Toyota Dealers are Killing the Golden Goose

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

  1. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    Thanks Gray Prius. I had already bought the battery and service before I wrote the holler.
     
  2. Shiva Devi

    Shiva Devi New Member

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    I've no idea how to jump in, as this is my first chat experience, so I am twice a newbie. I have a repair issue. I was just told I need a new ECU for the power steering assist rack. Because I am a woman, I am doubly terrified of being taken advantage of. How can I research whether I am being charged a fair price? By the way, I was quoted $1,100, but I asked for the 10% discount.

    If I am posting in the wrong place, please forgive me!

    Thanks!
     
  3. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    Now now SWO3ES. Try to stay calm. Stay loose! You shouldn't attribute certain beliefs to me about which you know nothing. My annoyance with my dealer is rightful. You chide me for my opinion and appear to be defending dealers. I appreciate the merits of the Prius and as I've said before, I have owned two of them. The one I have now is an '04 equipped with package 9 and leather upholstery. I'm encourged in my belief about dealers because most people I hear from think they overcharge, unmercifully. All dealers are millionaires and some even quasi-billionaires. Those who aren't are either just getting started or out of business because they shouldn't have been in the it in the first place. The manufacturer usually kicks them out.

    My dear fellow Prius admirer. Let me give you some large news. I am a retired peace officer and when I gave it up I was able to smell a crook a mile away. When they're about to close a lop sided deal they begin to exude mal-odorously. Now I am considerably older and my olfactory talent has diminished considerably; that explains why this dealer was able to clip me $211 for a battery with a list price somewhere around $117. When this dealer delivered the Prius I mentioned above he deliverd it to me upholstered in leather I did not order with $6000 added to the sales tag. Oh! The smell was unbelievable. I had to rattle his cage for two hours, but I was able to drive my new car out paying only $1500 because I really wanted leather after I saw how beautiful it looked. In this state, miscreants are confined to the local zoo for brief periods when they steal as little as $100. but licensed dealers? That's business.
     
  4. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    I'm not defending bad dealers, but I do often defend dealers you're right because I've seen it from the other side.

    You can't expect a big dealer to sell a part for the same price you buy it from wholesale online. A battery may list for $117...wholesale. Someone has to pay the salary of the person who sells it to you, pay for the lights, pay for the insurance on the place, pay the taxes on the land, etc.

    Are you going to pay more for a TV from Best Buy than online? Yes.

    You'd be shocked at the markup on things you buy every day. You think your shirt cost them $50 to make and market? You shoes cost them $100? Hardly. Yet, people don't care about those markups and that profit the way they do the profit of a car dealer. Why is that?

    You could have called around to other dealers and checked the price of the battery, you could have checked here as well. There's no such thing as "overcharging" in an economy with options. Don't like the price? Buy it somewhere else.

    My issue with you mainly is your logic that the vehicle shouldn't have parts in it that are not mainstream and may be more expensive than parts on a traditional vehicle. When you purchase a Prius, a vehicle which by its very nature is loaded with technology, and technology is expensive.

    That is absolutely not true...I can tell you that from first hand experience for a fact. If someone owns a chain of 10 dealers...they might be a millionaire, but someone who owns one car dealer? No. And so what if they are? They are business owners and have invested themselves heavily in the growth and expansion of their businesses. They were not always millionaires...

    And the people who work at those dealers CERTAINLY are not.

    Again, if you are talking about someone who operates a multi-million dollar business and who personally is a millionaire, lets say its an advertising company. He's an inspiration. Someone operated a multi-million dollar business that happens to be a car dealer and is a millionaire...he's automatically a scumbag. Funny.
     
  5. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    Thank you for your comments SWO3ES. I've taught that when someone writes to you, he pays you a high compliment. The writing while it progresses, requires all the writer's attention and effort. It should be and is appreciated here. Beginning, I must point out that I have no interest in the cost of shirts and shoes and all the other things pertinent to honest business practices. I've given you some examples of auto dealer practices thats are wrong. No matter how you try to defend it, charging twice the manufacturer's recommended price for a battery where the reasonable profit is already built in is tantamount to stealing. State of the art or anything else has nothing to do with it. Neither does the size of his light bill, payroll or rent. People go to jail for stealing even when they're trying to feed their families. It's honesty and customer good will that counts. The Prius continues in high demand and there continues to be a few waiing lists, but with other vehicles in plentiful supply, their dealers all begin with the sucker price, fictitious invoices and then it goes from there. They expect to bargain and allow for trade-ins and other stuff. Everybody is used to it and that happens to be what the auto business has become. But let some inexperienced buyer walk into the sales area; one who writes a check for the asking price and watch how fast it is snapped up. I say again and again, that's not business, that's stealing. I'm sure you haven't thought this through. You didn't comment on the dealer who tried to charge me $6000 for leather upholstery I had not ordered in my new Prius; a Prius for which I had waited 3 months. No matter what anyone thinks, dealers who continue in business, cannot and do not lose money, ever.
     
