A little over a year ago, the lease was up on my car so I needed to obtain a new, used car. I needed a car that was both dependable and affordable so I could begin my quest to find a job in my field of study. During my search, I found a used car listed for sale at Toyota of San Diego. The car was affordable, the model had good ratings by consumer affairs and the salesman at Toyota of San Diego assured me that the car was in excellent working order. Based on that information, I agreed to pay fair market price as stated in Kelly Blue Book for a car in excellent condition, signed the contract and drove the car off the lot.
After driving the car for approximately 5000 miles, the check engine light came on. I took the car in to the service department at Toyota. The mechanics at Toyota of San Diego explained that they did not have the right equipment to read the engine codes and that I needed to take the car in to a Nissan dealer to have the codes read and any work performed. Before taking the car to Nissan, I decided to take the car to a mechanic that I trusted and who had worked on my previous car. I wanted the mechanic to do an oil change and provide an assessment of the engine. The mechanic completed the oil change and told me that the engine oil looked very thick like something had been added and that the engine needed a complete flush.
I next took the car to the Nissan service center and explained that I was instructed by Toyota of San Diego to bring my car in for diagnosis. I also told them that I had the oil changed and the mechanic who did the work told me that the engine needed to be flushed.
After checking the car, the Nissan service specialist agreed that I should have the engine flushed. I agreed to pay to have the work done. When I returned to the dealership after the flush was done, the service specialist explained that the car needed a new engine and new catalytic converter. I explained that I had just purchased the car and only driven it for 5,000 miles. The service specialist told me that the car was in "poor condition" and it should have never been sold to me under the pretense of being in "excellent working condition". Fortunately, I purchased a warranty when I purchased the used car and the warranty covered most of those repairs to replace the engine and catalytic converter. The car was in the shop for several months while the repairs were performed.
After about two months without a car, I finally received the car back from Nissan. Then within less than 6 months driving time, the radiator cracked and caused the replacement engine to fail. At that time the vehicle had been driven about another 5,000 miles. The warranty company was not willing to replace the failed radiator and engine and Toyota of San Diego would not agree to fix the car or take it back and refund my money. Since the car was sold as a used vehicle, Toyota of San Diego was under no legal obligation to do anything to help me.
During my brief ownership of the car, I was able to drive the car for only 11,000 miles because the vehicle was in the shop for more than a total of 3 months undergoing various repairs. The two incidents above are only a few of the things that went wrong with the vehicle during the brief year I owned it. I have a detailed list of repair records that shows that the car was not only well maintained during the time I owned it, but also had numerous repairs that point to serious mechanical issues that existed at the time of purchase.
I have now been without a vehicle for the past 5 months, yet have continued to make the car payments due on my loan in good faith and with the expectation that, Toyota of San Diego, will step forward, admit their mistake in selling a car that was not in good working order and certainly not in "Excellent" condition. I've reached out to Toyota of San Diego management on several occasions and asked them both in writing and on the phone to "do the right thing". To date, Toyota of San Diego management has told me that I have to spend another $5,000 to fix the car on top of what I've already spent on the purchase and repairs. Unfortunately, I am now out of money, cannot afford to have the car fixed again, am still stuck with making car payments for the original car loan and have no car to drive.
So far, Toyota will not budge and I really need your help to change their mind. I'm not asking for monetary gain. I'm simply asking that they take back the car that they sold to me, refund my down payment and release me from the debt so I can purchase a car that is in good working condition.
If I am not able to get Toyota of San Diego to do the right thing, I will be forced to file bankruptcy so I can be released from the debt, have the car voluntary repossessed and try to find another car that I can afford to buy. Please help me get Toyota of San Diego to do the right thing by signing my petition. Hopefully this will not only help me but also encourage the company to never do this to another person.
Thank you for your help and support.