Bad steering shaft repair on certified platinum warranty. What is my best next step? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 02:31 AM
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Bad steering shaft repair on certified platinum warranty. What is my best next step?

I have a 2007 V6 that was purchased "Certified" and I added on the Toyota Platinum Vehicle Service Agreement for 7yr/100,000mi. The car has less than 35k on it right now.

The steering was giving me the "clunk" and "knock" so I took the car in. The service manager had his guys look at it and came back and told me that the lower shaft splines were damaged, and that the rack spline area was also damaged. He said both pieces needed to be replaced and my warranty should cover everything.

I get a call a day later saying that he had to have a Toyota insurance adjuster come out to approve the repair. I guess the adjuster refused to approve the repair on the rack, and would only approve the repair on the sub shaft. The service manager took another day to try and convince the insurance adjuster to do the proper repairs, but without any success.

I was told the only way they could get the subshaft in was by hammering it into the rack, that he's never seen a repair done that way, and expects it will break in short time and I should bring the vehicle back in when that happens.

Now I need to know what my BEST avenue is to get this fixed right now.

1) The service manager is on my side - and my invoice notes the concerns and insurance adjusters failure to authorize repairs. SM said his hands were tied and I believe him. I didn't raise hell with him because I don't think this is his fault - and I don't want to piss off an advocate I have in the service department.

2) It seems to me that not only should the rack still be replaced, but the subshaft needs to be replaced all over again as it was likely damaged when it was hammered into the bad rack. I don't think you can fix this problem by just replacing the rack at this point. At any rate, I don't feel particularly comfortable having my wife and baby in the car every day.

3) Who do I contact first and what do I say?

Any opinions and advice welcome! TYIA!
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 10:14 AM
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My own experience has been that these warranty plans are usually a very bad deal. I thought I was buying a premium warranty package from GE Capital on a Probe I owned. When the rack started leaking badly and the Ford dealer wanted $1200 for the part, GE bought a used junk part with worn out tie-rods that needed replacing right away. I guess they figured it only needed to last the remainder of my warranty.

You're lucky to have the service guy on your side. You might try telling him you are going to the state before you do. I'm not sure how far you will get but this is where to start. Good luck.

Consumer Protection - Consumer Complaint Form

2012 V6 4WD Ltd.

if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 10:42 AM
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I was told the only way they could get the subshaft in was by hammering it into the rack, that he's never seen a repair done that way, and expects it will break in short time and I should bring the vehicle back in when that happens.
Inform Toyota Corporate of just that point. It should horrify them. Imagine the liability!!
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 11:54 AM
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In my Platinum Vehicle Service Agreement it says to contact/call the Plan Administrator
at 1-800-228-8559 M-F 7am-7pm Central Time or Saturday 8am-1pm Central Time.

There is also an "Arbitration Provision" on page 11 of my agreement booklet.

Also, on page 12 of said booklet, it clearly states:
"All manufacturer original equipment parts installed by the manufacturer or your selling dealer are covered under this agreement for mechanical failure unless otherwise excluded."

It then goes on to enumerate the items that are not covered under the agreement and neither of the parts you need repaired are on that list.

So, get your agreement out and read the fine print. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Si vis pacem para bellum
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 03:38 PM
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Thank you for the replies!

I weighed my options between filing something with the attorney general, calling Toyota corporate and calling the Toyota insurance division.

I called Toyota corporate. The lady I spoke with did seem concerned about the way the repairs were done. I faxed in the customer invoice page that noted the damages and insurers refusal to repair all damages. I asked her to make sure the service manager gets a good thumbs up because he has been extremely helpful. She said that there is no risk to the SM, and she would be calling him to investigate and track down who the insurance adjuster was.

What are the odds that Toyota corporate will be able to fix this, as in replace the steering rack and re-replace the sub-shaft?

