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Toyota Engine Sludge Problem



  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Again, this is from the CA BBB office:

    "Based on BBB complaint files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to one or more unanswered and/or two or more otherwise unresolved complaints.

    The following data concerns complaints processed by the BBB since the firm's file was opened or over the last 36 months, whichever is less. Ford Motor Co has had 7 complaints. 1 was closed as Resolved. 2 were closed as Assumed Resolved. 1 was closed as Reasonably Explained to the Bureau's Satisfaction.3 were closed as No Response. "

    Just for the heck of it, here is what the same office has to say about Nissan:

    "Complainants generally allege vehicles purchased are manufacturer defective. Some customers complain of reoccuring mechanical or non-mechanical problems. Other customers allege delays with warranty claims for repairs, or parts replacements. A few customers complain the company fails to issue reimbursements on cancelled warranties or improper repairs. The company has responded to all complaints by explaining warranty coverage, providing warranty repairs, investigating claims, or issuing refunds. A few complaints remain disputed. Customers were not satisfied with the company's responses. This company is a member of the Better Business Bureau and has agreed to Bureau membership standards, which include a commitment to ethical business practices. We do not endorse, recommend or disapprove of any company, product or service. "

    And finally, here is Honda, although they are listed twice by the CA office and one is favorable, but the other duplicates Toyota:

    "Based on our standards, we rate this company as having an unsatisfactory business record. An unsatisfactory rating is given when a pattern in the company's customer complaints causes us concern, when the company does not respond to complaints, or when it will not substantiate its advertising claims. In this case, althought the company has responded to most customer complaints brought to its attention by the Bureau, one remains unanswered and others remain unresolved because it appears that the company did not give adequate consideration to the customer's side of the dispute. A Better Business Bureau report is based on our file information and experience with an individual company over the past three years. The Bureau does not endorse, recommend, or disapprove of any company, product or service."
  • jimmuh1jimmuh1 Posts: 72
    When I filed my complaint by using the BBB's on-line reporting procedure, the Southland office is the ones who handled it. I did not choose where it was filed...the BBB did. (Assumption mine.)

    And when I called the SPA Hotline, they couldn't help me because I had filed a complaint with the BBB and my case was being handled by the "The Office Of The President Of Toyota Motor Sales, USA", in Torrance, CA.

    So what is the Cincinatti office then? I know other folks have used them for resolution but it's unclear to a casual obvserver what they are.

  • duckshooterduckshooter Posts: 156
    My personal buying and service experience is based on 8 different Toyota dealerships all over the country (OH, AL, TN, KS, CA, and DC). And I've had the pleasure of dealing with non-Toyota dealers as well (Dodge and Honda). To me, Toyota dealers and service departments have been, on average, somewhat better than non-Toyota. On the whole, my experiences have been very positive. I also frequented one dealer in Mainz, Germany who was very helpful despite the language differences.

    My last truck was a 90 4Runner with the 3VZE engine. After returning from Germany, the vehicle's air didn't blow cold anymore. I took it to a dealer, who replaced the evaporator core (?) and recharged the whole system for free (the vehicle was 7 years old, had 75K miles and it was covered under a recall). At 91K miles (9 years old) they replaced the head gasket, also under a recall repair -- I got a loner car for two days on that one. Also, in both cases, I didn't know about the recall (moving a lot makes this axiomatic). But when I went in for a service, the service manager asked me (proactively) if I'd had the work done.

    Again, this has not been one dealer - but a fairly consistent pattern. This is not to say there aren't some bad apples out there, I'm sure there are. But suggesting that Toyota is somehow worse than others, to me, is a gross mischaracterization.

  • jimmuh1jimmuh1 Posts: 72
    cliffy: That same office gave GM, Chrysler, and Isuzu satisfactory ratings. In fact, Isuzu has a clear record. Maybe we should all buy a Isuzu?

    It's apples and oranges. My point here is that we could go back and forth all day with BBB comments on the various automakers but it will serve no good, as it is not relevant. Most of us here are concerned with Toyotas and I believe it is relevant to the conversation.

  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Which is why I didn't bring the BBB up. Others here seemed to think it demonstrated a pattern, but according to the BBB, it is a common pattern with many makers who have offices in Southern California.
  • jimmuh1jimmuh1 Posts: 72
    Understood. I think the term 'pattern' was from the report.

    I want you to understand this, though. All across the country many owners were told the exact same story regarding their vehicles.

    Don't take offense to any of this...I realize that you work for a dealer but to be honest, the policy didn't originate with the dealerships. In fact, many dealers are quite honest. I know my experiences with GM dealers in the past have been pretty reliable. But I've only had one bad experience and that's with Toyota.

    I don't believe that in my case, the vehicle was diagnosed as it should have been...if so, I wouldn't be needing a second diagnosis. Why did I have to fight for five months to get even this?

    You have to admit there is more to this than ANY of us here know.

  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    Yes, it was the BBB report that used the word "pattern".

