Electronic Stability Control

I’ve been told by a Toyota dealer that they can transfer the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) from one Toyota Matrix 09 to another. Is this feasible because it uses electronic sensors and is tied to the ABS system? Are there any potential problems?

This is BS of the highest order.

What are the circumstances of this ''transfer?"

I agree with McParadise that this just sounds like typical car salesman BS. It is very rare for a car salesman (or saleswoman) to have much knowledge of the product that they are selling or actual technical knowledge. I would be very hestitant to believe this claim.

I ordered a Matrix to my specifications in mid April. They claim that they can’t get one from the factory like I want (options including VSC and color) but can one that has everything except the VSC. The dealer would then have their mechanics transfer the VSC from another Matrix to the one I ordered. My concern is - will it actually work?

I respectfully disagree with the previous posters on this issue. I am confused about why the dealer cannot order you the vehicle you want but they can build it. Toyota’s VSC built by Bosch incorporates a speed sensor on each wheel (all Toyotas have these with or without VSC), A rotation rate sensor (which is wired on all toyota’s but not installed), and a steering angle sensor (again the vehicle is wired for this). Do to the fact that the wiring harness is exactly the same with or without VSC it is a simple operation to install. The VSC controll system can easily be installed by the dealer. The installation of the control module, rotation rate sensor, and steering angle sensor is plug and play. Once these componens are insalled they work with the ABS sysem to control vehicle stability. I say go for it if you ge a waranty.

Again, a load of BS. They can’t order a car like this from the factory? Not likely. It is much more likely that they want to use an existing car in their stock or in the stock of another dealership.

Consider this:

On a new car, by Federal law, the window sticker (in the trade, referred to as a “Monroney” sticker) must list all of the standard equipment on a new car and it must indicate the optional equipment on that car as well. If they were to remove the VSC from a new Matrix in order to install it on your car, then the “donor” Matrix would have a Monroney sticker listing VSC, but the car would not have this option–and that is a violation of Federal law. If they decided to remove the Monroney sticker in order to conceal the removal of original equipment, that is also a violation of Federal law. Either way, this is a warning flag that this is a dealership with which I would not want to be involved.

My best guess is that this dealership is going to install an after-market stability control system on a vehicle that they will get from another dealership, rather than ordering the vehicle that you want from the factory. The after-market system is undoubtedly cheap enough for them to make more of a profit on that feature than they could if the car came equipped from the factory with VSC.

Would an after-market system work properly? Maybe. Maybe not. And, an after-market system would not be covered by the Toyota warranty.

In my opinion, the information that you have provided is more than enough reason to RUN away from that dealership as fast as you can.

If you put a deposit down for this car, kindly ask for it back and proceed to the next closest Toyota dealership and ask if THEY can get you your car built to spec

“I say go for it if you ge a waranty.”

Whose warranty? It certainly wouldn’t be a Toyota warranty. Why would someone buy a new car with a vital safety system that might malfunction, but that does not come with the same warranty as the rest of the car?

IMHO, this dealership is not one that the OP should be dealing with. I believe that the OP could go to a different Toyota dealership (one with less BS), and actually order the desired car from the factory–or at least have the dealership find one at another dealership–that is equipped by the factory with the desired equipment.

all I can say is OMG?

This dealer has been the best Toyota dealer in the area over the last 20 years. No attempts to include add-ons for dealer prep, paint protection, etc. In other words, they have been as honest a dealer as I’ve ever found. That’s why I was baffled by what they’ve told me. Is there any real (enforced) penalty for a dealer who has an inaccurate Monroney sticker?

Obviously, someone would have to report the dealership to the appropriate authorities (FTC??), but whether the dealership is penalized for this violation or not, the fact remains that they would be violating clearly worded federal statutes. If it appears that they are in violation of one statute, it would certainly lead me to wonder about what other statutes or good business practices they were ignoring.

You are free to spend your money at whatever businesses you wish to patronize, but IMHO, their claim regarding the removal of VSC from one new vehicle and installing it on another is a major red flag that would prevent me from doing business with them.

Let me give you a real-life example from Jersey City, NJ. Several years ago, the local Honda dealership was removing the original spark plugs, batteries, and other parts, from new cars as soon as they were delivered, and they substituted the cheapest spark plugs, batteries, etc. that they could buy from Pep Boys.

The original parts that they removed were then sold by their parts department. Pretty neat, huh? Their customers never thought to check the brand on the spark plugs (who would??), battery, etc., and until their cars broke down and they went for service to an independent mechanic, nobody was the wiser. The dealership had to pay a significant fine to the State of NJ, and I believe that they subsequently lost the Honda franchise.

Dishonesty, violation of statutes, and failure to follow good business practice is a slippery slope. Once a business begins being dishonest, the possibilities are endless. And, if you know that they are doing one thing that is illegal, or unethical, how do you know where it will all end?

As an addendum, below is some detail on the other illegal practices that the owner of the above-referenced Honda dealership engaged in at that dealership as well as the other 15 dealerships that he owned.

