Toyota Wants Out of a Sticky Situation
One of the automotive world’s worst science projects is coming to an end. Toyota dashboards have long been known to melt under the heat of the sun. The melted dashes warp and extrude a strange, goo-like substance that is oddly shiny and sticky; like something you’d find in a toddler’s coat pocket.
Owners were upset at how the melted dashes hurt their car’s value and were concerned over increased glare becoming a safety issue. This eventually led to a couple of lawsuits which hit their mark as Toyota recently announced they will extend warranty coverage on the dashboards in 3.5 million vehicles.
You might say Toyota wanted to avoid a sticky situation. Or that they felt the heat of pending litigation. OK, I’ll stop. Listen – I never said the jokes were going to be good.
Details on the Warranty Extension
Because simplicity is apparently overrated, Toyota has announced there will be multiple phases and forms of coverage:
- The first phase will focus on covering the costs of those who have already paid for dashboard repairs out-of-pocket. Once phase one is complete (and Toyota has collected enough parts) they will start replacing any other deformed dashboards. You can read more about their plans over on CarComplaints.com.
- Toyota will also have a primary and secondary coverages based on the date, mileage of the car, etc. Bottom line: any owner that can show their dash has been damaged by heat or humidity will be eligible for the extension until May 31, 2017. It gets a little more complicated after that and once again you can read about that here.
Vehicles Eligible for the Extension
|GX 470||2003 –2008|
To find out if your vehicle is eligible for the dashboard warranty extension, contact Toyota at 800–331–4331 or Lexus at 800–255–3987.
Lawsuit Aims to Place Blame on Toyota
A new lawsuit says Toyota designed, manufactured and subsequently ignored dangerous Velveeta-like dashboards in the 2006–2008 Lexus ES, IS and the 2007–2009 Toyota Camry. The lead plaintiff, Melissa Graham, says the melting conditions create a glossy film on the dashboard that make it difficult to see when it’s sunny out. Melissa should just move to northern VT, my house has been under a never-moving wall of clouds for a month now. But I digress…
The lawsuit points to a TSB (that’s technical service bulletin for people who never took Manufacturer Acronyms 101) that Toyota issued to dealers in 2011 that says their cars “may exhibit sticky interior panels that have a shiny / degraded appearance” and that revised interior panels “have been developed to address this condition.” If you read between the lines of the TSB I’m pretty sure it says: 2006–2009 owners are just SOL. That’s another acronym that you don’t need to take “Manufacturer Acronyms 101” to understand.
Now a judge needs to decide if Toyota deliberately concealed the defective dashboards and who should pickup the repair bill. The judge should also look into if Velveeta dashboards are a real possibility, because that would be awesome. Hey, if I’m going to have an overly shiny dashboard it might as well be some form of processed cheese product that I can dip a nacho chip into.
Actions You Can Take
This step is crucial, don't just complain on forums! The sites below will actively manage your complaints and turn them into useful statistics. Both CarComplaints.com and the CAS will report dangerous trends to the authorities and are often called upon by law firms for help with Class Action lawsuits. Make sure to file your complaint on all three sites, we can't stress that enough.
Step 1: File Your Complaint at CarComplaints.com
CarComplaints.com is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases. Add a Complaint
Step 2: Notify the Center for Auto Safety
The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits. Notify the CAS
Step 3: Report a Safety Concern to NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues. Report to NHTSA