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DetroitNut90

Toyota to weed-out bad dealers

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When a power window motor on Robert Glenn's Camry went bad, the suburban Los Angeles writer expected to spend a couple hundred dollars on repairs, but when he called the dealer he'd been using for 20 years, the price came in at twice that amount. Frustrated, Glenn called another dealer, closer to his office, who said he'd do the work for half price. So Glenn switched shops asking his new dealer to do an oil change, too.

The next day, however, the bill came to…$400. Instead of a regular, $30 oil change, Glenn was charged $168 in labor alone for a "power oil flush." Now, clearly angry, the father of two called Toyota's factory representative, who admitted there's no such thing as a power oil flush, but who declined to push the dealer for a refund.

After owning six Camry sedans over the last two decades, Glenn is suddenly getting interested in the new Honda Accord coming out this autumn, and he's not alone. While Toyota has some of the highest loyalty rates in the U.S. auto market, according to industry statistics, data also reveal a growing frustration with the automaker's sales and service process, a trend that could lead to a loss of the long-time Toyota customers the company needs to maintain the fast-paced growth it's experiencing in the U.S. market.

As a result, Toyota is readying an expansive plan to dramatically improve the entire "experience" of buying, owning and maintaining one of the company's products, TheCarConnection.com has learned.

Continue Reading @ The Car Connection

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They need it. Forget about the facilities, the people are nasty, at least around here.

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Perhaps more significant, Toyota has slipped not only in these "things-gone-wrong" surveys, but also in studies measuring "things-gone-right," the things a maker can do to surprise and delight a customer. In the latest Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, from the California research firm, AutoPacific Inc., which measures things both wrong and right, didn't even measure up to industry average, falling behind not only TGW leaders like Honda and Cadillac, but brands such as Volkswagen, Land Rover and Hummer, which have traditionally suffered from weak quality.

Funny how that paragraph went from "things-gone-right" to "quality" when the JD Power survey isn't even a valid measure of quality.

Though Toyota officials downplay the series of recent poll results,

Man doesn't that sound familiar.

losing as many as four out of ten existing customers to competitive brands.

Wow, that's pretty bad.

Hesterberg has mixed feelings about the changes proposed under EM2, cautioning that dealers alone aren't the problem, and that they alone can't fix things. "It's a high-pressure dealer network,." The former Ford executive emphasized, and Toyota itself will have to accept that a more friendly sales process may not win as many conquest customers.

With any luck, Toyota will both turn on and begin to cannabalize it's dealer base; or at the very least piss a good number of them off. Dealers are generally bitchy and resistant to change.

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Alternatively, the lazy bastard could pick a up a screwdriver and a wrench and fix it himself. There's some things I leave to the mechanics, but if I can do it, I sure as hell will. The dealer wanted to charge me $200+ to replace the 2 blown bulbs in the gauge cluster...all labor...2-3 hours assuming they "didn't break anything" while taking the dash apart". The rep himself admitted it was probably better if I just ignored it than waist the money. After the cruise control light stopped working, I decided I'd do it myself...so I do what I always do...go to the junkyard, find a junkyard car of the type I'm looking to fix, and learn/practice on it (and swipe all of of the bulbs). If something breaks I have nothing to worry about. The next day I did it in about an hour...piece of cake.

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Alternatively, the lazy bastard could pick a up a screwdriver and a wrench and fix it himself. There's some things I leave to the mechanics, but if I can do it, I sure as hell will. The dealer wanted to charge me $200+ to replace the 2 blown bulbs in the gauge cluster...all labor...2-3 hours assuming they "didn't break anything" while taking the dash apart". The rep himself admitted it was probably better if I just ignored it than waist the money. After the cruise control light stopped working, I decided I'd do it myself...so I do what I always do...go to the junkyard, find a junkyard car of the type I'm looking to fix, and learn/practice on it (and swipe all of of the bulbs). If something breaks I have nothing to worry about. The next day I did it in about an hour...piece of cake.

