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My Camry Hybrid Caught Fire And Toyota Doesn't Care!
Posted by Gog92071 on 08/28/2008
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, CALIFORNIA -- On June 13th, 2008 I was traveling in my 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid on Interstate 15 between Las Vegas & Barstow, CA when suddenly, without warning, my car lost power and effectively shut down. On the dash the warning "Hybrid System Failure" appeared. After easing my car off of the highway I observed smoke coming from under the hood and within minutes a small flame appeared from under the engine compartment. I watched, helpless, as the car became engulfed in flames and was destroyed.

The following day I called Toyota, explained what had happened and the next week was contacted by their claims department. It took a full 2 1/2 months of effort on our part to get any information regarding our claim as none of their commitments to get back to us regarding our case were followed up on.

Finally this week, almost shockingly we actually got someone on the phone and found that their "investigation" was complete. Basically, they had no idea what started the fire, would accept no responsibility and would do nothing at all for us, the consumer. This is particularly amazing considering our vehicle was only a little over a year old and had only 23,000 miles, most certainly under warranty.

My wife and I purchased not one but two new vehicles from Toyota in 2007 and were happy customers until now. Our friends, relatives and co-workers are equally shocked by Toyota's response.

Any recommendations regarding who to contact at Toyota and request a review of our case would be appreciated.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-28:
Sounds to me like the fuel line broke apart. Who actually examined the car?
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-28:
Did you have an independant mechanic examine the vehicle after the fire? Did your insurance company have the car inspected? If yes to either or both of these questions, what were the findings? Were they provided to Toyota? When you say "basically" Toyota doesn't know what started the fire, did a Toyota representative inspect the vehicle? If yes, did they provide you or your insurance company with a copy of the inspection report? Your experience, while not a pleasant one is a good reminder for all of us: CARRY A FIRE EXTINGUISHER in your car at all times.
Posted by MrBeanRocks25 on 2008-08-28:
Yes, do carry an Automotive Fire Extinguisher in your car for such emergencies like this. I carry one in my car all the time. It may have helped decrease the damage to your car if your wife had caught it in time.

