WARNING to Anyone Buying or Shipping Toyota Prius to Hawaii

Discussion in 'Dealers & Pricing' started by pkscout, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. pkscout

    pkscout Junior Member

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    About two years ago I moved to Hawaii from the mainland US and shipped my Prius over. All has been fine with the car, but last week I got a "check hybrid system" warning and the vehicle stopped working. That's when I discovered that a company called Servo has a monopoly on all Toyota sales and service in Hawaii. This is not a "kind of" monopoly where there are other, less desirable choices. They are the ONLY company in all of Hawaii authorized by Toyota do sell new vehicles or do warranty service.

    Because of that, they're service is beyond horrible, it's borderline criminal. When I called the closest Servco, they said they would be able to work me in, although maybe not the first day. So I had it towed down there. What I have discovered is they have a system that guarantees that my vehicle will never actually get serviced. Servco here in Hawaii works banker hours (nothing on the weekend) and books 100% of their day with scheduled appointments. They said they only work on "standbys" if someone cancels an appointment and they think they have time. I can setup an appointment, but the earliest one is a month from now. As Servco provides no loaner vehicles, I will be out over $1,200 just in rental car costs before Servco ever looks at my vehicle.

    I love my Prius, but I will likely be selling it and getting something else so I can work with a company that actually cares about it's customers. My advice to those in Hawaii or planning to move to Hawaii is to not buy or ship a Toyota here. While you can get normal maintenance anywhere, if you need warranty or recall service, you will wait months for the Servco monopoly to allow you to come in for service.
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Exaggerate much? The wait time for an open appointment is days or maybe a week, but definitely not months.

    I agree about the Servco monopoly though, it definitely isn't the best arrangement for the consumer.

    Did you try calling the other Servco dealers on the island (assuming it's Oahu)?

    SCH-I535
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Just because they are the only "authorized" ones, doesn't mean they are the only ones. Your warranty cannot be voided by going to a non-authorized shop. This is the same reason you can change your own oil and the warranty stays in place.

    You may want to just go to the nearest auto store that pulls codes for free, get them, and post them here. It could be as simple as the inverter coolant pump being broken which would be covered under a TSB and warranted, by Servo. Generally when the check hybrid system indicator lights up, the car doesn't die. It is either too hot, or the battery is unblanaced but the car drives just fine for a while with the proper precautions. Since it just died, my guess is that it overheated and hence the inverter coolant pump.

    As for rental car, I don't know how that's their fault even if they are holding your car hostage. You may elect to have rental car coverage on your insurance policy. If you don't want to be covered, then when you need it you are out of pocket. Pretty simple. You didn't pay in small increments over time to the insurance company, so now you are going to pay lump sum.

    Another tactic that sometimes works is to go buy a junk car. You can buy cars from the 90's on the mainland for $300 to $500 in some cases. They work, but aren't pretty, safe, or reliable. But for a month, that loaner car will probably serve you well, and then you can junk it. If you want to resell it, you would have to register the vehicle and everything. 1 month is usually the grace period for newly purchased cars around here, so you could just buy, never register, and scrap.
     
  4. pkscout

    pkscout Junior Member

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    Called them all. The absolute earliest guaranteed appointment anyplace had was the middle of August. That certainly qualifies as more than a month, and certainly not days or a week.

    Since the vehicle can't be driven, it'll cost me $100+ to tow it anywhere, and if the car leaves Servco's lot I lose my place in line (for what that's worth). If this goes on too much longer, I may look into that though.

    Every other dealership I've ever been to (Toyota or otherwise) has provided loaners for any service going more than one day, so I guess I've come to expect that level of service. As for the insurance, I did check that. I have rental car insurance on my policy, but it's only for rentals due to the car being in the shop for issues related to a collision or anything covered under comprehensive. My comprehensive coverage does not include "the car just died."

    Tried that. The cheapest car here on Oahu on CL that wasn't just for parts was $1,200, and that one said "selling it because I'm tired of trying to fix it." If I'm going to have to own a junker because of the crappy service from Servco, then that's just another reason to offload the Toyota and never go back to Servco.

    Mahalo for the suggestions.
     
  5. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Did you have the software update done, the last major recall? That one was to protect the inverter.

    If your inverter fried, that would be bad, because there might still be a backlog for replacements.

    SCH-I535
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    There is a great human fallacy that continues to throw good money after bad, and it applies to this situation. People are unwilling to uproot and go a completely different route in fear that they have too much invested in the poor option in the first place.

    Last week you dropped it off, and you have at least a 5 week waiting period before they can even look at your car. Since they do everything by appointment... So they look at the car, and best case say "it is XYZ part, we just need to swap it out". Then what? Do you go back on the waiting list for another appointment to become available for them to do the swap?

    You are 1 week in to a 5+ week service. I also don't know why it would lose the place in line. If you schedule spark plugs to be replaced in October, they don't require your car to sit there until the date of service do they? They probably just expect it to show up on the day of or maybe day before scheduled service. I would press this point and go get your car.

    You can buy a used but working awesome inverter online for $150 to $250 in most cases. It might take a week to get to you. It would take someone with basic mechanical skills, no special hybrid skills, to swap an inverter.

    So you would be out 1-2 weeks of car instead of 5-6 (best case) with Servo, and you would have your car back and fixed for most likely an order of magnitude less than what the dealership will charge. A new inverter is $4,000 on the mainland.

    I suggest you get your car, make sure they keep your spot in line, take it to be diagnosed (or just buy a scangauge for $100 from amazon), and then see if the problem can be fixed easily.
     
  7. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    OP, don't buy an Acura, Tesla, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, or Lexus either. There's only one authorized dealer on the island for those too. ;)

    SCH-I535
     
  8. kabin

    kabin Member

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    Maybe that's why I see a bunch of old toyota pickups in Hawaii. :)
     
  9. orenji

    orenji Senior Member

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    It may be quicker and cheaper to ship the car back to the mainland for service!:p
     
  10. robertmaria

    robertmaria Member

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    wow,,, so sorry you and servco have a bad relationship. Servco had been excellent to me in the past, even with my mainland bought Tercel i shipped back to Oahu in 1986. in Hawaii, itz all about relationships. to me, thatz the only problem i can see,,, nothing wrong about servicing the car itself. i tell you this with the utmost respect. good luck. Lucky you live Hawaii. Servco is awesome.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    can you get the volt out there?
     
  12. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Yeah, there's a bunch of Volts here. Servco sells those too. :D

    But I think there are also non Servco Chevy dealers too. ;)

    SCH-I535
     
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