Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Bolton, Connecticut
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Re: Hatchback piece breaks off
I don't think Toyota will do anything for you because you're out of warranty [unless you bought the extended warranty, but that may not cover it either (as some folks who had the bending dash above the upper glove box problem & found the dash is considered "trim" & the extended warranty does not cover trim pieces)]. I don't think the piece you're talking about is trim because that is what you need to use to lift the hatch (either that or the spoiler & I wouldn't want to lift it by the spoiler---that will surely break off too).
You could however call the Toyota Customer Experience line, ask for a case number, & explain to them that you wanted your dealer to tighten the piece when it first became loose but that your dealer's attitude was "not to worry about it" basically because they didn't want to be bothered. I don't think Toyota would be happy to hear that your dealer tried to brush you off like that & now that you're extremely unhappy because you now have to pay for a replacement piece that wouldn't have broken if they had tightened it up. They might offer to split the cost with you by paying for the part & having you pay for the labor (since you would have paid the labor for the dealer to tighten it up in the first place if they had done as you asked). You never know, they may cover the whole thing [labor & part(s)], if you have had all your service done at the dealer & because you were concerned enough to take it in to the dealer for attention before it broke, only to be brushed off & have it break off later.
I also have an '05, but my piece has not loosened yet (& I do have the extended warranty---though I'm not sure if it would be covered if I too had the same problem), but let us know of your outcome. You could always try to find a salvage yard piece of the same color & do the job yourself (to save some money) if Toyota isn't willing to help out at all. Good luck!!
Just a quick Chrysler-bashing aside. I had a RENTAL Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth minivan one time (less than a year old when rented) & the 2nd time I went to close the rear hatch, the molded-in handle broke completely off in my hand. If I had owned that van I would have been ripping mad & constantly worried about how many times (after warranty) I would have to replace that entire plastic trim panel because of the weakly designed handle. So I can understand your concern & financial pain here. I hope Toyota will help you with some or all of the cost.
Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)