May 2 Tuesday Last Friday, my mother had been over for a visit and I drove her home. When I left her apartment building, I drove over a speed bump and my 1999 Toyota Tercel hit bottom. A of couple blocks later, I noticed my engine light was on, and my first thought was that something jiggled loose when I hit the bump, even though I didn’t hit it very hard. When I got home, I called the local Toyota dealer, Taylor Motor Sales in Regina, Sask. and made arrangements to take it in on Monday.
I took it in on Monday morning and told them the story of when the light came on. They checked it out and told me that an oxygen sensor was faulty and that they would have to order it. While he told me that, he also presented me with an invoice for $137.50.
I asked the service rep, “Did he check to see if it was a loose connection.”
He said, “No, that they would check it when they put a new one in and that they had to order one.”
I asked, “How does the mechanic know if it’s not just a loose wire and not a faulty sensor if he never physically checked it? I told you I went over a bump and the engine light came on shortly after that.”
His reply was, “If it’s just a loose wire, he’ll see it when he replaces the oxygen sensor.”
I got off my chair and pointing to the invoice he had just given me, and with a sarcastic tone to my voice, I asked. “Why would I pay $556.60 for an oxygen sensor, plus labor, plus taxes, for a part that I don’t need, if the problem is just a loose wire. And that’s not counting the $137.50 that you’re charging me today for this report. I’ve had an oxygen sensor replaced by a Toyota dealer before and it was just over $200.00 in total. This is ridiculous.”
Anyway, we got into a little argument and I tossed my debit card on his desk. As he was processing it, I exclaimed in a voice that was loud enough so that all five of the service reps and their customers would hear, as well as others in the open area, that I would never come back for service and neither would I recommend anyone else to do so. He then tossed the card back at me in an act of defiance and I caught it before it slid off the desk. I asked him why he was angry; he wasn’t the one that was being gouged? He didn’t say anything, but glared at me.
The next day I went to see my sister’s mechanic and arranged for them to do the work. He quoted me $210.00, parts, labor and taxes. I also decided to call Toyota Canada and let them know that I was not happy with their dealer. I gave them all the details, including invoice number, service representative, etc.. That’s just bullshit, and as long as car dealers that can get away with gouging, they will.