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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well here I go again. Yesterday my wife called from work to inform me that the battery was dead on her tC. I told her that she should look for the number for free road servce that I assumed Toyota provides, like all the other manufacturers did, both domestic and imported. Opps, my bad, it seems Toyotas are so bulletproof that they don't offer this service. The security guard at her employer had jumper cables and she was able to limp the car home being careful not to run any accessories. I put my battery charger on the battery and it charged 10 amps for around 5 hours. I took it to the dealer this morning and they found that that the alternator was shot. After 11,000 miles. I'll get the car back when they get a new alternator from Toyota. Of course I'm out a car because they don't offer loaners like other manufactueres because Toyotas are... well bulletproof. This is twice in 8 months of ownership that I've encountered serious electrical glitchs in this car. During the winter the rear hatch latch didn't work if the weather was too cold. I restore old English and Italian sports cars and even the Lucas and Magnetti Morelli electrical components weren't this bad. I really am begining to think that this superrior Toyota quality reputation was just a lot of hype. I was going to buy a Mazda 3 when I bought the tC, I'm starting to regret that decision. In all fairness our old Mazda Protege 5 had aircondtioning problems but that's not debilitating or dangerous. I've never had these problems with any domestic car,too bad they are so boring.Good luck fellow suckers, opps, I mean owners.
 

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Comparing Prince of Darkness electrics with Denso is way over the top. I've owned an '88 and '89 GTS Corolla, a '93 GTS Celica, a '93 and '94 Supra TT, two different '89 MR2 SCs, and an 85 MR2. I had one alternator failure on an SC MR2 with 114,000 miles on it. My current Supra has 140,000 miles on it, and is still on the original alternator and water pump. Your tC is an anomaly. I'm also very suspicious of a "bad" alternator. It sounds a lot more like a bad battery. Toyotas run with bad alternators, but they light up almost every warning light on the dash. It's pretty obvious the alternator is out. I'd really want to know why the alternator failed at only 11,000 miles. That's totally out of the realm of normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don,t buy the anomaly explaination. Maybe if I had one problem but not two in an 8 month period. I do deal with Lucas alot in my restorations and really never had much of a problem with them. I have with the electrics on this vehicle. This car was built to a price. People wonder how Toyota is able to price this vehicle the way they do. I think I'm finding out. The vehicles you mention were made in the past. I suspect Toyota is squeezing their suppliers to meet a price and it's begining to show in the new products they are releasing. Some companies engage in this sort of thing to dominate a market.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I really don't understand your post. The cars I restore are 30 to 40 years old. They really aren't for every day use hence the designation sportscar. Yes I'm perturbed when any modern manufacturer releases a car with significant flaws and uses the customer as developmental testers. The American car companies did this which wound up shrinking their market share. It seems once a car company reaches a crirical mass regarding success they let their quality slip.
 

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No offense gwnichol, but I've been reading this site and others like it, for over a year now researching this car prior to making my purchase. I have NEVER heard of anyone having electrical problems like you are describing.

I understand your position, and why your angry. However, it seems that the anomaly scenario may be more on point in this case.

And come one, show 1 car that costs the same as a tC that the manufacturer offers free roadside AND a free loaner car....can't be done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Mazda 3, the Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Hyundai Tiburon,the Kia Spectra 5...shall I go on? As far as the anomaly goes there have been studies that have shown Japanese manufactures have had quality problems that just weren't discussed by their customers because people who buy these cars feel they are savvy consumers who have done their research and don't like to think they've been taken and certainly wouldn't admit it in public.
 

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Originally posted by gwnichol@Jun 8 2005, 04:54 PM
The Mazda 3, the Ford Focus, the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Hyundai Tiburon,the Kia Spectra 5...shall I go on?
Go on and guy any of those vehicles... I dare you. The 3 and the Focus are the same car. They break down equally often. The Cobalt is a redesigned Cavy. I've worked on many, and they're all peices of crap. I know of many banks that won't even finance Hyundai. Unless you put 50% down, you're upside down before you leave the lot. Kia. No. Just don't.

