• Report: #21791
Complaint Review:

Toyota Motor Sales

  • Submitted: Wed, May 29, 2002
  • Updated: Wed, May 29, 2002

  • Reported By:Somersworth NH
Toyota Motor Sales
19001 S. Western Ave. H-200 Torrance, California U.S.A.

Toyota Motor Sales, My 2 1/2 year battle with Toyota, the ripoff business that doesn't give a d**n, for a vibration problem in my '99 Camry. Torrance, California

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September 20, 1999
Took my Toyota Camry to Bill Dube Dover, NH for vibration problem. Spoke with the service manager Steve Jackson and he told me my Camry rode better then most of the cars he had on his lot and that the vibration I was feeling was from the road and was normal.

I then informed Mr. Jackson that I would continue to bring the car back to him until it was fixed. Mr. Jackson then told me that I could not bring my car back to his dealership for the same problem. I then told Mr. Jackson that I would file the lemon law and he told me I could not file the lemon law unless it was a problem with the drive train. Mr. Jackson also told me that if I had bought a Camry with a six cylinder and aluminum rims I would not have the vibration.

November 3, 1999
I took my Toyota Camry to Auto Fair and they told me it was a normal characteristic for this vehicle. Steve Iron's told me that they had placed a vibration meter on my car, and attached it to the metal track on the drivers seat, and stated that the vibration fell within Toyota's vibration limitations.

November 4, 1999
I called Toyota Customer Relations and they told me they would send Auto Fair some paperwork regarding the problem and they told me to call back Auto Fair and speak to Steve Irons.

November 5, 1999
Called Auto Fair and spoke to Steve Irons and he told me there was nothing he could do, and that I had to go back to the manufacturer because it was a manufacturing problem.

Mr. Irons then told me he did not blame me for being mad that he would be mad too if he purchased a car with this problem

November 5, 1999
I called Toyota Customer Relations and told them that Auto Fair said it was a manufacturing problem. Toyota Customer Relations then advised me that they were going to notify the regional office and that I would hear from them no later then Wednesday.

November 10, 1999
I called Toyota Customer Relations to tell them I had not heard from the regional office and was told that they three business days to respond and that it was Wednesday so they had until the end of the day to respond. Toyota Customer Relations then told me if I did not hear from them to call back and let them know. I then told Customer Relations that if I did not hear from the regional office by Wednesday evening that I would notify the Attorney Generals Office and the Better Business Bureau. No phone call was ever received.

November 12, 1999
I called Toyota Customer Relations and spoke to Denise. I told her I wanted the names of every person that I had spoken to regarding my ongoing problem. I gave Denise all the dates that I called and she told me she could not locate these dates on her
computer. I then told Denise I wanted to speak to her supervisor and she placed me on hold. Denise then returned to the phone and stated that she had found another file with the dates I gave her however the names of the people I spoke to were not recorded.
Denise then told me that there was not a supervisor available.

November 19, 1999
I met with the Toyota Regional Rep at Auto Fair in Manchester, NH to address the problem with my Toyota Camry. I met with the Toyota Rep from the regional office and we took my Toyota Camry for a ride. The Toyota Rep told me that the Toyota Camry
vibration problem started on the late 1998 models and that Toyota was performing a test that he called the oswald test, where they would push a car down the road trying to trace the vibration. The Toyota Rep also told me that Autofair had performed a test on my car by clamping a test probe to the metal track on my seat to measure the vibration and that it fell within the vibration limits.The Rep then told me he thought he knew what the problem was and asked me to drive a demo that was on the lot at Auto Fair. We then drove the demo and he stated that he was going to have the tires taken from the demo and placed on my car, because he felt if he ordered new tires I may still have the same problem.

December 1, 1999
I took my car to Auto Fair and they swapped the tires from the demo to my car. While washing my Toyota Camry after Autofair Toyota installed the tires from the demo I noticed two cuts in one of the front tires, so fearing that I may have a blowout I took my spare out to change the tire. Upon removal of the hub cap I realized that the tire that Auto Fair had placed on my car had a damaged rim which would have occurred before the hub caps were placed on the demo, however with this damage visible during swapping the tires Autofair still placed the tire on my car knowing that I would not be able to see the damage to the rim.

December 2, 1999
I left work and drove about two miles and there was a vehicle making a left turn, and when I went to go around the vehicle I could not steer my car and almost crashed into the car that was turning. I called Auto Fair and told them I had completely lost
the power assist steering in my car. Autofair Toyota told me to bring the car in so they could check it in the morning. Autofair did not offer to pick the car up or give me another car so I had to drive the car without any power steering.

December 3, 1999
I took my Toyota Camry to Auto Fair and they told me the power steering assist pump had failed and it would be three days before they could get it repaired. They gave me a rental car to use until mine was fixed.

December 3, 1999
I filed a complaint with the NHTSA about the vibration in my Toyota Camry

December 27, 1999
I sent a letter to Toyota Motor Distributors complaining that the vibration was still there. I then received a call from the regional rep who stated If I file for arbitration that he would then replace the tires as a last attempt to repair the problem.

January 27, 2000
I filed a complaint with NHTSA about the vibration in my steering, and the groaning noise coming from my brakes when lightly applied at moderate speeds.

May 22, 2000
Filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and sent a certified copy of the letter to Toyota Motor Distributors in which they denied having a file on my complaints.

July 11, 2000
I received a letter from the Better Business Bureau stating that Toyota had no information on my complaints so I mailed copies of the return receipts that confirmed Toyota did in fact have a file regarding my complaints, and had lied to the
Better Business Bureau

July 22, 2000
I sent a letter to Dateline NBC asking them to investigate the ongoing problems with the Toyota Camry, also sending them copies of the many e-mails I received from other consumers with the same problem.

July 27, 2000
I received a second letter from the Better Business Bureau in which Toyota stated they had since found a file on Michael St.Laurent.

September 25, 2000
I filed a complaint with Consumer Broadcast Group regarding the vibration in my Toyota Camry.

March 1, 2001
Water pump failed, and after having my Toyota Camry serviced I noticed a rattle coming from my motor. When I opened the hood to see where the noise was coming from I found a 14mm wrench sitting on top of my motor.

July 25, 2001
I mailed a letter to CEO Yoshi Inaba by certified mail, with return receipt, with my concerns about the unresolved vibration problem with my Toyota Camry.

August 17, 2001
I received a letter from Toyota stating that I was to call customer relations to dicuss the letter I sent to Yoshi Inaba

August 24, 2001
I called Toyota customer relations and spoke to Samantha, she stated that my Toyota Camry passed the vibration limitation test. I asked Samantha who set the vibration limitations Toyota or the federal government. Samantha stated that the vibration limitations were set by the federal govenment.

August 24, 2001
I filed a second complaint with Consumer Broadcast Group

September 6, 2001
I called Toyota and spoke to Renee and asked to speak to Samantha. Renee stated that Samantha was busy with another call and said she would be able to help me. I informed Renee that I spoke to Samantha and she stated that they had no records of me calling since the letter was mailed to me on August 15, 2001. I then told Renee that I did in fact call and spoke to Samantha and she stated that my Toyota Camry passed the vibration limitations test. I asked Renee to send me copies of the vibration test results that were performed on my Toyota Camry. Renee informed me that these results were not available and that I would have to contact the regional office and the dealership that performed the test to get the test results. I asked Renee for the name of her supervisor and she told me her supervisors name was Alana. Renee also stated that Steven Flach had called my home and left a message, however no message was ever left on my machine.

September 6, 2001
I called and spoke to Shawn and asked to speak to Alana. Shawn put me on hold and returned to the phone and stated that Alana wasn't available. I asked Shawn if Alana had a voice mail and he stated he was not allowed to give me that information. I then
asked for Stephen Flach's voice mail and Shawn stated that he was not allowed to give me that information. I then asked for Yoshi Inaba's voice mail and Shawn said he could give me the phone number to his office. (310) 468-2442

September 6, 2001
I called Yoshi Inaba's office and left a voice mail asking him to return my call. I left my daytime and evening phone numbers.

