Toyota Dealers are Killing the Golden Goose

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by whatshisname, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. kohnen

    kohnen Grumpy, Cranky Senior Member

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    Yup yup! AND, if you made the mistake of forgetting to put the insulating cover over the positive terminal, all it took was some person to sit down "just right" to cause the metal spring of the seat to short to it. The padding of the seats looked like some sort of straw, and it sure burned like it.

    Don't ask me how I know. ;)
     
  2. Ryanpl

    Ryanpl Active Member

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    Kohnen, Hopefully your were the driver and not the "power butt-on"
     
  3. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Right, that was 50 years ago. 50 years ago they thought lead paint was safe, that asbestos was safe. The Beetle didn't have a fuel gauge...so the Prius shouldn't need one either? No airbags or shoulder seat belts...all of these things are "over-engineered"?

    The issue is not sudden death, but inhaling chemical fumes is just plan not good for your health. Something out there called lung cancer...something they don't know how to control and don't 100% understand what causes it. Do you want to inhale toxic gas, or even chance inhaling toxic gas to save $40?

    Ever heard of someone dying of lung cancer? Maybe it was because they had a 1960 VW Beetle and inhaled battery fumes. Who knows?

    Good friend of mine died of Mesothelioma. Heard of that? Virulent lung cancer due to asbestos exposure. When was she exposed to asbestos? They have no idea...she was 63. Somewhere in her 63 years she was exposed to it somewhere probably.

    Current draw has nothing to do with it, the battery is full of sulfuric acid. Hooked up or even unhooked...offgassing is the same.

    A Prius is also a lot better sealed than an old leaky VW Beetle too, making fumes in the passenger compartment much more dangerous.

    Is it likely going to be fine if you put an unvented lead acid battery in the Prius? Yes. Again though, its you, your family, and your children riding in this car. Is it worth the chance that you are all inhaling fumes that could one day contribute to lung cancer, or that you could be sprayed with flesh consuming acid in the event of an accident to save $40?

    $40.
     
  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I don't think it's fair to say it's "Toyota" that's killing the golden goose, as a Non-Prius owner of a new Honda Fit? I've had similar experience with the local honda Dealership.

    I'd think if a brand, like Toyota, Honda or anyone, wants to distinguish themselves and really make an impact they should work on raising the standards of how their dealerships behave.

    I bought my new car feeling good about getting the basic warranty. But have found just like many that the attitude of the dealership is...if it isn't on fire...nothing is wrong. If something is wrong...it's your fault.

    Really makes me think next time I purchase I'll just go with a well checked out, newer "used" car, because the manufacturer warranty as supported by crappy dealerships is hardly worth having.

    And yes, the cost of replacement parts, accessories and vehicle service is ridiculous. It doesn't matter if it's Prius or a Hybrid or just a regular ICE car. Honda seems to implant little "tricks" making it more problematic to use non-dealership parts or service. Such as a very unique battery size (for The Fit) and a weird nice person connector....

    Seems like there is a conspiracy within the automotive manufacturing world to make it as difficult as possible to take your vehicle to a generic mechanic or shop. Which at least strategically I can understand, but couple this with declining levels of compentency at most dealerships and increasing the cost of service...and that's a real losing formula.

    But if it makes you feel any better, I think that's just the way things are going, and it's not just Toyota and Prius...it's all new cars, all brands...
     
  5. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    So profit margins are thin, then dealers need to be smart about it. Don't overfill the oil, don't charge for nitrogen in tires when the atmosphere is 79% nitrogen, know that the Prius has a blue tooth fob and no keys, know how to read the odometer, return the vehicle cleaned after servicing, check tire pressure to a customer's satisfaction (not what it says in the manual), know how to install an engine block heater and more. Make conditions attractive so the customer will want to come back.
     
  6. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    You were spot on except for that.You were right about the battery gas hazard, but for the wrong reason:D.

    An old VW Beatle was better sealed than a Prius. If you didn't crack a window it was significantly harder to shut the door on an old VW bug. The old Bug being better sealed wouldn't get rid of battery gases in the passenger compartment as fast as a Prius would.



    The video is no exaggeration, the old bugs floated nicely.
     
  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I loved those original VW bugs. When I was a kid I had a favorite Aunt who drove a 1969 VW bug. Since her appearance always meant "fun", I associated it positively. Probably planted the seeds of appreciation for small, inexpensive, "odd ball" practical cars...that has led me to following Prius and driving a Honda Fit.

    Oddly, she drove that Bug for about 10 years, then one day called and was distraught because it wasn't starting. Come to find out, the battery was totally dry. When she called we asked her if she had checked the battery....her reply? What Battery?

    She had never even looked under the seat and had no idea it even had a battery. Evidently she drove for 10 years on the grace of kind mechanics who must of checked the fluid level for her, and simple luck and German Engineering.

