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Engine failures in MR2 Spyders

6/11/2014 - Updated the original post by entering direct links to reference material, and added remarks about the legal issues involved with...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010 Prius features brake failures galore

Yessir, Toyota's little wonder car is just flat out unstoppable. Their latest edition features horrifying accounts of brake failure so prevalent they've already gotten the attention of mainstream media. I reckon' them thar floor mats are actin' up again...

At Toyota, it seems that quality is job NONE.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cause of Lexus crash still unknown

Not that I'll ever believe anything Toyota says, but why would anyone wanna deal with a car company that can't even get it right regarding floor mats?

Police investigators say mechanical failure can't be ruled out in the horrific crash that focused national attention on unintended acceleration:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Runaway Lexus kills four. Voices taped by 911.

A horrific crash involving a runaway Lexus was detailed on tape when one of the four occupants made a desperate call to 911. Speeding out of control at 120 miles an hour, the Lexus finally rolled, burst into flames, and all four occupants - including a 13-year-old girl - were killed. The driver was an off duty highway patrolman.

Publicity surrounding this tragedy has focused national attention on the issue of sudden, unintended acceleration. Question is, why wasn't this safety issue addressed by Toyota and/or the NHTSA years ago?

Here's a FANTASTIC website for registering ANY Toyota problem:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Over three thousand customers petition Toyota

Thousands of Toyota customers have resorted to signing an Internet petition in an effort to persuade Toyota to do the right thing regarding oil sludged engines. Sooo...

Sign the petition:

Register complaints about ANY Toyota problems:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jury finds Toyota guilty of breach of contract

After my experience with Toyota's "agreements," (see my 6/17/09 post, "More bullying from Toyota"), I certainly wasn't surprised to learn that Toyota has been successfully sued - the jury's decision was unanimous - for violating contractual obligations. What is it with Toyota? Do folks - in this case a small business - have to initiate lawsuits to get Toyota to do the right thing? No wonder Toyota - facing its deepest domestic sales decline in 30 years - is now shutting down one of its assembly lines. 

The plaintiff's attorney emphasized that Toyota "isn't above the law," and says the jury "taught Toyota a lesson." Let's hope so on both counts, but it seems the only thing that's going to teach Toyota a lesson is a continuing plunge in sales. Find out the rest of the story when it comes to Toyota's attitude regarding a contract. Published links for several news articles were inoperative. Do a Google search: jury teaches Toyota a lesson

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4Runner case alleges coverup, wrongful death

A product liability lawsuit filed in California claims Toyota concealed safety data that showed a defective design in Toyota's third gereration 4Runner SUV. The lawsuit further alleges that the design defect was responsible for the driver's death when the vehicle rolled over. Attorneys have raised troubling questions about Toyota's business practices, including Toyota's advertising, which the lawsuit claims misrepresented the facts, thereby misleading the pulbic into thinking the vehicle was safe. This, of course, is merely the latest in a series of lawsuits involving the 4Runner.

Details in this tragic case are nothing short of alarming:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dealership named as example of bad business

Toyota's rotten dealerships certainly aren't limited to the one's I've dealt with. James Feldman, who lectures businesses on the perils of offending customers, uses his experience with the Hartford Toyota dealership in Hartford, Connecticut as an example of how not to treat customers. Note that Mr. Feldman says Toyota never apologized. Toyota apologize to a customer? From what I've learned, when things go wrong, Toyota expects customers to take responsibility and apologize to Toyota.

Just another case that exposes the realities of tryin' to survive when you deal with Toyota. Read how Mr. Feldman was treated. Find out more about how Toyota "values" customers. Click on the following link and scroll down to paragraph 13: http://www.shifthappens.com/bc_custpower.html

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Toyota now characterized as a "Loser in America"

Ho, ho, ho. I just love it when a company's lousy products and equally lousy attitude toward its customers catches up with the ol' bottom line. I hope my efforts to expose Toyota for what it is have contributed to Mr. T's plunging sales. For the first half of 2009, Toyota's U.S. sales are down a whopping 38 percent, which is three percent over the national sales average.

