Dealer Causes Problems....

what_crapwhat_crap Member Posts: 2
The owner of the local Toyota Dealership of Cape Girardeau, MO - namely "Soskin Cape Toyota" - has refused to perform warranty repair on my car with less that 36K miles on it.

Listen to this - according to him a repair service survey that I had filled out for a "different car" is hurting his reputation! Thus he is refusing to work on any of my 3 Toyota cars!

Now is this not unethical, unbelievable, and out right illegal on the part of the dealer?

Now here is the Best part - I called Toyota National Customer Center at 1-800-331-4331 and filed a complaint. The Customer Service person calls me back a day later to tell me that "THE DEALERSHIP CAN REFUSE WARRANTY SERVICE TO ANYBODY THEY CHOOSE TO."


I would like to hear from all of the other people regarding this issue and how can anyone help me! Any legal advice?


  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    But some medical advise. Go to a different dealer and don't look back. Your blood pressure will return to normal on its own.

    What I'd like to know is what you wrote in your survey that pissed 'em off so badly.
  • what_crapwhat_crap Member Posts: 2
    Well, the problem is that there is no other delaer in town. The closest is around 100 miles or so.

    Besides, all I remember of that survey was that I took the middle position : between 1 - 5. Surprisingly I even wrote good things about the new service manager they have recently hired! How does one survey for a car have anything to do with another car.

    I just think that this dealer is afraid to work on any of my cars as they don't have well trained mechanics, nor do they have well trained service managers. The new service manager even acknowledged that the earlier guy had so many complaints!

    But I hope you all realize that today's dealers are more interested in selling the cars, and not in performing service or repairs after the sale.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    "But I hope you all realize that today's dealers are more interested in selling the cars, and not in performing service or repairs after the sale."

    My experience plays out to the contrary. I have both my cars serviced at their respective dealers (Honda and Volvo) and I've gotten excellent service at both. Their staffs are knowledgeable and honest (The Honda dealer, especially.) I wouldn't hesitate to recommend either dealer for service. Now, the Volvo I bought at that dealer, but the Honda I brought with me when I moved here. Still, I've been treated very well at both dealers.
  • bretfrazbretfraz Member Posts: 2,021
    Most every dealer loses money on new car sales. They're happy if they break even.

    Used car sales are more profitable. But the bread and butter profit comes from service and parts sales. That's how the bills get paid.

    I'm willing to bet there are reasons why that particular dealer doesn't want to service your car. The fact that there aren't too many Toyota dealers in your area only adds to their reluctance. Think about it........

    If you honestly think its illegal then hire an attorney and sue the dealer.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    I wonder if there's more to this story than we're being told.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    I would personally write a letter to the President of Toyota Motors in Japan. Back around 8 years ago, I ran across a customer that was treatly poorly by a dealership similar to your case. He finally wrote a letter to the President of Toyota Motors in Japan (had it transalated to Japanese) and received a swift call from the Toyota National headquarters.

    He was treatly like royalty from the dealership each time he came in for service. Sometimes you have to go to the top to get the satisfaction you deserve.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Have you thought about hiring a mediator to keep this situation from escalating, and have you thought about maybe not posting public notices that could get you into trouble? My first "legal advice", which isn't very legal since I'm not a lawyer, is to delete your post for your own protection.

    Quite frankly, while I can certainly understand your upset, if you posted things like that about my dealership, I'd ask you to leave, too.

    Something about this story seems incomplete--was this survey public?
  • gasguzzgasguzz Member Posts: 214
    what warranty work are you referring to?
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    I'm missing something here. The warranty is a legal promise by the manufacturer to correct certain wrongs within a specified time/mileage frame. Assuming these criteria are met, if the manufacturer says a dealer can refuse to perform warranty work, that does not relieve the manufacturer of his responsibility. Accordingly, shouldn't you (or your attorney) simply get instructions from the manufacturer regarding when and where the work will be performed?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    What I'm reading here is not that the dealer specifically refused warranty service, but that the dealer basically kicked the client out of the store. The dealer is a franchisee after all, who has certain rights of whom to serve and not to serve.