    The BBB report on Toyota says "Based on our standards, we rate this company as having an unsatisfactory business performance record. Complaints contain a PATTERN of allegations concerning warranty and repair issues. ..."
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    ...which is exactly what they said about Ford, Honda and Nissan as well. You're off topic.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    It was CBS who included the BBB quotes in their article on the sludge issue. I would have to agree with CBS that this info is on topic.

    When the BBB says Toyota's "Complaints contain a pattern of allegations concerning warranty and repair issues" and then you read on here how Toyota has treated their customers regarding this sludge issue, I would have to come down on the side of the BBB.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Then CBS didn't do due diligence in their reporting (what a surprise) to see that this is not uncommon among certain industries.

    I'm not a Toyata groupie, but at least be balanced in your posts.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    I think CBS did do a balanced report, I base this on the fact that The BBB did NOT say that Honda's "Complaints contain a pattern of allegations concerning warranty and repair issues" like the BBB did say about Toyota.

    Isn't that the issue here "a pattern of allegations concerning warranty and repair issues"?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I must have missed the word "Sludge" in the BBB report.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    Cliffy, I assume you must have been in error when you stated in post 3937 that the BBB gave Nissan an "unsatisfactory business record" rating, because the BBB did not.

    I repeat, Nissan did NOT get an unsatisfactory business record rating from the BBB like they gave Toyota.

    Also, Ford's District Office for California received a "satisfactory rating" from the BBB, here is what the BBB said "Based on our standards, we rate this company as having a satisfactory business record."
  • ramblinonramblinon Posts: 80
    I didn't start with macabee (nice to know you and Cliffy and macabee are all good friends). Read his entire post. After I responded to him I guess he actually went out and counted the service writer positions and corrected his FOUR to FIVE. My appointment was specifically for a check for Sludge. The appointment calendar stated something, and I am not quoting here, such as Wants Engine Checked. No regular form was created. I was informed that only cars using large amounts of oil and showing oil usage from the exhaust, i.e., you have to be able to see it, are covered by the program.
    A form that was hand written stating customer in per letter from Company. I never received a copy of this. I was told that it would be a good idea to have my oil changed right then (with 2500 miles on their oil change) and then keep an eye on it. My only paper work was a receipt of the Express Oil service. And I stated in my original post I never stated that I had received a letter as I had not and still have not.

    You should reread machabees post to me. It was very clearly a refuting of my post which was as true and correct as I could make it. That sir is the stating that I did not tell the truth. I call that being called a liar.

    machabee also followed up by stateing that by my description he knew who the very poorly mannered service writer was...but the women love him. Imagine, admitting that yes we have front line employees that treat our customers like crap.
    Again, not quoting mackabee as I don't care to reread his postings but knowing such an employee exists and condoning his actions is quite remarkable.

    Bentwoodvolvo I really don't care if you check all the Toyota vehicles or not. Why should I care. It's seems impossible to get a Toyota Dealer to even look at the crap brunt on the shelve under the oil cap.

    Also, regardless of how "you" feel, "I" don't feel good being refuted by a dealership empolyee and I guess the important thing is that "I" can choose to not ever buy another vehicle from them. I am also free to relate my experiences to my friends and it will make for good fodder at parties and such.
  • webguysterwebguyster Posts: 434
    BBB Reliability Report

    Toyota Financial Services
    5005 N River Blvd NE
    Cedar Rapids, IA 52411

    General Information

    Customer Experience

    Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaint(s). The company has resolved most complaint(s) presented by the Bureau; however, the Bureau did not receive a response to other complaint(s).

    to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information contained herein is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy. Reports are subject to change at any time.

    P.S. Cliffy1, do you know if I can extend my 6(?) year 75,000 mile Extra Care without cancelling, pro-rating, and buying the longer 7 year 100,000 mile Extra Care? My dealers finance guy is too busy.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    No, I was not wrong. I posted a complete cut and paste from the BBB web site. Edmunds software will not allow links in excess of 115 characters, but if you go to, click on company search, look for "Nissan Motor" and specify CA as the state and you will find the link. Further, you misquoted me because I never said they gave Nissan an unsatisfactory rating. They give no rating but you can read the statement for yourself and decide what the CA BBB office thinks of Nissan.

    Perhaps the BBB has a policy against giving actual poor ratings to BBB members. According to their site, Nissan is a member. Toyota is not.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I believe it is possible to extend an Extra Care warranty. I have never done it myself, but have heard of it being done. If a customer came to me asking to extend one I had sold, I would have to call my regional TMIS office for instructions.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Ummm... guys? Can't we all just get along? Honestly, I have read both your posts and can't quite figure out how each of you got offended by the other in the first place. I think perhaps both of you should go back and read the other's post, but this time, read it with a smile on your face. I think you'll find that neither one of you intended to start a war of words.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I think mentioning the name of the dealership was a low blow too.

    Getting a bit personal on a public forum, wouldn't you say?

    And...Mackabee is a friend of mine too. I've never known him to incite trouble in these forums either.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    I beg to differ,

    here is what I said in post 3936 titled

    "The BBB report on Toyota says "Based on our standards, we rate this company as having an unsatisfactory business performance record. Complaints contain a PATTERN of allegations concerning warranty and repair issues. ..."

