Disclaimer: Sorry everyone, I will be taking an "outsider's perspective" with this topic.
Generally, people who have no problems, have no reason to complain. ie; you probably will never hear from all the millions of Toyota owners and their comments on the cars they love to drive
If you look at the majority of persons who bring their car to dealerships for repair, you will find that less than 5% are actual enthusiast tuners. The people that know about their car will do their own work - infact, many people enjoy the feeling they get after they have successfully completed a repair to their own vehicles.
Although I could do most of the work on my car myself, I would rather not deal with some upkeep such as oil and other fluid changes and those that I do not have the correct tools to do such as wheel alignments and suspension upgrades. I bring my Celica to a Toyota dealership service department to complete. I could drop the car with my local mechanic, but Toyota Service Departments work on Toyota cars 24/7 and know several details about Toyota cars that the local mechanic could
What are some of the reasons why you (as a tuner/racer) would bring your modified car in for repairs...?
1) Because while you were racing, you miss-shifted the gears?
2) Because while you were installing something; you crossed wires, shorting the system?
3) Because you broke something and need diagnostics done since you dont have your own tools to fix it?
...Because you are worried about warranty issues?
You may not find this strange, but most people who have problems with their Toyota blame DEALERSHIPS for those problems... These are the same persons who like to put high demands on the engine, such as rapid start/stop and shifting too quickly (i.e.; racing/racers)?
Along with the rest of the world, I think Toyota built a solid car - if you treat it like how Toyota recommends you treat it in the included owner's manual - your car can get to 100k miles... 150k miles, 200k miles...etc. As of this article's date, October 2003; my business associate has just about 100k miles on his '00 Celica and no real problems. Im at 50k miles and my transmission is acting up, but i treat it like shit... heck, I've killed the transmission on 3 other cars (Ford, Pontiac, Mitsubishi), this just tells you that its me with the problem - not the car
For the most part, Toyota has built a solid vehicle - I've done many modifications to the Celica and during each, I am impressed with the detail I find that Toyota has put into the construction of every part
Back to my point though - The technicians at Toyota deal with similar problems 99% of the time. When the other 1% comes in, they usually dont have an exact procedure to dealing with it, so they do what they think is best by use of trial & error OR in the rare circumstance, they may tell you that they cannot help - and this is why we've put together this listing of help resources for you WHAT YOU CAN DO Learning of Other Complaints
: For $20-40, you can get a computer printout of complaints &/or service bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Include make, model & year as the more specific the request, the less expensive the printout. Write Technical Reference Division, NHTSA, 400 7th St SW, Washington DC 20590 & allow 3 weeks for delivery. To access complaint summaries for particular makes, models & years, visit NHTSA's Internet website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov
. Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs):
Toyota publishes TSBs to help dealers diagnose & repair problems on vehicles. Some dealers will let you view TSBs. You can access TSB summaries via NHTSA's Website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov
. NHTSA's Technical Information Services, 202-366-2768, can also send a particular TSB once you identify it from NHTSA's Website or its computer printout. ALLDATA provides free access to TSB summaries & sells copies of TSBs listed on its Website. You can also buy them from HELM, Inc. Call 800-782-4356 for ordering information. For your use, we have listed some of the more comprehensive TSBs on your vehicle. Check the above sources for other TSBs. Recalls & Investigations:
Call NHTSA's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-DASH-2-DOT (in Washington DC 202-366-0123) or visit NHTSA's website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Small Claims Court
: Go to small claims
for advice on using small claims court to recover repair & other expenses. The Lemon Book
(Moyer-Bell 1990) by Ralph Nader has an entire chapter on small claims court strategy, a state-by-state index & a chapter on your legal rights to help you better argue your case in court. You can order the book for $17.50 from CAS Publications
. Lemon Lawsuits
: If you have to sue Toyota over a lemon, go to CAS-Lawyers
for a list of attorneys specializing in lemon law. Complaint to Toyota
: Write Yoshimi Inaba, President, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, 1901 S. Western Avenue, Torrence CA 90509 or call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus at 1-800-872-5398. Using Better Business Bureau Arbitration
: Toyota uses BBB to arbitrate original owners' requests for repair reimbursement, an order that Toyota "buy-back" your car, or both. Program is not legally binding on consumer, so you may reject bad decision & go to court. Call 800-955-5100 for BBB program nearest to you. The Lemon Book
has a chapter to guide you through BBB Arbitration and can help get "buy-backs" & reimbursements. The Lemon Book
is available from CAS for $17.50 from CAS Publications
. Secret Warranty Disclosure Laws
: Four states (CA, CT, VA & WI) have laws requiring automakers to disclose any secret warranties on their cars. Contact your state attorney general for information or to support such laws. Little Secrets of the Auto Industry
(Moyer-Bell 1994) by CAS is devoted to secret warranties, how to find them & use them. Little Secrets
is available for $17.50 from CAS Publications
. Supporting Toyota Recall Efforts
: Help us force the government to protect consumers by writing your Senators and Representative in Congress, urging them to contact NHTSA & the Federal Trade Commission on your defects in your Toyota vehicle. Your local library has names of your representatives; write them c/o US Senate (or House), Washington DC 20510 (or 20515). Find and/or e-mail them at www.house.gov/writerep/
. Support CAS' Efforts
: File a complaint with CAS
which will be used to pressure Toyota to take responsibility for defects in its vehicles. Become a CAS member
by making a tax-deductible
contribution to help us in our fight on your behalf against Toyota and the other auto giants.