I received a letter from Lexus stating that the airbags in my GX470 were being recalled. I brought it in to Highland Park Lexus (Illinois) to have the repairs made.
I was told to expect it to take an hour. I never authorized an inspection to be performed. I was surprised when I returned 3 hours laters, my auto was on a lift, wheels off, being worked on. I hadn't expected this extensive work for an airbag repair.
Hayley Rauhaus, Service Advisor, told me that my vehicle was unsafe and required over $2,000 of emergent repairs; CV boot assembly $496, battery $260, $1152 brake calipers. I was shocked, as I had recently had the brakes replaced and an inspection revealing no evidence of any of these problems. I immediately called the well respected repair shop I go to, Golz Motors. They were equally surprised and suggested I bring in my vehicle in the early next morning.
On my way home from the dealer, I had noticed the leather on my parking brake handle had been badly scratched during the airbag repair. Furthermore, my gearshift jammed when I put it in reverse then went into 4th gear instead of Drive when I attempted to drive forward. I returned to the dealer and spoke with James McLaughlin, Service Manager, who initially said I had no proof that they had damaged it. I insisted that if he removed the center counsel that had been removed during the repair, there would likely be sharp parts that would match the gouges in the parking brake leather.
He then agreed to have the leather repaired. Because the gouges are so deep, the leather will likely tear, so I asked to have it replaced, but he refused. I also mentioned the gear shift problem, but could not replicate it at the dealer, as it happens intermittently. James told me to call him to schedule the leather repair, however he did not return any of my calls.
Golz thoroughly inspected my auto and said the CV boots were torn, despite having a much longer expected lifespan. Therefore, I believe the dealer's mechanic, Josef Meltzer, deliberately slashed them. Furthermore, Golz found the calipers to be in perfect condition and not in need of replacement. The battery was a little low, which I had been aware of.
I called McGrath Lexus Dealership and asked if the airbag recall required putting vehicles on a lift, removing the wheels, working on brakes, etc. They said it did not. Rather, just removing the center counsel and part of the passenger side dashboard (upon inspection, I noticed a scratch on my glove box). Furthermore, I learned that dealerships hate recall repairs because the manufacturer pays them a very low rate and they lose money.
Therefore, they assign recall work to their worst mechanics, who are instructed to look for ("inspection" ruse) and/or damage vehicles to create repair work. That is exactly what I believe Highland Park Lexus did to my vehicle. I called Lexus Customer Service and spoke with Diana and basically got nowhere. She was rude and said my car is out of warranty and I basically am getting what I deserve for not having it serviced at Lexus dealerships.
I told her that my Golz mechanic is Lexus trained, certified and formerly worked at a local Lexus dealership. I have strictly adhered to the Lexus service manual guidelines and have all of the documentation to prove it. I keep my vehicle in a heated garage and in pristine condition. My Lexus Dealership experience with shoddy repairs, exhorbitant prices, rude staff, dishonesty and deliberate damage to my vehicle is why I now go to an experienced, reputable, honest, more affordable repair shop.
My family owns 3 Lexus vehicles and all of us have had similar problems with recall repairs. Therefore, we will never again buy a Lexus.
The advice I have been given is to have Golz/a reputable independent repair shop thoroughly inspect (and photograph) a vehicle before having recall work done and to instruct the dealer in writing that they are not to inspect or perform any other work besides the recall repair. I will also tell the dealer that I will not have non-recall repairs performed there.
Reason of review: Damaged or defective.
Monetary Loss: $2000.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like:
Horrible customer service.