May 23rd, 2005

Andrei in the office

So, let me tell you about my car...

A little under a year ago, less than 11 months to be exact, we bought a new car to replace the dying Saturn (sniff sniff)

We purchased a Matrix XRS 6-speed manual transmission.

As said, it is now eleven months later. There are almost 18K miles on the car. Wednesday, the transmission began to die. By thursday evening... mostly not drivable. Friday morning it went in to the shop. I had the car at 8 am and had made an appointment.

By 2 pm they finally looked at it. (Ironically, the rental car I got from Hertz was a Matrix XR automatic, same year, same colour.) It turns out the clutch is fried. They went on to explain that the clutch is not under warranty and they'd be happy to fix it for $900.

This is where the side of Andrei came out that most people really don't want to see.

So, let me get this straight. My new car that is not nearly a year old with under 20K in milage has lost the clutch and you're telling me it's most likely my fault. Ignoring for a moment the fact that I put nearly 90K miles on a manual transmission Saturn and NEVER had a clutch problem... How could I have done that to a clutch.

"Oh, that usually happens because the driver races the car and rides the clutch."

Folks, unless I race it nightly and have three feet, there is no way I could possibly do the level of damage they are telling me potentially happened to the car. I italicize that word because, they won't actually examine the clutch until I commit to paying to have it removed and taking it apart. $600

Well, Friday I bellowed and yelled (professionally), Today I called around and found out that Pasadena Toyota said the same thing to a guy that lost his clutch after 12K miles. More bellowing and calling (professionally)... I have to go through the process.

The process is that I need to commit to paying the tear-down of the transmission. (So much for a drive train warranty). Out of the goodness of their heart, they were willing to waive half of that $600 charge. (The regional rep told me several times, "I don't have to do that.")

In the mean time I made the glorious discovery of

I went to the forums to see if this was normal. I found SCORES of people who've been having this problem with 2003, '04, and '05 models. But the only way Toyota notices is if people complain to the corporate customer satisfaction center. I've informed the other matrix owners about this ;)

So... here I sit. Waiting to find out if they're gonna tell me, "Yup it's defective, we'll fix it." or "Nope, looks worn out, must be your fault, pay up." Meanwhile, I'm on day 4 of my rental.

So... what am I doing in the mean time? I'm looking up "Class Action Suit" on wikipedia.

What is the mindset of an Aries?

"Never start a fight, but always finish it." - John Sheridan, Babylon - 5