2 Brake Noise Issues Fixed; Great & Not-So-Great Dealer Service Experiences

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by stream, May 19, 2012.

  1. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    I had 2 brake related issues. First was a honking noise when pressing/releasing the brake pedal (covered by T-SB-0363-10, attached below). Second was rear brake squeaks, particularly when backing up (T-SB-0102-11, attached below). I had the squeak issue repaired under a previous TSB a few years ago, but the noise came back after a while, and the updated TSB includes replacing the pads and other parts.

    Regarding the dealer service experiences, I first took the car to Advantage Toyota in Lynbrook, NY, and it was--by far--the worst dealer service experience I've ever had. When I called to make an appointment, I asked if they had complimentary loaners and they said they did. After they wrote me up, they said they couldn't give me the loaner until after they confirm it was a warranty covered repair, so I'd have to wait until a tech could get to look at my car and diagnose it, which would take an hour or so. In all my many years of getting loaners for warranty repairs, I've never heard of such a thing, so I asked to speak to the manager, who told me Toyota wouldn't pay him for a loaner unless the car was there more than 8 hours (a new story), and since I surely would get my car back that day, it didn't qualify for a loaner. Late in the afternoon I called to get a status, and was told they didn't have the parts in stock so they needed to keep it another day. I requested a loaner, but they changed their story on that, saying since the car was drivable and it wasn't a safety-related issue, I wasn't eligible for a loaner.

    The next morning I called to get a status and guess what--they said their parts delivery didn't come that day. I also asked to speak to the service manager about the brake honking noise (the previous day they told me my car wasn't covered by the VIN range in the TSB, but after reviewing the TSB that evening, it clearly was). I was told he was busy and would call me back. After hearing nothing an hour and a half later, I decided I'd wasted enough time/energy and decided to pick up the car. To add insult to injury, throughout the ordeal they also had an attitude like they were doing me a favor servicing my car. They lost a potential customer.

    I picked up the car and drove to Millennium Toyota in Hempstead. Great experience. They called yesterday afternoon to let me know they did the ECU reflash to fix the honking issue (I thought my car wasn't covered by the TSB ;)), and since they had to order some parts they needed to keep the car until today. They called this morning to tell me all work completed. No loaner, but they were up front and professional when I asked. What a contrast in customer service.
     

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  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I am in the Networking business, but I remind my folks "No matter what business you are in, you are in the People business."
     
  3. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Toyota isn't Lexus and don't expect the loaner service that you're used to with luxury cars.

    When I took my Lexus in, I could get a loaner and pick up the next day no matter how minor the repair is. With my Prius I know better not to expect that.
     
  4. Big Steve

    Big Steve ramblin wreck

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    Jimbo, all I can sat to thatis AMEN !!
     
  5. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    My point was not related to getting a loaner or not, it was the stark contrast in customer service.

    Having said that, with all of the previous warranty work--and scheduled maintenance that I paid for, like oil/filter service--on the Prius (at 2 different dealers) I got loaners. The first time I had warranty work done, I honestly didn't expect a loaner, but you know the saying...if you don't ask, you don't get. I asked...and got.
     
  6. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Agreed.
     
  7. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    And this service varies widely among different Toyota dealers. Lexus maintains stricter customer service control over their dealers and you could go to any Lexus dealer and expect consistent service.

    One of the better places would be the joint Lexus/Toyota dealership (two dealerships at the same location like Longo Lexus and Longo Toyota). For that to happen, the Toyota dealer is required to provide some of the better services expected of Lexus dealer.
     
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Hey, I've gotten loaner vehicles having my 15 year old Accord serviced at a Honda Dealership. (now departed vehicle)

    Besides the OP asked,-- " I asked if they had complimentary loaners and they said they did. ".

    Toyota, Lexus, Honda....or KIA...if the dealership presents that complimentary loaners are available...they should be available.

    If I called and asked, and they said No...then my expectations would be different.

    I don't care what dealership, they should be honest and upfront about availabilty. Don't just say they are available, if you know they probably aren't, or that there is a flood of contigent possibilities that must be met to meet qualification of getting one.

    Yeah, I'd suspect Lexus dealerships are more customer friendly in this regard. But I think anyone can ask, any dealership, and I'm not lowering my expectations in regards to customer service just because I'm driving a Honda or Toyota and not a Lexus.

    Even though? I'll admit that I often suspected the Honda Dealership provided me with nice newer loaner vehicles, hoping to entice me to buy a nice new Honda.

    Funny thing, is I liked that old Accord so much, That it never worked. I was always happy to turn in the loaner...
     
  9. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Of course they were available, with a boatload of conditions. The problem is "complimentary loaner" at luxury car dealers is quite different from that of economy-midpriced car dealers.

    Just don't expect Lexus-like service at any Toyota dealer, which caters to a very different demographics. This was obvious when my wife and I were checking out the new Prius at Manhattan Beach Toyota (and MB is one of the more wealthy areas around here). That's why I elected to have Longo Toyota deliver my sight unseen Five to my house (without ever stepping a foot at the dealer) and sign the paperwork in the comfort of my home. Great experience by the way.
     
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