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Old 08-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #1
Charlie
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Default Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toyota

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Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toyota Dealer

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Reader "Capitol Hill" posed the following question to Warren Brown, the Washington Post Cars columnist: I've owned three Saturns. However, now that my L300 has died, I have decided to buy a Prius. I love the car and am happy to buy one. However, after my experience with Saturn, I was struck by how unresponsive and inattentive the Toyota dealer was. I had a similar experience 17 years ago, which is what drove me to Saturn. The only reason I stuck with Toyota this time is I really wanted the Prius. Not sure I would do it again when I buy my next car. Is this a common experience?

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Old 08-31-2009, 08:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

He should have stayed loyal to Saturn, and get the treatment he deserves. What does he realy expect from a foriegn company?? BUY AMERICAN!!!

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

Thats one of the reasons I never bought a Toyota. I have owned cars made by Nissan, and Honda, but never a Toyota. I went to a couple of local dealers with friends when they were trying to buy a new Toyota and from what I saw, I wouldn't have tolerated the treatment they received. My impression of the general attitude in the showroom was,"Toyotas are the best cars in the world and are perfect; they are in such demand--you are lucky that we even deal with you; you should be happy to pay us for it."

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I know many people Toyota over priced service and repairs, the cars no not relable as people think. Most people think that becase of the old gray Toyota's but the ones made since the mid-90's to present have been crap and outdated. Every year since 2007 Toyota has had the most recalls out of all the car makers.

What i find now is GM is making Chevy the new Saturn, Look at the new/redone chevy dealerships clean and welcoming. Service people are nice.

Saturn nolonger has this since GM dumped saturn, and most people that work for Saturn now didnot work for Saturn during it's prime. For me I am sticking with GM and Chevy and not Saturn you have alot more dealerships more crossline parts and stuff like that. I will bring my three saturn to chevy for service and when i buy a new car it will ether be a Chevy or a Ford.

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Old 08-31-2009, 02:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

The Japanese brand dealers have known they've had the upper hand for years. I, too tried to buy a Toyota (once) and was blown away not only their unwillingness to deal, but even sell me a vehicle at full MSRP.

In the late 70's/early 80's, after two well orchestrated oil "shortages", the dealers could (and did) dictate what they would sell their vehicles for. If you could find a dealer who would sell you a car at sticker price, you had to brace yourself for the not-so-hidden margin enhancement/gouging in the "dealer pack" you had to swallow.

A $3.99 can of Scotch Guard sprayed on the seats ran $75-100, "Lifetime" wax (that you had to re-apply every year) was $250, and undercoating was somewhere around $99-150 (even though manufacturers would tell you it would invalidate your warranty). And yes, you also had to take a lousy vinyl pinstripe for $45, if you wanted the Toyauto of your dreams.

And since American car manufacturers have been asleep for the past 30 years, nothing much has changed for the Japanese car dealers. I sat in on my sister buying a new Honda Civic, which was bought through her Costco membership. No chance for gouging, right?

They allowed her to purchase the car at $200 over "cost" - although nobody would show her their dealers invoice, she got nitrogen filled tires ($60) and mandatory "optional" mud flaps for $60. And since it was a Costco sourced deal, I think they worked twice as hard to force all the other BS - warranty, extended service contract, wax, etc. At least she didn't have to get it pinstriped.

The more things change, the more they stay exactly the same. On a different note, I would have loved to see the recent cash for clunker program apply to American (OK, North American) made vehicles only. I realize it would have limited the number of more fuel efficient vehicles one could purchase, at least the financial impact would have been concentrated at home vs. benefiting countries that didn't need our help.

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
On a different note, I would have loved to see the recent cash for clunker program apply to American (OK, North American) made vehicles only. I realize it would have limited the number of more fuel efficient vehicles one could purchase, at least the financial impact would have been concentrated at home vs. benefiting countries that didn't need our help.
You wouldn't have noticed much of a difference, almost all of the top selling cars are made in NA regardless of brand name. The volume of actual imported cars is fairly low.

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Old 08-31-2009, 03:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I think inattentive might be a good thing.
I'd love being ignored when car shopping but most salespeople follow you around like dogs.

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Old 08-31-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
I sat in on my sister buying a new Honda Civic, which was bought through her Costco membership. No chance for gouging, right?
Here in Canada things seem to be better when buying an import. I have had dealings with Toyota, Honda, and Subaru dealers. No hard sell, no add-ons, no gouging. In fact, both the Toyota and Honda dealers were discounting off MSRP before even applying incentives. Things have changed here in favour of the buyer. I'm sure it's the tougher economic times.

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I think it all depends on the dealership...not all Toyota dealers suck.

