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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hoping to find someone who's run into this problem who could share their experience...

I have an 09 RAV4 and had the CSJ recall done in 2013. Like they were supposed to, they epoxyed the suspension arms in place. This supposedly meant that I never needed to align the back wheels again. My tires are now wearing unevenly. The local dealer informed me that because the suspension arms are epoxyed into place, it can't just be realigned and the only solution is to replace the rear suspension arms and assembly to the tune of $1200! And that's not covered by a warranty or a recall.

So am I getting this right? Their work during the CSJ recall created a situation that turns a $79 alignment into a $1200 repair. I have called Toyota customer service and they adamantly refuse to cover it. The rep even told me that hitting a pothole probably caused it to go out of alignment. Duh! I live in New England! And I'd be happy to re-align it in that case, but not replace the suspension!

If you've run into this problem, have you had any luck getting Toyota to pay for this? If not, have you found a cheaper solution? Do consumer protection laws figure into this anywhere?

Would appreciate any feedback! Thanks!
 

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Every time I bring my RAV into the dealer for an oil change, they always point out that the TSB needs to be done. Every time I tell them NO, and once they even put "Don't ask customer about this again" but they still do. I've heard too many horror stories like yours. The replacement arms cost about $100 each from the dealer. Get a good independent shop to replace them and re-align.
 

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That's why I wouldn't have allowed the Toyota rusted arms threads cure be done on my RAV. Toyota's cheap solution didn't take into account that people actually drive their RAVs and that alignment problems can occur. Maybe there is a class action lawsuit about the resulting problem you can join. Does MA have any consumer protection laws regarding auto repairs which can be applied?

If that doesn't help, the Toyota dealer's replacement price is outrageous and an independent shop should be able to do the job for much less money.
 
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I had the same thing done to my Rav and wasn't aware of what they were going to do. My bad....now I too needed a rear alignment and asked my dealership about it and they said I had to pay for it this time. It was around $500 they said.
I was able to buy the arms through them for their some sort of "TSB job code" pricing meaning they paid less because they had ordered thousands of them in, so I got a better price. I purchased two of them for around $80 each and installed them myself, then went for an alignment NOT AT TOYOTA!
 

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I had the same thing done to my Rav and wasn't aware of what they were going to do. My bad....now I too needed a rear alignment and asked my dealership about it and they said I had to pay for it this time. It was around $500 they said.
I was able to buy the arms through them for their some sort of "TSB job code" pricing meaning they paid less because they had ordered thousands of them in, so I got a better price. I purchased two of them for around $80 each and installed them myself, then went for an alignment NOT AT TOYOTA!

So how long did it take you to do this and was it difficult to uninstall and reinstall the control arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Everyone:

Thanks for your comments. I was hoping someone had a magical way of making Toyota own this BS, but I guess it is what it is.

$1200 is definitely exorbitant. The estimate includes "Replace rear assembly arms and AASY" What is AASY? Assembly? Does that need to be done along with the arms? I'm planning to take this to a local shop for an estimate.

Thanks again!

Marlene
 

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Your Humble Administrator
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$1200 is definitely exorbitant. The estimate includes "Replace rear assembly arms and AASY" What is AASY? Assembly? Does that need to be done along with the arms? I'm planning to take this to a local shop for an estimate.
That's a typo, it's supposed to say REPLACE REAR ARMS AND ASSY, which means assembly. But there is no "assembly", there are only the arms.

Have you seen this document:

http://www.rav4world.com/forums/attachments/4-3-mechanical/44010d1429720659-tsb-tsb-0042-14.pdf

It shows what needs to be done if an alignment is needed AFTER the epoxy job is done. Note it shows the original "turnbuckle" arm, and the new adjustable cam arm used only on the 2012 model. I see no reason you couldn't install the 2012 arms on earlier models. Toyota just didn't want to spend the money on the new improved part.
 

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So how long did it take you to do this and was it difficult to uninstall and reinstall the control arms.
Probably a couple of hrs.....I wasn't in a hurry. You have to remove the lower control arm mount which are two 17mm bolts you access from underneath the mount. This has to be done because the control arm bolt is put in a certain way that hasn't got enough room to slide out. When re-installing , put the bolt the other direction, so it will come out without removing the mount.
I removed both arms , screwed a couple of blocks to my bench with the arm as a measure between them. Then adjusted the new arm to fit snuggly in between the two blocks. Re-installed them and only had to drive about 5 miles to get the alignment. I had brand new tires so I wasn't going to drive for days like that not knowing how bad my wheel alignment was until I brought it to the shop.

PS.....when I purchased the arms from my dealer , they had asked if I wanted the epoxy as well ?? I just smiled and said "no" :)
 

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Probably a couple of hrs.....I wasn't in a hurry. You have to remove the lower control arm mount which are two 17mm bolts you access from underneath the mount. This has to be done because the control arm bolt is put in a certain way that hasn't got enough room to slide out. When re-installing , put the bolt the other direction, so it will come out without removing the mount.
I removed both arms , screwed a couple of blocks to my bench with the arm as a measure between them. Then adjusted the new arm to fit snuggly in between the two blocks. Re-installed them and only had to drive about 5 miles to get the alignment. I had brand new tires so I wasn't going to drive for days like that not knowing how bad my wheel alignment was until I brought it to the shop.

PS.....when I purchased the arms from my dealer , they had asked if I wanted the epoxy as well ?? I just smiled and said "no" :)
It's unfortunate that no one has the '12 adjustable control arm besides a new pre-'12 one and note any measurement difference. Perhaps the '12 part is physically compatible with replacing the older arm.

Just my humble opinions. . . It's probably just a ploy for Toyota to save pennies using old design, or to draw down existing recall parts inventory before superseding the old part to new one. The problem with the CSJ recall is it's not replacing any existing worn suspension parts on the vehicle. Slapping a new arm on worn suspension is just punting the problem down the road, outside of their recalls part/labor warranty coverage. After that, you're on your own to pay $$$ to set right things again. Basically a make-work-project to keep the stealership service department greased with recalls funding.
 

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It's unfortunate that no one has the '12 adjustable control arm besides a new pre-'12 one and note any measurement difference. Perhaps the '12 part is physically compatible with replacing the older arm.

Just my humble opinions. . . It's probably just a ploy for Toyota to save pennies using old design, or to draw down existing recall parts inventory before superseding the old part to new one. The problem with the CSJ recall is it's not replacing any existing worn suspension parts on the vehicle. Slapping a new arm on worn suspension is just punting the problem down the road, outside of their recalls part/labor warranty coverage. After that, you're on your own to pay $$$ to set right things again. Basically a make-work-project to keep the stealership service department greased with recalls funding.
You're on target with those observations, IMO. I actually chatted with Toyota Customer Service and expressed my reluctance for this fix if I required repair in the future. They gave me a case number and assured me it would be fixed on their dime. No time frame specified. They also told me they were obligated to use the old parts because that is the response and the fix they gave to the NHTSB.

My RAV 09 4 cyl had the glue fix done and has been fine since. I had computer prints of the alignment before and after fix done at the Toy dealer shop. If anything ever goes out of whack, I'll either play the Toyota case number card, and/or consider putting on the 2012 parts and be done with it, and be adjustable again. But so far, no excessive wear on any treads.
 

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I'm not sure what the difference is between the 2012 and older arm is, but my 08 arms are definitely adjustable. The recall is to replace them because of rust contamination and possibly breaking as I was told.

I wonder why everyone wouldn't get the same treatment on replacing them on Toyota's dime if the alignment was ever needed again like mine was? I may ask a few more questions....

The arms that I bought that were used to replace my rusty defective seized in place with epoxy had to be ordered and made specially for this recall I was told. They had over 2000 on back order when I wanted mine so it wasn't old stock , but maybe just an older design... I'm guessing that I got exactly what I already had on the Rav .... no?
 

