The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Learning of Other Complaints: You can get summaries of auto complaints & service bulletins from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by the Internet or by mail. To access complaint summaries for particular makes, models & years, visit NHTSA’s Internet website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. Or for $20-40, you can get a computer printout of complaints or service bulletins from NHTSA’s Technical Information Services, which can be contacted through NHTSA’s Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236. Specify make, model & year as the more specific the request, the less expensive the printout.
Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs): Toyota/Lexus publish TSBs to help dealers diagnose & repair problems on vehicles. Some dealers will let you view TSBs. Some state Lemon or Secret Warranty Laws require manufacturers or dealers to make TSBs available on your vehicle. You can access TSB summaries via NHTSA’s Website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov. NHTSA’s Technical Information Services, which can be contacted through NHTSA’s Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236, can also send a particular TSB once you identify it from NHTSA’s Website or its computer printout. ALLDATA provides free access to TSB summaries & sells copies of TSBs listed on its Website. You can also buy them from HELM, Inc. Call 800-782-4356 for ordering information. For your use, we have listed some of the more comprehensive TSBs on your vehicle. Check the above sources for other TSBs.
Recalls & Investigations: Call NHTSA’s toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at 800-424-9393 or 888-327-4236 (in Washington DC 202-366-0123) or visit NHTSA’s website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov-recalls and www.nhtsa.dot.gov-investigations respectively.
Small Claims Court: Go to small claims for advice on using small claims court to recover repair & other expenses. The Lemon Book (Moyer-Bell 1990) by Ralph Nader has an entire chapter on small claims court strategy, a state-by-state index & a chapter on your legal rights to help you better argue your case in court. You can order the book for $17.50 from CAS Publications.
Lemon Lawsuits: If you have to sue Toyota over a lemon, go to CAS-Lawyers for a list of attorneys specializing in lemon law.
Complaint to Toyota: Write Yoshimi Inaba, President, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, 1901 S. Western Avenue, Torrence CA 90509 or call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus at 1-800-872-5398.
Using Better Business Bureau Arbitration: Toyota uses BBB to arbitrate original owners’ requests for repair reimbursement, an order that Toyota "buy-back" your car, or both. Program is not legally binding on consumer, so you may reject bad decision & go to court. Call 800-955-5100 for BBB program nearest to you. The Lemon Book has a chapter to guide you through BBB Arbitration and can help get "buy-backs" & reimbursements. The Lemon Book is available from CAS for $17.50 from CAS Publications.
Secret Warranty Disclosure Laws: Four states (CA, CT, VA & WI) have laws requiring automakers to disclose any secret warranties on their cars. Contact your state attorney general for information or to support such laws. Little Secrets of the Auto Industry (Moyer-Bell 1994) by CAS is devoted to secret warranties, how to find them & use them. Little Secrets is available for $17.50 from CAS Publications.
Supporting Toyota Recall Efforts: Help us force the government to protect consumers by writing your Senators and Representative in Congress, urging them to contact NHTSA & the Federal Trade Commission on your defects in your Toyota vehicle. Your local library has names of your representatives; write them c/o US Senate (or House), Washington DC 20510 (or 20515). Find and/or e-mail them at www.house.gov/writerep/ and www.senate.gov.
Support CAS’ Efforts: File a complaint with CAS which will be used to pressure Toyota to take responsibility for defects in its vehicles. Become a CAS member by making a tax-deductible contribution to help us in our fight on your behalf against Toyota and the other auto giants.