ED Magedson – Founder
Michael's Toyota of Bellevue3080 148th Ave SE Bellevue, Washington USA
Michael's Toyota of Bellevue A Toyota Dealership From HELL Bellevue Washington
On July 16, 2012, I purchased a 2005 Toyota Tundra from Michael’s Toyota of Bellevue automobile dealership (“the dealer”) for $19,184 based on the following information provided by the dealer: a comprehensive vehicle safety inspection (CVSI) report and a repair invoice for work done on the basis of it; a Kelley Blue Book (KKB) valuation; and a Carfax report. The CVSI and Carfax reports declared the vehicle to be accident-free, the KBB worth of the vehicle was certified to be $20,510 in a declaration to my credit union, and the invoice listed minor repairs made based on the inspection report. The Tundra was advertised as accident free in excellent condition.
After driving the truck for ten months and 6,500 miles, the rear tires were unevenly worn out. Precision Toyota of Tucson diagnosed the problem as a bent rear axle housing and bent right rear shock absorber above the bent housing. The repairs were made (rear axle housing and rear shock absorbers replaced) at a cost of $2,837.
I contacted the dealer who offered to pay $1,526 toward the repair cost, which I accepted.
But in the course of completing the axle housing replacement, additional problems of body damage and an incompatible differential were found by the repair mechanic. I informed Mr. Erik Paulson, Vice President for the dealer, of these additional problems in an email on 8/7. Mr. Paulson requested that additional estimates be obtained from independent repair shops because estimates from a Toyota dealer does not represent the industry and independent estimates are more realistic of the market.
On 9/12, I provided him with five estimates from different independent auto collision repair centers, as well as summaries of the damages and safety issues, with an estimated total repair cost, including differential replacement, of $6,500. The independent investigators agreed that the problems reflected damage to the truck that existed prior to my purchasing it, and which could not have been missed in any competent inspection. Yet the original CVSI report provided by the dealer made no mention of any damage.
Without these repairs (right rear door replacement, rear bumper replacement, rear differential replacement, and right rear leaf spring replacement), the truck was considered unsafe to drive.
Via email, I requested reimbursement for the repairs. On 11/19, Mr. Paulson emailed an offer to contribute $1000 toward the estimated repairs of $6500 or to buy back the vehicle for $14,600 – a loss of more than $8,400 to me (the difference between the $19,184 originally paid plus $1,619 Arizona tax, and the $1,311 paid for repairs). Contradicting his previously certified KBB value of $20,510, he wrote that the offer of $14,600 represented “full value using KBB.com,” despite the truck being “probably worth between $7,500 - $8,500.”
Though both options would be a significant loss to me, I wanted to resolve the issue. On 11/24 I sent a more than fair counter-offer, asking the dealer to pay $3,000 toward the estimated repairs of $6,500 or to buy back the truck for $16,500 (a loss of approximately $6,500 to me.) No response was received, so the email was sent again on 12/4. In addition, I made three follow-up phone calls on 12/21, 12/30, and 1/3/2014. The first two times I left messages, which weren’t answered. The third time, the dealer picked up the phone, hastily said he was in a meeting and would get back to me, and hung up. His last communication to me was on 11/19/1013.
In Mr. Paulson’s email of 11/19, the dealer claims that he, too, is a victim and that someone passed a bad vehicle to him. Perhaps, but he needs to take responsibility for his repair technician’s failing to notice obvious problems during its comprehensive vehicle safety inspection.
Mr. Paulson also claimed that the wording of the Carfax report relieves him of any responsibility and that he was a victim as much as I was. But he had nothing to say about his own CVSI report that falsely claimed the vehicle was accident-free and needing only minor repairs. He also failed to explain the discrepancy between the KBB valuation of $20,510 that he provided my credit union and truck being “probably worth between $7,500 - $8,500.”
I have made every effort to equitable resolve this matter without success. Now, I am requesting your assistance to return the truck to the dealer for a full refund, including travel expenses.
The dealer’s Comprehensive Vehicle Safety Inspection (CVSI) report
Four independent inspectors concurred that significant damage had existed before I bought the truck. The dealer’s CVSI report had failed to disclose the following problems:
Right rear shock absorber – badly bent (checked off as in good condition in the dealer’s CVSI report)
Bent axle housing directly below bent shock
Axle rubbed against inside of bent axle housing resulting in metal particles being introduced into the housing gear lube, turning it silver in color, should have been noticed as a cause for concern when the dealer’s mechanic replaced the lube
Vehicle came with an optional Vehicle Stability Control package including: a traction control unit; day time running lights; and a limited slip differential (LSD), which is marked with an LSD id tag outside the axle housing. There was no LSD id tag on the housing, which should have been noticed when the gear lube was changed, because an LSD uses different fluid than a standard differential
Bent right rear leaf spring
The above claims are documented and available at your request including:
Original Carfax report in Autobiography, CVSI report by the dealer, KBB value notification to credit union and invoice for repairs provided by dealer
Reports provided by independent auto repair providers regarding the actual damages and estimated costs of needed repairs
Emails between myself and Mr. Paulson, the dealer vice president, post rear axle housing replacement
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/23/2014 10:44 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/michaels-toyota-of-bellevue/bellevue-washington-98007/michaels-toyota-of-bellevue-a-toyota-dealership-from-hell-bellevue-washington-1118043. 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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