My daughter is facing a problem with her car, and I’m looking for advice as to how to deal with it. If anyone can comment, I’d appreciate it.
Her 2010 Toyota Corolla was recalled for re-programmming of her Powertrain Control Module (PCM). There was an issue with Toyota’s Smart Stop feature. When this was completed, and she started the car at the dealer’s lot, several warning lights came on. None were on before the recall. She complained that this could not have been a coincidence. She and I both suspected that some glitch in the re-programming caused false error signals, and I noted that the dealer hadn’t mentioned the warning lights when she picked up the car. She asked them to explain and expected them to eliminate the issue. The dealer then reset the lights to off, but as my daughter drove home, they came on again. The dealer now says the lights indicate a transmission problem, and that she needs a new one for $4300. This floored me because (i) the car is a four-year old Toyota with only 60,000+ miles, and (ii) my daughter is a very slow, careful driver. The vehicle is completely out of warranty.
My reaction was to call Toyota’s corporate customer center. I expressed my mistrust of the dealer, his diagnosis and his motives. They assigned a case number and told us to talk to the dealer again, stating that the existence of the corporate-level case number might spur the dealer to respond differently. I expressed my disappointment that Toyota would not take the initiative in resolving this issue, but that fell on deaf ears. The dealer continues to insist they did nothing to cause a transmission fault or falsely activate the warning lights. My daughter called Toyota again and was told the company would pick up “all but $1000” of the cost of the repair. We are supposed to appreciate that Toyota is defraying some of the cost our of warranty, but as far as I am concerned, this issue never should have arisen in the first place, and it’s still a big loss for my daughter, who expected better when she bought a Toyota. The only advice I can think of is to have another mechanic do an independent evaluation of the vehicle.
What do you think of this? What else should we do?