1. southjerseycraig

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    I had a very disturbing experience at my Toyota dealer's service department, and I'd like feedback on what happened.

    As I started to back my 2010 prius out of my driveway, I heard a very odd sound. It sounded almost as though there was something caught in the car. I started to drive, and the noise did not go away. So I turned myself around and went to my Toyota dealer -- never mind which dealer this was.

    I explained to the girl (yes, she was that young) who greeted me that I was hearing a funny sound and that I felt I was dragging something. She said, "yes, I can see something hanging off the bottom of your car." The service advisor agreed, although it took a little prompting to get him to look where she had looked. I didn't have an appointment, and so I felt happy that I'd get service.

    The service advisor looked up my car and said, "there is a recall on your car dealing with the brake system." I said to him, "I've never received a recall notice." He said it was very important that I have the matter looked into right away. "Your car is not safe to drive!," he said. I said, "but I brought the car in 2000 miles ago, and while the recall was mentioned, no one thought it was important for me to do anything about it.

    Four hours later, the service advisor told me that the brake assembly had to be replaced so that the car would be safe to drive, and finally at 4 p.m., I got my car. (The service advisor couldn't even accurately tell me which lot my car was in, but I digress.) He explained that part of the plasticine liner underneath the car and had broken off; that the portion could not be re-attached, and that there was no need to spend money replacing the liner. That was nice, but I had the feeling that the shop had taken seven hours for a repair that should have taken ten minutes. And it surprised me that it took so long for the shop to figure out how to do a repair called for by a recall. If I were running a car manufacturer, I would make damn sure to give the dealers a standardized and simle way of solving the problem.

    When I got home, I looked up the recall on google. It turns out that there was a recall in early June on some Priuses built in early to mid 2009 (my car was sold to me in August, 2010). But it was not any kind of emergency. Rather, some owners had found that the amount of effort needed to brake the car had increased. The brake booster was not working right, it seemed. But the release went on to say that there had been *no* accidents or injuries due to this problem.

    I also couldn't help but notice that the repair had done nothing to change the feel of the brake pedal.

    All this makes me think that either Toyota or the dealer made a mistake in classifying my car. I mean, if I really needed a recall, I would have heard, right?

    Am I being cranky, or did something odd happen to me? It is hard for me to accept the idea of going back to a dealer who furnishes "service" like this, particularly when the car is out of warranty for everything but the hybrid parts.

    Your comments would be welcome.
     
  2. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    The VIN # would have made your vehicle eligible for the recall and apparently it did. Do you have a Toyota Owners (toyotaowners.com) account? It tells you on there if your car is "in" or not.

    The under-cover was also part of a TSB and should have been installed for free.
     
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  3. southjerseycraig

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    Thanks, Spiderman. But if my car was part of the recall, wouldn't Toyota have notified me? I do get some various ads from Toyota dealerships, but I certainly have never gotten anything that looked like a recall.

    The undercover was part of a TSB? Is a TSB a recall? Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Recall means you get notified, tsb is no notification. It stands for technical service bulletin.

    Recalls are done for safety issues.

    A TSB are instructions for Toyota Techs that explain how to fix/repair components on vehicles. Under warranty, a TSB repair is done for free. If out of warranty you're paying for it like any other service. The dealer is not required to do the repairs on a tsb, unless one complains that is.
     
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  5. southjerseycraig

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    I wonder what that TSB said. When I came in, the service advisor said I must have hit something. But, I told him, "I never heard a hint of this until I started to back out my car this morning." But it seems strange to me that a part of the undercover would just come off. Maybe these cars aren't as well-built as the Toyota name would indicate?

    Does a TSB mean that the work must be done for free, or is it just a way of letting the dealers know that "cars are going to come in with X problem?"


    Would be curious to hear more responses to my saga.
     
  6. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    This tsb may be the one Spider-Man was referring to, well here's a thread about it: TSB for oil change door | PriusChat

    The recall on the brakes, as long as this is the one they were referring to, was nothing more than a reprogramming thing, they hook up to a computer. It addressed shortening the time between switchover from regenerative brakes to friction brakes. Not really a huge thing IMO but I'd have it done if its still under warranty and covered. I forget but I 'think' my dad and I did get notices when we owned early 2010s concerning it. They did this 'fix' not too long after the 2010s came out in May/June 2009, several months after release.

    Here's a post concerning it: Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall on 2010 MY Prius | PriusChat

    Now, if there was another brake recall on 2010s that involved replacing an actual component, I was not aware of it. Hopefully someone who owned a 2010 longer than me may know if another recall was in fact issued.
     
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  7. southjerseycraig

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    I am past 36,000 miles, so I guess that's why the item was not covered by warranty.

    I do remember the 2010 brake recall notice, and had the repair done. A lot of people here thought that drivers were being hypersensitive, but the car's braking did feel better after the repair. But this is an entirely different recall that came out, I think, on June 5, 2013. As I tried to say above, it has to do with nitrogen getting into the brake fluid, with consequent degradation of the brake booster.
     
