2011: Toyota Sienna SE: Filing the Paperwork
January 26, 2011
All new Toyotas are supposed to come with free maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles. But when Dan Edmunds took our Sienna in for the first service, he was told he had to pay for the service out of pocket. He asked me to look into the mix up which is turning into a real headache.
My first step was to call the salesman we dealt with and see if he knew anything about it. He directed me to the finance manager who said he would look into it. After four days of calling the dealership and getting bounced around to different people, I finally had an answer.
Our Sienna was purchased in November and its enrollment into the Toyota Care program needed to be manually inputted. This method left it prone to human error or circumstance. In the case of our Sienna, the dealership's finance clerk was out on sick leave, which in turn caused a backlog in filing the paperwork. Our Sienna's Toyota Care registration had not yet been processed and we were left without coverage.
The Toyota Care free maintenance program is still relatively new. It was previously a temporary offer which used vouchers that consumers would redeem for their free maintenance. The program became official in October 2010. According to Toyota, they've done away with the vouchers now and are linking the information to the car's VIN, similar to what other automakers do for their free maintenance programs. But our Sienna was caught in this transitional period.
The finance manager at the dealership assured us that the appropriate paperwork has been submitted, but wasn't sure how long it would be before it took effect. We're about 4,500 miles away from our next service, so we're hoping it's taken care of by then. We will also be getting a refund for the tire rotation we paid for.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate