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MotorGround >> Mechanic trying to rip me off, what are my options


By Joe Benton
ConsumerAffairs.com

January 8, 2007
Consumers saddled with sludge-clogged Toyota engines may soon get some help from the Japanese auto giant under the terms of a class-action lawsuit settlement that covers roughly 3.5 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles damaged by engine oil sludge.

An engine gummed up with oil sludge can cost thousands of dollars to repair and in many cases must be replaced. The class action settlement could potentially cost the automaker hundreds of millions of dollars.

The agreement will allow consumers whose claims have been denied by Toyota to submit those claims to a third-party mediator at no cost for binding arbitration.

The lawsuit, filed in a Louisiana district court, could receive final approval by the middle of February. Details of the settlement are being mailed to 7.5 million current and previous Toyota and Lexus owners.

The agreement provides owners of sludge-damaged Toyotas eight years plus 120 days from the original purchase date to file a complaint.

Toyota consumers who have repaired their sludge-damaged engines may be able to recover their costs. The car only needs to show evidence of oil sludge damage.

The terms of the settlement are transferable to future vehicle owners.

Toyota owners have repeatedly written ConsumerAffairs.com detailing Toyota's attempts to blame sludge problems on inadequate vehicle maintenance by the owner.

Charles in Arkansas said: "At 36,000 miles the engine gummed up and quit running. My wife had the oil changed at Wal-Mart and did not keep receipts for the oil changes. The North Little Rock dealer and the Toyota representative told us such problems were rare and that we had caused the problem but for $2,500 they could fix it. They inferred that my wife was a liar," he wrote.

With the new agreement, consumers need only show reasonable maintenance in terms of oil changes.

Toyotas covered by the Louisiana settlement include the:

• Camry 4 cylinder from 1997-2001,
• Camry 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
• Camry Solara 4 cylinder from 1999-2001,
• Camry Solara 6 cylinder 1999-2002,
• Sienna 6 cylinder from 1998-2002,
• Avalon 6 cylinder from 1997-2002,
• Celica 4 cylinder from 1997-1999,
• Highlander 6 cylinder from 2001-2002,
• Lexus ES 300 from 1997-2002 and
• Lexus RX 300 from 1999-2002.

In 2002 Toyota admitted receiving 3,400 complaints about sludged engines and the automaker extended its vehicle warranty to eight years along with unlimited mileage to owners of 1997-2002 Toyota and Lexus vehicles equipped with 3.0-liter V-6 or 2.2-liter four-cylinder engines.

At Toyota dealerships, however, consumers have encountered repeated denials from service managers insisting that sludging occurs primarily when owners fail to change their oil frequently enough.

Lauren wrote ConsumerAffairs.com from Tampa, Florida that, "My check engine light came on once again so I immediately returned to Stadium Toyota. The next day, I received a call from Stadium Toyota telling me that my engine is damaged due to engine sludge and it will cost me $4,500 to fix it."

In Lawrenceville, Georgia Valerie ran into a hostile dealer despite Toyota confirming her vehicle was "part of their oil gelling/sludge program. The service dept at the dealership says that I'm not entitled to anything," she wrote.

In Apex, North Carolina Jan heard the bad news from her Toyota dealer.

"They checked it over, then called and said that the engine had sludge in it and it needed a $7,000 to $8,000 repair," she wrote.

"They also said it was my fault, because the oil had obviously not been changed properly. When I purchased the car, the Toyota dealer talked me into a $999 extended warranty plan, which he assured me would cover any major issues that might come up with a car. It is called their Tender Loving Care package."

Edward from Parma, Ohio received the Toyota brush-off despite promises of an extended warranty.

"I called the dealer and was basically told by their customer service manager that they refused to do anything and did not care if I chose to file a lawsuit or anything else, Edward told ConsumerAffairs.com.

Lois from Cedar Rapids is still steaming over her treatment despite promises of an extended warranty.

"We received a letter from Toyota that indicated the engine was covered for a period of 8 years for engine sludge. In February of 2006, at 144,000 miles, the engine started making a loud noise. We were told that our car had 'blown a rod' and needed a new engine. We asked about the previous problem but were told that this was not related to the sludge problem and the car was not covered by Toyota."

The Toyota agreement the court is examining contains no finding of fault by Toyota or its dealers and does not prove Toyota or Lexus vehicles are predisposed to develop oil gel.



Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/01/toyota_sludge_settlement.html#ixzz0FVWksYO2&B
5/14/09 2:40 PM
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Mark1
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 You may want to take the issue up with Toyota.

Toyota Agrees to Sludge Settlement for Consumers

Class Action Suit Brings Relief to 3.5 Million Toyota, Lexus Owners

 
5/14/09 2:41 PM
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jason hornbuckle
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you need to cancel the check or whatever you paid him with originally, then tell him to keep the car

i'm sure you can find a decent machine for 5 grand
5/14/09 2:42 PM
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StephenL
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make a youtube video of your issue.

show the owner of the shop and tell him that you'll post it unless this gets solved in your favor.

this worked for me over a 16 dollar pair of sunglasses.

stephen
5/14/09 2:49 PM
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mteub
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I OWN A FUKCING REPAIR SHOP!!!....MY ADVICE IS SOLID!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5/14/09 2:54 PM
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jkkazmier
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Check with the BBB to see if there are other complaints and file one yourself. Then take him to small claims court.

I worked at a garage in my youth and you would be surprised how shaddy some mechanics can be. I was in high school and was a gas attendent. There was one mechanic that always stayed after 5PM which is when the boss and the rest of the mechanics left. He would rip old people off so bad. He would spray paint parts and call them new, break things intentially, take a grinding wheel to belts, charge for oil changes they never did and pocket the money.