September 10, 2001
I received a call at work from Jim Fewel. Jim Fewel stated that he looked up my file and told me I had been through a lot. Jim Fewel then told me I was still eligible to file for arbitration under the drive train warranty. Jim Fewel then told me that
the reason Toyota customer relations would keep telling me I never called was because they had my name spelled four different ways. I then told Jim Fewel that didn't make any sense because they only asked for my case number when I called.

September 11, 2001
I mailed a letter by certified mail to Autofair Toyota requesting all invoices regarding service that Autofair Toyota performed on my 1999 Toyota Camry including the vibration test results that Autofair stated they performed on my car using test equipment that monitors vibration. Toyota stated that the sensing probe was clipped to the metal track on the drivers seat and the vibration was within the vibration limitation allowed.

September 20, 2001
I called and left a message with Autofair Toyota's general manager Bob Ramous requesting that he return my call regarding the documents I requested with the letter I sent certified mail.

September 24, 2001
I faxed a copy of the letter I sent to Autofair Toyota by certified mail to the general manager Bob Ramous and the service manager Patrick Obed. Second request

September 24, 2001
I received a call from Patrick Obed the service manager from Autofair and he stated they had nothing on paper regarding the vibration test that was performed on my Toyota. Patrick Obed stated they have a tester manufactured by V-Tronics corporation however it does not record the test results on paper. Patrick Obed stated he would send me all the doccuments he had regarding service performed on my 1999 Toyota Camry but it would take him three days before he could send them to me, however he was reading the history of the service Autofair Toyota performed on my car over the phone to me.

September 25th, 2001
I called Grapone Toyota and spoke to the service advisor and asked him if they had any test equipment used to check levels of vibration. The service advisor asked what make, model and year my car was. I revealed this information to the service advisor
and he then stated that they had test equipment supplied to them from Toyota. I then asked the service advisor who the maufacturer of this equipment was and he stated he didn't know so I asked if it was a company V-Tronics and he stated that sounds about right. I then asked the service advisor if this test equipment printed a report with the results and the service advisor stated that it did print a report with the results. This information was requested by me from Autofair Toyota and Patrick Obed told me that the test showed the results on a screen and did not print a report.

September 27, 2001
I was left a message on my answering machine from Auotfair Toyota service manager Patrick Obed who stated that he had the documents I requested on his desk, however he would not be working on Friday the 28th so he would fax them to me on Monday,
October 1, 2001 ( I never received them )

October 9, 2001
I called Autofair Toyota and left a message on Patrick Obed's answering machine once again requesting the repair documents. Patrick Obed called me back stating he was still looking for the documents and would fax them to me as soon as he found them.

October 10, 2001
I was performing a oil change on my car and while checking the belts found a bolt that holds the motor strut mount only had two threads left before falling out of the bracket securing it. I am unsure if this bolt vibrated loose or if it was left loose
from service performed on my car from Toyota's service department.

October 11, 2001
I received the documents I requested on September 11, 2001 from Autofair Toyota. I called Autofair Toyota and spoke to Patrick Obed and told him that all the documents were not there. Patrick Obed then told me he could not go back that far and that the
records were only kept in the computer for six months however Patric Obed looked up this information on September 24, 2001 when I spoke to him on the phone and was reading this information to me.

October 15, 2001
I faxed a letter to Jim Fewel at Toyota Customer Relations requesting copies of all work orders I mailed to Yoshi Inaba on July 25, 2001, and copies of the files Toyota Customer relations has under file number 1999 1104 1098.

October 15, 2001
I received a phone call from Jim Fewel regarding the documents I requested. Jim Fewel got upset with me because I was going to file for arbitration under the State of New Hampshire and told me as far as he was concerned he had no corrospondence with me
other then when we had spoke on September 10, 2001 and refused to give me any information.

October 31, 2001
I dropped off my Toyota Camry at Autofair Toyota for the final repair attempt.

