Brought in a functioning car - getting back a dead battery car & 18K bill

Discussion in 'General' started by Josef, Apr 5, 2023.

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  1. Josef

    Josef New Member


    I am the owner of 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV which was a great car for me for many years.
    It recently got out of warranty and for some time has a message asking to visit dealership for EV system checkup.

    I don't care much about it as long as car drives as I am aware of the costs associated with EVs out of warranty.

    I brought the car into a dealership (Toyota Daly City) for the regular maintenance. The tech insisted that I need to check what is going on with the car and I agreed to pay $220 for a checkup (no repair). Days pass and I get calls with phrases such as "we need more time to evaluate the problem". Finally a week+ after the drop off, I receive another phone call asking for $675 as the checkup requires more work.

    On that call the person casually mentions that the car is not drivable. I told him, that I drove the car into the dealership and provided them with a functioning car. I never asked for any fixes. I didn't even want diagnostics. I agreed to that as they did not want to do maintenance before diagnostics.

    Few more days pass and I get the news that my battery is dead and a new battery is $18K.
    They also want $675 for a diagnostics and will add storage fees if I don't pick the car by Friday - which means I need to arrange a tow truck and pay for it.

    I do understand that car may die exactly at the same time as maintenance is performed but it seems to me that it is more likely that they did something wrong.

    Does anyone have an idea what I should do?

    1. Car was drivable when I brought it in. Everything worked fine.
    2. Car has a message displayed on the screen to visit a dealership.
    3. I didn't sign any waivers claiming that car may die during maintenance.

    Any help will be appreciated. $18K is more then this car worth.

    Thank you, all.
    electriceddy likes this.
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  3. Wow, that's a terrible situation.
    I'd say this is lawyer territory. Sounds like they bricked your car and are shirking responsibility. Any lawyers about?
    *edit to add that City Toyota in Daly City have a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. Some tactfully worded posts there might help add pressure, but probably not as much as a call from a lawyer.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    It may have been a component associated with--and included with--the battery, rather than the actual battery that died. Based on the way they treated you and the lack of a good explanation about what happened, this is clearly not an EV-competent--or a customer-friendly--dealer.

    You need a second opinion. Where one gets a second opinion about a problem with a 2014 RAV4 EV, I have no idea. Is there a RAV4 EV forum or owners group you can contact? If there is, I doubt it's very big, considering how few RAV4 EVs were sold.
    electriceddy likes this.
  5. My first move would be to give Tony a call.
    A well known contributor on MNL forum, owned a RAV4 EV. His company is reputable and has the experience required. Fortunately, not too far from your location.
    Of course, that won't help pay the existing :(charges, but it may keep your EV on the road for a while to come.
    Good luck and let us know how it works out.
    insightman and Domenick like this.
  6. Josef

    Josef New Member

    Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. I will keep you all posted on how things pan out.
    bwilson4web likes this.
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  8. At the very least, contact your local NPR station.

    Certainly a certified letter to the GM of Daly City Toyota informing them of your predicament, including mention of legal remedies would be reasonable.

    Follow with your insurance agent.
  9. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Well-Known Member

    While I have no experience with City Toyota, I do have some experience shaming companies on social media, and it sometimes gets their attention when nothing else does. I would say don't be tactful. Definitely don't be libelous or threatening, but be blunt, factual, and make clear you find the situation suspicious. Don't forget to tag them, and see if you can get a friend or two to reshare your post right away. If they see glimmers of a complaint going viral, that will set off alarm bells.

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