Owner of Toyota Corolla LE 2005 model, I was driving my car on 02/20/2010 at around 6.30 PM suddenly my car dashboard showed low engine oil pressure light and then check engine light and engine started making weird noise. I pulled my vehicle to a adjacent parking lot and stopped my car immediately.
I called my insurance company AAA and towed my vehicle to my Apt, as most of the mechanic shops were closed at that time. On 20/22/2010 I towed my vehicle to Toyota of Irving at 6.00 PM and told them my engine is making noise and about the lights on.
On 02/23/2010 I get a call from Toyota stating that drain plug is missing in your car and there is no engine oil and they saw oil residue all the way till rear and said need to replace engine, I asked the Toyota dealer for what could be the reason for drain plug missing and dealer told me it could be because of my previous oil change, technician might have not tightened the drain plug completely and during the course of time it would have become loose and fell apart. [continued below]....
I went to NTB and told them I had done my car service from NTB on 10/17/2009 and got the following service done
Fluid maintenance package which include
1. Radiator Flush Kit
2. Transmission flush kit
3. Visual maintenance inspection
4. Oil change
5. Tire rotation.
After I got my service done a month later I got Maint Reqd light on my dashboard and went back to NTB and spoke to Eric from NTB and he told me the technician forgot to reset the light and I need not worry he will be taking care of it on next oil change.
I explained to Eric about check engine light and he came along with one of his technician to Toyota of Irving and analyzed my car and took picture of oil leaking all the way to rear and accepted that it was fault from their side and he is going to file a complaint with their insurance and will make sure NTB gives me a new engine and I need not worry, he gave me claim# 113569467 and told Insurance is going to take care from now on.
On 02/24/2010 I got a call from Mark Parrot from Gallagher Basset service, stating they are going to do investigation from their side and it going to take 1-2 weeks for the process to complete, he asked me to authorize the vehicle tear down as he is going to send some technician to take a look at my vehicle.
I authorized my vehicle tear down and on 03/04/2010 a technician form Gallagher went and investigated my vehicle. On 03/12/2010 I got a call from Mark Parrot stating they have denied my claim and they feel its not a negligence of their client.
Here the information from report
Extent of Damage
The technician removed all the cam caps and there are lightly scored. The camshafts journals are lightly scored.
There is no discoloring to the camshaft journals or caps. There is no scoring or discoloring to the camshaft lobs or
lifters. The technician removed all the rod caps and the #1, #2 and #4 rod bearings are scored. The #3 rod bearing has
spun and is missing. There is no heat discoloring to the rod caps or rod journals of the crankshaft. The #2 and #4 rod
bearings are pitted. There is a lot of metal in the oil pan. There is large metal pieces in the oil pick up screen, but the
screen is not blocked. The oil pan has a new drain plug installed and is tight. The technician states there is no damage
to the oil pan drain plug threads. There is no impact to the oil pan. The oil filter is not new and does not appear to be
leaking. The oil filter is a PZ-21, yellow in color. There is no sludge seen. There is oil blow back from the engine to the
muffler. The technician states there was no oil or drain plug when the vehicle came in but the inspector can not verify
Cause of Failure
There is an isolated failure of the #3 rod bearing with subsequent damage to the engine from metal contamination.
There is no heat discoloring to indicate a lack of lube condition. There is no verified failure of the oil pan drain plug at the time of this inspection
Toyota gave me report which states the cause of engine failure
Found drain plug missing and oil residue all the way to the rear, Car must have been at Highway speeds when plug came out, Installed Plug and added oil, engine is knocking bad, Due to starving it from Oil after getting approved to tear engine down, Found #3 bearing failure from lack of oil, Also found cams and journals scared from Lack of oil, when adjuster got her we pulled car in and raised it oil was still dripping from rear rear struts, Evidence that it lost oil at highway speed due to drain plug coming out.
If you look at the report from Insurance company that states the reason for failure is
"There is an isolated failure of the #3 rod bearing with subsequent damage to the engine from metal contamination. There is no heat discoloring to indicate a lack of lube condition. There is no verified failure of the oil pan drain plug at the time of this inspection"
I have shown this report to 3-4 independent technician and all are of the same opinion.
1. #3 rod could fail because of 2 reasons.
i. lack of Lubrication or
ii Badly managed engine, Well i can assure you I have managed my engine very well and got all oil change done on time I have receipt of all the oil change I have done for the past 3 years and till date no technician had ever told me there was anything wrong with my engine even NTB didn't say anything was wrong when I got the whole service done
2.Adjuster was not able to see heat discoloring on the rod was because as soon as I saw the engine light, I stopped driving my car and towed it, if I would have driven my car then I am sure he would have seen heat discoloration.
3. Toyota is clearly states they have installed a new drain plug. Then how can a adjuster see a missing drain plug if its newly installed
4. The report from insurance states "there is no damage to the oil pan drain plug threads" which is true if it was cross threaded the plug wouldn't have come out.
5. Also the report states "There is oil blow back from the engine to the muffler" which clearly states there was a leakage and the report don't say any other damage to car.
Based on this it very difficult to believe the report that was presented to me and waiting for justice.
I would urge all people reading this post never ever go to NTB, if you want to save yourself from losing an engine, if anyone feels i am wrong then mail i will forward all the documents I have.