Will the service manager get in trouble (I hope not)? Will this still be in the hands of the adjuster?
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-15-2012, 07:18 PM
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The SM has very little control over the adjusters decision, as long as he accurately points out the problem and the potential hazard of dircted the repair and documents it., if he disagrees he can also refuse to perform what would be considered a unsafe repair or procedure. When I was a Toyota SM I would have flat out refused to do what you descibe!!
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#7 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 08:23 AM
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A heads up..... A lot of dealers are selling "Platinum" warranties that are not the Toyota ECP extended factory warranties sold through the Toyota Finance group. Rather, they are selling "Platinum" warranties sold by actual insurance companies like Fidelity and the such.

The typical service repair performed by a dealership does not require an "insurance adjuster" to come and look at the vehicle to approve the repair.

Here's a clue..... If all you received from the dealerships that is a policy declaration statement vs. a booklet from toyota finance group that identifies the vehicle, the plan with Term/mileage, deductible and the purchase price of the ECP, then of you do not have the Toyota ECP and calling isn't going to be of help.

This Toyota dealership practice is more prevalent within the used care sales arena. I saw and reviewed one of these plans a couple of weeks ago when a neighbor asked me to look at one they got with their newly purchased used toyota. It was a "platinum" plan from Fidelity and not a Toyota ECP....... That plan required prior approval by an adjuster for all repairs. Toyota ECP only requires dealership service discretion and coordination with Toyota warranty Admin..

Buyer beware!

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#8 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 11:43 AM
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I made 100% sure I purchased the official Toyota extended warranty and not a third party insurer agreement. I received the full booklet and a call from Toyota a week after purchase.

Still, the official Toyota agreement is actually sold by Toyota's insurance bank, not Toyota corporate. As posted above, insurance "administrator" has authority to authorize or not authorize repairs.

The SM told me that because the rack and shaft together would cost over a specific amount of money, the insurance adjuster had to be called. If it was $10.00 less, then the adjuster could be left out of it.

How much leverage does Toyota corporate have over the Toyota extended insurance company?

For those interested, here is a scan of the terms and agreements of the warranty (1.4MB): http://db.tt/cIKn79nw

Last edited by sgtiger; 12-16-2012 at 11:53 AM. Reason: http://db.tt/cIKn79nw
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by nhcycle View Post
A heads up..... A lot of dealers are selling "Platinum" warranties that are not the Toyota ECP extended factory warranties sold through the Toyota Finance group. Rather, they are selling "Platinum" warranties sold by actual insurance companies like Fidelity and the such.

The typical service repair performed by a dealership does not require an "insurance adjuster" to come and look at the vehicle to approve the repair.

Here's a clue..... If all you received from the dealerships that is a policy declaration statement vs. a booklet from toyota finance group that identifies the vehicle, the plan with Term/mileage, deductible and the purchase price of the ECP, then of you do not have the Toyota ECP and calling isn't going to be of help.

This Toyota dealership practice is more prevalent within the used care sales arena. I saw and reviewed one of these plans a couple of weeks ago when a neighbor asked me to look at one they got with their newly purchased used toyota. It was a "platinum" plan from Fidelity and not a Toyota ECP....... That plan required prior approval by an adjuster for all repairs. Toyota ECP only requires dealership service discretion and coordination with Toyota warranty Admin..

Buyer beware!
Excellent info, but when I had 3 problems with my 2008 Cert Used Car, Extra Care did send out an adjuster, they suggested I was trolling TSB's to get things done that it didn't need, I explained to them what my backround with Toyota was and that I was an ASC certified master tech. They finally got 2 of the 3 issues to show up when I left it at the dealership for 2 days, they insisted the trans whine was not evident, I insisted it was and I knew it was the final drive that was making the noise. Not an issue now, the car was totalled 3 months ago.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-16-2012, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by sgtiger View Post
The SM told me that because the rack and shaft together would cost over a specific amount of money, the insurance adjuster had to be called.
Where, in the 'terms and agreements' does it say that?

Quote:
If it was $10.00 less, then the adjuster could be left out of it.
At which point I would have either written a check for $11.00 or charged my credit card for $11.00 or just paid $11.00 cash to get the cost reduced to just below the 'triggering level'.

Quote:
How much leverage does Toyota corporate have over the Toyota extended insurance company?
Probably none. And give Corporate's history, I wouldn't hold my breath.

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