I'm glad your wife escaped unharmed. I don't know what would have caused the fire because I am not familiar with hybrid vehicles. I hope someone here can give you answers.
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-08-29:
I was driving a fairly new Kia Sportage in Costa Rica and the fuel line came undone. I was close to the hotel and managed to roll down the driveway. There was no fire but this does happen (first time in driving over 43 years). I don't know if you've looked for any kind of recalls for this kind of problem. Your car insurance should have done something.
Posted by Slimjim on 2008-08-29:
Your insurance company will pay for the totalled car and since it's not an at-fault incident, you shouldn't see any rate hike or non-renewal problems. Let them worry about getting compensation from Toyota if they desire.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-29:
Good idea about the fire extinguisher but also remember to check it periodically to be sure it is still charged.
About a month ago, in a nearby town, a passerby saw a small fire in a neighbor's garage. She went to get her extinguisher from her car but it was useless as it had no charge to it.
Posted by MrBeanRocks25 on 2008-08-29:
Hmmm, didn't know that Robf. Thanks for the notice. I just bought my extinguisher a few months ago, so it should be fine.
Posted by BobJohn on 2008-08-30:
Also, with a fire extinguisher - DON'T KEEP IT IN THE TRUNK!!
Posted by ladymay on 2008-08-30:
contact the nhtsa regarding the fire
office of defects investigation
Contact ODI * (888) 327-4236
Posted by Rasstea on 2008-08-30:
You spoke with customer service at Toyota? I would escalate it to a supervisor or manager at Toyota customer service. My in-laws have one and love it. They haven't had problems. I glad that your wife is safe. I carry an extinguisher, also. I've seen other vehicle on the road side on fire.
Posted by Robert G on 2008-08-30:
Even if your insurance does pay off, it will probably be for the current Blue Book value only, which drops considerably from the purchase price in the first year. If you have a Lawyer Referral service where you live, it would pay you to contact them about a legal consultation. I used our local service and was referred to a participating attorney who charged me a standard $25 fee for a consultation, with no obligation to follow up. The guidance would probably be worth the fee.
Posted by gog92071 on 2008-08-31:
thank you for your comments and suggestions, including the NHTSA link which I found intriguing. Yes, we have contacted Toyota's customer service and they merely deferred to claims.
Getting a lawyer involved has been discussed but I prefer to do that only after pursing other options.
Posted by Narg on 2008-11-24:
Typical Toyota, at least in my experience which fortunately is not as bad as yours but still bad. Sorry this happened, and glad to hear you are OK. 20 years ago Toyota was good, today it's a different story. I personally buy American now and love it. I'm looking hard at the Chevy Volt coming out early next year.
Posted by SLAN on 2009-04-16:
Posted by SLAN on 2009-04-16:
I have dealt with Toyota Corporation in the past and they will not acknowledge any defects that happen to the Toyota vehicles. Sorry to say!
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Original Tires put on car
Posted by Misskimberly on 02/15/2005
FAIRFIELD, PENNSYLVANIA -- I bought a 2004 Camry LE in October of 2003. I had all of the recommended services done at the dealership, including rotating the tires. When I went to have my car inspected in November 2004, my car had 26,000 miles on it and it wouldn't pass because the tires were worn out. I contacted Toyota and they told me it was a Firestone problem. They said they warranty the entire car, except for the tires. So, I went to Firestone and discovered that the tires I had were only expected to last 30,000 to 40,000 miles. I ended up having to buy new tires, not Firestone. I called Toyota to complain. They could care less. I told them that this is my 3rd Camry and I expected a quality car. I asked why they would put inferior tires on a good , quality car and they couldn't answer. it doesn'tmake sense. I also have a Honda Civic with 86,000 miles on it and I haven't needed new tires yet. I haven't decided whether I will ever buy a Toyota again, but if I do, I will be sure to check the tire warranty first.
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Posted by Slimjim on 2005-02-15:
30k to 40k is pretty average for tire life. I wouldn't call them inferior by any stretch. 86k on your current set is a bit of an anomaly.
Posted by indygirl08 on 2005-02-15:
Same thing happened with my Nissan. I think that consumers will be seeing this more and more. Our wiper refills were also pretty much bottom line. It seems to me that anything the manufacturer has to add on (that they don't make themselves) is always low grade. Anyway, just my opinion.
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-02-15:
Indy: I think you would be surprised at how little the car makers actually manufacture themselves. Most items are built by outside companies with the manufacturer providing the spec's.
Posted by Greatbridgedriver on 2005-02-15:
30,000 for tires sounds good to me too. What brand are the 80,000 mile tires? They sound GREAT.
Posted by TXRoadTrip on 2005-02-24:
Tires vary by ratings and treads. Consumer reports had an issue in 2004 about tires. I buy Michelin.
Posted by bossdawg on 2005-03-27:
are you unhappy with the tire or the car toyota currently uses several different tires on the camry line if you are happy with the car and it has served you well put some good tires on it and lesson learned....be thankfull all you have to buy is tires...tires are a big deal.if the cost of tires are 20 dollears a set more per model and you sell 3 or 4 millon cars a year yes thats big money and thats what its all about at EVERY dealership of every brand...so buy some good tires and keep buying a car that gives you great service
Posted by IintheSky on 2005-05-07:
Other items which should have been factored in: How often were tires rotated, how often was the pressure checked, the allignment of the suspension and/or tires, and what were the wear patterns in the tires like
Posted by Russell999 on 2006-07-12:
I agree Toyota puts crappy tires on otherwise super cars & trucks. I bought a new '98 4 runner with Firestones. After only 10,000 miles I had a blow out. It looked like a shotgun blast to the sidewall. Three different Firestone dealers said they wouldn't replace it b/c I rode it flat - but that was only AFTER it blew out and I had to pull off the road. Well, I immediately removed those crappy tires and bought Goodyear tires. They lasted over 80,000 miles before I had to buy new ones. Every set of Goodyear's I have ever had have lasted a long time without any problems. I would suggest that if you buy a new car that has Firestone tires, drive the car straight from the dealer to Goodyear, Michelin, or whoever, and get the Firestones replaced before they cause an accident!
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Bought a Used Car,after Signed Agreement, Dealer Raised the Price. Is It Legal?
Posted by Peter.sallan on 07/25/2013
35200 GRAND RIVER AVE,FARMINTON HILLS, MICHIGAN -- I bought used Toyota Camry 2011 from Serra Scion dealership. We signed the agreement and received the car. After ten days we received the monthly payment bill for $190.28. We paid it on line. After another ten days we received another bill for $194.61. After four days we received third bill for $194.61.

