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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, what a great forum. This is my first post and I would appreciated any opinions or advice from you knowledgeable folks!
I received a call from my dealer on Wed. night saying that my 2005 could be picked up Thurs. My husband picked it up Thurs. afternoon, filled out all the paperwork, then looked at the car. There is an abrasion/scratch on the rear passenger quarter panel and a pretty noticable scratch on the driver side lower panel. The dealer offered to repair it and take $300 off the price. Fine.
But when my husband started driving home he noticed that the car already had 85 miles on it. Doesn't this sound like a lot? There was evidence that the car has been driven (small scuff on the center console and where you open the console the fabric looks slightly worn, some footprints on the floormats, etc. Nothing really terrible, but also not in the perfect condition that I expected.) My concern is that they let people test drive my car, and I know that test drivers are not always gentle with the cars they drive!
My salesperson is off today, so I called GoToyota and they will have the local CS Manager call me within the next 3 business days to discuss why the high mileage. Considering the dealership is in Chicago, I can't imagine they had to take delivery and drive it from Michigan or Wisconsin!
Now, I know many people have been waiting a long time for a Prius (I waited 6 months), so I don't want to complain too much. But I would expect that when ordering a brand new car, and paying full price for it, that it really is a NEW car.
Does anyone have an opinion on this and what I might expect from the dealer? Thanks so much.
Jennifer
Seaside 7
 

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I would suspect that your vehicle was taken for a test drive or three. But I'm a suspicious person by nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it ethical for the dealer to take my new car on test drives? I could see if it was a car off the lot, but I ordered this one - assuming I would receive it in brand new condition. I'm wondering how test driving in the first hundred miles will affect the break-in period. Perhaps I'm being too neurotic after the looooong wait!
 

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mama,
I really doubt that anything in the first 85 miles would affect your car's durability...you'll forget about it pretty soon. Kind of a shame, though...you spend that kind of money, it'd be nicer to get one with only a mile or two, and shipping wrap still on it...
Certainly worth the try to wrangle something out of the dealer for it, though...maybe some free services? And they should fix the paint so it IS perfect.

rob
 

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That's really too bad. Yes, we pay a lot of extra money to get a new car. As the old saying goes, a car loses a few thousand dollars soon as you drive it off the lot.

I think the dealer is very unethical to take the car that you ordered specially, and let someone else drive it in the hopes of selling that person a car.

There's probably nothing much you can do, and I'm sure in time you will forget about it, and it won't make any practical difference to the car, but I bet it takes a lot of the fun out of the experience of getting what you expected to be your pristine new Prius!

Well, you've got a great car, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it - so don't let a poor dealership ruin it for you. But since you are in Chicago, a big city with lot's of dealerships nearby, you might consider finding another Toyota dealership to take it to for servicing - and you could lodge a complaint with Toyota about the place that sold it to you.
 

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I just picked up my 04 last week it had 1 mile on it when It came off of the truck and 4 miles after prep. So I would say someone took yours out for a spin. I even got to fill mine up too :)
 

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Canadian Prius said:
As the old saying goes, a car loses a few thousand dollars soon as you drive it off the lot.
Except the Prius, which gains $5000 the moment you drive it off the lot. :p (You think $5k over MSRP is bad, I saw a local dealer trying to sell a package 0 (yes, package 0, not even a rear wiper) with 8000 miles on it for $29,000.)
 

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when I picked up mine, it had 3 miles on it.
I asked the dealer what if someone had wanted to take it for a test drive.
he said he would've called me and asked me if it was ok they took out the car I had reserved. I think that's the way to do it.
 

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Not New

My Prius had 6 miles on it when I picked it up which I can fully understand. Inside and out the car looked NEW.

As stated previously, the extra miles really won't make any difference BUT I would agree that your car was used as a demo car. Maybe the dealer was trying to sell it several grand over MSRP if the potential buyer liked the 85 mile test drive.

Yes after they fix the minor problems and a little time goes by you will not even think twice about it. This dealer however should do you a lot better than $300 off the price and fix the problems.

I'm sure they would agree that the extra mileage caused no harm, so...how about them throwing in the extended 7 year 100,000 mile warranty??!!
 

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There are state laws with a 3 day rule, but I don't know the details.
 

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I would say your dealer allowed a large number of people to test-drive you car. This is absoluetly unethical, and might possibly be illegal if he represented it as a new car!!!