That's right, Toyota. Keep refusin' to reimburse customers for damages when your defective engines have to be replaced, and keep blamin' your customers when things go wrong. And of course, if a customer protests too loudly about being ripped off for thousands of dollars, rely on sheer thuggery to shut 'em up. Toyota, you're a bonafide disgrace to common decency.

Get the latest scoop on Toyota's continuing downfall:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Video: dealership employees caught stealin', etc.

Based on my experiences with Toyota, I was hardly surprised to learn that some of their dealership employees got videotaped stealing, snooping through a customer's belongings, and - really, folks - one of their employees actually licks his hands to get the residue from the customer's prescription medication. Okay, I'll admit, I did find that last one just a wee bit shocking...

Of course, Toyota's customer got no cooperation from management until he obtained the video and sent it to local media. See to believe:

Regrettably, no more comments. Here's why.

To begin with, I don't like anonymity. It smacks of deceit, fear, and cowardice. It appeals to the kind of people who would sneak around and vandalize someone's car. The kinda folks who lie, make death threats, and gang up on someone. People who would do the bidding of a corrupt corporation. Years back, when I began blogging and posting comments on the Internet, I decided on a simple policy. If I can't give my name, then I can't make the comment.

Nor am I willing to host inane ramblings, or comments laced with obscenities. When I create posts for my blogs, I make a concerted effort to address issues and offer references. I avoid the use of even the mildest slang.

This blog addresses a culture of disrespect that has been evolving for many years regarding business attitudes toward customers. Almost without exception, the comments to my posts were reflective of the intolerable atmosphere I've encountered in my dealings with Toyota. I don't have time to moderate comments. There are countless websites where individuals can indulge their preference for inane, anonymous commentary, laced with obscenities. My blog isn't on the list.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Prius prompts class action lawsuit, possible recall

Here we go again. Toyota is being accused of concealing a defect from owners, and this time the result is a class action lawsuit over High Intensity Discharge headlights in the Prius. There have been so many complaints, a possible recall is even in the works. Not to worry. Toyota will step up to the plate and explain the connection between these headlight failures and customers not changing the engine oil at proper intervals.

Gee. Maybe Toyota could wire up the Prius' headlights the same way as Toyota's Check Engine lights. That oughta make 'em come on often enough...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Toyota U.S.A. ad shields Prius from criticism

For a master of deceit, Toyota's hard to beat. All those rosie YouTube viewer comments on Toyota U.S.A.'s Prius video ads are apparently a bit misleading. Charlene Blake, well known consumer advocate and longtime thorn in Toyota's side, dared to post evidence of a few Prius problems, such as bad brakes and unintended acceleration. Toyota U.S.A. demonstrated its devotion to free speech by removing the post and blocking Charlene from making any more comments.

I'll bet Toyota wishes they could also remove posts - and block everyone's access - to Charlene's online petition regarding oil sludge. So far, almost three thousand of Toyota's customers have embarrassed ol' Mr. T by listing their names and making comments.

Poor lil ol' Toyota. They're afraid of Charlene Blake...

Sales keep droppin' - Toyota pins hopes on Prius

Update 12/11/2010 - Prius problems continue:  650,000 recalled to fix water pumps. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2010/11/30/toyota-announces-another-prius-recall/ 

Toyota's sales continue to plummet, down almost sixty percent in Russia, and in the U.S., Toyota has recently been outpaced by Ford. Looks like the public is finally catchin' on to Toyota's slick marketing versus the sad facts of the corporation. Toyota and its dealerships are the absolute worst experience I've ever had in the automotive industry.

Not that all of their products are pure junk, or anything like that, but its downright amusing that Toyota is pinning its hopes on the Prius. Must be a case of nervous desperation, 'cause the Prius is developing a reputation for such niceties as unintended acceleration, brake problems, strange behavior on gravel surfaces, and less gas mileage than folks are being led to believe.

Toyota losing sales? Couldn't happen to a finer bunch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Toyota Center violates the law - I call the cops

Update 5/3/2011 - Management at the Toyota Center has changed hands since this was posted.  Current management has been sincerely concerned about incidents of this kind and has taken appropriate measures to ensure that such encounters will not happen in the future.

I finally had to call the cops on the Toyota Center.

Yesterday, while I was picketing, one of their thugs snatched my sign - ripping it apart in the process - and ran off into the Toyota Center. This was the same guy who had previously told me that what I was doing wasn't worth dying over, threatened me with his car, and said he would return with a "gang of technicians."