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(1) I'm not sure what the difference is between the 2012 and older arm is, but my 08 arms are definitely adjustable. The recall is to replace them because of rust contamination and possibly breaking as I was told.

(2) I wonder why everyone wouldn't get the same treatment on replacing them on Toyota's dime if the alignment was ever needed again like mine was? I may ask a few more questions....

(3) The arms that I bought that were used to replace my rusty defective seized in place with epoxy had to be ordered and made specially for this recall I was told. They had over 2000 on back order when I wanted mine so it wasn't old stock , but maybe just an older design... I'm guessing that I got exactly what I already had on the Rav .... no?
Here's my take and admittedly some is guesswork:

(1) Beginning in late model 2011 RAV, Toyota came out with a control arm that is adjustable and does not need the epoxy. I was told by Toyota Corporate the new part fits gen 4.3.

(2) Since Recalls are generally strict, the "old parts" are mandated, that's what you get. If an additional re-do of the first glued recall arm is required, coverage $$$ reimbursement "treatment" sometime depends on dealers who administer Corporate policy. Then you have Corporate Toyota USA vs Toyota Canada guidelines--many more variables between these entitities.

(3) Yes, likely you have the "old parts" as this is what is called for in the recall. To know for sure, do a search for the part number you have for your 2008 and compare it to the part number for 2012. I was told by Toyota USA the "new parts" would fit but are not mandated by the recall. Can only imagine the triple egg on the engineers faces who would have to issue another recall. Recall 1 ( which was check for improper adjustment/tightening of control arms) of the Recall 2(which was replace and glue the arm assembly) of the Recall 3 (which would be replace with the parts designed 2011 going forward). Kind of wish they would go ahead and issue Recall 3. Maybe they are getting Recall fatigue.
 

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Unless I'm missing something , these control arms are all adjustable, I know mine are and were.(2008) These older designed arms must be more susceptible to rust corrosion and prone to breaking,as per the recall.
The epoxy isn't to prevent adjustment (but does), it's to prevent rust corrosion in and around the threads , making the metal arm weak and possibly breaking. This is what I understand....
 

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Unless I'm missing something , these control arms are all adjustable, I know mine are and were.(2008) These older designed arms must be more susceptible to rust corrosion and prone to breaking,as per the recall.
The epoxy isn't to prevent adjustment (but does), it's to prevent rust corrosion in and around the threads , making the metal arm weak and possibly breaking. This is what I understand....
You're not missing anything. I just uploaded a diagram that tells the story:

 

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Unless I'm missing something , these control arms are all adjustable, I know mine are and were.(2008) These older designed arms must be more susceptible to rust corrosion and prone to breaking,as per the recall.
The epoxy isn't to prevent adjustment (but does), it's to prevent rust corrosion in and around the threads , making the metal arm weak and possibly breaking. This is what I understand....
I agree with all. Yes, if you buy the old parts and install yourself as you did--and don't epoxy them in place--they will be adjustable, as originally designed. But you will be back to square one which brought the recall in the first place: parts that are suseptible to corrosion. Many forum members have judged to not get this epoxy 'fix' such as Junebug. It's for the owner to decide, I guess.

Since I had the 'fix' done, if things go south and I decide to buy my own parts and install, I'd go for the 2012 version posted above, which are about the same price. But first I would battle with Toyota USA corporate office who told me any re-do would be on their dime.
 

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Thanks Junebug.....great pictures. I wonder if I had the option of getting the newer design? They didn't say anything about it, probably didn't know either! :)

Ravn4red ....I undercoat my vehicles yearly and the new arms already have a thick coating on them, so I have no fear of them rusting and breaking...... I would never epoxy them anyways because I would lose the ability to have them adjusted (4 wheel alignment) if I needed it again.

I might send toyota canada an email asking about who should pay for the alignment once the stupid epoxy fix is done.... Maybe I'll get reimbursed on the parts price....

Take Care.....
 
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