It's questionable whether he had any obligation to sell you this particular car. If he had needed a demo, he could have used this car as one, and then offered it to you as a used demo. Given the market, he could have demanded MSRP in spite of that.

However, if he represented the car as "NEW" then he is guilty of fraud and I think you should sue his pants off. Or demand $1,000 off. Sure, the Prius gains value (while demand remains above supply) but it is understood that cars are considered used once they are driven off the lot, and depreciate immediately.

Don't settle for an extended warranty. This is a Toyota and probably will never need warranty work. Raise a stink, and demand a BIG cash settlement. A lot of people probably drove your car, and the scratch, even if minor, suggests at least one of them abused it. And don't take no for an answer. You had a right to a new car! This dealer lied to you and lying in a commercial transaction is criminal fraud.
 

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richard schumacher said:
Doesn't Federal law provide a three day window in which it can be returned for a full refund?

As others suggested you could probably sell it at a profit.
Nope, the closest is that if a car has such significant problems that they require major repairs within the first (I'm not sure of the time frame, I think it's a month,) then you can ask the dealer for a replacement vehicle, or your money back. But the original vehicle must be a 'Lemon' to qualify.

There is no general '3-day-rule'. (I know Oregon doesn't have one, either. But I do know of a couple dealerships that have such policies.)
 

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Most state laws say that if you sign up at the dealer, there is no "cool off" period. If they come to you and get the papers signed off of the dealer property, you have 3 days. As for the miles, the dealer most certainlly let someone drive your car. Here we dont let anyone drive a presold car without their permission. We call and check in with the buyer, if we cant get ahold of them, you dont drive their car. Period!!!

Mama, look in your book, mainly the "owners warrant and rights notification". That will have the number for Toyota Customer Assistance. Let them know about the miles and condition. They will get it fixed for you. If you need anything else on the dealer side of things, please feel free to send me a message and i will look into it for you. All of the guidelines from Toyota will be the same at your dealer as it is at the one that i work for.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: Dealer told me he's REQUIRED to drive new Prius...

Thanks everyone for the replies. I just talked to the Sevice Manager at the dealership and he told me the following:
Some of the new Prius have a problem with some paint remnants inside the exhaust pipes. When the car is first driven, the fumes from the paint can trigger the sensitive emmission system into thinking that there is something wrong with the engine, and then the engine light comes on which requires the customer to return to the dealership to have their car "fixed". Therefore, TOYOTA now REQUIRES that for the predriving inspection (pdi) the dealer drive the car between 50-70 mph for a significant distance to "burn off" the fumes.
He said that since they are not that close to the expressway, it took some miles to get there, more for the driving 50-70 mph, and then the drive back = total 85 miles.
He said that he's the one who drove the car, and I didn't think to ask how many people he took with him considering the floor mats in the back were dirty! No fessing up to letting other people test drive it.
I have never heard anything like this before. Has anyone else heard this or is he completely lying to me? He suggested that my salesperson should have informed me that the "new" cars usually have 50-60 miles on them.
Thanks again for the responses so far!
Jen
 

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Re: Update: Dealer told me he's REQUIRED to drive new Prius.

mamarossi said:
TOYOTA now REQUIRES that for the predriving inspection (pdi) the dealer drive the car between 50-70 mph for a significant distance to "burn off" the fumes.
crock

n 1: nonsense; foolish talk; "that's a crock" 2: an earthen jar (made of baked clay) [syn: earthenware jar] v 1: release color when rubbed, of badly dyed fabric 2: soil with or as with crock


Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

That's about the most imaginative excuse I've ever come across. Elaborate too. My Prius came with 3km on it (about 2 miles). I guess my dealer wasn't as dilligent as yours. Lucky me.
 

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Many early 2004 owners did report a problem with the check engine light coming on and the solution being to drive at highway speed for 50 miles to burn out residue in the catalytic converter. I was under the impression that recently delivered Prius no longer have this problem, but I could be wrong. So your Service Manager is describing a real problem and a real solution. But it's not clear that it's still necessary. And it would have been more polite for your sales rep to tell you before they drove it.
 

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Re: Update: Dealer told me he's REQUIRED to drive new Prius.

mamarossi said:
He suggested that my salesperson should have informed me that the "new" cars usually have 50-60 miles on them.
I was almost buying this story right up to that last bit. My Prius had 4.1 miles on the odometer when I picked it up. I'd talk to Toyota about this incident.
 
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