Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Truck's interior got soaked on the dealer's lot

I recently took my 2005 Toyota Tacoma to have a check done on the “check engine light” that came on. It has 41,000 miles on it and it needs a new catalytic converter, but that is another issue.

I left it with the service department to get checked, so I could go shopping with my wife. When I came back to pick it up, we noticed my windows were down, and it had been raining rather hard. I checked in my car, and the interior was soaked; even the middle console, and the keys were in the ignition. (It was there for 6 hours)

The sales manager (the service manager was gone) gave me a loaner car and a free detail. But my question is, can there be any damage to my Tacoma that will not be seen or fixed with this detail job? It does not have leather seats, so will the water have soaked into my seats and become moldy? How liable are they? Am I missing anything?

They also are “drying it out” with industrial fans over today.

I’m not an expert but the main thing is to get it dried out fast to avoid the mold. The thing I would be most concerned with is the carpet depending on how wet it got. There is no good way to dry the pad underneath the carpet if it got that wet and should probably be replaced or at least taken out.

I have rubber floor guards that are over my factory mats. They protect the factory mats, and kept ehm dry, but the areas around them got pretty wet.

i would be more concerned with the drivers side window controls. they got wet. they will corrode. when they go, the passenger side will be useless too.

i would tell them to take the door panel off, and clean and use contact cleaner on the whole drivers side switches. they may say, its dry now, but the possibility of corrosion should be addressed by contact cleaner.

I’ll address that tomorrow. Thanks. All other input is helpful and welcome. Thank you in advance.

Don’t let them off the hook when the truck is returned. It is possible that there is still water under the carpet and in the seat pads that could eventually be a problem. Don’t play games with them, but don’t let them play games with you, either. They may demamd that you sign a release when you pick up the truck. Don’t do it. If they insist, let them provide a loaner until they change their minds. They goofed up, they pay for any problems, forever. This does not mean that they will try to pull a fast one on you. Just be prepared.

What you said cappy, is a very real problem with door arm rest mounted window and door lock controls.

I just had that problem with a corroded window switch (drivers door).

I agree with jtsanders about water under the carpet and in the seats. The external carpet may be dry but the matting under it may be soaked and will stay that way near forever; followed by mold.

They should remove the seats, carpet, and possibly even consider replacing the matting.

The comments about the door panel and accessories are also valid. Every door panel has a moisture shield behind it to prevent moisture from damaging the door panel over time. If moisture gets between the panel and shield then it’s possible that further down the road the door panel may buckle or distort.

Get something in WRITING that they’re going to stand behind any problems that occur; whether it’s appearance related or electrical. Verbal committments mean nothing because sometimes memories can be very, very short. Maybe even overnight.