Lustine Toyota Complaint - Lustine Toyota, Woodbridge VA
WOODBRIDGE, VIRGINIA -- When we first found our Toyota Sienna online, it was listed with a picture advertising a free lifetime warranty. It also was listed as having 18,235 miles. We drove about two hours to the dealership to test-drive it and possibly purchase it. After a few lengthy delays of sitting in the dealership at a desk with our 18-month-old, our salesman showed us the van (which was still being cleaned) and went with us on a test drive. We glanced at the odometer area display, which read as advertised, and looked over the van relatively thoroughly. It had a few dings and stains but was in good condition. During the test drive, he specifically mentioned that it would come with two keys with remotes and a full tank of gas if we bought it.
We then went into the dealership to talk about the final price and what that would include. He acted very happy to negotiate and even had my husband initial an offer that we thought would be fair. To make a long story short, the salesman went back and forth with possible deals (while we sat at a desk) until his manager finally came out. He also seemed friendly, eager to compromise and receptive to our offers, and also walked back and forth to a back desk while we waited and waited. We wanted a couple things included in a reasonable price, like removing a stain from the carpeting, installing floor mats and buffing out some paint scratches (these three requests in particular were written down on our negotiating worksheet). However, the process dragged on for hours, with the negotiators constantly implying that the price we asked was almost high enough for them to sell it to us, and if we’d come up a couple hundred more dollars we could have the van. Half an hour after closing time, he finally came back out and gave us “the best he could do,” which was only a few hundred dollars off the original list price and far above the price we’d “initialed” at the beginning of the night. We were so frustrated by how long they had taken and their continually deceptive attitudes about the price they planned to offer us that we decided not to buy the van and took our toddler home to bed.
Later that night, after much consideration of the last offered price, the options they had promised (floor mats, two key remotes, touch up painting), the fact that the vehicle would be Toyota certified, and the low mileage (around 18,000), we decided that the price was worth the questionable sales techniques and inconsiderate customer service. We decided to make the trek back and buy the van the next day.
As my husband was signing the paperwork, he realized that the mileage listed in the paperwork was actually 23,581 and brought up the apparent mistake to the manager. He said that, no, the car did indeed have over 23,000 miles on it, and the “trip A” display is what had 18,235 miles (not to mention the advertisement they posted for the car). They had the “trip A” display option showing during the test drive and while the car was sitting on the lot for anyone to look over. Despite the false advertising, they would not lower the price a single dollar, though Kelley Blue Book said the extra mileage should knock $1000 off the value. Then when my husband inquired about the free lifetime warranty advertised online, he was told that it didn’t apply to this car. And even though we had a check from the bank to pay for the car, he had to fill out a credit application, ostensibly because of “September 11th.” At this point, we just wanted to be done with the deal after wasting so much time and so decided to finish signing.
We left the van there to have the scratches and stain taken care of and the floor mats installed. My husband called back repeatedly to ask when we could expect for the van to be ready. They kept stalling and refused to give an expected delivery date (as though a Toyota dealership has particular difficulty obtaining floor mats for a one-year-old car). After several days of persistence, the salesman informed him that floor mats didn’t come with the van and we’d have to purchase them. He didn’t contest that we had always expected them to provide us floor mats, he just said we couldn’t have them. After a couple more days of repeated and often un-returned phone calls (and frustration for us), my husband finally was routed to the manager once again (after the dealership told my husband that the manager they’d had him speak to earlier that afternoon had been fired and thus wasn’t available). He said that there was nothing in the written contract requiring them to give us floor mats. As my husband started to reiterate their verbal promises, Jeff interrupted and said condescendingly that the van was ready to be picked up with mats installed.
We drove up immediately that night to pick up the car (5 days after we’d paid for it), concerned that something else would go wrong if we waited even a day. There were still paint scratches, but at least the floor stain was gone and the floor mats had been thrown in (not installed, which I discovered a couple days later while inspecting the car -- the driver’s side mat was not even attached, which is a potentially fatal safety issue). We decided to take it as it was, but wondered where our second key with remote was. The salesman informed my husband that there was only one key. I returned to the building to question him, since he had personally and specifically told me of the two keys with remotes during the test drive. He said that the van only came with one key, so he could only give us one. I reminded him of his statement, and asked him if he had been confused. He simply looked at me and said, “No.” I then asked if he could get us another key somehow (which of course the dealership can easily do by programming a new key in just a few minutes – something I had to have done at our local dealership later for almost $100). He said no, he would not get us another key. I left the building, got into the car and turned it on to leave. Then I realized that they had only left less than a quarter of a tank of gas in the car, not even enough for us to drive home.
As we left the parking lot, we vowed to inform other potential customers of the insidious, systematic and widespread deceit that has apparently permeated the sales personnel of Lustine Toyota and their method of doing business. Needless to say, we will never recommend this dealership to anyone, nor will we ever do business there again. Within a couple of weeks, we had to take the van into our local dealership to have three small items fixed that should have been taken care of in the “extensive” inspection Lustine must perform before selling a vehicle as Toyota certified. We discovered later that they had not filled out any of the Toyota Certified Used Vehicle information, including the warranty number or even the key number. We were able to get most of that information from the national Toyota customer service number, except the key number. When we called Lustine to get the key number (necessary to access the car if we ever lost the one programmed key they gave us), they said that they couldn’t give that information over the phone. We would have to drive the two hours back to their dealership just to get that number, or we could find another Toyota dealership and go to their service department. Thankfully, all of the broken parts were covered by the car’s original warranty, and our local dealership (Toyota of Southern Maryland) performed the work with no issues and found our key number. Now, after waiting almost two months, we have finally received our permanent plates and registration. Our Lustine ordeal, we hope, is finished. (By the way, we also own a Toyota Corolla, and our experience with the dealership in Hawaii was hassle-free and completely satisfactory.)