    I spent many hours riding in the back seat of the Bug...and argueably the fumes of an abused battery under the seat only did minimal damage to my brain....depending on who you ask.

    Anyway, nice to see that commercial...brought back good memories.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    +1 but i still don't buy it. car dealers may be consolidating, but around here, the sellers are getting big big bucks for their dealerships and the buyers are building HUGE new dealerships on raw land that costs a fortune in this area. granted, it's mostly import cars, havn't seen too many new ford/gm/chrysler dealerships. my local toyota dealership just bought the chrysler dealership next door that closed last year to expand their area building and parking. and these guys are clueless. if they were selling chryslers, they'd be out of business too.
     
  9. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Despite all evidence to the contrary posted on PC. :D

    Tom
     
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  10. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    My Mom's had holes in the floor and the roof leaked, so I'll adjust my statement HER'S wasn't as well sealed as a Prius ;)

    I spent several years consulting with car dealerships and I can tell you for a fact, its a hard business. Sales is a loss leader, service is where the money is made. Manufacturers legnthening service intervals means less money for the franchise dealers. My experiences gave me a soft spot for car dealers, car salespeople, and service adjusters.

    Its lucrative for the owners because the profit is made in volume, but if you think the guy who sold you your Prius or the guy who told you your battery needs to be replaced and what the price was goes home to a mansion and drives a BMW...you're wrong. Fact is...he probably can't afford a Prius himself.

    Like any other business, there are good dealers and there are bad dealers. The bad ones get all the attention and the good ones go unvalidated for those efforts.

    You have to realize the caliber of person you are dealing with at the dealership. You want the kind of customer service someone would give you when selling and servicing a peice of expensive medical equipment or I would give you when you were buying or selling a house. Well...we make a lot of money, our actions and the way we deal with customers directly effects the future of our own businesses and we understand the value of a happy customer, that customer's referrals impact us directly. To use the medical equipment sales analogy again If I sell your hospital medical equipment...I want to build a relationship that grows because that relationship will be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to me in the future. I want you to come back to me time and time again.

    You have to adjust your expectations a little.

    The guy at the dealer makes $35,000 and honestly...he doesn't care. It doesn't effect him day to day if you go away with overfilled oil or he doesn't know how to start your Prius.
     
  11. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    What is the reason for putting the Prius battery inside the car?
     
  12. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    I'm sure it has to do with space under the hood in front of the firewall. Think about it, where would you put a battery?

    A lot of cars have the battery in the trunk, like many BMWs...but no trunk in the Prius.
     
  13. chuckknight

    chuckknight New Member

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    I used to have the original Dodge Stratus. The battery was in the front fender well...and because of the lack of heat, it lasted for YEARS. I drove that car till it died, and only replaced the battery once.

    Great location for a battery, and it's OUTSIDE the car, where no gases can affect the passenger cabin.
     
  14. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    I moved the battery to the trunk in two previous RWD cars. It helped the weight distribution.
     
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    1. The hatch area is generally cooler than the engine compartment so the battery potentially will last longer when installed back there.

    2. This helps to shift weight distribution a bit to the rear; front wheel drive vehicles naturally are front-heavy.
     
  16. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    I'm still groaning about the exhorbitant price being charged by dealers fo 12 volt Prius batteries. Lots of you have written hoping to lighten my burden by explaining several reasons for their higher cost. All correct and I thank you. There was even a little sarcasm too which is all right, because that stuff is merely a trifle in a well balanced life. But, remember, the howling people like me do is what tends to depress prices to a level within possibility. If we didn't holler now and then who knows what things would cost. Remember, we consumers, compelled to risk our lives and sanity in daily living, are not the U.S. Government; a government that prides itself in requiring the latest scientific development in anything it pays for with taxpayer money whether it is equipment for moon trips or toilet seats. There should be a balance for ordinary consumers between the cost of the latest expensive battery science and something more reasonably priced that will work just as well.
     
  17. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    If you still need a battery, give me a PM and I will give you a reference for Toyota parts at a decent discount.
     
  18. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Again though, if you feel that way you should not have bought a Prius, a vehicle which by its very nature is full of the leading edge, expensive technologies. I just paid $450 to replace an "Inverter Coolant Pump", a part that would not have existed for me to replace if I had a traditional car. Do I complain? No...I bought a Prius with three water pumps!

    What about the traction battery pack? They DO fail...are you going to complain then because your 1985 Plymouth didn't have a traction battery to fail and cost you a bunch of money?

    You can't have it both ways...
     
  19. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    There you go again whatshisname, being rational on an internet forum. You will be taken to task for that.:D

    Edit: I see you already have been taken to task.:pound:

    I see you also got an offer to find a discounted battery and if it wasn't mentioned, there is an aftermarket kit that allows you to use a different expensive battery.
     
  20. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    Its perfectly rational, but I don't think a $40 additional cost is unreasonable for a proprietary battery technology...

    Theres also not a cheaper alternative that will "work just as well" without risks...
     
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