I will begin by saying we have been long-time Toyota customers. My family together has purchased 6 vehicles from Toyota of Wallingford. I expect and demand better service than I have received.
My 2006 Sienna came with a free tire and oil change for life promotion. This largely swayed us into buying from the Wallingford dealership vs. shopping around.
November 11, 2009, we had 4 new (free) tires installed and an alignment on the Sienna. We immediately noticed the van pulling to the left and vibrating at highway speeds. We returned with this complaint on each of these dates, plus multiple phone conversations, with the following work performed: 12/14/2009 (re-aligned), 1/15/2010 (re-aligned and tires rotated) , 1/29/2010 (front tires replaced), 10/4/11 (tires balanced and rotated), 11/29/11 (rear tires replaced and rotated to front- since rotation on 10/4 these were the SAME set of tires already replaced on 1/29), and 6/20/12 (tires balanced and rotated). So at this point, the new tires from 11/29/11 are on the rear, and the 2 tires from 11/11/09 are on the front. We have been driving the vibrating, veering-to-the-left Sienna for 3 years and seriously considering trading it in due to this ongoing problem.
December 27, 2012, I came to Toyota of Wallingford and asked that my tires be inspected. We have noticed the front tires slipping on wet pavement and losing air (in addition to the usual, unexplained and presumably un-fixable symptoms explained above). I was told that the rear tires look almost new and in the front the tread is “a 5-6” and therefore my tires “are good”. The recommendation to me was to rotate the tires so the newer ones with better tread are in the front. I find it unacceptable to base the need for tires solely on the level of tread when your customer is telling you there is a problem with performance, and in fact, the SAFETY of the vehicle. If I rotate the slippery tires to the back, I am merely trading the front-skid during acceleration, braking and steering for fish-tailing in the rear.
I looked for a second opinion. I told the representative at Costco that the car has been vibrating and veering since the front tires were put on in Nov 2009 and that while I was told the tread was fine, we believe there has ALWAYS been something wrong with the tires. Before even looking at the car, he said, “You probably have a broken tire belt.” I had never heard of this before. It is not my job to know this. It is precisely why I take my car to the professionals at the Toyota dealership. Sure enough, one front tire AND one rear tire had broken belts. The tires were also wearing unevenly. One of the front tires had a psi of 10 (we had just filled the tires less than a week before)! All 4 tires required replacement, and I was told it was unsafe to drive the car due to the high risk of having a blowout on the highway. This is what I learned, 2 days after my tires were “inspected” by Toyota of Wallingford, and said to be “good”, and 3 years (!!) after initially telling Toyota of Wallingford that something was wrong when they replaced the tires. And guess what? After I left Costco, no more shaking or veering!
The bottom line is this: Toyota of Wallingford put defective tire(s) on my car and then repeatedly failed to diagnose the problem (which was so easily discovered at another tire center). This has caused a safety risk to my family for three years. I am not trying to scam anyone. By my contract with Toyota, I am entitled to free tires when mine need replacement. Toyota failed in inspecting the tires on 12/27/12 and refused to change my tires even when I explained that their performance was creating a risk on wet pavement. They did not honor our agreement.
Monetary Loss: $700.