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Phil100

Steering Rack Replacement

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Hi guys,

Essentially I'm trying to see if a quote for labor and parts to fit a new steering rack of £1300 is feasible. Didn't really want to be throwing £1300 at a car we bought for £6000 8 months ago- further facts/info below.

  • In September 2014 we purchased our first 'proper car' a 59 (2009 plated) Auris 1.33 VVT-i Hatchback 4dr 1329cc , clocked at 28,000 miles with 1 other owner from new.
  • Now In July 2015 (less than 12 months) the mileage is clocked at 40,000 miles and had a service at 32,000 miles. The car has been used primarily for commuting 15 mile round trip mon-fri and social use at weekends.
  • As part of a pre MOT inspection the dealer we bought from has prescribed a new steering rack, which we are told requires electrical coding/calibration and can only be done through Toyota.

On further inspection and research I understand you can purchase track rod ends separately and replace however, the 'excessive free play' has been found under the gator sleeve on the rack end, not the hub end.

Can anybody shed any light on whether this price/information seems legit or sound? I've had a mechanic friend and independent garage give this a second opinion and both have said "it's very unusual to have this work on a car of such asge/mileage. Of course the dealers sold to us with MOT and no mention of this at the time being loose yet i find it hard to believe that it can go from being soung-MOT fail in 8-9months.

Insurance wont cover as it's not a fail but 'wear and tear'

Any thoughts, greatly appreciated- based in West Sussex if anyone can suggest cheaper than £1300.

Kind regards

Phil

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Hello Phil - welcome to Toyota Owners Club.

Was it a Toyota dealer you purchased the car from?

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Hello Phil - welcome to Toyota Owners Club.

Was it a Toyota dealer you purchased the car from?

No it was just a large dealer. I did take it back to where it was first purchased (wierdly as it was just down the road), they wouldn't comment without seeing it themselves which is another £60 inspection.

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The rack ends (NOT track rod ends) are not supplied separately, they come as part of the rack,

Was there any warranty on the car when bought second hand?

You bought the car from a large garage, so any form of comeback is with them as the supplying garage, so I would speak to the manager there and see if they can at least do an inspection for you. Call in and speak to the general manager and see if they will do this FOC as it was only bought there 8 months ago

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The rack ends (NOT track rod ends) are not supplied separately, they come as part of the rack,

Was there any warranty on the car when bought second hand?

You bought the car from a large garage, so any form of comeback is with them as the supplying garage, so I would speak to the manager there and see if they can at least do an inspection for you. Call in and speak to the general manager and see if they will do this FOC as it was only bought there 8 months ago

Thanks Kings.

The garage where we purchased have seemingly washed their hands of it as they MOT'd the car and warranty is covered for 'mechanical failure' and this 'excessive play' that's been found is deemed not to be a 'failure' as it gets progressively worse. Therefore it will fail the MOT but it's not enough of a FAIL for warranty to do anything :(

FOC?

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FOC = Free Of Charge, your contract is with them, maybe then can help on price?

This is one of the problems with third party warranties, they cover mechanical failure rather than manufacturing fault

Good luck, but persevere with the General manager, 8 months is not a long time to own the car and need to repair such a major componant

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FOC = Free Of Charge, your contract is with them, maybe then can help on price?

This is one of the problems with third party warranties, they cover mechanical failure rather than manufacturing fault

Good luck, but persevere with the General manager, 8 months is not a long time to own the car and need to repair such a major componant

thanks again for clarification. I'm not one for confrontation but i agree 8months and 40K miles I wouldn't expect any car to need a entire new rack. I did speak with the manager already and in the back of my mind was willing to settle for a contribution to the cost given such a small time, but they just held firm and said no. very disappointing and won't be giving them anymore custom. Any other suggestions welcomed.

seems if i was grumpy miserable git and went passive aggressive i might of got more out of my phone call.

Kind regards

Phil

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The way to do it is to escalate it, are they part of a larger group, is there an owner you could write to? Firm but polite is always the better way however you also need to make them aware you are not prepared to let this lie. Is the car financed through a finance company? You may be able to get them involved

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Have they shown you the free play in the rack with the car up on the ramp? Have you considered taking the car to a different MOT tester for a second opinion?

I have had cars fail their MOTs on odd faults like this in the past, decided to take it elsewhere for another test and the car has promptly passed the MOT without the 'issue' being mentioned at all. I'm not suggesting you take it anywhere dodgy, but a few MOT testers do just seem to have peculiar obsessions with particular 'faults' and will fail a car on something which 20 other testers might say isn't an issue.

Just a thought.

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Have they shown you the free play in the rack with the car up on the ramp? Have you considered taking the car to a different MOT tester for a second opinion?

I have had cars fail their MOTs on odd faults like this in the past, decided to take it elsewhere for another test and the car has promptly passed the MOT without the 'issue' being mentioned at all. I'm not suggesting you take it anywhere dodgy, but a few MOT testers do just seem to have peculiar obsessions with particular 'faults' and will fail a car on something which 20 other testers might say isn't an issue.

Just a thought.

Hi thanks for the comments.

Yes I did get an opportunity to see the fault for myself but I have no prior knowledge to base myself on what 'excessive free play' looks like. To me (a fairly untrained eye) it looked a little loose but I wouldn't deem it to be excessive. Therein lies the problem with MOT's... they're useless as they are down to interpretation and as you say some testers have obsessions or are overzealous with certain faults.

Prime example my dad often takes his car to same garage who regularly fail his car on irregular headlight, fix the problem, retest it and pass it. Is it do prove they do fail vehicles or to hit a quota… that’s another feed altogether! I am indeed going to stick it in for MOT elsewhere and see if I can get some breathing space.

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Do you feel this would be a fair statement to make to the garage?


Dear <sales manager name here>,


Despite contacting you under disappointing circumstances I would like to put on record how pleased and thankful my partner and I are to both <name 1> during our seamless purchase last year and <name 2> down in <garage name> for our service, professionalism throughout!


Despite an initial overwhelmingly positive initial experience this has been considerably tarnished at the prospect of having to commit to having the entire steering rack replaced and re-calibrated on our vehicle, which will exceed £1,300 less than 11 months after sale.


I fully appreciate how £6,000 on a used car is likely to be perceived as a drop in the ocean within your industry however to us, this was a considerable purchase and we’re disappointed at the prospect of such work being needed given the length of ownership, age & mileage and upon such major component. On further research another 5 independent garages have all expressed their concern and seemed puzzled as to why after just 40,000 miles this vehicle needs an entire new steering rack. Wear and tear is indeed expected the second a car is off the forecourt but I’m sure you wouldn’t expect such major work to be needed after being MOT’d with no advisories 11 months previously?


This can’t simply be ‘bad luck’ and we feel aggrieved at the prospect of spending in excess of £1000 on a vehicle we’ve owned and maintained appropriately for just 11 months. I am by no means confrontational and do not believe in whoever shouts loudest wins. We’ve found the last week frustrating, annoying, upsetting and disappointing, more so given our initial impressions of what we thought to be one of the best buying experiences we’d encountered for a vehicle. It’s these initial impressions that have urged me to write to you in an effort to convey our disappointment and offer you the opportunity to help support and/or rectify our experience.


Would you be willing to help support our servicing costs on this occasion or come to a finical arrangement to allow us to move forward with this issue? I’d be grateful if you could confirm receipt of my email and duly respond no later than 05/08/15, with any thoughts or comments regarding a solution.


Yours Sincerely

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