Warranty Work Beware – True Story of Unethical Dealer

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When Toyota sends out a warranty notice like a technical service bulletin, most owners assume a dealer will simply fix the problem. The thought of being “taken” during these types of repairs is most likely low. Don’t be foolish. Keep your guard up even when getting warranty work done. When it comes to repair work — especially in a field as precise as auto mechanics — there is always someone willing to take advantage of those less knowledgeable.

Warranty Work Beware - True Story of Unethical Dealer

Just because it is warranty work doesn’t mean you should relax your guard when working with your dealership.

Take the story of Mr. Habeeb.

Mr. Habeeb decided to see if his 2000 Tundra qualified for Toyota’s frame recall. His truck did qualify for a new frame and no cost replacement  He left his vehicle with his local dealer, satisfied that Toyota was willing to stand behind its product. He also figured Toyota would give its customers the best possible service and maintenance.

Imagine Mr. Habeeb’s surprise when the Service Manager at the repair facility contacted him. The Manager attempted to convince Mr. Habeeb his Tundra needed an additional $8,000 in parts and labor. On top of this, they used scare tactics. Supposedly fuel lines had begun to leak because of the rust, which implied Mr. Habeeb’s vehicle could not be driven without risk to life.

What the Manager didn’t know was Mr. Habeeb’s personal mechanic had not seen any of these issues. The mechanic was ready to confirm none of that was true. On top of that, Mr. Habeeb himself was a fairly decent DIY-er with his vehicle. He’d personally put in front calipers and rotors. He had experience swaying bark links and had performed other intensive work on the truck. He knew his Tundra didn’t have the extensive damage that the Manager tried to impress upon him, let alone needed $8,000 worth of repair.

This is an extraordinary example of how a loyal customer can be victimized by disreputable parties. Unfortunately, unnecessary mark ups like these are not unusual. This is particularly true when there is warranty work where there should be no charge.

Mr. Habeeb’s story comes with a good lesson for everyone. If you find your vehicle is eligible for no charge repair, it might be a good idea to have it checked by your personal mechanic first. Let them assure you no other work needs to be done. If the facility that’s performing the warranty work reports unexpected repairs at that point, feel free to tell them it’s not true. Or inform them you appreciate the head’s up, but you’ll have your own mechanic take care of it.

Mr. Habeeb’s story came to us from an email he sent. Thanks Mr. Habeeb for sharing your story!

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Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


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  1. LJC says:

    It’s dealers like Mr. Habeeb’s that give EVERY auto brand a bad name. Dealers like these should be culled form an auto brands network.

  2. Scott says:

    Hell, put the dealer on blast up here. How do I know I am doing business with the same clowns?

  3. John says:

    Oh I am sure he DID leave a dealer name. Sincer I am sure he was reporting to toyota headquarter about this unscrupulous dealer. Why not give the rest of us toyota owners a heads up?

  4. Scotschris says:

    I have worked in, or in businesses closely associated with car dealers for many years. As a result, I now have many friends within the business and when the beer starts flowing, the chins start wagging.

    Stories like this are bad and I am very pleased that the owner knew his own truck. I have often heard of people arriving to have standard work completed on a vehicle that they own, the sales department gets a call from the service dept. Sales guy runs over and sits the owner down to tell them off the terrible state the car is in.

    Long story short, they come in expecting a timing belt change and end up leaving with a different car. The trade in value is through the floor due to it’s terrible condition and the stealership is up thousands of bucks.

    Business for many of the guys is bad just now, it worries me that they might be trying it more often!

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