    I see your argument, of course, and bottom line you are probably correct that the car itself cannot be barred from service, but I bet the owner can be.
  • silvernubirasilvernubira Member Posts: 59
    The dealer from which I bought my 1998 Camry would not do any warranty work unless Toyota Field Rep saw the problem and authorized them to repair it. Well, almost, once they even refused the warranty work that the Toyota Rep authorized them to perform. The problem was, I could not contact the Field Rep directly and the dealer was supposed tell me when the Rep was visiting the dealer. Then they had a story: the Rep was "promoted" and no one was appointed to his position (a big lie!) and they would call me when a Field Rep was assigned to the dealer.

    I waited for a couple of months and of course no one called. Then I filed for Toyota arbitration and their arbitrator agreed with me and asked Toyota perform the warranty repairs. Toyota totally ignored the arbitrators ruling. Then I filed for this state's arbitration. The result was: my Camry was declared a lemon and Toyota Motor Sales bought it back (GOOD RIDDANCE!) That was my first and LAST Toyota. I found that even though items such as engine and the 5 speed manual transmission were reliable, everything else on the car was low quality, cheap, ugly and tasteless. By the way, four cylinder engine did not have enough power for passing on the highway and the transmission was clunky and notchy and balked frequently.

    Based upon my experience with this particular Toyota, my conlusions are:

    - Toyota cars can be reliable, but they are overpriced and assembled with cheap and tasteless plastics and similar items

    - I dealt with 3 Toyota dealers, the one that sold me the car was definitely the WORST auto dealer I have dealt with over the last thirty plus years and the other two were not any better

    - Toyota could not care less about any particular Toyota owner, if you are not happy and do not plan to buy another Toyota, Toyota knows that there are hundreds of thousands of Americans who will be buying Camrys, Corollas, etc. in the future!!!

    What a shame!
  • pjyoungpjyoung Member Posts: 885
    Judging from your "handle" (what_crap), I kind of have to wonder how YOU treat the dealer. There is an old saying that "you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar". The funny thing is, it works.

    We're only hearing one side of the story. But I would tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the dealer.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    A dealer has a perfect right not to do warranty work unless a factory rep approves it, if the dealer feels he needs this ruling. If a dealer does warranty work that the factory deems unnecessary or not covered, the factory will charge back the dealer full the dealer is stuck for the new engine, whatever.

    Many people don't realize that the dealer and the factory are often adversaries. They are not in bed together. Often it's war between, crudely put, if the factory shafts the dealer, he then passes the shaft to you---unless he wants to be magnanimous and eat the charges to gain your good faith.

    Of course, if you heap abuse on the dealer, he is going to treat just as badly as the factory treats him on a given situation.

    I do agree that there is no excuse for delay or carelessness. Probably, the dealer stalled you because you aggravated him...that is NOT justified, but that's probably what happened.

    I have rarely seen courtesy and patience fail to relieve a situation....sometimes a dealer is just rotten to the core, but most often patience and persistence pays off. Problem is, a person has spent $30K or whatever ona car and doesn't want to be patient or doesn't feel like he has to beg. Okay, I can see that, but sometimes that is what is required in a busy, stressed-out dealership that might not be all that well-run.

    Make no mistake. The car business eats human beings alive, or at least their stomach linings. Everyone is squeezing on everyone else, from the factory on down to the technician on the line. You, as customer, are going to meet up with lots of stress and bad feelings you had nothing to do with initially so it's a good idea to put your best foot forward in dealing in this environment. Don't add to the mess in other words, even if your patience is tested.

    Sure, you scream and sue and battle, and after a bloodbath you get your car bought back. But I'm wondering if there were other ways to get to the solution, ways that didn't leave so much bad feeling in its wake?

    Arbitration is a very good thing, but it needs to come in EARLY enough, before the damage has escalated. Sounds like your case went too far before intervention.
  • hicairahicaira Member Posts: 276
    Why am I always amazed that someone can buy a car that is "overpriced" and full of "cheap and tasteless plastics and similar items" and then act as if it is a hidden defect? It was full of cheap plastic the day you looked at it, the day you test drove it, and the day you bought it. To complain that your car is "cheap, ugly and tasteless" after the fact is absurd. Why the heck did you buy this overpriced, cheap & ugly car in the first place! Since you "found that even though items such as engine and the 5 speed manual transmission were reliable" I can only imagine they took the car back to get rid of you. The "GOOD RIDDANCE!" was probably mutual.

