Toyota Care sucks!

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by heather somaini, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. heather somaini

    heather somaini Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    76
    20
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I ended up with a flat last night that didn't ACTUALLY start to leak until I literally was in my garage. I first called AAA and then thought "oh, I have Toyota Care Roadside Assistance. They should know how to handle this! They probably have a plan for a flat tire on a car with no spare!".

    What a mis-perception I had. Toyota Care didn't even realize the PIP doesn't come with a spare, they had no solution other than to tow the car, they had no idea where to tow it to, when the dealer destination was presented - they had no idea if the dealer had a night drop, and to top it off, their preferred tow service was going to take a minimum of 90 minutes to arrive and I only found that out after waiting for 45 minutes twiddling my thumbs.

    I ultimately called AAA again, they came out right away, we decided to tow it in the morning to the dealer and they came back at 6:30a to tow it over there. The dealer had it fixed and conducted another service on the car and I had it back in 2 hours. Toyota Care sucks.
     
    JMD and SJ PiP like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,376
    43,240
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    although i haven't experienced it yet, from what i have read in other threads, i couldn't agree more.
    you know what they say, if it's free, that's probably what it's worth. that's why the smart money is on a spare tyre strapped down in the back, as mentioned in several threads here.
     
  3. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    2,593
    760
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    For fear of being found out that they are incompetentor that they don't know, I have discovered that nearly 90% of people will respond in the affirmative and claim that they understand.

    You find out later that the have no clue or understanding.

    I don't have a Plug-in Prius. I have a "v" with a donut. The first thing I did was to get a full sized spare.

    The smartest people are the first ones to say, "I don't know."

    If I was in charge of the Toyota Service program, every service truck would have a donut that would fit the Plug-in Prius.
     
    heather somaini and davekro like this.
  4. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    2,436
    517
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I had a similar experience recently, but didn't find it particularly bad. Wife hit pothole hard enough to blow out the tire, and then drove onto a busy street without a parking lane before she realized what was going on. Since leaving it parked was not an option, I pressed the safety connect button. After a short discussion I said I would need it towed. The nice lady asked if the nearest Toyota dealer would be OK, and I said yes, since I wanted the car inspected for other damage. They probably would have been willing to tow to my preferred dealer, which I wish I had done in hindsight (since I trust their service dept.'s competence and honesty more than most dealers). At the time, I thought the closer the better.

    The tow service took about an hour to get there, which is sort of long for a place like Houston, where tow companies drop like vultures from the sky whenever there's an accident. Safety connect lady didn't seem to know much about how the process would work (e.g., whether the tow truck would let me ride along in the truck). I had to call a taxi to come get my wife and dogs. She asked if I needed anything else, and I suppose she might have done that for me, if I had not had a cell phone. I got a text or email from the tow company shortly after, with the estimated ETA, and then a call from the driver when he was still about 15 minutes away. One glitch was that for some reason the safety connect call kept rolling back to new operators. Apparently I was in a hold que. The last operator took me out of that.

    All in all, this was about what I expected and seems reasonable. It was certainly convenient, even if the tow service was a tad slow. Yes, I might have gotten a truck sooner from AAA or calling someone myself, but it's not surprising they have a preferred network (read cheap prearranged pricing) of tow companies that may or may not be nearby. My operator also did not now about PIPs, but I'm not sure they should have to know such things or how it would have helped. It's also for you to know or decide what you want to do and where you want a car towed. My operator was quick to offer the nearest dealer during our discussions. I do wish they had better information about their tow companies (e.g., ride along policies) and dealers (e.g., whether they have night drop boxes, and open service lots to receive cars at night etc.). It is completely unrealistic to expect tow companies to keep an inventory of donut wheels on every truck.

    And I now have a full size spare tire in the garage. Not going to keep a spare in the car except on long trips outside the city, and maybe not even then, depending on cargo area needs. Still haven't found a local compact spare in salvage yards, so may need to break down and order off of Ebay. Really surprising Toyota parts depts. don't seem to be able to order these.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,376
    43,240
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    gg, you are a very patient person!:) what happened at the dealer?
     
  6. rogerv

    rogerv Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    1,639
    317
    14
    Location:
    Simi Valley, California
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    IMHO, the donut won't save all that much space over a regular tire/wheel. I've had both in my cargo area. Admittedly, my car isn't used for long trips requiring luggage, etc., but rather for grocery hauling and trips to Costco. I'm using a wheel that was damaged in an accident with an OEM tire. I figure that way I won't be limited to speed or distance traveled if I need to use it.
    As for ordering the donut spare from the dealer, tell them you want one for a regular Prius, but be prepared to pay dearly for it. If they don't see one for the PiP on the computer, they think that's the end of it.:confused:
     
  7. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    11,627
    2,521
    8
    Location:
    Southwest Colorado
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    Toyota or otherwise, I avoid insurance in all it's variations if at all possible.
    Come to think of it, it has been rare indeed that I carry insurance other than medical (health) and car (liability).

    FWIW though, My Lexus CTh had to be towed once within the free couple year policy that comes with a new car and it was fine. I'm not positive but I think I called the standard Toyota number.
     
  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    46,051
    32,893
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    FWIW, a 15" Corolla rim (of of around 2007 vintage) will work, if you want a full size spare on utilitarian rim.

    (that's what I'm using with our snow tires)
     
  9. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    2,436
    517
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I've talked about it a bit in some tire threads, but here's the whole story:

    Blown out tire of course needed to be replaced. With only 10,000 miles, I probably could have made do with the 1 tire. However, after a lot of dithering, I ultimately replaced all 4 tires with Michelin Primacy MXV4 from NTB. With these awful Houston streets, I wanted as much cushion as possible. They ride very soft, but with good handling (no wallowing). So far, not seeing any mileage hit, but it's kind of hard to tell with my low miles and lots of EV driving. I didn't trust the rain performance of the Michelin Energy Savers.

    After putting the tires on, dealer claimed it wouldn't align properly, despite everything looking OK in the visual inspection. They then decided a ball joint and lower controller arm would have to be replaced (dang, she hit that pothole hard). Their estimate started at $1,257 and came down to $857 after I got a quote from my normal dealer. Probably should have changed dealers at that point, just to confirm the diagnosis, but it seemed like too much trouble and I had decided I trusted the diagnosis (I'll never know for sure, now).

    To top things off, I told them I wanted to keep the 3 good tires, and they then proceeded to lose them to their tire salvage guy. They then manage to get 2 back, but 1 of them is the blown tire! I got the 1 good tire mounted on a steel rim at Discount Tire, for $55.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    95,376
    43,240
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    thanks. that helps to confirm my belief that a spare is necessary. then, you can just change it out and take the car wherever you want.
     
    retired4999 likes this.
  11. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    2,436
    517
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Agreed.
     
  12. SJ PiP

    SJ PiP Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    190
    35
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    the cargo hit is not too bad with a full size spare strapped in laying flat. i still have more than enough room for groceries, trips to costco, gym bags etc. i can even put small things inside the wheel.

    i'm guessing doing this in a volt/leaf would be a tighter squeeze
     
  13. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    2,593
    760
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    Be patient, and you'll be surprised with what becomes available.

    In February 2012, I purchased my Prus"v."

    I NEVER liked the idea of the donut spare.

    In October 2012, I trolled eBay and found a vendor who offered 16 inch alloy Prius'v" OEM wheels with the wheel cover for $150 plus $25 delivered. I offered him $125 plus the $25 for delivery. He took my offer.

    The wheel had a little dust on it but was near new.

    I had a Michelin tire mounted on the wheel for $160. Later, I sold the wheel cover for a $40 profit.

    So, I have a full sized OEM spare for $270, which is a great deal.
     
  14. ggood

    ggood Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2004
    2,436
    517
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I had pretty much come to the same conclusion re size, which is why I stopped looking very hard for it. And I now remember I did find it at my regular dealer after making them look under model II. If I remember right, it was only something like $110, which is not much more than most of the ones on Ebay.

    Are there tire covers one can buy for full size spare?
     
  15. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    3,779
    1,279
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    My last car had run flats. Great technology but expensive to replace
     
  16. davekro

    davekro Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    478
    65
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, East Bay
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    Mike, Interesting idea. I'd guess that the service vehicles are not Toyota's, just what ever nearest available contracted towing service, Still what if all these contractors, to get the contract with "X" car company, were required to have 2 or 3 donuts or real tires on hand for all of that manufacturers 'No-Spare' models. Maybe they could sell it to the stranded driver, install it and the driver is on his way. No tow to ... wait, where? Their closed. Night drop? How would I know? How does the driver get home? Beyond my pay grade.... Buying a (roadside delivered and installed) donut, even for $200 does not sound so bad now!
     
    Mike500 likes this.
  17. cairo94507

    cairo94507 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    921
    33
    0
    Location:
    San Ramon Valley, CA, USA
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    I think a full-sized spare is a must if you use your car as a commuter - here in the SF Bay Area we have some bad roads and potholes are common. I will buy a spare once the car arrives - I am awaiting a '14 PIP.
     
  18. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    2,593
    760
    0
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    I've NEVER driven a car without a spare.

    The Toyota Care contractors should be required under the terms of their contractual agreement that they care spares for those cars NOT equipped with a spare from the factory.
     
  19. ny_rob

    ny_rob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    1,968
    812
    0
    Location:
    L.I.- NY
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    If you live in an area where dedicated winter tires are required- you already have four good spares on hand at home. That fact and a carry aboard donut from a Corolla should give you a little peace of mind.
     
    drash likes this.
  20. drash

    drash Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    1,675
    739
    0
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Having had my snows with wheels for 9 years, they've proven themselves many times. Always viewed my 4 snows with wheels as not just cheap preventative insurance and peace of mind but as emergency spares. I use the same wheels and tires I originally purchased for my Gen II Prius. And even if you go to another car with a different wheel dimensions, they can be resold rather quickly. I sold the wheels and winter tires we had for the Avalon within 3 days posting on line.
     
Loading...