If I recall correctly, their removal of original parts from new Hondas came AFTER this suit by the NJ Attorney General’s Office. Some sleazy businesses just don’t know when to cut their losses and stop the illegal practices that they engage in. All I can say is Caveat Emptor!

New Jersey Sues Bob Ciasulli Dealerships
Over Alleged Auto Fraud

alleges dealerships cheated hundreds of consumers

NEWARK - New Jersey is suing 16 Bob Ciasulli auto dealerships in the largest auto fraud case in State history for allegedly failing to honor negotiated deals, misrepresenting the true odometer readings on certain cars; using deceptive bait-and-switch tactics and engaging in a combined total of at least 35 other fraudulent activities to cheat consumers in connection with their lease and sales agreements, Attorney General John J. Farmer and Consumer Affairs Director Mark S. Herr announced today.

The State’s 23-count complaint, filed in Passaic County Superior Court on Tuesday, names:

Bob Ciasulli Automall, Inc., Route 46 East, Little Falls;

B.C.T. Imports, Inc., and Bob Ciasulli Toyota, Inc., Route 46 East, Little Falls;

Bob Ciasulli Jeep/Eagle, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Chrysler/Jeep, Bob Ciasulli Jeep and Bob Ciasulli Chrysler), Route 46 East, Little Falls;

Bob Ciasulli Hyundai, Inc., and Arrow Hyundai, Inc., Route 46 East, Little Falls;

Arrow Auto Imports, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Mitsubishi), Route 46 East, Little Falls;

Mack Auto Imports, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Honda and Mack Honda), 346 Route 37 East, Toms River;

Mack Dodge, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Dodge), 314 Route 37 East, Toms River;

Mack Pontiac Cadillac, Inc., Route 37 East, Toms River;

Monmouth American, Inc., and Route 88 Vehicle Corp., (also known as Monmouth Honda, Monmouth Jeep, Monmouth Jeep/Eagle and Monmouth Automall),1085 Route 88, Lakewood;

Monmouth Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., 700 Route 36, Eatontown;

M.T. Imports, Inc., (also known as Monmouth Toyota), 750 Route 36, Eatontown;

Universal Global, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Honda), Route 440 North, Jersey City; and

United Galaxy, Inc., (also known as Bob Ciasulli Lexus), Route 46 East, Little Falls;

The defendant companies are owned, operated and managed by Robert G. Ciasulli, a Kinnelon resident. Arrow Auto Imports, Inc.; Mack Pontiac Cadillac, Inc.; and Monmouth Chrysler Plymouth, Inc., are no longer in business.

“Owning a car is often a necessity in New Jersey, where there is almost a one-to-one ratio between the more than 6 million registered vehicles and the driving population,” Attorney General Farmer said. “It is, therefore, important that dealerships operate in a responsible, honest and forthcoming way so that consumers are not taken for a ride. When they fail to obey our laws, it’s our responsibility to protect consumers and to ensure that they pay for and correct their wrongdoings.”

“This is the largest auto-related case in State history naming car dealerships,” Herr said. “The prosecution involves more citizen complaints, more defendants and more allegations of fraud than any other auto fraud case ever prosecuted in New Jersey. The numbers are pretty bad, here, but the nature of the frauds involve some of the most abusive and egregious conduct Consumer Affairs has ever seen or prosecuted.”

“The case also could yield more than $2 million in penalties and $350,000 in restitution,” Herr added.

In the last five years, Consumer Affairs has prosecuted and/or negotiated agreements with 11 dealerships, including: Ramsey Nissan, Dodge City, Stateline Toyota, Route 22 Auto Sales, Route 22 Automobiles, Inc., Route 22 Nissan, Inc., Autoland, Crystal Auto Mall, Toms River Lincoln/Mercury/Mazda, Doms Second Chance and Ocean Motors. The defendants in these cases have paid more than $1.2 million in penalties, costs and consumer restitution.

“Auto-related complaints make up the No. 1 area of complaints at Consumer Affairs,” Herr said. “We take these complaints seriously and will do what we must to protect consumers.”

The State’s suit alleges 42 different types of fraudulent activities by the 16 dealerships and accuses them of violating the States Consumer Fraud Act, Used Car Lemon Law, and federal odometer disclosure laws while selling and leasing a variety of vehicles, including Lexuses, Hondas, Hyundais, and Toyotas, to New Jersey consumers.

To date, 286 consumers have complained to Consumer Affairs since 1995 about the defendants’ alleged unlawful activities. The bulk of the complaints were received between 1997 and 1999 and assert nearly 500 instances involving the fraudulent activities alleged in the State’s suit.