    I hope you are much happier with your high quality, non-plastic, beautiful Daewoo.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Obviously the good riddance was mutual, and I'm sure each had a case against the other.

    You know, HIC, it's more like this I think...people buy a new car, maybe their first ever, and they expect a lot from it. It's an emotionally charged event rather than just a purchase. I think people feel very disappointed, even if perhaps their expectations were unrealistic.
  • hicairahicaira Member Posts: 276
    You may have a point.

    My first car was a 1974 Plymouth Duster. Got it used for $750. Had minor damage on all corners (last driver was an 80 year old guy with cataracts in both eyes), AC did not work, leaked antifreeze, leaked oil and was impossible to keep alligned. 340 V8 got 12 MPG. I spent more time under the hood than in the driver's seat.

    My expectations, from that point forward, have always been rather basic.

    My next car was a Fiat. I was dissapointed that it failed to measure up to the lofty standards set by the Dustpan.

  • silvernubirasilvernubira Member Posts: 59
    It is a slow day at the office today and since hicaira seems to be a curious person, I will answer his "questions."

    I bought the Camry without seeing it, needed a car (manual transmission) in July 1998 and all manual transmission cars (Camrys) were being sold when they were in transit. I have a 1988 Honda Accord, and to me all Japanese cars (especially Hondas and Toyotas were of high quality and had no concerns about quality-was quite naive, I guess). I probably would not care much about the plastics quality if Toyota did the warranty work.

    No, they bought the car back because that was the cheapest way out even though they paid thousands dollars more than the market price (it was a low mileage car). I guess this route was cheaper than repairing the car or fighting me in court.

    Yes, I am (or rather my wife-this is her car) quite happy with Nubira. It is a pretty car (I think it is prettier than Camry). Its plastics do not have defects and irregularities. And we like the free scheduled maintenance. So far only warranty work we needed was to realign the passenger side air bag cover, and I did not need to beg factory rep for this warranty work (!)
    And after I bought Nubira, I concluded that Camry was overpriced because Camry's cost was about 70% higher than Nubira. If it makes you happy, I will call Nubira "underpriced" instead of vice versa.

    I do not know if you compared the interior of your Toyota and a 1998 Camry (Manual transmission=CE),
    but I would guess that the quality deteriorated from 1995 to 1998.

    By the way, the car I drive now is a hellrot E46, I guess you understand what I mean?!

    Before I conclude, a question for Mr. Shiftright: I am just curious, if it is not confidential could you reveal what make cars your dealership sells? Thanks.

    One more thing: I am usually quite busy, and I don't think I will be able to entertain anymore "questions" or comments. Sorry.
  • hicairahicaira Member Posts: 276
    All my questions were rhetorical.....

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,482
    Sorry, silvernubira, for the misunderstanding...I'm not affliliated with any dealership, just a regular guy like you. My expertise is more in appraisal work, so that's how I know the car biz.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    No doubt, profit is in repairs and sales of used cars not sales of new cars. Warranty work is last on a list if you have a full charge paying customer.

    Any kind of new car one expects perfection in assembly, parts fail but failure to assemble properly to me is in excusable. Plus, dealer is to inspect and go over each car prior to release. Recently purchased Buick was inspected prior to my pickup. I found all 4 tires with different pressures, plus spare, missing nut on plastic engine cowling, and at 750 miles the oil pan bolts had to be tightened due to oil leaking out all over. Sure work performed but never should have had to go back for this crap!

    Sure dealer repaired with a smile but to take any car in for service is a major hassle in time etc., arrange for transportation, mayt not be repaired when promised etc. We all have problems, their job is to deal with theirs and satisfy me, not the other way around. Sorry
  • moparmadmoparmad Member Posts: 197
    I think it is impossible for anyone here to pick sides of this battle,as the saying goes..."There's three sides to every story,your side, my side, and the truth".
    I do believe that dealerships actually make out quite well on warranty work,it is what we call in my business T&M(time and materials). The manufacturer pays for the parts and the mechanics time to replace them.
    I don't know if the dealership really treated this individual as badly as is made out, but it does sound like he has a legitimate complaint.
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