2.3 million Toyotas will need to be repaired and the kits to do so are being shipped to dealers this week, says Bloomberg. The repair should take about 30 minutes and Toyota says they are “confident” the problem isn’t electronic. [More]
The Washington Post notes that although Saturn dealerships have until this time next year to close, many will be saying goodbye sooner due to low inventory, and that’s partly why now is a good time to buy a Saturn. That is, if you don’t plan on reselling it in a couple of years.
Edmunds.com, the car info website, is asking people who participated in the short-lived Cash for Clunkers program to contact them if something went wrong. Although they can’t fix any problems, they’re trying to collect data on consumers who are being asked to pay back the government rebate after already being approved, which was forbidden under the rules of the program, so they can present the data to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Before you drop off your car at your local dealership for any sort of repairs, make sure you’re clear on the chain of liability should anything happen to it—especially right now, when dealerships can barely afford those flappy air things, much less tires. A woman in Charlotte, NC was left with around $1,000 in damages when the tires and wheels were stolen from the 2005 Audi she’d left with the dealership over the weekend.
Mark Calisi, 47, who owns Eagle Auto-Mall in Riverhead, New York, says he was “devastated” to learn that his dealership would be closed. He said Chrysler accounts for a third of his business, which also sells Volvo, Mazda and Kia, and that on Thursday he had to sack 30 of his 100 employees.
The Today show recently aired a terrifically entertaining exposé of US Fidelis, one of the biggest companies behind the auto warranty racket that you’ve probably encountered via junk mail, telemarketing, or even on TV. They start by looking at an individual who spent $3,180 on one of their auto warranties only to be left stranded when her car overheated and they refused to pay.
Two years ago, an arbitrator ordered a car dealership in Queens, NY to refund a customer’s money under the “lemon law.” You’d think that would be the end of the story, but no… it’s the beginning. Jessica Harrison says she returned the “lemon” 2004 BMW to “Planet Auto Mall” but the dealer claims that they don’t know what happened to the vehicle. Now Jessica has to keep making payments on the missing BMW.
Consumer Reports has compiled a list of common car shopping mistakes from their Smart Buyer’s Guide to Buying or Leasing a Car, which, of course, you can find in bookstores.
BMW of Columbia refused to let reader Barry test drive a 135i because he was not a serious customer. The dealership didn’t tell Barry what would make him a serious customer, but they seemed offended when Barry explained that he wasn’t going to buy a car that day.
Cellphone dealers will sometimes hold new and limited quantity cellphones from existing customers, preferring to sell them to more profitable new customers or contract upgrades, members of HowardForums allege.