So It’s Been Over 90 Days Since My Nightmare With My Toyota Matrix….

… And I’m pleased to say that the problem has not returned. So I believe that the problem that my Toyota Matrix had is fixed for good. So let me tie up a few loose ends:

  • The fellow from Halifax, Nova Scotia who had a similar problem has not had it return as of yet. But the last time I traded e-mails with him, he did say that while he is hoping for the best he does expect the problem to return at some point.
  • True to my word, my car care needs are being handled by another Toyota dealer. While the dealer that I am now going to is somewhat less convenient (as their service center isn’t open late and their shuttle service ends at 5PM), I really have no reason to complain as they have attended to my car care needs thus far with zero problems. It is worth noting that I have had nobody from the dealership that was at the center of this mess contact me. I guess they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong or they don’t care that my business is going elsewhere.
  • Some people have asked if I bought the Toyota Matrix from the dealer that I had problems with. The answer is no. We originally wanted to buy it from them, but they wanted us to pay list price for it. Plus they were not flexible on the trade in value of our previous car. So on the advice of a friend, we went elsewhere and got a great deal (if you want the name of the dealer and the salesperson we were dealing with, e-mail me and I’ll give it to you).  The problem is that they’re an hour north west of  Toronto. Not exactly easy to get to for service, which is why we went back to the guys that we had so much trouble with.

Finally, here’s some advice if you find yourself in this situation:

  1. Take notes.. Lots of notes: Make sure that you document every interaction with the dealer and/or the manufacturer and ensure your notes are as detailed as possible. This will help you if you have to push things up the food chain.
  2. If dealer claims to have fixed the problem and it comes back, give them one or two chances to make it right: Talk to the service manager or general manager as part of this and try to work with them as best as you can. The reason why you do this is that when you ultimately have to go up the food chain to the manufacturer, it will look to them like you have tried to work with the dealer to resolve the issue and the dealer is the the one who is dropping the ball. Keep in mind that in our case, we went to the dealer five times in total before we went to Toyota Canada.
  3. Call the manufacturer if you can’t resolve the issue with your dealer: Car companies have customer service hotlines. Call it and explain what your issue is and use the notes that you created from step one to illustrate your points. Always remember to stay calm and do not yell at the person at the other end of the phone. Don’t forget to get a case number. Then call your dealer, ask to speak to the service manager or general manager and give them that case number so that they know that you’re pushing this issue up the food chain.
  4. Call your lawyer: You likely want to have your lawyer involved at this point. Your lawyer can best advise you how to talk to the various parties involved and what your next steps are if things really get ugly. Plus they can act as the voice of reason so that you don’t do something that harms your attempt to get your car fixed right. One thing that you should also do is let all the parties know that whatever is discussed between you will be fed back to your lawyer. That way, everybody knows who’s involved (and perhaps they’ll move things along quicker).
  5. Push for a loaner: If your car is going to be in the shop for anything more than a day, and it has been in the shop multiple times for the same issue, you should push for a loaner at no charge. You should also document what type of car you got and if having this car stopped you from going about your normal activities.
  6. Know what your rights are as a consumer: Check to see if your state or province has a lemon law that may be of assistance to you. Canadians should also look into the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Process as well. Again, you should consult with your lawyer to ensure that you take full advantage of whatever rights you have.
  7. Pack plenty of paitience.
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2 Responses to “So It’s Been Over 90 Days Since My Nightmare With My Toyota Matrix….”

  1. Wow! What a story. I am from Quebec. I have a 2009 Matrix and yesterday morning, while I was driving, Check engine comes on along with the stability light and VSC OFF flashing light. I ordered a machine to read the codes but about 15 hours later all the lights turned OFF. I followed your advise and opened a file and started to take notes. I will wait for my Autel code reader (hope this is a good machine) and see.
    Thank you so much for your posting. I am sure it will help so many people including Toyota.

  2. Joey Goncalves Says:

    I think posting a review of an incident is fine and not illegal.

    At the rate I am going I will be posting a review of open road toyota port moody in the next couple of days. And it won’t be positive

    http://www.yelp.ca/biz/openroad-toyota-port-moody-port-moody

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