  6. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

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    I appreciate it as well..

    I have thought this through. Its not the dealer's responsibility to inform and educate the consumer against their (the dealer's) best interest. The dealer is not the consumer's fiduciary agent, they are their own fiduiary agent. There's a saying out there, "caveat emptor" let the buyer beware. Its the consumer's job to get educated, and if someone wants to walk into a dealer and just pay sticker price...that is their choice. On one hand you decry the dealer for charging more than the MSRP (the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) and then you decry them charging the MSRP in the sticker price of the vehicle. If the consumer is willing to pay the sticker price...I have absolutely zero problem with the dealer charging it.

    Its a NEGOTIATION, meaning both parties need to go back and forth until a middle point is reached between those two positions. If the buyer's position is the same as the dealer's...meaning that the price they are willing to pay is the MSRP...the negotiation is over.

    What do you expect the dealer to do, just say "Well I'm going to charge you less than you were willing to pay" Thats a fantasy.

    Its not stealing...its business. This is the real world, not touchy feely baby camp.

    Spoken like someone who has never owned a business. Rent, light bill, payroll has EVERYTHING to do with what a business can sell its product for. Why do you think things cost more in expensive areas and less in cheaper areas? Why do you think things are cheaper online? Because there is no store...no commissions to pay, etc. Why do you think ING Direct can offer a 2% savings account when Bank of America can only offer .02%? ING doesn't have to pay for any space...no light or rent. If you don't like the price...don't buy it from them.

    In no other business does the buyer feel like they have a right to know exactly what the dealer's cost for an item is, and exactly the profit they are making like they do in the car business. The markup on a shirt you buy might be 1000% and you don't bat an eye. You don't even care to know. But a dealer mark up a battery 20% and look out, he's a crook! Its a complete double standard.

    If he tried to slip that in there on the vehicle you had ordered...thats a bait and switch and not only is it wrong, its illegal. I'm under no false pretense that all dealers are honest, they certainly are not.

    However, if the dealer is openly telling people up front all their Prius cars will have a $6,000 mandatory leather option before they order...that I have no problem with because you have the option of buying from them or not. I may decide that I don't want to do business with a dealer who does business that way, and that is my right. Is it "wrong" though? No...its business.

    The MSRP is just that, a suggestion. If the dealer can get more via supply and demand...then again...thats business. Car, battery, light bulb, shirt, whatever.

    Which one of us spent 5 years doing business and customer retention consulting for car dealers? How many owners of car dealers, car salespeople, or service writers do you know personally? I know a lot.

    Does the business ever loose money? Yes. Dealers do sell cars at a loss if they cannot move a certain unit, happens more than you think. Remember what I said, they make money on service, not sales. Do they loose money overall? Yes. However like any other business they try not to.
     
  7. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    lol.... i had 1 of those VWs And trust me you would never Die from fumes Is that thing. I use to use a pencil Unlock the wheaton window If i locked my keys in the car.

    Even with windows closest tightly as i can getem, air leak in the big time!! In a michigan winter That really sucked.

    It was said that Volkswagens floated which was a good thing
    With all the Air leaks mine had, it would have sunk like a rock
     
  8. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    Dear SW3OES......We're just going round and round now. It's time to close and hopefully we'll resume when another interesting subject arises. Yes, there are dealers who are honest, but as I insist, most are not and it has nothing to do with surviving in business. It's profit, profit, profit and the greater it is, the better. A little profit is good: more profit is better and all you can get is wonderful. We all teach our children to return lost wallets and the money in them. Later in life, many learn to keep the wallet and its contents believing the owner of the wallet should have been more careful. CAVEAT EMPTOR.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    SW30ES, your excuses for dealers don't fly with me. you may have a soft spot for them, but i consider them crooks and thieves. just because they don't pay their help well does not excuse their behavior and tactics. sthey should share some o their millions with their employees.:p
     
  10. 71Corolla

    71Corolla New Member

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    Some people were horribly burned when their Beetle turned over and battery acid leaked all over them. A truly dreadful design. I believe there were even multi-million dollar lawsuits.

    As for Dealers, it is very very difficult to find one that is honest. Most are liars and rip off artists, plain and simple. I appreciate trying to run a good business and make a decent profit, but dealers take gouging to a new art form. I have no sympathy for them, I've been lied to so many times by sales people I completely gave up on them and trust absolutely nothing they say.

    Many service departments take the cake, they do shoddy work, charge you constantly for things that they never do or replace, and take serious advantage of people that do not have mechanical knowledge. If you took the advise of a dealer and did everything they said your car needed, the cost of ownership would be 10 times higher than it should be.
     
