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Dealerships that tick you off

This is more of a venting session than anything but I’ve recently bought a Toyota Highlander from a respected dealership chain in IL. Now I bought this a few months ago but the other day I was looking at the back of it and noticed the license plate was crooked. That bugged me so inspected it with the hopes of it being an easy fix. Upon further investigation I realized that the dealer broke one of the bolts head off. So instead of drilling that bolt out and using an extractor, the decided to use 2 self tapping screws and drill new holes. That p****es me off because I live near Chicago and that will rust. On top of all that I extracted the bolt myself and you would never guess it but it’s a plastic bolt.

I guess venting here might lower your blood pressure but will not solve the problem. Have you called the dealers General Manager because this should at least be sealed so water does not get inside the rear hatch.

I agree with VOLVO_V70 here. The dealer should repair this on their dime.

I’m sorry I should’ve stated that when I extracted the bolt myself I also repaired that holes myself. I should have made the dealer fix it but it was just easier doing it myself.

used Toyota Highlander
How many miles on it?
Toyota dealer or other?

I am a little curious as to how you repaired the holes . You should at least go by the dealer and show the repaired damage so they can make sure it does not happen again.

As far as plastic bolts, not uncommon. But I prefer to use SS bolts with anti-seize.

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All of my American cars (GM & Chrysler) have (have had for decades) nylon inserts that the licenses plate screws thread into. When I was in salt country for the long salty winters I’d replace the screws with S.S. for appearance’s sake.

Used 2013 but still cost me $20 grand
70k miles
Leather and all the other bells and whistles
Metallic charcoal gray

So they used self tapping screws to drill into plastic inserts (hack job, but no big deal) or they used self tapping screws to drill into the sheet metal on the back hatch of the vehicle (I’d be pissed and, like the other poster asked, I’m curious how you repaired it).

As for fixing it you guys might laugh but I filled the holes with outdoor industrial adhesive similar to fish tank glass adhesive then while that was still wet I covered the holes with 1” diameter round clear rubber pads. The kind of pads I’m talking about are the ones you put on the feet of furniture to keep it from sliding around on wood floors. I figured that should not only keep out the water but prevent any vibration noise from the license plate. 2 birds 1 stone

Self tapping screws into the sheet metal. I removed the plastic bolt myself. It took 2 minutes. And to answer the other guys question it was an Audi dealership not a Toyota

Who do you think they assigned the task of putting plate on, their best mechanic of 30 years or that kid that just comes in on Saturdays to sweep the floor? I’ve always put my own plates on because I like the sticker straight. One time it was the receptionist that was going to put my plates on and I said naw, I’ll do it.

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Works for me! Sounds like you made it look factory - ish.

Does suck that they’d drill holes in a $20k vehicle out of laziness.

Is it possible the holes were there previous to the dealer taking it in on trade? ie The previous owner did this?
If not I sure would want the Audi dealer to fix it… And by fix it I mean weld up the holes and repaint the tailgate.

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It does kind of looks like it belongs. Ha

Well anything is possible I guess but I could tell you what I saw and that is two brand new-ish self tapping screws that were nice and shiny and if they were old they should have some rust due to Chicago weather. Also those holes in the sheet metal where there was no paint also nice and shiny metal with no rust. And yes I was very mad at the dealer if they were the ones who did it but I also can’t prove that they were the ones who did it because I didn’t notice until two months later after I had bought the Highlander. So it just goes back to what I said before that it was just easier to fix it myself and call it a day

You have reason to be displeased with the dealership’s bizarre method to attach the license plate. At the very least take your vehicle there and show what they did to the dealership owner. I’m sure the owner would like to know what’s going on in his shop.

I’ve had a couple of dealership issues like that. The dealership installed a modification to the ignition wiring, a device which prevented cranking on my Corolla. I’m assuming this was to prevent car theft from the lot. But they didn’t tell me about it, and didn’t remove it, and eventually it failed and caused the Corolla not to crank. Turn the key to “start”, nothing. B/c this modification wasn’t in the factory service wiring diagram it took me a lot of time and diy’er effort to find why it wouldn’t crank. Not a happy camper on that one.

Another time a VW dealership shop made a wiring mistake during a recall repair on my Rabbit, and even though I proved to them what they did wasn’t correct, easy to show them that the fuel pump wasn’t supposed to run unless the engine was running, and their mistake had melted the fuel pump relay, all very unsafe, they still denied they made a mistake.

These stories included w/the idea that misery loves company … :wink:

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That would make me very angry too. One thing I have found from buying about 20 new cars in my lifetime, is that the dealers don’t assign the job of affixing plates to the employees who know the business end of a screw driver. Often times it is a sales associate who does that work. I know because I have seen it more than once. My first new car (second new vehicle) was a Honda Civic SI. Back on black. I paid full sticker and was lucky to get one of the first of its generation. The sales associate put all the plates and frames on the hood. I tensed up. He then dropped a screw driver that looked to be the size of a Louisville Slugger on the hood and it rolled all the way down to the floor. No damage. The associate was new, I was about 23 and I think we both learned some lessons that day.

The silicone sealant should be fine.