I asked the deal what is that?. His secretary told me they are busy and they will call me back, but they did not call back. I called Toyota Financial services who sent the bills, they told me the dealer made new agreement and raised the price

Is that possible ?
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2013-07-27:
No. Changing a contract after the fact is a blatant material breach. Contact your state's office of the attorney general.
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Toyota will steal your car
Posted by Malford99 on 01/27/2012
CALIFORNIA -- Toyota will come in the middle of the night and steal your car. Had this happen to my daughter on Jan 25th who is 23 years old with two small children. She paid CASH for the car and has the title (Pink Slip) from the DMV with no liens. Toyota refuses to let her have her personnel items or car seats for the kids. She is not on gov't assistance but soon will be with no way to work. Beware this car was stolen and if you buy a Toyota yours may be next.

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Posted by unhappy999 on 2012-01-27:
So why did they take the car if it was paid for? There seems to be missing details here. What did the dealership say when you called them about it?
Posted by drugdoc121 on 2012-01-27:
I think your daughter is not telling you everything. Sorry.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-27:
Does she owe the IRS anything?
Posted by Old Timer on 2012-01-27:
Malford99, I feel bad for your Daughters loss. I don't understand how or why Toyota Corp would have an interest in your Daughters seven year old car? Did Toyota finance it at one time and feel the loan was not 100% paid off? Having the Pink Slip means she owns it as far as I know, and I have lived here my entire life and have had lots of cars with pink slips.

Sure hope she gets her car back soon, and her stuff from it even sooner.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-27:
This would be a total shock to anyone. At the very least they should be given written notice by whomever was taking the car. If it was Toyota then they should have given a full explanation of the debt they felt your daughter owed. To show up out of the blue would not be cool.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-01-27:
Did she call the police and file a report?
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-01-27:
Did your daughter maybe put the care up for collateral for a loan or something?
Posted by PepperElf on 2012-01-27:
clutzy - excellent idea.

i mean if it's really stolen what can anyone else do that the police cannot.

i mean... i can't imaging why anyone would just repossess a car just because
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-01-27:
Hi Ya Pepper!!!
Posted by dan gordon on 2012-01-28:
thanks for the warning. A very useful post. I have a paid off Toyota also. I'll be very careful.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-01-28:
Did the guys at Lizzard Lick Towing get it?? LOL
Posted by raven2010 on 2012-01-28:
As someone who does legal collections, I can tell you it is possible she had a tax warrant out that that someone executed. I regularly send the sheriff out to get your stuff if you have not paid your taxes.

I have had all kinds of things seized, such as vehicles, tools, money in the cash drawer if you own a business, etc.

No clue if this is the OP's situation---just giving a possible reason a paid for item poofed.

Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-01-28:
There seems to be a lot missing here.

1. Why would you only be concerned about getting your personal property? I would be hell-bent for getting it all back.

2. If this is a collateral recovery why is Toyota involved?

3. I would have immediately reported the vehicle as stolen to the police.

More information is needed.
Posted by Old Timer on 2012-01-28:
The city will know if it was stolen or towed. Most cities require a tow company to file with them if they are going to tow away someones car. That way the police are not running around on stolen car reports for cars that were repo'd.
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2009 Toyota Camry
Posted by Rodneyhowe342 on 07/05/2011
To whom it may concern I bought a Toyota camay on 6/13/11. I tried the car out and told them that the front end shook when I tried the car out. So they said they would check it out. So they took the car in the shop and check it out and then test drove it. Told me nothing was wrong with it, said maybe rust on the rotors. So I bought the car and the front end still shake's when I step on the brakes. So I would like it fixed or I will see my lawyer to see if I can return the car. I bought the car from courtesy Toyota in berlin vt. My salesman name was jim huff. The car only had 33,129 miles on it.

Thank you.

Rodney howe
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Posted by MJGoldfarb on 2011-07-05:
Did you actually test drive the car AFTER they said it was fixed? If you did, why did you accept the car? Was/is there some sort of WRITTEN warranty on the car?
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-07-05:
indeed... did you feel it shake when you test drove it a second time?

Did you test it yourself a second time?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-05:
good review, it should be fixed pronto. I'm glad you took the initative on getting this resolved.

Welcome to my3cents, and feel free to post back and let us know if this got resolved.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-07-05:
Did The car come with a warranty? If not, and was purchased as is, with no warranty, you are just out of luck.
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Lip under the front doors of the 2011 Camry LE
Posted by Faithful one on 06/13/2011
VIRGINIA -- No matter how many times I wash my car....if I go thru a small amount of water or a big puddle, drive in the rain, snow, or on a road that has been wet, below the doors (front & back)there is always 3 dirty drip streaks (looks like grease drips but is dirt, mud, etc.) Is there any way to stop this or am I being too picky?

