Toyota and the big brake servicing con.
TOYOTA, THEIR BRAKES AND THEIR POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS DECISION.
Toyota owners/drivers you need to read this.
The Toyota FULL SERVICE schedule includes the words:
Change brake fluid (every 2 years)*
*Additional charges apply if work is required
However according to RRG Toyota when your car is taken to have the FULL SERVICE done it will NOT have the brake fluid changed as part of the FULL SERVICE.
Example: I Called an RRG Toyota service centre(RRG Stockport) and asked for
a quote for a FULL SERVICE for a Toyota Celica 2002 model and was given the
price of £209.
When I checked what is included I got a list which does not include a change of the brake fluid.
So when I put it to the person on the other end of the telephone:
"So potentially I would have paid for the full service as in the schedule, but the brake fluid would not have been changed."
the answer came back:
"Yes that's right."
When I asked: but you have it in the schedule as "Change brake fluid", the lady answered that because they need to be more competitive on pricing they have now taken out some of the parts of the schedule to bring the price down.
But that is dangerous I explained, the brake fluid isn't being changed although
customers think it has been.
She explained that if it's required the customer can ask for it to be changed at an extra cost from their Maintenance list. She also explained that the service schedule has been changed to be more competitive with the likes of Halfords and Kwik Fit.
I decided to give Toyota Customer Relations a call to get a clarification.
Their response was much the same as the dealership, again saying that it can be paid for as extra to have the brake fluid changed.
This is completely contradictory to what the schedule list states in the service and maintenance booklet, the FULL SERVICE schedule displayed online on the Toyota site and the Toyota Fixed price Servicing pdf, again on the Toyota site, this document shows the differences between the INTERMEDIATE, FULL and FULL+ service schedules.
On further investigation the listing is the same for the FULL+ service schedule.
The concern is that customers are taking cars in to have a FULL SERVICE done
which they believe includes a brake fluid change and it isn't being done with
potentially lethal consequences.
The science: As brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning that it absorbs water from it's surroundings, old brake fluid can absorb too much.water, which could then lead to the fluid boiling when used hard, such as when going down a long hill. This in turn leads to low braking efficiency as less pressure can be applied to the pads themselves because the movement of the pedal is taken up by compression of the gas that is now in the brake fluid. In this case the brake pedal will be 'spongey'. When this happens an experienced driver might 'pump' the pedal to compress the gases in the fluid, but most drivers will probably just push harder on the pedal with little or no extra braking force going to the pads. In some cases the pedal will simply go straight to the floor and the car will not stop.
The scale of this problem is vast, it comes down to the numbers of customers going through Toyota dealerships believing that they have had a brake fluid change within the service but haven't.
(I have asked Toyota to let me have a list of all other items on the schedules
that state that something is changed or replaced but in fact isn't.
They have said that they will respond within 2 days.)
Well it's now been over 4 weeks and no response apart from a call from the
local Toyota dealer (RRG Stockport) asking if I would like to book the car in
for a service.
All car owners, whether they have Toyota brakes or another manufacturer, should be aware that their brake fluid needs to be changed on a regular basis.