My car needed a timing belt replacement and a check of rear brake since I was informed by previous dealer repair service that I will need work done soon. Before driving to Toyota of Glendale (1260 South Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91204-2615), I looked under the hood for a check. I noticed the coolant reservoir to be so dirty. I went through my service record which documented that the coolant was replaced a year ago by the same dealer repair service.
On March 1,2000, at about 12:30 pm, I have David Gonzalez of the same service center writing a timing belt replacement order and a check of my rear brakes (I also requested the old timing belt). I complained about the dirty coolant which is not compatible to a year old coolant. He assured me that he will keep me informed of the status of the car and it will be ready at 6:00 pm.
At 3:00 pm, no call was received. I came to the service station and saw the car parked in the lot nothing done at that point.ar yet. David Gonzalez was out of his station but one employee drove my car out of my sight and assured me that work will be started.
At 5:00 pm, I was paged, returned the call but the service did not picked up the phone.
At 6:00, another paged was received, returned the call but the service did not picked up the phone for the second time.
At 6:30 pm, I was at the service center. David Gonzalez approached me to direct me to the cashier which will be closing at 7:00 pm according to him and I have to pay because the car is finished. I went ahead to pay the bill he gave me.
I brought the paper to David Gonzalez who informed me that there was a leak in my cooling system as a result the dirty collant in the reservoir and my rear brakes are okay. He said my car will be out in 10 minutes.
Ten minutes went by and so on but the car is still out of sight. I walked in the premise and saw my car with the hood up,a mechanic working at the right-front side of my car with tools all over the place.
I came to David Gonzalez confronting him about the truth that my car is finished and ready. I requested for his supervisor who was in the same area so David Gonzalez approached Carlos Pena who is the manager. Carlos Pena did not talk to me and ignored e my repeated request made through the cashier who was in the adjacent office.
At 7:30 pm the mechanic drove out my car to deliver it in front of me. No test drive, greasy finger marks all over the top right fender. I was hesitant to take my car but no one is in the office. The service department closed at 7:00 pm. I requested the mechanic to write his name and time he gave me back my car for documentation.
On the following day, I drove to Las Vegas as I have scheduled. Caught in traffic along the Strip, I noticed smoke coming out under the hood of my car. I pull over to check what is going on.Thick smoke came out as I lifted the hood and noticed the grease all over the place. Helpless since the dealers are closed at that time and not knowing what to do I waited till the following day.
I drove to Fletcher Jones Toyota (3175 E. Sahara Ave., Las Vegas, NV) to be informed that "the valve cover gasket was not bolted". They also told me that my rear brakes are bad that it will not be safe for me to drive back without fixing them. Frightened by the recent experience I had, I agreed and expressed my concern about the coolant that seemed not replaced a year ago as claimed by Glendale Toyota.
My bill came to a huge amount of $612.13, out of which $248.95 was due to the unbolted gasket. When I brought back my car to Glendale Toyota, they acknowledged to return the equivalent cost of part and labor according to their own computation which total to $172.82. No apology was heared from Carlos Pena of what I went through,the convention that I missed in Las Vegas nor the unscheduled expense incurred because of their negligence.
I made an attempt to file a complain with the automotive repair who referred me to the DMV then to the Consumer affair who sent me a complaint form from the Complai Mediation Program.