ED Magedson – Founder
David Maus Toyota1160 Rinehart Rd Sanford, Florida USA
David Maus Toyota I was sold a car with "known to be defective" Air Conditioning Sanford Florida
Instead of writing a special report I'm pasting below a copy of the certified letter I sent to David Maus (Owner) and each of his department heads. It's been slightly edited to for a better reading experience.See below the letter for post letter update and the response I got. Mr. David Maus: On June 26, 2013 my wife and I were looking at a 2006 4Runner with 108,000 well cared for miles on it. It was a very clean truck with a well-documented service record. Byron Watson was our salesman and offered to take us on a test drive. The truck drove and operated as well as it looked. Byron was most helpful and as a result we sat down to negotiate. Tim Cooke was brought in to help close us as Byron and I were about $1500.00 apart. Tim introduced to us a printout of items that he claimed had been repaired in your service department during the initial inspection, prior to this truck being offered for sale.
PLEASE NOTE: This was NOT a typical printout from the service department, but appeared to be a report printed from some type of internal program to track expenses billed to the sales department. Each line item had a dollar value next to it. On the list were Brakes, Air Conditioning, and another item or two that I do not recall. I do recall the total came to about $700.00 and that the Air Conditioning portion was about $200. (We were not offered a copy of this for our records) According to Tim, since the repairs done increased his cost he could not meet our price point. Convinced these items had been thoroughly inspected and in some cases repaired, we increased our offer and went ahead with the AS-IS purchase.
Approximately July 26, 2013, I took my family on a daylong trip and noticed warm air coming from the driver’s side vents while cool air was still blowing from the passenger side vents. I assumed it was some type of malfunctioning mixing valve or damper in the vent system allowing hot air into the vent system. I visited the dealership within a week to inquire with an advisor just what had been done to the A/C system prior to the sale so I could eliminate that from my diagnostics, and also take advantage of my first free oil change. Upon my arrival, I was met by an advisor (name escapes me)and I told him we had just purchased this truck and that the air conditioning was blowing warm on the driver’s side only.
Since this was an AS-IS purchase, I asked if he could give me an idea about what might be wrong with it so I could buy the needed parts or have it repaired. The advisor left and soon returned and indicated the only thing done to the air conditioning prior to sale was an A/C Service and to Remove & Replace the blower motor to clean out leaves. Wondering just what “A/C Service meant, I parked, went inside and had another advisor print out the service history (See attached copy). Once home I discovered an entry during the pre-sale inspection indicating that 1 pound of R134 had been added to the system. (Entire system only calls for 1.4lbs) Why didn’t the service advisor mention this? Anyone in that position should know an A/C system is sealed and should not require an almost complete refill unless there is a major leak.
Did the service advisor simply not want me to know about the previously added refrigerant? I returned to the dealership the following day after work and without the truck to meet with the service manager. I was seen by Vinny, and after explaining that this “refill” looks more like a quick fix to get it sold “as-is” he agreed to take a look at it and offer a diagnostic check at no charge to me. I made an appointment for the next morning and as agreed Vinny took the truck to have it looked at. About 2 1/2hrs later, I was advised by Vinny that a complete check of the air conditioning system was done and no leak was found. The system was found to be low on refrigerant so it was refilled and was again blowing cold as it should. There was no diagnosis given. I left puzzled how there could be no diagnosis.
Was I not at a Toyota dealership? Dose someone not want there to be a diagnosis? Approximately 40 days later the air on the driver’s side again turns warm and eventually the entire system turns warm. This time I decided to escalate my issue within your organization by phone to avoid unnecessary 40 mile trips. After pondering my approach for a few weeks, I attempted to set up an appointment with your assistant Mr. Buck. I left a voicemail for him but never received a return call. After a week I contacted Michelle in your Customer Relations department, who was very friendly, took all my information, and listened to this entire story. She advised me she would forward this information and that I should hear from someone in a few days.
After a few days, I again contacted Michelle and she was surprised to learn that no one had contacted me, but again reassured me I would hear from someone. Two weeks after initially contacting Michelle in Customer Relations and not getting a response from anyone else, I decide to make another trip to Sanford. On approximately December 16th I arrived unannounced to meet with Michael Gutcheon- Service Director and explained my story. He was very accommodating and got Fred Marion- General Manager involved. Fred was nice and met with me alone allowing me to explain the situation. Fred, like the others before him kept reminding me that we bought it “AS-IS”. I kept reminding Fred that I know what “AS-IS” means, however recharging an air conditioning system to blow cold without repairing the leak and then selling it “AS-IS” is something I’d expect from a small time dealer… not David Maus Toyota where phrases like “Whatever It Takes” and “Do The Right Thing” are often used.
Fred left and within a few minutes Vinny returned and offered to again look at and diagnose the truck. An appointment was set for the next morning. The next morning I arrived and Vinny again took the truck back and after about an hour showed me the truck had no leaks that could be detected visually even using ultraviolet dye, leaving only the sealed evaporator box as the source for the leak. The only remedy is to replace the evaporator. The estimate is $1,700.00 to fully repair the system, $1,200 of it labor. Vinny advised me that Fred was authorizing the dealership to cover 40% of the costs leaving us with 60% or roughly $1,000.00 to cover. I didn’t accept the offer then, and here is why: Mr. Maus, we’re NOT pursuing this repair because by contract you “owe it to us”, as we understand we purchased this truck “AS-IS” and signed away all legal rights to a warranty as well as our right to small claimes court thanks to your “Binding Arbitration Agreement”.
Neither are we pursuing this repair just because the estimate is almost 15% of the purchase price. We are pursuing this repair because we fully believe this leak was known to exist and NOT properly repaired BEFORE it was placed on the lot for sale. It should have been properly repaired, sent to auction, or truly sold “AS-IS” with non-working air conditioning. We hope you will honor your motto of “Whatever It Takes” and “Do The Right Thing” by repairing the air conditioning on our 4runner without additional cost to us. Sincerely, XXXXX Two days after the above letter I received a call from Fred Marion the General Manager. The call lasted about 30 minutes.
He informed me that David Maus had brought him the letter and told him to handle it. He seemed suprised I didn't accept his offer of 60/40 split and continued to remind me that it was an As-Is sale and any offer on their part was above and beyond the call. He fails to see where thier own paperwork proves they knew of the faulty part and failed to properly handle the situation PRIOR TO THE SALE. At this point I really want no further repairs from David Maus, only a check or voucher to have the repairs done at another Toyota Dealership. Since I signed their binding arbitration agreement I have no legal recourse however, I do still have the right to express myself and can stand on the sidewalk with my sign.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/28/2014 07:20 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/David-Maus-Toyota/Sanford-Florida-32771/David-Maus-Toyota-I-was-sold-a-car-with-known-to-be-defective-Air-Conditioning-Sanford-1118945. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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