    Here is your response in the following post:

    Cliffy: "...which is exactly what they said about Ford, Honda and Nissan as well. You're off topic."

    As you now know, that is clearly not what the BBB said about those companies.

    How can you possibly say that the BBB said exactly the same thing about Nissan when Nissan did NOT get an unsatisfactory Business Performance Rating. ????

    Let the record be clear, the BBB gives Toyota an unsatisfactory business rating but NOT Nissan nor a lot of other car companies as previously posted.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    So as to not muddy this topic further, why don't you send me an e-mail and we can discuss this off-line. I actually can tell you something in private about this that I can't post publicly. My e-mail address is in my profile.
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    With all due respect, I prefer to get my information from 'independent' sources such as the BBB, Automotive News, and owners who are affected by the problem.

    Also, I'm concerned about several postings that I've read that indicate that the Toyota reps and mechanics know a lot more than they are allowed to say. If the information can't be shared publicly, then it probably isn't worth knowing.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Posts: 4,883
    I dont think he called you a liar. I think you are taking this far too literally.

    Should Mack then, by your logic, be equally as upset with you for calling him a liar? I don't think so.

    Should any objective person take one person's opinions and/or observations as gospel? I sure as heck do not.

    So, we're upset about some gunk under an oil filler cap? Well, I think I have noticed that, which is carbon build-up, on just about every medium to high-mile engine I have ever seen.

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    Good luck with this...looks like you need it. IMHO, time is better served elsewhere....
  • ramblinonramblinon Posts: 80
    you need to reread my postings prior to the mackabee post. My comments were all most favorable concerning the Checkered Flag Dealership. Did you miss that. Are you also in the forest and can't see the trees?

    I also stated that I've bought vehicles since the 70's from Checkered Flag when I purchased a TR6. There has been many many many cars, suvs and a truck since then from their many dealerships. There have also been new vehicles from other dealerships e.g. two corvettes; two Acura Legend LS Coupes; a Cadilac; a Jeep Cherokee; a Honda Civic; a Chevy C20.

    Current vehicles purchased from Checkered Flag are the 99 Solara SLE; 01 Isuzu Trooper Limited and had planned to test drive a Honda S2000. By most business yardsticks a fair customer. There are certainly other Honda Dealerships in the area to kick a tire.

    I'm not an unknowing consumer. I attempt to make educated purchases.....even with the Consumer Reports trashing of the Trooper, I could not find one instance of one rolling over. What I found was a very tight group of Trooper owners who take pride in the soundness of the SUV. '02 is the last model of the Trooper and I am encouraging one of my sons to buy one now. The darn things just don't break.....JD Powers thinks the same way.

    Yes indeed. Words do mean something.

    I don't plan on discussing mackabee any further.
    I don't think I have Sludge but I don't know.
    I probably will buy a S2000 because I simply want one and have enjoyed what I've read about them.
    I will keep the Solara for awhile the wife loves it.
    I will shop elsewhere. Customers can do that. Check with K-Mart.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    that screwed a customer over is a bad thing and if it has been done, we as consumers have a duty to warn others out there. There are plenty of dealers in the market place to shop from and one that treats one customer or many customers badly, is one to many in my opinion. I have let many of my customers know about a local dealership that handled our wrecked Camry and fixed it for us. Took 51 days with the car being refused back by us 2 times before they made it right.
    You best believed I let as many of my older customers know about this as I could and I know I kept a few away. Why would I let my customers, or anyone I knew, go to dealership that was truly awful? Makes no sense to me.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    To me, using a public forum to badmouth a dealership or other business is in bad taste.

    Kind of like writing something about someone on a bathroom wall.

    Maybe the complaint is totally with merit and maybe not. The business in question has no way to defend itself or tell the other side of the story.

    In a face to face conversation it's a different story. The person hearing the complaint can ask questions and make a determination for themselves as to who was right. Much easier than to read words posted here.

    Heck, if I have a bad experience with a business or restaurant I'll give my opinion if asked.

    I just won't do it here.

    ramblinon...I may have misread your comments. Sorry if I missed anything.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    As we read postings that warn us to stay away from ABC Motors, we have no way to know if they were written by a competitor or disgruntled ex-employee. I'm sure this happens too.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    this is the perfect forum to do it. It's like the shows with the hidden cameras, you never know who you're dealing with so every business should treat any customer the way they would treat their mother or grandmother. Businesses are there to make money and by giving the best service they can, they will achieve their goal.
    Toyota should think about this. Think of all the goodwill they lost out on by not taking care of this problem a lot earlier. After hearing about say 10 cases of this "sludge", they should've just taken care of it. Imagine all the goodwill they could've gotten from this. It would've been priceless in the long run!
    Just some food for thought by a loyal Toyota customer who was screwed with this "sludge" problem but wanted the problem gone asap!
  • pjksrpjksr Posts: 111
    No new info on what the oil gel situation...

    And, with millions of letters in the mail/delivered, no new posts of sludge.

    Statistically, I'm starting to feel better.
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