• Report: #47712
Complaint Review:

Toyota Motor Sales, Inc

  • Submitted: Mon, March 03, 2003
  • Updated: Mon, March 17, 2003

  • Reported By:Eugene OR
Toyota Motor Sales, Inc
www.toyota.com Nationwide U.S.A.

Toyota Motor Sales, Inc Certifed Used Program is Bogus Nationwide

*Consumer Suggestion: Certified Vehicle False Advertising

*Author of original report: Toyota Certified Used is false advertising/fraud

*Consumer Suggestion: Thank you, Aimee, for your post about "Certified Used" vehicles, particularly the Toyotas.

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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"?

Eugene, Oregon

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/03/2003 12:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/toyota-motor-sales-inc/nationwide/toyota-motor-sales-inc-certifed-used-program-is-bogus-nationwide-47712. 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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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Certified Vehicle False Advertising

AUTHOR: John - (U.S.A.)

Here's a tip when you see a price quote from a dealer on a Toyota "Factory Certified" vehicle. When you see an advertised price, make sure to ask whether the price includes certification.

I went to my local Toyota dealer after seeing a price quote on their website for a Factory Certified Toyota Camry. The main Toyota corporate website actually linked me to the site and its selection of "Factory Certified" vehicles.

When I got to the dealer and looked at the car, I started the negotiations. At this point, the dealer informed me that the "cerfitication process" would cost an additional $800 dollars on top of the advertised price. In other words, the car had not even been certified yet, but it was advertised as such. The dealer informed me that if I did not want the certification, the car would not come with an extended warranty.

What bugs me about this is that Toyota gives the impression that when you arrive at the dealer and look at one of their certified vehicles, it will be carefully inspected and ready to drive off the lot. It was obvious that the Camry I was looking at had not been inspected because the front tires were almost totally bald (I determined this using the old lincoln head penny test - they looked awful by any standard).

When I asked how the dealer how the certification process works, he told me that if I agreed to the $800 charge, they would then do the detailed inspection that the Toyota website describes. Otherwise the car would not receive the detailed inspection if I did not pay the charge.
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#2 Author of original report

Toyota Certified Used is false advertising/fraud

AUTHOR: Aimee - (U.S.A.)

Thank you, Charlene, for your comments.

Hopefully, sooner or later (most likely later), Toyota (and any other manufacturer operating a certified used program under false pretenses) will be found guilty of false advertising and fraud. I am sending on my own research to the FBI fraud unit as manufacturers (specifically Toyota) are claiming that it costs more to "certify" a used car and, in turn, are charging more for certified cars. If the car is never actually "certified" then whatever involved costs they are claiming are falsified which means that the profits they are reporting are incorrect (in their favor).

These are publicly traded companies - this is misleading to stock holders, the general public, and the SEC. Actually, it's much more than misleading...it's illegal!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Thank you, Aimee, for your post about "Certified Used" vehicles, particularly the Toyotas.

AUTHOR: Charlene - Consumer Advocate - (U.S.A.)

I have gotten e-mail from recent purchasers of "Toyota Certified Used" vehicles, specifically those that fall within the "Customer Support Program" for ENGINE OIL SLUDGE. These owners are dumbfounded because after purchasing what they thought were quality, reliable vehicles, they began to have IMMEDIATE problems within the first month of ownership. These particular owners went on to discover ENGINE SLUDGE.

This BEGS the question, were these vehicles inspected at all? Were they inspected and the engine sludge overlooked intentionally? Was the history well known to the sellers but kept hidden from the buyers?

This is NOT the worst of it! These same owners went to Toyota with their vehicles after finding out about the CSP on the internet only. They were told by Toyota that "Toyota owed them nothing" because they could not produce the oil change receipts or the maintenance history. REMEMBER: Toyota initiated this sludge policy ONE YEAR AGO. It claims the program covers ALL the used vehicles, too.

These buyers of "Certified, Used" Toyotas are hit with a double whammy! First, the vehicles are NOT what they are claimed to be and second, they are found arbitrarily unqualified for a nationwide repair initiative! What a GREAT SCAM, in my opinion! Recycle all these returned SLUDGEMOBILES....claim that they are "Certified" (Certified to be a MAJOR HEADACHE??)...and resell them to unsuspecting new Toyota owners! This must be the best game in town!

Now, what I find so interesting is that according to Automotive News, Toyota is vying for the #1 position in the "Certified, Used Vehicle" market.....chasing, it seems GM. Will it have a good chance of doing so considering the 3.3 million potential sludgemobiles out there currently? OR, will the would-be owners of these recycled sludgemobiles be WISE to what is happening by coming here to research first?

In my opinion, the act of selling a sludgemobile to an unsuspecting owner while knowing the problem exists in the vehicle is nothing short of DECEPTION and FRAUD! How often does this happen in the "Certified, Used" business at Toyota...or any automaker, for that matter? With the increase of MAJOR component failures in late model vehicles, my guess is that this problem is EPIDEMIC in nature.

I hope that someone, somewhere will INVESTIGATE this matter fully and EXPOSE the automakers that are guilty of deceptive selling practice. I hope that the State Attorneys General will get immediately involved in support of the consumer!

Please file your own Rip-off Report if you were sold a "Certified, Used" Toyota which was found to have ENGINE OIL SLUDGE right after purchase. I will try to respond with the info you need.
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