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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been on a dealer's waiting list since early Jan. (3 months) and I still have not received my Prius. The dealer claims they can't give a time estimate as to when my Prius will arrive. Am I the only one that doesn't understand this ridiculous response? The dealer knows how many cars come in each month and they know how many people are on the list, isn't it just simple arithmetic?
Has anyone else had similiar treatment, because I feel like I am getting played.


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9 Posts
I placed my order (package 9, three color options) with Putnam Toyota in Burlingame on Dec 16 2003 and picked up the car on March 31 2004. Like you, I never had good information about when to expect the car until it was in CA, and even then it took about a week longer to get to the dealer than they originally told me. They are clearly not set up to deal with this kind of thing.

But, the car is great now that I have it. For me, it was worth the wait and uncertainty although there were times in early March when I felt like throwing in the towel.

Good luck,


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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Waiting times in Bay area

Thanks for the response. That is reassuring to hear. The dealer actually just had a Silver option 9 that they offered, but that is not near what I wanted, so the wait continues.

Best of luck with your new Prius!

(Red,Blue #1,2,3,4)

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81 Posts
Report on Toyota of Palo Alto Prius order

I ordered a red #9 from Toyota of Palo Alto Dec. 27th. They said 3 months, 120 days maximum on the contract (hardly a contract--a vague request to order). IT's been about 104 days now for us.

As of April 10th, they say we're still 55 spots away from receiving our vehicle, and it won't happen in 120 days, and could be 150, or whatever.

It sounds as though Putnam Toyota of Burlingame did better, delivering a #9 in about 106 days. I have no way of telling whether TofPA is selling off cars at markups if someone walks in and offers a premium. They say they aren't (but when I called, I hear gales of laughter in the background from the sales guys when someone said they'd gotten a deposit on a Prius).

I think it would be good if we compared notes on these dealers here to try to put together what they're really doing vs. what they're promising.

I can't see that handling the shortage this way is good public relations for Toyota, or for individual dealers. It's hard to not have bad thoughts about whether your dealer is treating you honestly when they won't give you any definite information about actual delivery time. I'm sure Toyota could project these delivery times if they tried. It may affect my willingness to buy other Toyota vehicles, particularly from this dealer, if we wind up feeling badly treated over this Prius.

I'll post updates on how this turns out, and would appreciate feedback from other wait-listers in the Bay Area.

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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After speaking to my dealer about which number I was on the waiting list at Melody Toyota in San Bruno, he explained that there is no waiting list. Buyers tell the dealer what package they want and plop down a deposit, then when a matching vehicle comes in they call you (or not). After hearing this, I quickly became a little more flexible with what I wanted. Subsequently, the dealer called the next day and offered a silver #9, which I declined because it was too far from what I want.
I am not sure if calling/bugging them everyday would generate more or less offers.

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81 Posts
Wait time report

This is a followup to my earlier post.

I received a 2004 Prius after 117 days waiting. I had requested a Salsa Red #9. I was told to expect a 90 day wait, but it could be as much as 120 days (at which point I could cancel and get my money back).

At 104 days, I checked, and was told I was still #55 on the list, and it could be 1-2 months more. After some further discussion, and a call to Toyota North America, suddenly a different color Prius (silver) was offered to me, which I took.

If I had waited quietly, it looks like the wait would have been more like 150 days, which is what they are quoting now at Toyota of Palo Alto. Whether a red #9 would have shown up by then cannot be known.

Your results may vary, as they say...

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50 Posts
lasrx said:
Both Melody and San Francisco toyota have some Prius's on their website. Can I just walk in and buy one of those if I dont care about color / packages?
Ok I walked in trying to buy one. The answer was no I can't just buy one. The ones listed were the floor models, no thanks.

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3 Posts
I had put my name on the waiting list on Feb. 12, 2004(Petaluma Hansel) I was told 3 to 4 months. Two weeks later on a Sunday morning while looking at the post on the Prius chats there one was that was posted a Driftwood Pearl package 9. Not the right color but rather than wait I call and they put my name on it, and said the it would be in in two weeks. I picked up on April 11. I'm eally happy with the color. Keep you eye on the post and maybe you'll be lucky also. It is worth the wait just hang in there!

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4 Posts
My experiences

It's kind of hard to be critical of dealers when you're high up
on the waiting list and don't want to give them any reason to
'forget' you. Now that I've gotten my car (#7 silver), I can
speak freely about the experience.