Can't say much for the West Columbia police department, either. They refused to arrest my assailant, and unnecessarily delayed me - despite my repeated requests - from getting home to check on my dad. Believe it or not, the first cop to arrive on the scene even told me that since I was protesting the Toyota Center, they "had a right to protest me." 'Course, maybe our local boys in blue are simply unaware that such things as theft, assault, malicious destruction of property, and death threats are somewhat less than legal. Then again, maybe they just have a soft spot in their tender little hearts for Toyota...

Stay tuned.

Update 3/30/2011 - the two cops referenced above - both of whom were belligerent - are identified on the police report as Kyle Ostrander and Jeff Phillips.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sudden acceleration: Prius joins Camry, Solara

Oops. Bad enough for Toyota that government investigators have been looking into allegations of unexpected speedups in Camrys and Solaras. Now it seems that Toyota's much touted Prius is yet another model with a mind of its own. Worse yet, customers say the Prius also has a nasty habit of ignoring those frantic stabs at the brake pedal. Just keeps going, and going, and going. Ask the guy whose Prius wound up taking him inside a convenience store and then exploded. He has filed a lawsuit against Toyota.

Leave it to Toyota to blame its customers. When the problem is an outrageous number of engine failures, Toyota says its because their customers don't change the oil regularly. When the problem is unstoppable, sudden acceleration, Toyota says its customers can't distinguish between the gas pedal and the brake. Toyota has also suggested - with a straight face - that some of those pesky customers have even jammed floormats underneath the brake pedal. Comforting to know that Toyota thinks folks who purchase its products are so highly intelligent.

Horror stories galore:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Video: victims of oil sludge speak out

Take a look at oil sludge, hear interviews with Toyota's victims, and check out an automotive expert's opinion regarding what caused the problem. He calls Toyota's response to customers "demeaning." Hear about someone who accepted Toyota's "one time goodwill offer," only to have her engine stop running again after less than 300 miles. Click "more info" for a written summary of the problem, and links to other websites.

Apparently, Toyota's engine failure/oil sludge issue isn't going away anytime soon. Customers are still complaining, at least one lawsuit is in progress, and hopefully there will be class action lawsuit number two, including models not initially listed. Hear some howlin' at

Saturday, June 13, 2009

More bullying from Toyota

Update 10/30/10 -
This week, documents surfaced showing that on two occasions, Toyota service personnel drove vehicles to investigate customer complaints of sudden acceleration and verified that the customers' claims were correct. Toyota repurchased the vehicles and urged both customers to keep quiet, even requiring one of them to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Yahoo News censored my comments about this matter, and is now refusing to publish any comments I submit, regardless of the topic.
On 5/12/09, which was less than a week after I began directing people to this blog, I got a telephone cItalicall from Mr. Dave Adams - Southeast Toyota's "Customer Loyalty" guy - claiming he wanted to "help me get some of my money back." But it turned out to be exactly the kind of bullying I've come to expect from Toyota. Specifics - if you can call them that - were kept verbal (the trademark of someone who's tryin' to scam you), I would be expected to accept considerably less than my expenses, and I would be required to tow the line in terms of loyalty to Toyota. They don't call him the "Customer Loyalty" guy for nothin'. To ensure that Toyota was making a "good investment," I would "say nice things" about Toyota when I visited their dealerships, and this blog "might have to come down." Seems I also needed to "learn how to be a gentleman." Any more picketing, and the Customer Loyalty rep would see to it that I didn't get a dime. Even gave me a couple of days, he did, to "think things over." Yessir, he put on quite a performance. Flogged me good n proper for darin' to criticize Toyota, and simultaneously whined that my remarks about Toyota had "hurt his feelings."  Touchy folks, these "Customer Loyalty" guys. But things could have been worse. At least I wasn't required to buy a new Toyota...

Since Toyota refused to offer bonafide specifics and put them in writing, I finally made my position crystal clear. Sent 'em an e-mail stating that I better not settle for anything less than reimbursement for all of my expenses. Reminded 'em, I did, of the continuing problems I'm having with the engine they rebuilt. Unfortunately - as I've noted elsewhere on this blog - multiple engine failures are not uncommon. And incidentally, when it comes to hurt feelings, my feelings were also a wee bit challenged when I had to fork over thousands of dollars due to Toyota's improperly designed engine.