Time is money. That is something you will learn eventually. Not everyone has time to tinker with their cars. Most new cars are not tinker friendly. Most people today can barely fill their own washer fluid. In the Toronto area, more than 50% of the people live in condos or apartments. It is prohibited to work on your car in our garage, even if you knew how or wanted to. I used to work on my '67 Polara, but that was 27 years ago, and I haven't had the time to bother since. For most people, a car is an appliance and it should never require maintenance and work flawlessly for 8 years and then merely be replaced.

Toyota's dealers are getting fat and lazy. Their time will come, too.

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You can't work on your car in your on your own property.

I don't know if the rules in Toronto are universal for all large urban areas, but it is illegal here to dump motor oil or any chemicals/solvents in the sewer system. Proper disposal of hazardous chemicals is expensive and time wasting. Of course, many people probably do still just dump their used motor oil in the sewer, but since many streets sewers still dump directly into the lake/river/ocean, that is just irresponsible.

Most (if not all) apartment buildings and condos prohibit you to work on your own vehicle in the underground or the back parking areas. They usually hide behind safety/insurance regulations, but let's face it, who wants to spend $300k for a condo and look down to see 2 or 3 wrecks up on blocks with the hoods up?

If you own your own single family residence, then you can work on your car, but what do you do with the mess once you're finished? Would it not be easier to pay $29 at the local Quick Lube or dealer to have it done for you?

Just wondering.

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I don't know if the rules in Toronto are universal for all large urban areas, but it is illegal here to dump motor oil or any chemicals/solvents in the sewer system. Proper disposal of hazardous chemicals is expensive and time wasting. Of course, many people probably do still just dump their used motor oil in the sewer, but since many streets sewers still dump directly into the lake/river/ocean, that is just irresponsible.

Most (if not all) apartment buildings and condos prohibit you to work on your own vehicle in the underground or the back parking areas. They usually hide behind safety/insurance regulations, but let's face it, who wants to spend $300k for a condo and look down to see 2 or 3 wrecks up on blocks with the hoods up?

If you own your own single family residence, then you can work on your car, but what do you do with the mess once you're finished? Would it not be easier to pay $29 at the local Quick Lube or dealer to have it done for you?

Just wondering.

you take the oil back to the autoparts store to be recycled. it's free here.

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I for one do not like having to pay the prices at a dealership for maintenance and repairs, yet as I have gotten older and my career has taken off, my time is also worth money. I love that I can drop off any of my cadillacs for an oil change and any other server I need, get a loaner and come back later in the day and pick it up. Service and competitve prices here in Seattle make this worth it to me. I have no time now to do the basic maintenance. Just make sure it is done right and with a professional service staff and all is good. :D

ROCK ON GM :ohyeah:

Let's just hope that GM dealers do not get the FORD used car attitude that could hurt the customer experiance. :)

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you take the oil back to the autoparts store to be recycled. it's free here.

Time is money, my friend. The last thing I want to do is burn $5 in gas making two trips to the auto parts store, fighting traffic both ways - twice. If you "enjoy" working on your car and know what you are doing, then great for you. Most people cannot open the hood. Sad, but true.

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Time is money, my friend. The last thing I want to do is burn $5 in gas making two trips to the auto parts store, fighting traffic both ways - twice. If you "enjoy" working on your car and know what you are doing, then great for you. Most people cannot open the hood. Sad, but true.

Something that has worked well for my family in changing oil is having a big container to empty the oil in and only have to take it back once a year or so. If we know that we will be needing another container we simply take the full container on our first trip to the auto part store; no need to go back twice.

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Time is money, my friend. The last thing I want to do is burn $5 in gas making two trips to the auto parts store, fighting traffic both ways - twice. If you "enjoy" working on your car and know what you are doing, then great for you. Most people cannot open the hood. Sad, but true.

Yeap, time is money... thats why instead of waiting 45 mins for the DA to change my oil and filter at the dealership i do it at home in 10 mins. as for the old oil... it sits in the handy dandy drain pain that has a lid until i take my trash off. i dispose of it in the containers provided for me along with the used oil filter. so what it costs 10 more dollars for me to do it, but the oil i choose goes into it and i know that the full amount of oil makes it back into the motor.

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