I can’t believe I never bitc… uh, blogged about it, but back in 2008, I had to part with $2,040.64 to repair a defective transmission in Megan’s 2001 Toyota RAV4. Although it was pretty well known a defect in the cars “ECM,” or “Engine Control Module,” sent bad information to the tranny and caused it to fail, Toyota was sending its customers the wrong signal in the form of an extended middle finger by refusing to take ownership and cover the repair.

Over the couple years since, I’ve received emailings from other frustrated customers who had pooled together in an effort to move the beast, but Toyota never budged, not even last summer when other quality issues put the company in the headlines and hurt their yen for big profits. Until yesterday when the email told of a letter from Toyota extending the warranty on the 2001-2003 RAV4’s! I haven’t received one, but a related article in the New York Times extends coverage on the topic:

“Under pressure from the California Air Resources Board, Toyota said on Tuesday that it was extending the warranty nationwide on automatic transmissions and electronic control modules on almost one quarter of a million 2001–3 RAV4s and offering to reimburse owners who had already paid for repairs.”

So, it looks like our association will now cost Toyota $2,040.64. Oh, I’ll take the money, but the relationship is irreparably damaged. Actually, it’s already cost Toyota $26,556 in potential new car sales (my Acura instead of a comparable Lexus later in 2008) and untold future amounts. You see, after that horrible customer experience, I will never buy another Toyota product and I’ll tell everyone I know about it, including you 4 readers…