Please be advised:
The Toyota Certified used vehicle program is a a corporate program. In fact, the certified programs you see advertised at your local dealer are corporate backed programs developed by all the major auto manufacturers.
The manufacturers know that they make more money off "certified" vehicles, but aren't exactly sure what a certified vehicle is. They know that consumers are confused too, but that they feel a sense of security knowing that they are buying a certified vehicle (I would be happy to furnish the articles this information is from). Toyota advertises their certified program nationally -- "The Best New Cars make the Best Used Cars..."
When there's a problem with a Toyota certified vehicle, such as in my report regarding Lithia Toyota in Springfield, Oregon, Toyota says to contact the dealer -- even though the "certified" program is a product of Toyota corporate. They have, in effect, created the prefect "run around." No dealer will work on non-toyota parts/accessories so make sure your "certified" Toyota has only Toyota parts/accessories.
Some manufacturers offer vehicle return within a certain amount of days on their certifed vehicles -- not Toyota -- which says it all as far as how much confidence they have in these vehicles. Check out Elliot Spitzer's New York Attorney General website regarding Certified vehicles. Dealers in New York can't refer to vehicles as "certified" as the AG cited them for selling "certified" vehicles that had not actually been inspected (certified).
This is not a local dealer issue -- it is a corporate issue. Judging by Toyota's initial refusal to deal with the sludge issue, (and outright attack of its customers), I doubt they'll be bellying up to the bar in the near future to (really) stand behind their money-making certified vehicle program.
Please share your "certified" vehicle stories...and ripoff report, can we have a new category called, "auto manufacturers - certified used"?