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since we seem to have run out of interesting topics, maybe you can share your opinions and advice on a problem with my parents' 1999 Toyota 4Runner SR5. I have to warn you that it is a lot of reading ahead.

about ten months ago they purchased the new car from a dealer here in Southern California, the SR5 which has a base msrp of around $20,000 totalled $33,000 BEFORE taxes and registration. Included in the price was a limited package, which meant they would put fender flares and mouldings to make the car look like a Limited edition, why my parents did not opt for a Limited edition which costs pretty much the same eludes me. Anyways, the fender flares were not yet installed when we purchased the car and we had it for about a week before the dealer called us to bring the car in to have the mouldings installed. Awhile later, the panel on the front passenger side came loose somehow and we weren't able to open the door so the dealer got the thing fixed for us but when we got the thing back, the new moulding did not match the color of the other mouldings, and Toyota gave us some lame excuse about the moulding fading to match the rest over time. They later decided to make it right and we got the car back in about a day.

That is not the problem though, as if it weren't bad enough. I got my license on April 10 this year and that afternoon I crashed the thing. The front fender on the passenger side, the mouldings surrounding it, the bumper and corner turning light were damaged. When it got into the body shop a week later, they told us it would be done within a week. A week or so later they called us and asked my mom if this wasa car we salvaged from the junkyard and fixed up and told us to come down and have a look see. When we got there we saw why he would think that this ten month old car was a salvaged wreck. In order to replace the damaged parts the body shop had removed the undamaged mouldings on the door to get better access to the work are and in doing so, revealed about a dozen or more holes the size of quaters. Apparently the place where the dealer had the mouldings installed (maybe they did it themselves) had drilled these holes to install the mouldings. (The SR5 4Runner is not made to have this type of moulding installed, the Limited Edition which comes with a factory kit has predrilled and pretreated holes which are way smaller.) In order to get the job done, whoever installed the kit drilled these holes but decided not to measure where the screws would be and make precision holes, instead they opted to drill huge holes and then fill them in with epoxy and rubber, then hold the screws in place with fifty cent sized washers (the holes are so big they had to make them samller to accomidate the screws) and in turn they damaged the integrity of the corrosion protection that came with the car, they caused extensive rust damage and they would have gotten away with it if i had not crashed. Now the professionals at the body shop said that it was the worst job they have ever seen, and they get cars done by amatuers all the time, the fact that this was done or sanctioned by a Toyota dealer to a NEW car was appalling. None of the technicians could believe anyone would do such a thing. Now, the parts damaged in the collision are fixed after sitting in the shop for over a month, the holes are hidden under the mouldings and we have told the dealer about these revelations. They have said that they have no responsibility, that the body shop that installed the kit is responsible (but doesn't the fact that it was the dealer who told the shop to install the things make them partially if not fully responsible?) and when we threatened to call the BBB, the Bereau of Automotive Repairs, the California Consumer Repairs they pretty much laughed at us. Now they called and say the Company which installed the panels is willing to repair the damage for us. The bodyshop which brought the holes to our attention has told us in order to fix the car, they would have to replace every body panel on th
 

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That sucks.

Have you talked to the management at the dealership? And at the shop that did that stuff? I'd say get that lawyer, and send both of them a letter - maybe you can scare them into doing something. As for asking for a new Limited Edition, I'm not sure. But you can surely ask for the exact same car you bought, except new. Maybe some extra money for compensation? I don't know. But the lawyer idea seems the way to go. Also, you might want to talk to your local district attorney, although I'm not sure if they handle cases like this. Good luck.
 

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Violation, please show me how to do that smiley!!!! Please!! Wazzup, that was a funny comment. I didn't read it either. That smiley caught my attention....LOL!
 

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How about this one. My first car broke
down and it was towed to the dealership.

The dealer left it (and all cars on their
lot) unlocked and someone came through
and stole everything (including my stereo,
CB radio, speakers, etc.) from a bunch of
cars on their lot.

The dealer told me that they were not liable
and that I should claim it on my insurance.
My insurance had a $1000 deductable so
I didn't do anything about it (other
than sob). Maybe I could have sue the
dealer, but the lawyer would have probably
cost me the $800 to replace my stuff.

I suppose that I could have tried small
claims court, but that takes alot of
time and energy.

------------------------------------------

How about this one -
Some lady slams on her brakes and my
wife "bumps" her rear bumper. There is
no visible damage but the lady claims
whiplash (although she never wears a
neck-brace because she says that she
finds them too uncomfortable).
My insurance company pays her a small
amount, but she sues us (small claims
court) anyways. I call my insurance and
they say that any settlement will be
paid by them no problem. We go to court
and the insurance rep says (before the
hearing) - "this judge is a pro-tem
prosecution attorney so he will side with
her almost no matter what". So we say
that it was a 5mph bump... The insurance
company shows photos and stuff showing no
damage and a study saying that she could
not have gotten whiplash from such a low
speed impact. Well the judge says
"clearly she was upset by what happened
so I award her $2500"... blah blah blah.

Oh well I think - the insurance will pay it.
They did. But now I find that I have
a legal settlement against me (even though
my insurance was always saying they were
responsible to pay) and my credit is
totally messed up.

I wasn't even there. I wasn't driving the
car. It was a really minor incident.
But my credit was ruined...
 

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Sob story #3:

I am working on my car in the parking lot of my mom's condo. Some guy in a way jacked up pickup (he can barely see the ground) pulls up in the space next to me and runs right over my little tool tray. He gets out and starts to walk away, but I say "hey you are on my toolbox - I can't get at my tools!". He comes back and gives me a weird look like "so what", and I beg for him to move his truck. Finally he does and then says "it doesn't look too bent up - just get another one". I say it was "part of a set" at which point he looks over to the open garage door and sees that I have a big rolling tool cart and this was a pull out drawer of tools from the cart. He doesn't say anything and walks away.

Later that day I drive back home to get something and when I get back the lock on the garage is cut off and *all* my tools, a computer, a bicycle and a stereo are gone from the garage. I go over to the condo where I saw this guy go before and a women with a black eye answers the door. I say I have reason to believe that some guy who stays in your condo just stole a bunch of my stuff. She says "he just drove to LA to sell his truck, but don't say anything to anyone - he just got out of prison and if he finds out that I even talked to you he will beat me up again."

After some thought I decided to just let the whole thing go because I thought it best not to get anywhere near this guy in the future.

----

My brother was working at an Ice-Cream store and got mugged (the store was robbed). The guy asked for a job application, and when my brother went in the back room to get one he was hit on the back of the head with a pipe.

The police caught the guy who had been doing all sorts of bad stuff that night, but a few days later my brother got all these phone calls from the guys friends saying "don't prosecute - he is such a nice guy..." it turns out the police gave our home phone number to the friends of the guy who beat up my brother...
 
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