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Hey fellow Prius Owners,

I just had a very annoying experience with the service center at the dealership where I bought my 2002 Prius 2 years ago. I share it here in the hopes of hearing reactions from any of you that may have had a similar experiences or might have some wise advice, and to impress upon all of you the importance of not running out of gas!

Yesterday morning upon starting, the screen showed the very scary hybrid system warning indicator. I brought it right to the dealer as the owner's manual instructs. The warning message then went away and didn't come back on for the technician, but he did note there were "codes" indicating the car had run out of gas in the past. That was all he did and they charged me $99 for labor, explaining that my running out of gas must have caused the warning light to come on so they wouldn't warranty the service. Apparently there are many things that can cause that warning screen to come on, including running out of gas several weeks before. (??)

Yes, I ran out of gas several weeks ago, and I admit that was silly of me. But it's not like I drove it around once it ran out, and I could find no specific reference to running out of gas voiding any warranties on the hybrid system. And why does the general warning light come on weeks later, imploring you to bring it in for (unwarrantied) service? I'm left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

What do you all think? Should I dispute the fee, or do you think the dealership was justified?

At any rate, from now on when my Prius tells me to "Ajouter essence" you better believe I'm going to ajouter! Both for the car's sake and mine, (so it doesn't snitch on me again.)

Thanks,

Eddie

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Shame on your dealer! There should not be a charge for their service to your car which is under warranty!!! Is Toyota so arrogant (and their dealers) that they could possibly do this to you? Gird your loins, and go back to your dealer and ask for the general manager. Demand a refund of the fee they "incorrectly" charged you. The 2004 Prius is a totally new Prius concept-- even for Toyota. Dealers and their mechanics are not even sure yet how to service the cars. So give me a break. Your car is under warranty.

What happens to you is of great interest to the rest of us 2004 Prius owners. Karen Ann
 

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Thanks for your encouragement, Karen Ann. Just to clarify, though: My Prius is a 2002, not a 2004. It is still well within the 3year/36k warranty period, however, and I imagine we '02 owners still share a lot of the same issues with you '04 owners. Maybe this is one of them. - Eddie

karenann said:
Shame on your dealer! There should not be a charge for their service to your car which is under warranty!!! Is Toyota so arrogant (and their dealers) that they could possibly do this to you? Gird your loins, and go back to your dealer and ask for the general manager. Demand a refund of the fee they "incorrectly" charged you. The 2004 Prius is a totally new Prius concept-- even for Toyota. Dealers and their mechanics are not even sure yet how to service the cars. So give me a break. Your car is under warranty.

What happens to you is of great interest to the rest of us 2004 Prius owners. Karen Ann
 

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Maybe the service department has a flat minimum $99 charge just for looking at a car, and running out of gas was the excuse to apply this charge to you?
 

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First speak to the Toyota the service manager at the dealership and simply and basically ask for reconsideration and a refund. If not satsfied, or if you choose not to revisit the dealership path, contact either the reginal service manager (you can ask for this at the toyota customer assurance center in california) and restate your case and request that your warranty cover the charges. For so paltry a sum,and given the situation and facts as you mentioned them, see how committed toyota is to the claim of customer assurance and satisfaction. This is, is it simply touted for marketing advantage. Lastly, seek the abritration route if necessary - it will be at no direct financial cost to you - to have the issue, your take, and satisfaction (if important to you) respectifully adjudicated.

Now go FIXIT
 

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