a customer.
This is a common problem in the tire industry because there are no dedicated tire dealers. They all sell multiple brands and there are very few dealers who are actualy have close ties to a manufacturer - in spite of the signs on the building! To those folks, it's all about selling tires.
So I advise that people either stick to the large chains such as Discount Tire or Tire Kingdom - OR - cultivate a relationship with a local, independent tire dealer. And by cultivate, I mean go there and get your work done there. Don't shop on price alone - consider it a long term investment in service.
Jun 08, 2011 (9:47 am)
Here is an update. I logged onto Toyo's website, complained about the A20 tires, and in less than 10min, I rec'd a phone call from their customer service, who directed me to a Toyo tire dealer (in my case, this is called Town Fair Tire), who inspected the tire, and called Toyo w/ their findings. toyo then gave me 57% off the price of new Toyo tires, I chose the Versado CUV, and have been very happy with them, probably have 2-3K miles on them so far, great in wet weather, even snow as well. So, considering these tires are about 280 per tire, 57% saved me quite a bit.
I would therefore definitely recommend contacting Toyo, and registering a complaint. It really was easy. good luck
Jul 11, 2011 (8:12 pm)
I am currently tire shopping for my 2010 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LImited. Any suggestions?
#217 of 220 Re: Tire shopping [poodlemom1955]
Jul 12, 2011 (7:02 pm)
Lots of advice on this thread- take a look at the last few pages and you'll get some ideas.
I personally went with Toyo H/T tires and am pleased with them.
I have had Nokian tires on other cars before and would be tempted to go with that brand next time I have to replace my tires.
I would recommend staying with the stock factory tire size, although there are those who will recommend other sizes. Now that there are at least 3 decent choices in the stock size, not much reason to risk using a non-stock size.
#218 of 220 Re: Tire shopping [poodlemom1955]
Jul 21, 2011 (4:55 pm)
Just to underline what #217 said, stick to exactly the same size wheel and same size tire as any difference will throw off the computers and you will have no end of "check engine" lights.
#219 of 220 HH Nokian tires
Apr 30, 2012 (6:38 pm)
Just exchanged my Michelin winter tires for new Nokian WRG2 - true ALL season tires. Driving from Whistler to West Vancouver, my HH seemed lighter-footed and more nimble on the curves and quiet. Kal Tires's sale price was honoured by the Whistler shop - way better than a couple of years ago.
#220 of 220 Re: Highlander hybrid tires. Please help [darlox]
Nov 12, 2012 (6:46 pm)
I just wanted to thank you for this reply. It is very specific and reassuring. I purchased a 2012 Highlander Hybrid in April and have about 5,000 miles on it. The tires are fine at this point but it's early... I live in San Francisco and I head to Tahoe almost every weekend Jan-April. I know the Toyo's are not going to cut it. I had Nokian WRG2's on my 2009 Lexus IS awd before I sold it - those tires were amazing. Never got stuck even once. I've ordered a set of WRG2 SUV's for my Highlander in the 255 55 R19 size. Able Tire and Brake in Novato CA is selling them to me for about $1280 inclusive of tax, mounting, balancing etc. I also purchased a used 255 55 R19 Nokian WR Sport Utility (what the WRG2 used to be called) for $73 on eBay to put on in place of the 245 55 19 full size spare. They say it has 60-70% life left on it.
Question for anyone here - Given that my Highlander only has about 5700 miles on it, should I be getting a 4 wheel alignment or can I forgo that this time? I don't think I 've done anything that would knock the alignment out of place but I also am worried about destroying $1300 worth of perfectly good tires.