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I had been on holiday in the lake district and was on way home,following my sat nav's instructions

At approximatley 11.30 on Friday 30th April,i broke down on the M62 east bound near junction 22,i was in the fast lane when my engine lost almost all power and ECU light came on.

I had to swerve dangerously through lanes of traffic to get to the hard shoulder & roll to a halt,i made the emergency phone call to the AA via club Toyota,my location was confirmed and i sat patiently on the hard shoulder with hazards & side lights on as instructed.It was raining heavily so stayed in vehicle.

Approximatly 30mins later 'F.A.M' recovery arrived,diagnosed my breakdown as ' turbo fault with E C U light on' he recovered me to a 'safe' location....but it was a small side road just off of the next juncton,with nothing but houses there,no amenities,shops to get anything to eat / drink,i did luckily have some sandwiches & drink with me though.

I sat there for approximatly 2 hours awaiting more 'help'......from anybody.....anywhere??????.....was assured more help would arrive.........

Eventually a company called the 'Friendly' recovery company turned up,after numerous phone calls from them to me,and vice versa to try and locate me ! ! !, as thier driver could'nt see me where F.A.M had left me.

The 'Freindly' recovery man loaded my vehicle,his name was 'Bill',his tacko wasnt working,he wore no seat belt,i believe his speed along the M1 may have been approx 75mph,although the speedo wasnt working !,his driving was a little aggressive with a Rav4 loaded on the back of a farely small low loader.

He was very agitated,could'nt sit still / relax whilst driving.

It didnt feel safe!

Eventually we pulled in at Woodall services,and met finally,and at last with a proper AA patrol,a lady by the name of Shirley,staff number 76701,who was going to turn out to be most helpful person of the day so far by a long way.

My Rav4 was loaded onto her proper recovery truck,it felt safe & secure,i was more relaxed by this.

We set off,southbound on the M1 ,it was all good, she was friendly , chatty passing the time talking about life in general,we commented re the severe hold up on the M1 north bound.she realised that her driving hours were limited,and she just could'nt get me to the destination she wanted for me in her alotted time.

So after many phone calls to other places and many incoming calls...TO BOTH OF US..,it was decided to go for a courtesy car so i could get home faster and easier,a lady called 'Margaret' organised and secured a car from 'Enterprise' rent a car,at Northhampton,this was done by Enterprise 'out of hours' staff apparently.

So we arrived at Enterprise in Northhampton,and i prepared myself for a 4-5 hour drive home in the dark,when i was tired anyway.

But the Enterprise depot was closed and locked with no one there,no car for me to drive from what we could see,...more phone calls were made,after a few minutes ' i snapped'..enough was enough.I was tired from a very bad day,Shirley was getting more concerned about running out of driving time,as she had to get back to her base before her hours were up...very understandable and perfectly reasonable.

The thoughts..' somebody in the AA do something to help us out' came to mind,the background staff didnt seem to be cummunicating,i was out of steam and had had enough.Shirley made a call to her manager i believe,asking him to book me a hotel room for the night.

That made me feel much much better about things,it meant i could relax,eat,have a much needed shower,then start it all again in the morning !

A room at Premier Inn was booked in dunstable,Shirley took me there,eating into her driving time,above and beyond all expectations,she made sure i was checked in safely,ensured my vehicle was parked in a safe,camered and well lit area of the hotel carpark,as it had a mountain bike still secured to a bike rack on the roof.

She wished me well,and i promised i would email to commend her services in the strongest way possible,Shirley i thank you for everything you did for me,it was above and beyond what most people would do in thier days work......WELL DONE AND THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH INDEED.

If i somehow hear that Shirley has been disaplined in any way for driving beyond her hours,or for any wrong she may have done to ensure i was safe,i will contact head office about it,make no mistake !


I had a reasonable nights sleep (as good as its gets in a strange bed,with a stressed mind),i felt reasonably refreshed this morning and ready for my inclusive breakfast,which i enjoyed....thank you AA

This morning your patrol man 'Gary' staff number 52985 collected me at approx 9am.again most helpful,drove me to an Enterprise depot in dunstable i believe,a car was made available,a vauxhall insignia,very nice indeed,meant i could get all my holiday luggage from my Rav4 in it,which was quite a few bags,as i do walking ,climbing,mountain biking,all in the lake district

I arrived home safely at approx 2pm,a day and a half after leaving the lake district to come home !,it would normally be about 7 hours drive home with a few stops thrown in.

I have all the copies from the various breakdown patrols still,particulary F.A.M Recovery

I have had a phone call from someone called ' Peter ' i assume in customer services re all this.

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Sorry to hear about your problems :(

Make sure you write to/email Club Toyota, as I'd be interested to know why the AA were not the first people to reach you.

If I'm going to get 'Bodgit and Scarper Recovery Ltd' every time I call Club Toyota, I don't see the point of paying them for the "pleasure"

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You were most fortunate to eventualy get some real AA people-the patrol staff do a tremendous job constrained by draconian company edicts. Those who helped have no doubt already been dismissed (hope not). My only 'experience' was with my previous RAV 4.1 4 years ago in Scotland-ecu blew just past Crawford on the M74. The AA sent out some guy (not an AA patrol) who asked if I had a manual for the car! Confidence ebbed pretty quickly. He had a torch and a carpenters screwdriver. Confidence in a quick repair went south. This really did not fill me with confidence. Cables were detached and re-attached without success (I could have done that). It was totally unlikely that anything could be fixed, the smell of the melted ecu was still evident. So the solution was to tow the car. No. My handbook says not. So waited another hour for a relay. The relay was a wrecked looking mess onto which the Rav went. Then what seemed like two hundred hours later in a freezing non AA relay heap of crap, Harrogate was eventually reached. Now this may be a tad cynically but I suspect that some bod at Toyota has been persuaded by a very very cheap proposal. It will be interesting to see how many enjoy the service they get from the new club Toyota.

The real bummer in this is that I am an AA member.

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hi folks

well,i was a bit taken back this evening,i have phoned the AA concerned that my courtesy car insurace runs out soon.and my rav4 may not even be fixed yet.

pretty much every person i spoke to has gasped in shock upon reading thier pages of 'notes' that appear on thier screens about what happened to me.

it seems that every detail of my breakdown & recovery saga has been logged...fantastic.And some of their comments regarding the information were,almost of helplesness.

Most could not believe it. :lol:

I will be ringing the AA after work tomorrow evening to insist on an extension to my courtesy car until colchester toyota get around to fixing it.

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