I bought the car at Toyota of Stevens Creek (north-west
San Jose on the Santa Clara border). On the whole I would
rate my experience as positive, but not without issues.

The Price: The price was MSRP plus about $500 in dealer prep,
plus 184 for floor mats. I probably could have gotten rid of
the mats, but after hearing about some of the deals going on
on this list, I was quite happy to get it at an honest (and quoted)

The Wait: Well, I put my $500 deposit down on Dec. 23. My
original sales person (who quickly vanished and didn't know
the car at all) suggested a wait of 45 days, but when the 'expert'
came over they moved it to 120 days: "Under-promise and Over-
deliver". At that time they told me that the silver #9 was the most
popular package and would have the longest wait. I chose four
colors and #7 which had the safety features I wanted.

Thirty days later, I called to see what was up. My saleperson was
gone, so I started working with the sales manager. At this point
they had no clue and didn't commit to anything.

Sixty days later, I called again. I got the same story. I told them
I'd take a package #9 if that came in.

Ninety days later in mid March, I called again. No idea, but when I
reminded them of my expanded choice they said they expected a
silver #9 in April.

When April came around I called weekly. They still had no idea when
the cars would arrive. They finally called me to tell me when the car
was expected to hit the Port of Los Angeles.

Finally, on April 30th, when these cars were imminent, they called
to say they had a silver #7 available and I snapped it up.

Here's my speculation about what's going on. The dealers really have
very little idea on what they will receive and when until the truck pulls
up. This leaves them stuck in between Toyota's inconsistant delivery
schedule and customers who demand a schedule. (Things like online
UPS/Fedex tracking have really made consumers demanding). Some
dealers are obviously just giving up on customer satisfaction and
dumping the things at a jacked-up price as soon as they show up.
Others are keeping meticulous waitinig lists with consistant rules
and keeping their customers informed. My feeling was that this
dealer was trying to do the right thing for the customers, but wasn't
managing their waiting list very well.

When I picked my car up, I was told the current waiting period
was six months for their list.

My main advice for people trying to get a car is to make their choice
of colors and packages as large as they can tolerate. (My particular
concern was the safety package included only on #7 and #9). If you
need that special color, be prepared to wait a very long time or pay a

I'd buy another car from them mostly because they didn't play games
with the price. I'm sure they didn't have much control on the wait,
even though they could better manage their waiting list.

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5 Posts
Hello from France,
I bought a 2004 prius here in france on 6th of march (first Prius came in march). My dealer told me I can get the car 2 month later, that mean at the begening of May. When I have told him I will need the car for Easter holiday in mid April :shock: , he tell me ok :lol: , he will try to get it for that date...
But of course, the was not there in April ! :cry:
Today, my dealer tell me to wait 2 more months but he doesn' seem to have any reliable informations. He did'nt get the serial number of the car, that meens the order have been treated yet. I guess the wait will be longer and longer... :evil:
If some of you have other europeean experience, please tell me !
(and sorry for my english...)

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50 Posts
I called SF Toyota and made a deal with City Toyota. I've been quoted MSPR (possible $-200, doubt it), and I have priced it out with my dealer, incld tax, floor mats (186), and document fee (15), no major hidden fees. I'm dealing with fleet managers, but I don't think that should make much of a difference.

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67 Posts
Hi Mike,
I'm the one who has been ranting about Oakland. I talked to the manager and if the Prius that I ordered comes in (Red or Green 6), they'll charge MSRP. Anything else, they want 3,000 over.
So, I spent the weekend calling around outside of the city. Magnussen-Auburn, Hanlees- Davis, Hansel- Petaluma, Maita- Sacramento, Folsom Lake, Florin- Sacramento, & Salinas all quoted MSRP.
Toyota of the Desert- Cathedral city wanted $3900 over.
Rogers in Imperil wants $5000 over.
Of course you can't jump lists. I'm mad :twisted: b/c I tried to be loyal to Oakland and didn't call around. Now I have no car.
I thanked all the dealers that sell at MRSP and I'll go up to a package 9 with any one of them. I just refuse to reward someone for taking advantage of a situation.

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2 Posts
Thanks Pauline and Lasrx. We put a deposit on one at SF Toyota. I was told MSRP on any car I would have access to based on the waiting list. It seemed that our stated preference didn't really mean all that much - meaning that if we're next on the list and our preference wasn't in the latest delivery, we'd still be able to select from their current stock if we didn't want to wait any longer. I'm sure there is more to it than that and some care are set aside, but that was my understanding.

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