Point is, Toyota shouldn't profit from their design defect, and potential reimbursement shouldn't be held as a club over a customer's head. C'mon, Toyota. Clean up your act.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Engine failures in MR2 Spyders

6/11/2014 - Updated the original post by entering direct links to reference material, and added remarks about the legal issues involved with removing pre-cats. Also, the Toyota Center has moved into new digs under the name Fred Anderson Toyota.

Starting last year, I began picketing in front of the Toyota Center and Dick Dyer Toyota after these two dealerships and Toyota's corporate headquarters refused to make allowances for a design defect in Toyota's MR2 Spyders. Although Toyota has yet to include Spyders in the sludge fiasco, engines suddenly lose oil, disintegrate, and the exhaust system can also be ruined. I've been out $8,500 in repair bills - $2,000 to Dick Dyer and $6,500 to the Toyota Center - and all Toyota does is stonewall. For a multitude of cases like mine, visit this forum on SpyderChat.com. My Post is number 128. Notice that some customers have lost several engines in rapid succession, and some folks don't have the money for repairs, which leaves these unfortunate souls making payments on a car they can't use. Since Toyota refuses to address their design defect, I have been unable to obtain any assurance that the defect was corrected when my engine was rebuilt, such that my engine will not suddenly disintegrate again.

For an in-depth technical discussion of Toyota's design defect in MR2 Spyders, visit this forum on the British website, MR2 Roadster Owners Club. Like SpyderChat, the British club also features documented cases of engine failures in Spyders, and there are several other pre-cat related forums.

Note the legal issues encountered in Europe as well as this country when tampering with emission control equipment, such as removing pre-cats. Owners are placed in the untenable position of either risking a blown engine or violating the law in an effort to prevent losing thousands of dollars.

I accidentally discovered "the rest of the story" about engine failures in MR2 Spyders while browsing the Internet. It's way past time for a class action lawsuit aimed at forcing Toyota to satisfactorily resolve the outrageous number of engine failures in MR2 Spyders. If the problem is oil sludge, MR2 Spyders - and probably a number of other models - need to be included in the initial class action.  Spyder owners are a relatively small group compared to the number of folks who own other models, so class action lawsuits are less feasible. Apparently, this is the sort of thing Toyota relies on. Talk about a bully.

Toyota problems?  Here's a FANTASTIC website for registering complaints:

Update 12/24/2014 - There's still hope for Spyder owners who got ripped off: Per today's blog post, send your story to jenn.strathman@wptv.com if your engine disintegrated.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Center for Auto Safety versus Toyota

For further evidence of Toyota's lousy products - with an attitude to match - visit the Center for Auto Safety's website at http://www.autosafety.org/ and click on the Center's various campaigns. Given Toyota's glitzy advertising, you'll no doubt be surprised when you get the rest of the story.

In addition to directing people to this blog, the sign I'm holding up in front of Toyota's dealerships says UNFAIR TO CUSTOMERS. The wording is certainly appropriate, but I'll admit, its a bit of an understatement.

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Mr. T" must stand for thuggery

Dealership employees have complained to local law enforcement about me exercising my right to picket, have used four-letter filth, and have threatened me with bodily harm. Around midnight, about 48 hours after I complained to Toyota regarding Dick Dyer's sales manager (!) suggesting that I "get the f... outta here," I received two obscene phone calls emphasizing the f-word. Toyota's position on this sort of thing is that they have no control over their "independent" dealerships.

After I stopped picketing last Wednesday, two Toyota Center employees had hemmed in my car with two vehicles, and refused to allow me to exit, even after I told them I needed to get home to take my Alzheimer's stricken father to the bathroom. Instead, they sauntered around in close proximity. I finally managed - just barely - to get my car out, checked on my dad, and returned to picket some more. After a few minutes, someone with the Toyota Center came to talk with me about the risks of standing close to the road, during which time two or three cars barreled by and suddenly swerved toward me, abruptly cutting back to avoid a collision. Just another strange coincidence, I guess. Like those obscene phone calls...