The State’s suit alleges that the dealerships engaged in a variety of fraudulent acts, including, among other things:

representing to consumers that certain dealer-installed or dealer-provided options, known as “after-sell” items, are mandatory, when, in fact, they are not;

charging consumers for after-sell items that have not been installed;

installing and charging consumers for after-sell items they did not agree to purchase;

failing to disclose prior damage to vehicles;

misrepresenting to consumers the true and actual odometer reading - or mileage - on vehicles;

failing to honor advertised or negotiated lease or sales prices and terms;

altering documents after they had already been signed by consumers;

requiring consumers to sign blank documents and to use dealer-arranged financing;

misrepresenting a lease agreement as a sales agreement; and

representing that a used car had one owner when, in fact, it had been used as a rental car.
For example, a Toms River man bought a 1991 Chevy Beretta from Monmouth Honda, Lakewood, for $8,318. At the time of purchase, the car had 9,043 miles on it and an “Odometer Disclosure Statement” given to him by the dealer also showed that car’s mileage as being 9,043. But, while driving the car home from the dealership, he noticed the odometer was not working. When he got home, he called the dealer.

“I was told the car was sold to me as is,” the consumer said in a complaint to Consumer Affairs. “When I purchased the car from the dealer I was never informed of a problem with the odometer.”

In fact, the consumer said, the odometer statement he received from the dealership indicated that the mileage was correct and the section on the statement where it warns consumers of an odometer discrepancy was left blank.

“When we investigated this complaint, we contacted the person who owned the car before and traded the 1991 Beretta for another car at the Monmouth Honda dealership,” Herr said. “She told us that the dealership knew that there was a problem with the odometer.”

The consumer wrote to Consumer Affairs that: “When I traded my Beretta in, I advised the Bob Ciasulli sales representative and manager … that I was not aware of the actual mileage of the car because the odometer had not been recording mileage since the vehicle was in an accident and had been repaired. I told them that I estimated the mileage to be between 57,000 and 67,000 miles.”

Based on the discrepancy, the car would have been worth at least $1,600 less than its $8,300 purchase price, according to the National Automobile Dealer’s Association’s “Official Used Car Guide.”

“But that’s not the worst of it,” Herr said. “When we investigated this consumer’s complaint, the dealer tried to cover up the alleged fraud by providing us with a falsified odometer statement reflecting that the box warning the consumer of the problem was checked off. The consumer’s copy of the odometer statement, however, showed that the box was not checked off.”

In another case, a Newark man complained that he went to Bob Ciasulli Lexus in Little Falls in March 1999 to buy a new Lexus and have it shipped to the Dominican Republic. As part of the arrangement, the man paid a $5,000 down payment. The dealership was to ship the car abroad.

A couple days later, he said a Ciasulli sales representative told him they could not ship the car overseas. He later learned that lending institutions generally do not allow the vehicles they finance to be taken out of the country. When he requested his $5,000 deposit back, the salesman allegedly told him it was non-refundable - even though there was no indication on the retail buyer’s order that “no refunds” were made, the consumer complained.

“I asked them to show me where ‘no refunds’ was written because I was sure it was not written on my receipt but I didn’t have it on me. So (the salesman) wrote on his receipt ‘no refund’ and gave me a copy of it,” the consumer said, adding that he was verbally mistreated by the salesman and manager who eventually threw him out of the dealership.

“To take his money, renege on the deal and then refuse to refund his money, are blatant violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, not to mention human decency,” Herr said. “These alleged acts cannot and will not go unpunished.”

Another man complained to Consumer Affairs that he had been defrauded after he purchased a used Mitsubishi Galant from Bob Ciasulli Mitsubishi of Little Falls. He made an $8,500 down payment for the vehicle, the Parsippany man said, based on representations by the “sales and management team” that the vehicle had only one previous owner.

“The management further stressed that the vehicle was never involved in any kind of accident and that their service department checks for proper mechanical, electrical and safe engine functionality,” the consumer wrote.

Six days after be began driving the car, it died. The consumer then learned from a service log at Mitsubishi Motors that the car had had frequent alternator problems and that it had been owned by a car rental company.

The consumer also complained that he learned that the car had been involved in an accident and “as pointed out by another dealer, the assembly was so bad that they did not even put the dash board and steering assembly to safety standards”

The State’s complaint seeks an order barring the defendants from breaking state and federal consumer protection laws; requiring them to pay civil monetary penalties of up to $7,500 for the first violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and up to $15,000 for each and every subsequent violation; assessing costs and attorneys fees and requiring them to pay restitution to affected consumers.

Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska of the Division of Law is handling this case for the State.

And they wonder why people are so leery about buying used cars.

Yeah, this Bob Ciasulli is a major sleaze-ball, but he has subsequently changed the name of his dealerships in an attempt to conceal his ownership of them. And, he is by no means the only sleazy car dealer out there.

The Toyota dealer with whom the OP is dealing is undoubtedly in the same category–even if he is not yet aware of it. If he makes the mistake of buying a car from that dealership, at least we can say that we warned him of the probability that any dealership that claims to transfer options from one new car to another is either lying or is in violation of federal and state laws.

As I said previously, Caveat Emptor!

I’m not sure how well to trust Toyota’s website for finding dealerships though. I did a search for 50 miles within my zip code, but it only found the one we have here in Marion. I did a search for a Columbus zipcode and found 4 for Columbus and did a ‘get directions’ and one is 38 miles from me, so I dunno how well it’ll work