Sucks to hear your story. I hope it works out for you.
5/14/09 2:57 PM
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jkkazmier
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Tell him you are going to make it your job to deter people from doing business there if he doesn't make things right. I would post his info in craigslist and post your story.
5/14/09 2:59 PM
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Fightin_Chance
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 a good reliable mechanic is fucking GOLD!
5/14/09 3:01 PM
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Robert Wynne
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 fuck his wife
5/14/09 3:07 PM
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karasu
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Dealerships are just as guilty as independent auto mechanics. They are in the business of selling cars not fixing them. I had a dealership try to rip me off on repairs, took it to a reputable independent automechanic who charged me $400 what the dealership tried to charge me over $2,000 and the dealership lied about what needed to be done, basically they were banking on me being dumb enough to try and purchase another car from them. They lost my business forever. It was Saturn by the way.
5/14/09 3:19 PM
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Lurken
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Lots of those assholes out there.
5/14/09 5:00 PM
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Badmonkey
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Get a huge sign that says "$2800 quote = $4800 bill, take your car somewhere else." Stand in front of the place with it and tell the mechanic that after day 1 you're calling the local news and anyone else who will listen.
5/14/09 5:06 PM
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BigEyedFish
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poop in his pooper was the correct answer
5/14/09 5:30 PM
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ruger007
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You my friend, just lost a fuck ton of money.
5/14/09 5:33 PM
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Luncha Libre
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enjoy your $10,000 toyota.
5/14/09 5:45 PM
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macdawg
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I'm working in a shop part time now while I'm going back to school.

A guy came in the other night with a piece of shit 93 ranger that wouldn't start & he had it towed over. I put in a new igntion coil and recommended new plugs as well which he declined. I put in the ignition coil for $200 and his car broke down 15 minutes up the street. I towed his car back in free of charge for him for a $200 order.

Basically, I'll use local auto places for brake, coolant, transmision flush, brake jobs, alignments, tires, spark plugs, etc. Anything like a check engine light I'd be going to the dealer.

Don't pay these people a damn cent and take the car to the dealer.
5/14/09 5:48 PM
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ruger007
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So did you pay the whole 4.5 k already?
5/14/09 6:51 PM
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Lurken
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Dealerships will rip your ass off too. I think some mechanics need to get their orbital bones caved in to get the word out . a little street justice.

AND STAY AWAY FROM MIDAS. THEY ARE SOME RIP OFF MOTHER FUCKERS.
5/14/09 7:19 PM
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ribz
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Ouch, this is why I fix my own cars.
5/14/09 8:38 PM
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39
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1. kill him
2. eat his brain
3. gain knowledge
4. fix your own cars / scam people
5. the cycle continues
5/14/09 8:45 PM
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GladiatorGannon
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once you hit $4500, it starts getting worthwhile to go to court to knock down these costs. as much as you might hate dealing with the sytem, he'll hate it much much worse. and like mteub states, BBB as well (he's in the business, he understands). anything to make him miserable and amp the pressure. write up a bunch of fliers, describing your story, and PLASTER his neighborhood with them. have the fliers list a website to join a "Class Action Lawsuit" against him. it's BS, but it will make him sweat.
5/14/09 8:52 PM
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Mark1
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 Did you read my earlier post?

It it was one of the 3,500,000 Toyotas affected, Toyota should cover your costs for engine damage.

Mark
5/14/09 10:10 PM
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Lurken
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Did you read my earlier post?

It it was one of the 3,500,000 Toyotas affected, Toyota should cover your costs for engine damage.

Mark


Mark1. Who , what. how, why and when do you file a claim?

The wife has a 02 Highlander. No problems yet, BUT!
5/15/09 11:49 AM
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The Noose
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mteub - 
cottonzway - It might be a scam, but often it scares owners into reconsidering their decisions.



PEOPLE THAT PULL SHIT LIKE THIS DON'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT THE BBB...........

This turns out to be exactly right. I deserve to get ripped off for being a fucking retard and not checking this crooked fuck out. My wife's dad was the one who found the shop and I just found out yesterday that he picked it outta the fucking phone book!! Did a quick google search, this guy has shitty reviews all over the palce and 11 complaints files with the bbb in the last 36 months, none of which were resolved to the customers satisfaction. When I brought this up to the guy over the phone he couldnt give a fuck less.
Too late to get my money back. My wife paid him in cash when she picked the car up the first time. I went to the shop with my brother and a friend with ass kickin in our hearts, but the bitch ass owner wasnt there. Just some girl with her baby in the front office. Human shields in my opinion. I got my car back without paying the extra fees, but the transmission was is slipping really bad now and i had to drive it straight to a transmission shop. Transmission is under warranty and the guy there said he will fix whatever the problem is.

Quick rant: I make about 15 bucks an hour doing a job I hate. My wife makes a little more, but by far we are a working class family. I have a 2 year old son at home, a house payment, credit cards bills, medical bills, and all the other shit that comes with being a resposible adult. I served in the military, my brothers served, I have never been on any type of government assistance even though I have been poor my whole life. I just fucking work. I am sick and tired of fuckheads like this mechanic taking advantage of people and cheating them out of thousands of dollars. This guy has a beating coming his way. Is there any other reasonable alternative to issuing an ass whoopin?
5/15/09 12:04 PM
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mteub
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TAKE SOME TIME OF...PARK YOUR CAR ON THE STREET IN FRONT OF HIS SHP...AND PICKET HIM.....HOLD UP A SIGN THAT SAYS HE IS CROOKED AND WRITE YOUR EXPERIENCE DOWN AND HAND EVERYONE THAT COMES NEAR THE PLACE A COPY.....
5/15/09 12:31 PM
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lawrenceofidaho
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Unleash  ManOfThePeepHole!


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