Today’s Update On My Toyota Customer Service Issue…. Hopefully The Last One [UPDATED]

Here’s the good news. We have the car back and so far it works. We’ll monitor it for the next 90 days and see if it is fixed. Now, here’s where the criticism begins:

  • We brought the car in last Monday with the gas tank 3/4 full, but when we got the car back the tank was almost empty which forced my wife to fill it up almost the second she got the car back. We did authorize the dealer to drive the car to test it, and they drove it 150 Km’s (that’s 93 miles in old money). But given everything that has gone on, you’d think that the dealer would be smart enough to put at least that much gas back into the tank. You can bet that somebody is going to be paying for that as that’s completely unacceptable.
  • The dealer removed my iPod dock connector and didn’t put it back. Okay, fine. It took me two minutes to put it back. But still, put things back the way you found them when you work on other people’s cars. Is it that hard to do that?
  • There were white hand prints on various parts of the car. I’m guessing that’s from the latex gloves the techs wear. Would it have been too hard to clean that up?
  • The tech left a wiring schematic inside the car that gave me a really great idea as to what was wrong with the car. I’m keeping that so that if the problem comes back (which I hope to god it doesn’t), I have this as proof as to what they did. BTW according to the report, they replaced a pin connector as according to writing on the diagram that my wife and I found it was causing a “loose connection.” Oh, here’s a hint to people who servce cars, it’s never a good idea to leave stuff like this in the car for customers to see.
  • When my wife returned the loaner, she pointed out the issue with the airbag system. She was given a bunch of beyond lame excuses (“Her purse was too heavy” was one of them. That is lame!) and then was told that they would “reprogram” the car. WTF does that mean? It means they’ll do nothing. One thing that I should point out here is that the loaner was provided by a major car rental chain that has a location right inside the dealership. So the dealer isn’t actually responsible for the fact the car had an issue because of the fact that they don’t own the car. However given that we got the car because our car had a problem that could be called a quality issue, and had been to the dealer for the fifth time for the same issue, and had been escalated to Toyota. The optics of getting a loaner car that was made by Toyota that had an issue that could be called a quality issue in those circumstances just suck.

So, how do I rate the players in this game? Let’s start with Toyota Canada. It took a while for Toyota Canada to get involved, but when they did they really seemed to push things along and seemed to get results. The only thing that I would say is that Toyota Canada may want to look at how they initally respond to customer issues. From the time you file a complaint to the time you get a call back, a few days will elapse. That’s way too long. They may want to consider what I said in this posting:

The fact that it takes “a few days” for somebody at Toyota Canada to call me to discuss this issue shows that there’s a real lack of customer focus. If I were in their shoes, I would call the customer back within one business day or less to not only get their side of the story and flesh out the details, but to also explain what the next steps in the process are and to set the expectations of the customer.

Keep in mind that by the time a customer has bypassed the dealer and gone straight to the manufacturer, the customer is usually pissed. That needs to be managed better by Toyota Canada.

As for the dealer. There is no chance that we will ever return to the dealer in question. Not only because of the fact that this took five trips to them to fix this issue, and everything that I listed earlier, but the fact that we got the sense that we aren’t exactly welcome at that dealership because we pushed things up the food chain to Toyota Canada. I’m not impressed with that, but I guess they’re entitled to feel that way and we’ll simply take our business elsewhere. It  might have been better for all concerned if the dealer got Toyota Canada involved much earlier as it is clear that Toyota Canada was able to give the dealer the info they needed to find the issue and (hopefully) fix it. It also would have given me a better impression of them as well. As an aside, I have received a few e-mails asking me whom the dealer is. I’m not going to tell you as I’m pretty sure that I might get sued if I did divulge the name (but IANAL). But if friends ask me where they should get a Toyota, that dealer will not be one that I will be recommending.

In closing, I still think that Toyota makes great products. I also think that I had some sort of weird issue that took a long time to fix because it was difficult to diagnose and it took the manufacturer to push the dealer to get it fixed. I think that the dealer handled this badly which reflects badly on Toyota Canada. But hopefully, that’s all in the past and my wife and I can look forward to enjoying our Toyota Matrix. However if the problem returns, Toyota Canada will be getting a phone call from us, and we will not be happy campers when they pick up that phone. Not to mention that my lawyer will be on speed dial.

Oh, I’ll point out one other thing. The pages relating to this issue have recived over 2600 page views combined. That means that a lot of people were very interested in this issue. Any Toyota Canada employees who see this might want to keep that in mind that blogs like mine that describes issues like this affects the perception of your company.

UPDATE: I left a voice mail with Toyota Canada as to the fact the car was low on gas when my wife picked it up. They’re sending us a $50 gas card. A very classy move on their part that I applaud.

18 Responses to “Today’s Update On My Toyota Customer Service Issue…. Hopefully The Last One [UPDATED]”

  1. Toyota Corolla Steering Problem:

    I gave up on Toyota Corp on fixing my problem and just took $1300 loss and traded it on the same make/model and the steering is great (after only 1 month). I kept my recepts on both. I promus if someone dies my report that I made with NHTSA website will be proof that if someone dies on my old 2009 Corolla the VIN will be proof there was a problem.

    • That sounds really bad. The steering/handling on my Matrix has been exceptional. So perhaps it uses a different system?

      A Google search shows that there are a lot of postings on this steering issue. So it appears that you are not alone. Having said that, I did not notice this when I had a Corolla CE as a loaner.