Update 5/3/2011 - Management at the Toyota Center has changed hands since this was posted.  Current management has been sincerely concerned about incidents of this kind and has taken appropriate measures to to ensure that such encounters will not happen in the future.   

Friday, April 10, 2009

Forced arbitration, courtesy of Dick Dyer Toyota

Seekin' service at Toyota's largest dealership in South Carolina? Take note of your repair order, which informs you that "THIS TRANSACTION IS SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA UNIFORM ARBITRATION ACT." Read the fine print, and you'll discover that once you sign, if things go wrong, you'll be required to submit to the arbitration process before you can take the matter to court. Worse yet, Toyota selects the arbitrator, which turns out to be the so-called Better Business Bureau. How many people do you know who won their case in front of an "arbitrator"? The process is exactly what you would expect from a bully like Toyota: its a deck stacked in favor of big business, which tends to wear the consumer down and discourage further action. 'Course, when folks take their vehicles in for service, they're usually in a bit of a bind - over a barrel, you might say - and don't have time to consider a mess of legal niceties. Which brings us to the crux of the matter. Why does Toyota's largest dealership in the state find it necessary to hamper a consumer's right to have their case heard in court? Must have tons of unhappy customers...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shoddy service: Dick Dyer and The Toyota Center

DICK DYER TOYOTA (Columbia, SC): When I noticed my oil was suddenly several quarts low, black as coal, and the engine was losing power, I took my car to Dick Dyer Toyota, proudly touted as the largest Toyota dealership in South Carolina. They didn't even do an oil consumption test, replaced the exhaust system without telling me what had clogged it, and sent me on my way with an engine that was literally coming apart (when the engine was rebuilt - at a different dealership - it was confirmed that a piece of the catalytic converter had blown into the exhaust system, which accounted for the rattling sound I had mentioned to Dyer's service tech). Of course, the car was in no condition to be driven, and this is particularly troublesome because the service tech and others at Dick Dyer were well aware of the fact that I used the car to transport my elderly father, who has Alzheimer's. He also suffers from a heart condition and is legally blind with macular degeneration. I'm thankful we didn't wind up in an accident, or simply stranded alongside the road, perhaps at night, perhaps without heat. For my dad, who is subject to sudden, violent chills, it would have been a life threatening situation. Safety concerns aside, the new exhaust system was exposed to oil, etc. being blown into it from the rapidly desintegrating engine, and I'm lucky the new exhaust system wasn't also ruined. When I called to report that my engine was still using way too much oil, the service tech said he would have to ask around to see if anyone would be willing to rebuild my engine, and when he hadn't called back after a week or so, I contacted a different dealership, the Toyota Center.

Apparently, Dyer didn't have a mechanic qualified to rebuild an MR2 engine. Actually, that's not too surprising given the fact that one of their mechanics - supposedly an ASE and Toyota Certified Master Diagnostic Technician - couldn't even fix the hood release, and suggested that I switch to another grade of oil - thicker than what the manufacturer recommends - to see if that would reduce the oil consumption. I eventually learned that the hood release was yet another of Toyota's design defects, and should have been replaced. Furthermore, Toyota dealers had been notified of this via a Technical Service Bulletin.

Talkin' with other folks around town regarding my experience at Dick Dyer Toyota, I repeatedly heard a vulgar cliche, apparently long known to most. Its "D... Dyer before he d.... you." Trite, to be sure. Even humorous to some people. But I don't like dirty jokes. And considering my experiences with Toyota's dealerships, I'm certainly not amused. Speaking as a newcomer to the Toyota brand, "deeply disappointed" would be more like it.

THE TOYOTA CENTER (W. Columbia, SC): The Toyota Center's "Senior Mechanic" rebuilt my engine. There's unevenness at a certain rpm, and the Check Engine light keeps coming on. I've taken my car back several times regarding these problems, but to no avail. Search the Internet, and you'll find plenty about Toyota's problem with Check Engine lights coming on.

Regarding Toyota, I guess you could say I've "seen the light... "

Update 12/13/2010 - The Toyota Center also attempted to fix the hood release, but I finally had to take my car to an independent shop (See "Speaking of Hoods, Toyota"). Same regarding the engine problems (See "Hey, Toyota: Someone else fixed my car").