So you've had some electrical problems. Do be a whiner-- hope for 2 more and have it lemoned out. I've never had an alternator fail. If yours did, the explanation as manufacturer defect is completely possible.

But hey, why not blame an entire auto company for the failure of one part? They blame entire gun companies when one bullet kills one person...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How do you "guy"(sic) a vehicle ? It's too bad you don't know what you are talking about. The Mazda 3 has an entirely new chasis that only the European Focus uses not the North American one.Hyundai and Kia vehicles don't require a 50% down payment. They are financed the same as any other car. The Colbalt is an entirely new platform . I was going to buy a Mazda 3 but let Toyotas reputation and price sway me. I was concerned about Toyotas stingy warranty and lack of roadside assistance but once again fooled by their reputation. I hardly think have too very major electrical problems qualify as whining. These were two flaws that could've had serious results. Toyota must rely on blindly loyal customers like you to keep their quality myth alive. You don't do anyone including yourself any favors by turning a blind eye to an obviously flawed vehicle . I'm just sorry I reccomended this car to friends who trust my automotive knowledge. I really don't understand your gun and bullet analogy. Are you saying Toyota or any other manufacturerer aren't responsible for their productd performance? Are you saying it caveat emptor on anything you buy? What are you smoking? Where can I get some?
 

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Seeing as you're the type to point out any minor grammatical error, I don't "ant favor" anything. My stance or ants, or "anting" is totally neutral.

And try not to take a quote an tidbit it until it doesn't make any sense; I said you'd have to put 50% down not to be immediately upside-down on a Hyundai or Kia loan. The depreciate extremely fast-- so fast that many financial institutions won't hold paper on them.

You should have bought that Mazda 3. Or a Ford Focus. Then you could complain to those guys about whatever dinky problem you have with those. I have two sisters piloting the Ford product-- one has had to have the A/C serviced on six separate occasions, and the other has had to replace 4-- yes four-- rims in only 2 years.

You'd better hurry up and buy one before they discontinue them due to horrible manufacturing defects.


Oh, and yet again, I don't see how a bad alt. makes a car flawed. It makes the alt. flawed. That's like saying a model is "ugly" because she's wearing an unattractive hat or bad shoes.

If you get a flat tire, is Toyota to blame for that too?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Skip the smoking thing... it appears to make one psychotic. Surely you aren't blaming Ford for your sisters a/c woes. Hey they can buy my tC and be stranded at work or drive 70 miles home with an open rear latch cause it's cold outside.
 

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Hey, I like a good non-sequitir as much as the next guy... but my grasp on reality-- though tenative-- is still intact, and I haven't killed anyone in some time. At least not publicly... so I'm definitely non-psychotic.

Now preference of a Fucus over a tC... that could be indicative of another condition...
 

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Hey, I wasn't taking it seriously. I guess I should have thrown some of those smiley things in there to clarify that. Don't know if the other guy felt/feels the same, but as he resorted to good old name-calling, I figure it's over and done with.

I'm guessing karma killed that alternator, as a manufacturer defect is clearly out of the question.
 

