My first new car purchase...2000 Toyota Corolla...I was very excited...wanted a Corolla for years. Purchased a CE model for about 15 grand. They promised me excellent service for any issues...even made me sign a document to that effect that they owed me nothing but outstanding service as a customer.
Stereo died at about 15K. Replaced it under warranty at Russ Darrow WB...okay, all good. Check engine light came on around 30K...took the car in...charcoal canister, part of the fuel vapor reclamation system. Their service department said it was the first time this ever happened...they'd have to order one. A few weeks later, got a call...took the car in again to have the canister replaced...took about 10 minutes and they gave me my car back. Tech said everything was all good now...no check engine light. Figured out later that they simply reset the onboard computer and didn't replace the part at all. I'd burned up 2 days of my precious yearly vacation from work for absolutely no results!
A few thousand miles later, the check engine light came on again. Problem was, mileage was past 36K...no warranty. Called Russ Darrow WB and complained...the Tech said not to worry at all...charcoal canister does not affect performance or reliability of the car. So, I forgot about it. Check engine light has gone on and off several times over the years. This part of the country we have emissions tests on vehicles every couple years. Lucked out on those tests...check engine light was always off when the test came around...until this year, anyways. Check engine light was on...and the car failed the emissions test...rendering it undriveable in my particular county, until the problem was repaired...and these repairs can be very costly. What a great December gift from Russ Darrow!
Called Russ Darrow WB's complaint dept. and told the guy my story...that I felt like I'd been suckered out of my car's warranty. He took my phone# and told me he'd check with his people and get back to me. Never happened.
Really have loved my Toyota...the nearby dealership makes owning one intolerable though. Everytime that check engine light came on over the years, I got more and more angry inside. And believe me...more times than I can remember...I have been a very effective walking anti-advertisement for the so-called dealership.
Was thinking about getting another Corolla this year...read up a bunch, looked at and watched reviews...lots of nice improvements on the vehicle...stability control...antilock...more airbags and room. Gas mileage slightly worse though...and evidently, the solid state processor for the automatic transmissions have a habit of failing around 100K. Went to a (different) dealership, talked with the saleman for a bit...when it got down to it, he flat out denied the transmission problems...body language said something else though...he knew about it. Went back home finding myself sick of Toyota dealerships. I'm done with it. Toyota makes some nice cars...but they need to take a long look at their representatives.
Long story short...just purchased my first New 2009 Honda Civic. Paid cash straight up for it. 15K...year end closeouts. Dealership was great...no pressure...smooth transaction. This car rocks! Compared to my old Corolla, I feel like I'm hopping into a spacecraft. My father owns one too...he's been getting close to 50 miles/gallon if he keeps his speed between 60-62 MPH. Reliability ratings are much better...and believe it or not...this is one of the most made in the USA cars out there. Here's to the better man! His name is Honda.
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