Also, my next problem is not being able to see from drivers seat when turning a curve or turning right due to wide side posts... I realize there is an air bag in this post but there should be a warning to other motorist that this is something very noticeable. I have made adjustments in the way I drive to compensate but sometimes, it is very much a blind area. I don't know the answer but... This is about my 8th Totoya Camry.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-06-13:
The way the door frame drains is probably not going to be easily modified. Be glad it doesn't go inside the car.

The A or B pillar (can't tell which you mean) is something you needed to notice during your test drive, or have found out about by reading reviews from other drivers. Now you are stuck with it, of course. It sounds safe in one way, but not in another.
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Disappointed in Toyota Vehicle
Posted by Gamepromatt357 on 05/28/2011
I am very disappointed in my 2007 Toyota Camry. I just had to have a water pump replaced at 62,000 miles and that is too early to be having to make that kind of repair. I am sure this would have been covered under the engine warranty that just expired. Also, the wheels are rusting and look horrible. No car I have ever owned has had the wheels to rust, or the water pump go bad. This is my third Camry, and LAST.

I will resort to Nissan or Honda on my next vehiclel Toyota needs to deal with the issues they are having with their Camry's.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-05-28:
A warranty only lasts a certain amount of time. No car manufacturer guarantees the parts forever. I remember I had a 1998 VW and the water pump went at 92,000 miles in 2001. But what amount of miles or length of time is "expected"? The only guideline you have is your warranty. You are expected to pay for repairs once it is expired.

I currently have a 1998 Volvo with 61,500 miles and a 2005 Volvo with 62,000 miles. If the water pump breaks on either one, should Volvo replace it? I don't think so.

Another factor is did you change the anitfreeze, to keep the internals clean?

All the cars I have bought in the last 20 years have alloy wheels. I'm surprised your car doesn't have a decorative cover that won't rust.
Posted by NickL11354 on 2011-05-28:
62,000 is about right to replace a water pump. You are getting into the high mileage zone. With regards to the wheels rusting, many mechanics suggest a full wheel & suspension replacement at around 80,000 miles as well.
As I have said here, it seems like cars today are find until around 50,000 miles then you get to pay for repairs until they are so expensive that it is better to buy a new car. Usually 100,000 - 130,000 miles is the limit for Toyotas, Hondas & Nissans despite what some say about driving one to over 250,000 miles.
Posted by Sparticus on 2011-05-28:
My 1999 Toyota 4Runner had water pump problems before 30k miles. Since it was still under warranty they replaced it for free.

I have not had any problems since then. I've got over 160K miles right now. =)
Posted by Ytrop on 2011-05-28:
I think you're looking at age instead of miles. Miles is EVERYTHING. 62k something was bound to go, you're lucky it was only a water pump. And by wheels do you mean the wheels, aka rims, or do you mean the brake disk and calipers inside? My brake disks are all rusted and decrepit looking because of winters here, even though they're only 6 months old. The wheels however are fine.
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Posted by Karma-is-a-b on 02/20/2010
DENVER, COLORADO -- I am glad Karma has come back to haunt Toyota we had issues at a dealership when we bought a new Camry. We contacted customer service and of course they said were sorry we can't help you. (larry miller dealership colorado) I will never buy another Toyota product again with that kind of customer service. We paid cash for the car. (over $25,000) I am glad Toyota is getting some karma back.

end of story
Chevy Man

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Posted by spiderman2 on 2010-02-20:
I doubut that you are going to have better luck with GM! What exactly did they do to you? Details help!
Posted by Critical_level2 on 2010-02-22:
I agree with spiderman2. WE need details. Also GM has not climbed out of the quality grave quite yet.
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"Sticking Gas Pedal"
Posted by Ca2k on 01/26/2010
I feel it would be an injustice not to voice my opinion on the "sticking gas pedal" scenario. I own a 2007 Camry and TWICE now have had a problem with my gas pedal. It does not stick at all. The pedal actually pulls away from my foot. Much like when you use the "resume" function on cruise control. Both times I was doing in excess of 65 mph and luckily I am here to tell about it. I actually pushed harder on the gas pedal and then released the pressure. Both times the speed of my vehicle slowed. How do I contact the people of Toyota? My local dealer has been little help.
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Posted by Ytropious on 2010-01-26:
I read this one yahoo news, but it says they have attributed no accidents to this happening, so it must not be a widespread issue. At least they are recalling them and halting further sales.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-26:
This information is readily available on the Toyota website:


If I am an owner of one of the affected vehicles, what action do I need to take?
Toyota is working quickly to prepare a correction remedy and will issue owner notifications in the future. No action is required at this time unless you feel you are experiencing this condition. If you are experiencing this condition, immediately contact your nearest Toyota Dealer for assistance.