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An alternator failing is as far as I can tell an isolated event and surely covered under warranty. Sure its a pain, but you show me one car that is perfect and i'll call you a liar. I work at a GM dealership and we have cars with 1 mile on them that take thousands of dollars of warranty repairs before we can even put them on the lot. A perfect car, like a perfect world does not exist. For you to put both toyota and the tC down for a bad alternator is just plain stupidity. So you had some bad luck, life goes on. This could have happened on a $60,000 car just as easily as a $16,000 car, so don't try to pass the buck onto toyota for offering a great car at a low price. As far as the hatch is concerned, the release is simply a pressure activated button. More than likely in the cold the selenoid or actuator on it seized up, once again, an isolated event. I have never heard of this happening to anyone else. You bitch more about this than people do about the roof rattles which effects a good portion of us, but we're not saying that the car is a piece of junk or that toyota's reputation of reliability is bunch of "hype". If you dont like the car and you think its just go trade it in on a cobalt and see how far that gets you. You'll find a car with the pick up of a tractor and the fit and finish and styling of a power wheels. But be my guest. When you started putting down the tC in this way I hope you know you jumped into the line of fire... at least if your complaints had a stronger foundation you may have been more positively received. So the way I see it, you have two choices, either 1.) stop bitching and get over it, or 2.) sell your tC and buy one of the cars you mentioned. But I promise you, none of them will be without problems.

So for all of you who are sick of reading all this nonsense in this thread here are the cliffs notes

- There is NO perfect car
- The alternator is no fault of toyota, its a defect. Plain and simple
- Toyota didn't put a cheap alternator in the tC to make the car inexpensive
- There is NO perfect car..... it just doesn't exist.
 

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I think I tried to relate this in my post. Alternator failures are rare, even for US manufacturers. If you are going to blame Toyota for the failure, then you would need to consider that ALL the Japanese manufacturers use Denso products in their cars, and ANY of them could have had the same failure. Besides, I'm still not convinced the alternator is the actual fault. I'd bet on something else, possibly dealer or port installed that is killing the alternator. They just don't fail in 11k. It's a serious anomaly. Either they fail in the first hundred miles from a manufacturing defect, or they fail at some point past 100k. I haven't even seen a domestic alternator die that quickly except under severe abuse.

Toyota doesn't have a false reliability record. Go to Consumer Reports, take a look for yourself at the long term reliability across all the manufacturers. I did, and I have not been disappointed with any of my Toyotas. Ever. I have owned a few domestics as well, and they've been nothing but nightmares. I won't even talk about my Fiat 128 sedan. Calling all Toyotas unreliable and casting a wide net as you have is both unjust and unfair. However, since you are so displeased, it would probably be prudent to sell the car, and note how much you get compared to the competition, then buy something else. If nothing else it will appease your sense of duty to those whom you advised to purchase a Toyota. You can say, "I was wrong, Toyotas are all crap, and I bought something else to prove it."
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm sorry. I had no tdea that Toyota was a cult. I thought that it was a manufacturerer. I really can't belteve the immaturity of the responses to my posts. its only a car people. From my experience a very flawed car but a car none the less. The purpose of my post was twofold 1) to vent my frustration in what has been a very negative ownership experience and 2) to make public problems I've had with this car. As far as comments concerning negativity I was refered to as a whiner because I had the audacity to blaspheme what is apparently now a religious icon, a low buck car. I love cars. I've owned, restored and raced them for over 30 years. I've never seen people so fanatical, how sad. As far as the latch was concerned there were others who had this problem, take a look at my old post. Toyota was aware of the problem and informed my dealer. This alternator problem may or may not be isolated. This the only new car I've ever bought that had problems of this serious of a nature( out of 15 or so). The other problems I've had with other new cars dealt with trim or non-critical issues. I never purchased a Toyota before and probably never will again. First impressions are critical for a manufacturer and my experience is a poor one. As far as selling the car I don't want to take a hit on depreciation so I will take a wait and see approach. I do believe no manufacturer is above criticism when they manufacture a problem laden product. According to some readers at this site apparently Toyota ia above reproach. I find that kind of wierd attitude to express since these very same people criticize manufacturers of cars they've never even owned based on things they've heard from others. As far as consumers report is concerned I've tried some of their reccomended products and am baffled at some of their choices. As far as this website being some sort of cheerleading propaganda site for Toyota I really don't see the value in that. Are people who visit this site really so insecure that they need constant support from total strangers to feel good about the choice they made in a car purchase? Once again how sad.
 
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