  8. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Yes, you are right, there was another recall that I wasn't aware of. Here is the info on it for others who may want to see it:2010 Toyota Prius Recalls

    I think one has 8 years from the original sale date of a vehicle to have recall work done free of charge.

    Definitely, IMO, you should have gotten a notification about this or been notified by the dealership if you were in after it was issued especially being the original owner of the vehicle. I mean, your info should be on file with them w/o a doubt.
     
  9. kgall

    kgall Active Member

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    craig,

    As I understand it, the plastic liner underneath the car is part of the aerodynamics of the Prius. I think it is supposed to reduce air turbulence down there and in the engine compartment. I have never heard exactly how much it is supposed to contribute to gas mileage. Someone else on this list probably knows more about this than I do.

    I do seem to recall at least one other thread where someone wondered whether to replace the part after it broke, and I remember at least one response that said not to bother, but I don't remember what the final consensus, if any, of the gang was.

    If you can convince them to replace it for free under the TSB, I'd say have one put back on.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you need a new dealer, these guys don't sound too swift.
     
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  11. Feri

    Feri Active Member

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    I've found that the under cover shrouding gives .2 to .5 L/100 Kms difference.
     
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  12. southjerseycraig

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    Bisco, the place is generally good, but I did have a problem with them when I had a Camry -- they recommended a $500 repair for a transmission fluid leak that didn't exist.

    Do you think it is important that I have a dealer do the maintenance? If I do, how do I avoid voiding the warranty on the hybrid parts?
     
  13. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    The latest recall for the Brake Booster Pump is very new and I have not received a notification letter yet. It was supposed to have been sent out by the end of July but there are a few on here that have just received their letter. The dealer should be able to perform this recall now if your VIN is included in the recall time frame.

    As for doing maintenance yourself, you can do this but just need to keep your records so that you can show that the maintenance was performed. It does not have to be done by a Toyota dealership to maintain warranty.
     
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  14. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    It's not the one in Runnemede, isn't it? Anyway, if you had a prior issue with them recommending service for something that didn't exist, that would have been enough for me to leave right then.

    You are free to choose any reputable shop to do the maintenance. It won't void the warranty. I did some of the maintenance on my 2010 before I traded it as do a lot of people here. I wouldn't recommend taking it to Joe Schmo down the street working out of his back yard, though lol.
     
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  15. southjerseycraig

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    Thanks for the info about keeping records. I seem to remember there is some kind of maintenance book in the glove compartment to keep track, but maybe I'm wrong.

    The recall was issued at the beginning of June, and it's now mid-August. I always assumed that manufacturers, and Toyota in particular, were quick to notify vehicle owners. Is there some kind of way I can register on-line to assure that I get an electronic notification?
     
  16. southjerseycraig

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    No, it's not the one in Runnemeded. It's the one in Mount Laurel that used to be in Cherry Hill. I have always liked doing business with this dealer, but, as I wrote, I have a past issue with them. I stayed with them for the Prius because I didn't want to risk the warranty. But now I wonder.

    I do know a good shop, but I don't know how much work they've done on Priuses, and that makes me hesitate about using them. I would think it would take some experience to adjust to a hybrid -- am I wrong?
     
  17. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    For the routine maintenance, not really. Brake related items (I think I recall that fluid changes, bleeding the lines, etc need techstream), but unless they were working on the battery or transmission, I'd say generally it's pretty similar. It doesn't hurt to ask them about working on the Prius, though. If it's a good shop and you trust them, they should be honest with you about it. But, oil changes, tire rotations, etc, they should not have a problem.
     
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  18. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    Go to ToyotaOwners.com and enter the VIN. This will tell you if your vehicle build date is included inthe recall. If it is then you can create an account.

    You could also call your dealer and give them your VIN and they could tell you whether your vehicle is included in the recall. Of course, your dealer should have known that your car was included in this recall while you were there.

    Toyota stated on their website that they would be contacting owners based on their database by the end of July. Some people on here have just begun receiving their letters. Their website said that the recall included vehicles with build dates through early October 2009. Since you bought your car in August 2010 I would think your car is outside of this recall time frame. This problem must have been found and corrected by mid-October 2009.

    You do not need the letter in order to have the recall work completed. I went by my dealer to get some parts and they were ready to schedule me for the recall work just based on my VIN.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if i have a warranty issue, it goes to the dealer. routine maintenance goes down the street to my local mechanic. he can overfill the oil as well as the dealer can.:p i have never had any work done beyond that so i can't advise. as far as negating the warranty, there are many threads here on the subject. i don't think not using a dealer is a problem, but i'll leave that to the experts. if it's hybrid related, i would probably go to a dealer, but many items can be handled by a regular shoppe. staying in touch here can be helpful to recognize between the two.
     
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  20. kgall

    kgall Active Member

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    Wow, that's more than I would have thought. My back of the envelope calculation says that's about 4% to 10% difference in mileage, or about 2 to 5 mpg.
     
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