  2. I recently heard Toyota is in the process of recalling most vehicles due to braking troubles . My father has a Toyota, can the vehicle be driven before it’s repaired?

  3. I am trying to make a complaint against Toyota but don’t exactly know where to send my complaint to. Any ideas? Nobody at Toyota Canada seems to care…

    • I would go to Customer Relations at Toyota Canada. If you don’t get anywhere with them and the issue that you are having is safety related, I guess the next stop would be Transport Canada.

      As an aside, I had to use the word “lawyer” to get Toyota’s Canada’s attention. Pretty sad if you ask me.

      Good luck.

  4. In the same boat as you. Our 2009 Rav 4 has problems that the dealership service people have not seen before and they just reset the computer and want us to take the car back. This after we had to hand brake the car to a stop!! They have the car for 5 days now and no rental as the warranty doesn’t cover it!!! Toyota Canada basically told me I should deal with the dealership. When i asked if I could talk to some one higher up I was told it will take 7 business days….waiting for the GM of the dealership to return my call.

    • That’s too bad. It sounds like Toyota hasn’t learned anything and are acting exactly the same. That doesn’t make me want to buy another car from them. It inspired me to write a new posting in my blog on this subject.

      Please keep me posted on your progress.

  5. ELATeacher Says:

    I am beyond frustrated right now. We recently bought a 2010 Toyota Tacoma with LOTS of problems. No one at the dealership will return our calls. We finally took the truck to a different dealership; they indicated the engine needs to be rebuilt. Our truck has 4,000 km on it! I cannot for the life of me, figure out who handles customer comlaints at Toyota Canada–and I have eight years of university!

  6. Muhammad Says:

    I asked for a compliance letter from toyota to move from Canada to the US. They emailed

    me a letter, that states my odometer is in kelometer and might not comply with some

    states regulations in the US. But, my odometer has both Kelometer and Mile marks.

    Kelometers are marked outside the circle while Miles are marked inside the circle. I

    called them and requested to change the statement, but they plainly refused to state

    the truth. They were firm on their false statement.

    Secondly, they emailed me the

    letter. I told them, I do not have a printer. So, please send the letter by post. They

    simply refused to do that. They say, they only send the letter by email or fax. How can

    a person without fax or printer be in luck in that situation? I’m moving to the US, and

    I need to show the letter to the border, in order to take the vehicle into the US, but

    Toyota would not send me the letter. They asked me to go to a shop to print the letter.

    I said, okay if you can only email and fax, then please fax the letter to my work

    number. Wow, they even refuse to do that now. They say, I should print it at my work.

    So, they can’t even fax the letter to me.

    I had been a Toyota customer for years. My

    past three cars were Toyota. I never knew that Toyota sucks if I would not decide to

    move to the States. I know now, it is time for a change. My next car will be anything

    else but Toyota.

  7. When it comes to Toyota, DO NOT trust the customer service associate because she will send you with the guy who can steal the most from you. The body damage inspector, believe me or not they get paid under the table, the person selling part, they will lie to you to say what they offer and what has become discontinued, the technician will fool your eyes to see black as white and white as black. And the sales person but I do give them credit for their robotic good manners. And most of all Do Not trust Toyota at all and if you see Chinese with a fake smile just run and don’t look back!

  8. jim besuyen Says:

    my wife and I bought a Toyota Camry in 2008 with but roughly 65,000 km on it. The service has been questionable. The gas mileage predictions are out to lunch. The armrests are more like footrests because they keep breaking customer service keeps looking at me like I’m crazy, and they say they’ll talk to the factory factory since the same junk they say it’s not fixed brake were given me trouble seizing up getting hot smoking fix them twice went back for an oil change. Check the brakes. One was hot quite a bit hoter than the others asked if they could check him the charge me $60. What kind of services that unthinking, the just lunch money and they don’t care about the customer because they got your money don’t know what to do with them pretty sure I’ll never buy another Toyota. But I guess that’s what Toyota wants I’ll have to keep writing on my computer until I get some results may be transport Canada. Maybe my lawyer. I’m just not sure who’s can help me. So far it hasn’t been Toyota will see. Good luck with your Toyota you all

  9. angry with Toyota Says:

    my 2009 Toyota Camry has one of 4 brakes worn out completely while the other 3 brakes are in very good condition, rarely worn. I made a formal complaint letter to Toyota Canada, but got a reply that they don’t want to take any action on it. what a shame, Toyota customer service.


  11. I have been a Toyota fan since I was 16 years old, now 50. Toyota is not the company or quality they used to be. I have a tacoma with an obvious rim issue, the finish is bubbling and peeling bad looks terrible. Toyota will not even considering doing anything. Toyota Canada first of all is ripping canadians off on price and they will not stand behind there product any more! THis is an obvious defect!!! Man the CEO should do something about this as they are now going the wrong way. I am in the market for a van and I am buying Honda this time!!!

  12. Maria E. Jutasi Says:

    I’ve had bad experience with my Toyota dealership in Ottawa. I’m looking for information as to where I can direct my complaints, apart from the dealership I had to deal with. I understand that Seiji Ichii is the CEO of Toyota Canada. Any information on contacting him or can anyone direct me to a higher source that I can direct my complaints to. Thank you.


  13. Brantford Toyota is a joke! I will never ever buy another car from them again there customer service is so bad I may never buy another Toyota.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: