Beginning to lose confidence in Toyota

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by triscb, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Let me start by saying, I am a fan of the Prius. I bought my first one new in 2007 and drove it for 80K miles without a problem. It’s versatile, efficient, green, reasonably priced and fun to drive. So when I decided it was time for a new car, I was confident in my decision to purchase another Prius.

    Surprisingly, my new 2010 Prius exhibited problems with the brake system within only 2 weeks of purchase. The brake pedal retracted at variable and often delayed rates, making it difficult to anticipate. Depression and retraction of the brake pedal was also often accompanied by a honking noise.

    The first dealer that serviced the car initially denied being able to duplicate the problem and then took the position that the issue was “normal” and could be duplicated on other vehicles. After three service attempts and no resolution, I requested arbitration with NCDS and Toyota seeking a buyback of the car. I lost that arbitration because the dealer would not admit that there was a problem.

    After arbitration, I took the car to a second dealer. The service manager there finally acknowledged there was a problem, but it took 4 more service attempts to identify and fix it. Toyota ultimately replaced my brake actuator and stroke simulator at a cost to Toyota of $2940.41.

    I again requested that Toyota repurchase my vehicle and in exchange I was willing to purchase another Prius. Despite the 7 service attempts and 48 days the car had been at the dealer, Toyota continues to deny there was a problem and will not honor PA Lemon Law, which requires a buyback when a vehicle has a nonconformity that is not resolved within 3 service attempts or 30 cumulative days being serviced.

    Although I have undeniably met the requirements of the PA Lemon Law, Toyota refuses to offer a remedy and insists on moving forward with discovery, expert vehicle assessment, deposition, and possibly even trial.

    Bummer :-( I just want to be a happy Toyota Prius driver again.

    www.mypriuslemon.com My 2010 Prius Lemon
     
  2. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Triscb, have you checked exactly how the PA lemon law works and what it will take to have Toyota buy the car back? My guess is Toyota feels your case doesn't meet the lemon law standard. In the mid-90's, I had a Mitsubishi Galant bought-back in CA under the lemon law there - the Mitsubishi district service manager suggested it after going through several major parts replacement, even providing me a rental car during the process. The steering developed a shimmy that kept coming back and would progressively get worse over time. After 11,000 miles, numerous changes to tires, wheels, rotors, and eventually the whole steering rack, they asked for the car back. I'm not sure if honking, squeeling brakes qualify if they still work and stop the car as designed - or maybe there's more on your list now?
     
  3. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    There are two parts to the issue. One where the brake makes a honk noise and the other being that the pedal is not properly retracting to the initial position. The noise was to be addressed with software that toyota threw at it during one of the attempts to solve this. The pedal retraction issue still remained. Last time I checked that the PA Lemon Law states that the issue needs to affect the value or saftey. A 2200.00 problem that makes the car stop when you want it to is a saftey issue and without the brakes functioning seems that would affect the value. It seems to me that I would have needed to have caused an accident for anyone to acknowledge the real issue at stake. Would you like to buy my Prius used knowing the problems it has had?
     
  4. slims

    slims New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    That is a shame. How the heck does this part cost $2200, I hope your car was still under warranty. I love my 2010 prius, but this makes me nervous. Its sounds to me like Toyota is playing the dollars cents game with its customers safety. Given Toyota's history with pedals you would think that they would be more responsive.
     
  5. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    If you lost? You lose, if the noose is loose you won't be hung....

    But I'm just a little confused as to your dillema. You present your problem as a defect in the braking system...but then say you are willing to swap vehicles and even upgrade. Well? If you believe the system is defective what difference would swapping the vehicle out make? If you believe it is simply a individual flaw? Then it should be repairable.

    Also you site being "led to believe" that Toyota was going to buy back your vehicle, then you say you would of been happy with a MSRP swap? So I'm unclear as to what your ultimate goal is? Resolution of the "problem" or do you want out of the deal?

    I mean, I simply wish you luck. With $2,200 dollars worth of brake work done thus far, you can't say Toyota isn't trying to resolve your problem, even if it isn't resolved.

    But without more details, hard to offer an opinon. You are still unhappy? Where is Toyota on this? Are they saying the brakes are fine? Is the pedal still not retracting? Seems to me like if it IS still not acting correctly Toyota cannot ignore the problem. Ultimately all mechanical problems should be resolvable, unless there is an underlying defect to the entire system...and if you believe that, it is counter to your desire to simply swap to another one....
     
  6. BlueRibbon8t5

    BlueRibbon8t5 New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Well, it sounds like they've definitely been making attempts to resolve the problem of your noisy pedals. How long has your Prius actually been in the shop total at this point? If it still isn't resolved, I have to think that at some point it can't make sense to keep throwing hours and parts at the problem.
     
  7. stream

    stream Senior Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    I suggest reading the law on the site below, and also the lemon law info in the warranty booklet (there are specific steps you must follow--notification, etc.):
    Pennsylvania Lemon Law Statutes
     
  8. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Basil, I say this issue affects both the value and safety. If someone test drove your car and heard that noise, likely wouldn't buy it. They would want to know about its history. You car now has this service history 'on the books' at Toyota. Any potential buyer would be very curious about that. If not fixed, sure, the car value is dropped down.

    A brake pedal that doesn't return properly? Heck yeah that's a safety issue!!! It's the brake pedal, not something like a rattle in the hatch area.

    Sorry about your hassle. The worst part is at one point Toyota said it is normal. No, it is not. You could post a poll here asking how many have experienced that sound / pedal response. Or not. Would provide more data.

    I hope it gets resolved soon as this is a hassle you or anyone else doesn't need.

     
  9. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Thanks CycleDrum. I have met all the qualifications for Lemon Law. Just the fact that I have to continue driving this car right now after all I have been thru is very stressful.
     
  10. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    I am not looking for a windfall or something I have simply been asking Toyota to do what they are obligated to do under the law.
     
  11. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    The noise after vehicle shutdown is completely normal, mine does it. The barking noise is definitely not normal, and should be repairable. I suspect they simply replaced the wrong part.

    The braking system is slightly unusual (no vacuum pump as a normal system has) it has some other device (boost accumulator or something along those lines) which maybe is what needs replacing. You tried a different dealership? That video alone should be enough for an experienced tech to know what the problem is.
     
  12. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    I hate to speculate, and usually don't...but I really think you could be dead right.

    I'm sure it is frustrating, but I don't know if the problem is simply misdiagnosis by the dealership MORE than a permanent system flaw or something unrepairable.

    And if The Brakes aren't working right, Toyota cannot ignore it.
     
  13. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Thanks everyone! I will continue pursuing.
     
  14. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    If it's not one of the normal noises that the Prius make, then invoke the lemon law and yes, you do have to be the squeaky wheel.
     
  15. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    As a previous (retired) corporate fleet purchasing manager, I had some experience with PA "lemon law" procedures. The PA law works, but you must pursue both Toyota and PA according to their process terms. They will not step up and resolve the issue without your filings, documentation, calls and in some instances, you may need an attorney. You do have recourse in PA and Toyota recognizes it, but you have to follow the filing requirements. Once Toyota and PA accept the case, PA will asign an arbitrator who could eventually rule for you or against.

    I wish you a succesful conclusion if you file.
     
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  16. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Wait a minute .... Have you filed with PA for a Lemon Law claim OR NOT ???

    It doesn't happen by itself, so 'waiting for the Lemon Law to happen' means it WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Toyota will certainly not initiate it.

    Did you file a Lemon Law claim OR NOT ? There is no in between ... you either DID ... or you DIDN'T .... which is it ?

    I believe the PA Lemon Law indicates a safety related defect, more than 3 repair attempts .... OR ... a certain number of days of lost use.

    Make absolutely SURE that you get a SEPERATE REPAIR RECEIPT for each attempted repair, and make sure it's well documented that it is a recurring problem. I got screwed once on a Lemon Law claim because the dealership just kept the original repair order 'open' while I 'tested' their latest guess at repairs. Consequently I never had the 3 'occurrances' that were needed to pursue a Lemon Law claim.

    REV
     
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  17. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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    I really couldn't see the pedal lagging any more than mine does.

    The shut down part sounds just like mine but your does have that barking noise/sounds like plastic striped gears to me.

    I did hear the noise when you hit the pedal, i never noticed anything like that.


    Have you went to another dealership? Most of the time is a crappy dealer that causes a problem not to be fixed. if the guy fixing it can't do it the first time, theres a good chance he wont the next time, ect ect. try a few dealers if you have to.
     
  18. triscb

    triscb New Member

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    Re: Begining to loose confidence in Toyota

    Thank you twittel for your vote of confidence and sharing your experience. I hired counsel prior to going to the NCDS Arbitration. I have learned that the NCDS is a company that Toyota hires on their behalf to arbitrate as a part of Toyota's pre litigation program. At that point Toyota had not taken ownership of the issue. Now that the problem has been acknowledged my claims and trouble with the dealers has been validated. We have already filed suit against Toyota. I am an honest, fair, and reasonable person and I was expecting the same sort of treatment from Toyota but it seems that just because you met the requirements of Lemon Law does not mean you do not have to go thru the discovery, expert vehicle assessment, deposition, and possibly even go to trial to get your situation addressed. I am still a Toyota Prius fanboy and think that the car will be imitated but not duplicated by manufacturers for years to come. It is a little disheartning to have to go thru all of this.
     
  19. Pigs

    Pigs derp

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    sad story, it's just a shame it's gone this far
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it used to be, if the dealer couldn't figure something out, there were regional technical people working for the manufacturer that they could call on. is this no longer the case?
     
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