November 1, 2001
I call Autofair Toyota at 4:00 PM to see if my car was ready. The receptionist checked with the service advisor Craig and returned to the phone and stated that my car was not finished yet and that Craig would call me when it was ready. I called Autofair Toyota again at 4:45 PM to see if my car was completed. I spoke to Craig who told me my ears must have been ringing because he was just about to call me. Craig stated that my Toyota Camry was completed by noontime and the Toyota Rep had arrived at 7:00 AM and left around noontime. I asked Craig what they had done to my Toyota Camry and Craig stated they had performed a vibration test on my car and a comparable car of the same year and that was all they did to it. I then asked Craig if that was all they did and it was finished at noontime then why when I called at 4:00 PM was I told they were still working on my car? Craig ignored my question and just told me my car was finished and I could come pick it up. I asked Craig if I had to drop off the rental car at the Enterprise dealer and Craig stated I was to leave it at Autofair and they would return it.

November 1, 2001
I arrived at Autofair to pick up my Toyota Camry. When I got into my Toyota Camry and applied the brakes to shift the car my brake pedal went all the way to the floor, it took 3 pumps on the brake pedal for the brakes to return to normal. I beleive this was caused because the calipers had been taken off the rotors and the brakes had to be pumped to return the pads to the correct position .

FROM: Gary W. Duncan
Complaint Reso-lut:ion Analyst
CASE #: 49712
RE: Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc.

The BBB is pleased that it has been able to be of service to you in mediating your problem. Unless we receive further written comment from you, we shall consider your case closed. We have received the following response to your case: Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc. states: We have no information regarding this consumer. Also, there is no dealer indicated in the consumer's complaint.


RE:Case # 49712

Dear Mr. Duncan,

I am responding to your letter I received in regards to Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc. denial of having any knowledge regarding my Toyota Camry vibration problem. I have taken my Toyota to two different Toyota dealerships in New Hampshire for the vibration problem. The last time I took my Toyota to Auto Fair in Manchester New Hampshire the Toyota Rep. from Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc. met with me at Auto Fair and went for a ride in my Toyota Camry. When we returned to the dealership he had them take a set of used tires off a demo and placed them on my Toyota.

The Toyota Rep. left the dealership before my car was completed. When my car was finished the vibration was still there, I then spoke with the Toyota Rep. and told him the vibration was still there and have had no response. The dealerships in New Hampshire tell me it is up to Toyota Corporation to authorize the repair on my Toyota Camry. I have made numerous phone calls to Toyota's customer relations, and just get the run around. I have also sent my complaints to Toyota Motor Distributors Inc. on two occasions, both were sent registered mail with retum receipt and, both receipts were returned signed. So it seems Toyota is giving the Better Business Bureau the same run around they have given me.

The only way that the dealers can do anything about my car is to get the approval through Toyota Motor Distributors Inc. I am including copies of the registered mail receipts, also the last letter I sent to Toyota as well as copies of all repair attempts which were sent to Toyota with the letter. I have also done. some research on the Toyota Camry vibration problem and found my car is not the only one with this problem. I will also continue to collect evidence on the Toyota problem and refuse to let this problem with the Toyota Camry to be pushed on to other consumers. I think that if you are going to sell a product that you need to stand behind this product when it has a problem.

Sincerely, Michael R.

CASE #: 49712
RE: Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc.

We have received the following response to your case:
We have since located Michael St. in our files. If there is a defect in the mater'ial or workmanship of the vehicle, an authorized Toyota Dealer needs no authorization to make the repair. Previous inspections of the vehicle indicate it is operating as designed, therefore warranty repairs are not necessary. Based upon the abcve response to your complaint there is, unfortunately, nothing further we can do to assist you on a mediation basis. This matter shall, of course, become a-matter of file record with the Better Business Bureau.

However, we recommend you contact the following for assistance:

Mass. Attorney General-Consumer Complaint & Info. Sect.
200 Portland Street
Boston, MA 02114

617-727-8400 Consumer Information specialists answer consumer inquires by providing consumer rights information, educational pamphlets and literaturem and referrals to other local consumer programs, or appropriate state and federal agencies. They also provide a voluntary mediation service aimed at resolving disputes between consumers and businesses. Consumers can obtain a complaint form by calling the Attorney General's Hotline at 517-727-8400

Somersworth, New Hampshire

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/29/2002 08:24 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/toyota-motor-sales/torrance-california-90509/toyota-motor-sales-my-2-12-year-battle-with-toyota-the-ripoff-business-that-doesnt-giv-21791. 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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