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  11. GusTheCat

    GusTheCat Junior Member

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  12. 09Priusman

    09Priusman Junior Member

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    I've only had my '09 for less than 2 weeks and it seems from reading these forums the 12V battery in the Prius is the weak link of the car. Why doesn't Consumer Reports, or Edmunds make mention of this, or are they in Toyota's back pocket? I am getting paranoid every time I start the Prius now and my wife is doubly so. It has about 32,000 miles on the odometer and the car was made in 5/08. How long do these batteries last on average? My friends warned me about buying a Prius as they told me they were unreliable and cost an arm and a leg to maintain and even more to repair once the warranty runs out. I am having buyer's remorse big time now.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    nothing to be paranoid about. it's just like any car battery. my daughter has an 04 with the original battery, no prolemo. when it's time, you'll get plenny of warning.:)
     
  14. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    I would not worry so much to have buyer's remorse just because of the battery. It is a known problem to people here, so now that you know too you can plan for it. I would expect to be buying a new battery in 5/2013. I would plan on replacing the original battery then. It may have made it even another year, maybe not, but you won't be stranded at a dealer paying an extra $100 because he knows you'll have to pay $125 to have it towed somewhere else to be worked on, a practice I at least find hard to defend, although others here seem to be perfectly willing.

    And defending these dealers reminds me of the guy who went to a junkyard to get a new door for his little truck. Oh, wait, an auto recycling dealer. He got a price over the phone. When he went to pick it up the price was twice as high. You see, it was a white door, which was one price before the yard owner saw that it was also a white truck. But the junkyard kept the door, and hopefully it sat there until it rusted away.

    Oh, and then there was the dealer with the diesel truck I "bought." It had two batteries that day, but when I went back to pay for it there was only one, with a gigantic space where the other one should be. They swore that no, diesels only came with one battery, but that truck had sat there for over a year when I was going to buy it, and it sat there for a long time after that when I left.

    Oh, and then there was the dealer with the F250 truck I "bought" after spending hours getting a price figured out. They were very happy, and brought the sales contract to sign. They were even by then in a bit of a hurry. Oh, but wait, there was a "mistake," they had changed a 3 to an 8. It must have been an honest $500 in their favor mistake, right? But they kept that truck on the lot for a long, long time after I walked away too.

    Oh, and then there was the dealer, well, there MIGHT be an honest dealer somewhere, right?
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I'm still on my original 12 volt battery on the 06 Prius I bought in January 06. As for how long they last, I think it's going to depend on temperatures the car is exposed to and how often (if at all), the 12 volt gets deep discharged, usually by accident.

    As for your friends.... sigh... sounds like they've never owned a Prius and never bothered doing any research. It must be so unreliable to mentioned under Best & worst used cars under Best of the Best, at Top Picks 2008 and Consumer Reports Cars Blog: Consumer Reports 2009 Annual Car Reliability Survey
    Also see http://blogs.consumerreports.org/ca...-based-on-predicted-reliability-ratings-.html, http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/03/used-car-reliability.html, http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/...nded/best-used-vehicles-under-20000/overview/ and http://pressroom.consumerreports.or...ports-first-ever-best-new-car-value-list.html.

    Although I don't trust JD Power much, see where Prius ranked at http://businesscenter.jdpower.com/news/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2010034.

    One can see the maintenance and repair histories two 04 Priuses, after 160K miles at Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity - Hybrid Electric Vehicles.
     
  16. 09Priusman

    09Priusman Junior Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I am feeling a little better now. However, Bisco mentioned I would have plenty of warning when it was time to replace the 12V battery, but did not mention what the warning(s) would be. Can anyone be more specific?

    P.S. Most of my friends are old farts like me and drive gas guzzlers.
     
  17. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

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    +1
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    :rolleyes:
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    1. You may notice that the cabin lights are dimmer than normal when you first enter the car.

    2. You may notice strange warning messages appear on the MFD.

    If the issue concerns you, then I suggest that you replace the 12V battery at four-year intervals, as a preventive maintenance measure, especially since you live in an area with relatively cold winters. MSRP of the 12V battery is $139, if you can replace it yourself. (However pricing may vary considerably, depending upon how rapacious your dealer's parts dept is.)

    In case you don't know where the battery is, look under the triangle-shaped hatch floor piece in the right-rear hatch floor.

    The good news is that your car has logged 32K miles during its short life, so the 12V battery should be in good condition, having had plenty of charging time over the last two years. If the car had been driven very low miles, say 5K miles per year, then it is likely that the 12V battery would show some deterioration due to lack of use which results in insufficient charging.
     
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...y-check-without-switching-headlights-off.html and http://priuschat.com/forums/newbie-forum/73400-weird-stuff-happening-mpgs-dropping-test-battery.html are two methods of checking the 12 volt battery.

    It would be nice to print out/show your misinformed friends some of the reliability related links I pointed you to. One of my pet peeves and that of many here on PC is the amount of ignorance and misinformation surrounding the Prius and hybrids, in general.
     
  20. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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    You may want to start a new thread...

    Have you noticed any issues with the power steering? Exactly what prompted the dealer to suddenly say your ECU is bad?

    Get the diagnostic codes from the dealer.
     
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