We bought a Scion xD in March to replace a Pontiac Vibe we lost in an accident. All we wanted was an base model xD, grey, with no extra options, and we were paying cash. Scions are no-dicker sticker cars, so there was no need to wheel and deal on the price. They located the one we wanted at the port in New Jersey, and had it shipped in. The port was closed for a week for some reason, so (knowing we lost a car in an accident and that we had to turn in our insurance-supplied loaner), they GAVE us a brand new xD as a loaner until ours came in. It's not like we were buying a $40,000 car either...the xD is the cheapest car they sell.

Our car came in at noon one day, and they had it prepped by 4:30. Took us 20 minutes from the time we arrived until the time we left with our car, which included doing the paperwork and getting a tour of the dealership. They mentioned extended warranties, but did not pressure us to buy one. Overall, about the easiest new car buying experience I've ever had.

And I'll be happy to provide the name of this dealership if anybody's interested.

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Old 09-01-2009, 02:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

Our Toyota dealer tries to sell cars $2,000 over max retail value. I will stay away from them.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:22 AM   #11
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I've either bought or leased 5 new Honda vehicles, usually a higher demand model, in the past 5 years. While Honda is not quite as bad as Toyota's, they are not Saturn dealers. How I avoid dealer scum is by getting the price I want set up via e-mails prior to picking the car up. Of those, I bought one in person and wanted to strangle the liars at the dealership. The others, were internet deals. Those transactions took less than 45 minutes to leave with the car. For service, I only do what the manual says and don't listen to the 'service advisors' (commission based folks).

While the dealership experience is a great thing, the few minutes you have to spend at a stealership when you do the deal over the Internet is drastically reduced. I'll do it my way, have less stress and not have to worry about if my car company will be in business next year.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

My dad bought a Camry at the local Toyota dealership and was treated well. I have bought 2 Saturns from the local place,the sales staff was ok but the service department is staffed with idiots.

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Old 09-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I've bought 2 cars since I bought the Satty in '01 and was treated better at Poway Toyota when I bought the Prius and Drew Ford when we got the F-150 than I was at Saturn of El Cajon when I bought the LW.

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Old 01-31-2011, 05:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I think dealership staff have more a bearing on the car buying experience than branding. Making general statements about how bad a car company is due to price gouging or bad service of individual dealerships is not really fair and ones personal experience. If a dealership is going to do wel and last, they have to be reasonably competitive and provide good service to justify what they charge.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

if you look at maintenance schedule from toyota and lexus its scary after being used to gm cars. threy have more requuired maintenance than just about any other car.

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaturnIONSLVUE View Post
I know many people Toyota over priced service and repairs, the cars no not relable as people think. Most people think that becase of the old gray Toyota's but the ones made since the mid-90's to present have been crap and outdated. Every year since 2007 Toyota has had the most recalls out of all the car makers.

<<snip>>
Well, let's look at the 2010 numbers since they're easy to get:
Class leader Nissan - 109 recalls
Toyota - 83, Lexus - 9, Scion - 0 (TMC total 94)
Chevy - 53, GMC - 41, Caddy - 20 (GM major brands total 114)

So, in some twisted universe where math doesn't work Toyota has had the most recalls.........

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I had a bad experience with a Toyota dealership many years ago. I swore then I would never buy that brand ever. I have kept that promise.
I bought 3 Saturns and a couple of years ago I went to Buick. Glad I did.
Those dealerships were great, made the process smooth.

Just recently a friend of mine went to the local Toyota dealer near my area.
He told me they were so pushy, inflexible etc. Some things never change.

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

The 2 Saturn dealers I used for service made the follwing errors or omissions:

1. After steering rack replacement did not do wheel alignment. Verified by an independent shop. Dealer said I must have hit a curb

2. After a rear recall on my VUE did not do an alignment. Brought the vehicle back and the shop said their alignment machine was not calibrated correctly. I almost got into an accident because it handled bad.

3. Had automatic serviced and it leaked when I brought it home.

4. Had in shop to change BCM. Claimed needed new front anmd rear brakes and some other suspension part. I knew the rotors were a little warped. Brought to my shop. The pads were close so I had replaced and new rotors, the rears weren't even checked and the suspension was fine.

5. Left tools (2 times) in the engine compartment.

6. Didn't change an oil filter during an oil change.

dearships are independent businesses. They also can have a bad tech or two.

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

I had a great Saturn dealer, sales and service.

After a terrible experience with a 2000 LS, I bought a Corolla and am also happy with the dealer service. Even a great dealer had no way to fix the numerous design errors in the LS.

All depends on your dealers. Good and bad for all brands.

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:49 AM   #20
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Default Re: Former Saturn Owner Struck by "Unresponsive" and "Inattentive" Treatment from Toy

My parents got ripped off on at least one Toyota. I was a little kid back then so I didn't know what was going on or I would have tried to put some sense in them. The cars run well though, and they're about 10 years old. I like the cars.

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