What should I do if I still have questions or concerns?
If you still have questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
The Toyota Customer Experience Center hours are:
Mon - Fri, 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PST
Sat, 7:00 am - 4:00 pm PST
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-26:
Oh, and YT, I am not sure where Yahoo has gotten their information, but they should have reported that there have been four deaths attributed to an accelerator sticking on a Lexus model car. Different make, but same manufacturer.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-01-26:
"Toyota has said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries due to the pedal problems associated with the recall, but could not rule them out for sure." http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100127/ap_on_bi_ge/us_toyota_recall

It was from an associated press writer. Later in the article they attribute deaths to a different problem with Toyotas, but not Lexus'
Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-01-27:
Take your car in to the dealer. They can see if your car is affected by this recall by entering your VIN number into Toyota's network. If they don't help you call Toyota's customer service line.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-01-27:
Interesting Yt. The articles I have read as recently as yesterday has contradicted the Yahoo article. Well, its the media so . . . you never know. :)
Posted by cooter726 on 2010-02-17:
I have a 2009 Toyota Matrix recall car. Because of this, I want to get rid of the car BEFORE I can possibly get killed by my gas pedal sticking. The value of my car is ziltch. So why can't Toyota trade me my defective car for one that is not? I didn't cause this problem, yet Toyota is saying they can't do that. So do I have to wait for an accident to happen and then OWN Toyota for them to listen?
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-02-17:
Cooter, a recall is specifically to fix the problem. Take your car to the dealer and have the resistance plate or whatever it is they solved the issue with installed. If you've done that already, then you've solved the problem that probably would never have happened anyway.
That's how it works, they give you a non-defective part, not a whole new car.
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Gas mileage
Posted by Jackjoel on 09/06/2009
I leased a Camry last October and am still waiting to get close to the 31 mpg highway you advertise. Please tell me the test conditions that enabled you to achieve this. Someone told me that you run the car in a wind tunnel at 50 mph, no stop and gos.
However you achieve that, it is your obligation to reveal that data to the public, otherwise you have no credibility and I will never buy another Toyota again.
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Posted by madconsumer on 2009-09-06:
there are many many variables on gas mileage. tire inflation, weight in vehicle, weather conditions, road conditions, ability to brake, from stop to start speed, the list can be extensive.

even though this link is from 2005, it has valuable information.

Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-09-06:
The testing procedures are established by the EPA. All automakers are supposed to be using the same standards.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-09-06:
yep. how YOU drive determines the gas milage.

For example - trips under 5 minutes in length actually waste gas because your engine isn't fully warmed up. But longer trips where your engine gets warmed up and there's minimal stopping uses less gas.

I've personally noticed...
1) Driving to college daily ... 14mpg (i live within walking distance)
2) Going on a 150+ mile road trip 26-28mpg

Oh, and yes this is a Camry too.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-09-06:
My car was rated to get around 34 highway, and wouldn't you know it, I DO get 34 highway, and my car is 16 years old! Maybe you need a new air filter or better math skills perhaps. Know how big your fuel tank is, fill it to full, reset the miles until your next fill up then fill to full again. However many gallons you put in divided by your miles driven should give you an answer. Do this several fill ups to see if you see a change.
Posted by dan gordon on 2009-09-06:
blaming toyota for testing established by our govt is pretty silly. Look up epa testing procedures to see how they do it but real life test drives are easily available. I wouldn't ever rely just on advertising. How far off are you?
Posted by fj62 on 2009-10-01:
I drive a 2007 Camry and can get 31 miles per gallon on the highway. This is all highway driving at no more than 5 mph over the posted speed limit.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-10-01:

it's also good to check tire pressure and make sure the tires are properly balanced and filled to get the max mpg

the OP might not like to hear it but how you drive often determines what your MPG is going to be
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-10-01:
Pepper, I run nitrogen in all of our tires. It does seem to add a few MPG and the tires hold their pressure better. (nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen so the tires hold their pressure much better)
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