Today I drafted a letter to Toyota seeking reimbursement for Michele’s transmission change which she had done to troubleshoot an issue she was having with her transmission.
In case you haven’t already heard, Toyota issued TSB TC002-06 in response to issues surrounding defective ECMs causing the transmission to shift harshly, shift in-and-out of gear, cause the transmission to enter “limp mode”, illuminate the check engine light, and other issues. These issues aren’t related to, but were brought to light by, the “sudden acceleration” issues.
The actual TSB from Toyota (tc002-06) reads as follows:
Some 2001 – 2003 model year RAV4 vehicles equipped with an automatic transaxle
may exhibit a harsh shift condition and/or M.I.L. “ON” with DTC P0750, P0753, P0755,
P0758, and/or P1760 stored. Improvements have been made to the Engine Control
Module (ECM) (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) manufacturing process to
reduce the possibility of this condition occurring.
Toyota states that you can take your vehicle to a Toyota dealership for service; or, if you have already had service performed, you can submit for reimbursement for covered repairs, so we’re doing just that. Below is a copy of a letter I have drafted to Toyota.
October 7, 2010
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc
Toyota Customer Experience, WC10
19001 South Western Ave
Torrance, CA 90509
Request for repair reimbursement according to TSB TC002-06 on VIN [Removed]
I am writing to seek reimbursement for repairs to my vehicle under TSB TC002-06. The following explains the issues I have experienced and the repair timeline:
- On May 15th 2010 the vehicle began experiencing a harsh shift condition.
- On May 17th 2010 Marden’s serviced the vehicle, which was described as having frequent harsh shifts. Neither Marden’s nor I was aware (at the time) of TSB TC002-06. Marden’s recommended the transmission fluid be replaced in an attempt to remedy the issue. Services were performed and the total paid was $213.17. The vehicle was checked in under my father’s name, [Removed], so that Toyota would have a point of contact as I work 8-5pm daily and cannot take calls while working. You will find proof that I paid this bill enclosed. On the way home from Marden’s, harsh shifts continued to occur and the Check Engine light illuminated. I learned of TSB TC002-06 regarding the ECU failure condition and the symptoms which included harsh shift conditions and an illuminated Check Engine light. I then contacted the Toyota dealership at 6555 E. State St, Rockford IL 61108 (815) 397-8995. I described the issue and referenced TSB TC002-06 to the service person, who acknowledged the issue. A service appointment was made for 5/19/2010.
- On May 19th, 2010 Toyota replaced the ECU per TSB TC002-06. The vehicle was driven and verified that it operated correctly following the repair procedure.
I recently received a letter from Toyota which included the following:
What if you have previously paid for the repair of your vehicle for this specific condition as it applies to your 2001 through 2003 model year RAV4 vehicle?
If you have previously paid for … this specific condition on your vehicle …, during the applicable period, please mail a copy of your repair order which includes the reason for the repair/replacement, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration…
I insist that I be reimbursed for the repairs performed on my vehicle as the repairs performed were directly related to the failing ECU per TSB TC002-06. The harsh shift issues I was experiencing were resolved by replacing the ECU as mentioned above. The transmission fluid was replaced inside of the normal service interval in an attempt to resolve the issue, which it did not. The issue was resolved only by replacing the ECU, which demonstrates that the issue was undoubtedly caused by the faulty ECU.
Enclosed you will find copies of the relevant documentation pertaining to this request.
If you have any questions or concerns with this request, please do not hesitate to contact me.
The exact verbiage of the letter reads:
If you have previously paid for the replacement of the Engine Control module and/or the automatic transaxle for this specific condition on your vehicle (VIN noted above), during the applicable period, please mail a copy of your repair order which includes the reason for the repair/replacement, proof-of-payment, and proof-of-ownership to the following address for reimbursement consideration…
The words “replacement of the Engine Control module and/or the automatic transaxle” make me think we’re going to get a good bit of pushback from this… but with the reputation Toyota has gotten, can they afford to say no to a $200 repair reimbursement?
Do you think we should submit the issue to the Better Business Bureau? Can you suggest any other action to take? Do you know anyone who is experiencing the above described issue, or you have an affected vehicle? Please share your thoughts, suggestions, and comments below. Please share and forward this article!
UPDATE 13-October: Confirmed delivery to Toyota. Now we wait 4-6 weeks for a response.
UPDATE 14-November: We received the following letter from Toyota today:
November 5, 2010
We are sorry to learn of the situation you encountered with your Toyota and for any inconvenience or expenses you may have encountered. Toyota makes every effort to manufacture a quality product, conducting extensive research and planning, thorough testing, and constant monitoring of performance.
Unfortunately, the repair performed on your vehicle does not meet the criteria for reimbursement under the Csp 01-03my Rav4 Transaxle Ecm Warranty Enhancement. Additionally, your concern is not eligible for reimbursement under any other warranty, Special Service Campaign, or Special policy adjustment in effect at this time.
Toyota values you as a customer and we appreciate this opportunity to review your request. Should you require any additional information, please contact our Customer Experience Center at 1(800) 331-4331. Our hours of operation are 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST Monday through Friday and 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST Saturday.
Toyota customer Experience
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A,, Inc.
… For serious. Typos and all.