I have the prius since the year of 2003, and have been taking the car to the merchant's for every issue, such as engine oil change, regular check up, and tire change and so forth. The emplyees over there always assure me that they deliver the exact same service as the toyota dealer shop does with the decent price. I am a single woman, and need a decent mechanic store. I trusted them. I even paid $543.89 for 60.000miles check there in 2011, which they recommended. They never said they have no capability to take care of hybrid cars.
I took my car there at 9:30am on 1/6/2013 for engine oil change, and waited till it was done. They called me up at around 11am. They said my car wouldn't start up. I asked what happened. They said they didn't know what went wrong. They kept on saying they didn't have any idea about hybrid cars, and didn't want to touch it beacuse it was the hybrid car. [continued below]....
..... They only knew how to change a engine oil. I asked what they did on my car in 2011 for 60.000mile checkup, and they said it was only inside and outside of fluid change. My care was towed to the toyota dealer shop. They found out and it was caused by previous engine oil overspill, and dust buildup around throttle area. They clearly wrote on the bill as below.
"care towed in will not start codes in scantool for mass air flow, throttle body very dirty both of these routine maintenance issue. Oil leve overspilled 3/4 quart by last service center. Tech states codes clear and no problem found"
The mechanic in toyota dealer shop said the dust around throttle area was supposed to be cleaned up along with engine oil change, which was done in the past at all at the merchant's. I paid close $200 for that issues. I was very upset. At the same time I was relieved about the fact that the car didn't stop all of sudden while driving on highway. I would have been in big trouble.
I called the merchant's and demanded the reimbursement for it. I felt so stupid, and they obviously took an advantage of the naive single woman who knows nothing about the car. Every time when I went there, I make sure they did safety check whil changing the engine oil, and they said yes. They never said they don't know anything about a hybrid car. If I would have known it, I would have not taken my care there even once.
I spoke to the reginal manager(Mr Gilbert), and faxed him the bill statement on Jan,13,2013. He ignored me until I called the customer service a few days ago. He finally called, and said they were not responsible for what happened to my care. He said the merchant's had no capability of taking care of a hybrid car, and even hurried to get off the phone when I tried to mention their ethical issue. This event is nothing to do with their capability of dealing with hybrid car. It is more likely their ethic issues, and ignorance of safety check. They have been lying to me since 2005 by saying " We will take care of your car, Ms Kim, and we are doing the exactly same thing as toyota dealer shop does", and they even put my car in danger by overspilling the engine oil around the parts. I have been taken an advantage of for the entire time.