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#1 (permalink) Old 05-10-2004, 09:43 PM
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Default A/C Condenser

Funny thing happened on the way to the 5,000 mile checkup for our new 2004 Prius...the A/C blew and the temp was in the 90s (of course). The dealer checked it out and said there was a tiny hole in the condenser that caused the freon to spray out. I asked if that was covered by the warranty. You can guess what he said...no. He said there was a "pinhole" leak in the condenser, probably caused by a rock. I'm waiting to see what the insurance adjuster says when he inspects the invisible hole.

So, maybe more out of curiosity, I'm looking for a condenser, but can't find one. Seems Toyota is the sole source. In case you're wondering, the estimate is about $850.

Can you believe this? Anyone have a similar issue with a Prius? Love the car otherwise, except for the upgraded audio system which needs work.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 12:18 AM
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I've never heard of a rock causing a pinhole leak. Unless it's at a joint or connector, a pinhole leak is usually a flaw in the casting. They do happen ocationally, but at 5,000 miles should be covered by the warrantee. Rocks will usually cause larger chips and it should be abvious.

Take your warrantee book along to the insurance adjuster. He can probably say for sure if it's not covered, and point to where it says it should be covered. Good luck.

'04 Salsa Red - #6
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 08:51 AM
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My hunch is that the Toyota service departments (2) I contacted prefer to be reimbursed by the customer for warranty work since the factory limits what they get for warranty work. Maybe I'm completely off-base, but I am very skeptical about the rock story myself.

I'm calling Toyota in Torrance, Ca today...for what good that will do. (My guess: NONE) If I'm wrong about my hunch, I'll happily post a reply.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 02:51 PM
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I would suggest that you should approach it (when talking with the dealer) as a defect. Don't ask the dealer if it's covered. Simply state that you'd like to bring your car in for some warranty work to fix a defect in the AC system. Start calling it what it is, particularly when talking to your service manager.

Because that's what it is, a defect. AC systems are not supposed to "just leak." Any leak is improper function; aka, a defect. Even GMs and Fords don't "just start leaking." Plus, they're going to simply bill the manufacturer anyway. It's a defect, unless they can show you that so-called road-hazzard caused pinhole, or that you some how were abusive or otherwise remis in your care and maintenance.

See what I mean? It really is a defect.
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-11-2004, 03:26 PM
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I talked to Toyota's main customer satisfaction rep this morning, and she is referring this to the Prius Green Team, who is assigned to look at issues with the car. I expect to hear from them tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my insurance adjuster came out later, and they will cover their estimated cost, although not the $90 I already paid the first Toyota dealer for diagnostics. Yes. They showed me a pinhole but I don't have superman vision so I couldn't see it really. Anyway, their offer was a little lower than the dealer's estimate, but it's up to the dealer to argue with the insurance adjuster if they want to.

Fortunately, the major work is covered by comprehensive (0 deductible). But I'd rather have it come from Toyota's warranty to be sure.

The Prius is now sitting at the shop waiting for the part to arrive.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-29-2004, 01:08 AM
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I'd expect the warranty to cover this even if it was a boulder! You should warn them about going public if they don't fix it under warranty and also reimburse you the $90 you already paid!

You can go public calling the local radio stations. tv, newspapers and also contact any city, state government agencies that deal with warranties. I seriously doubt this is not civered by warranty.

Good luck.
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