From Product

My Toyota Scion XD dead at 76,000 miles (a review)

Toyota Scion XD - 2009

Yes, my first car died. At 76,000 miles.

So I’m bitching. I’m angry. I’m upset. Moreover, I’m disappointed. As a full-time grad student and full-time employee, I was working my butt off. Nobody was there to help me financially. I did it all on my own, everything, ever since I was about 17. My mom was never in the position and my dad (though ironically he was a mechanic) passed away when I was 17. I chose a Scion XD after two months searching for the perfect car—one that was affordable and reliable.

Before turning to Toyota, I had a hand-me-down Ford. I thought buying American was the way to go, but everyone told me foreign cars were made to last. And that’s what I needed. And why new? Because I didn’t want to take any chances. I couldn’t have anymore breakdowns, going into the city three time a week (an hour commute from Greensburg, PA).

“Lifetime Warranty” was what sold me. It felt safe. And because no one is around the corner looking after me or ever has been, I am a sucker for a warranty. I even opted for the extended warranty (a 75,000-mile/6 year add-on). The only thing I was told was to keep record of all maintenance. Right on. I’m kind of neurotic about such things, so it wasn’t too hard. I kept every receipt, as there were times I did not go to the Toyota dealership for an oil change.

And then BOOM. It all goes to hell. A broken transmission at 76,500 miles? Are you kidding me?

Her name is Meredith Baxter, by the way. She has a name. I took care of her. Did all the things I had to do. Or so I thought. Even the mechanic said: “The car looks good under the hood. You can tell you took care of it.”

But then the bad news:

“Well, it seems you don’t have record of tire rotations every 5k miles here,” the Toyota employee informed me.

This comes after a few back-and-forths with missing receipts that I dug up, called about, etc. Finally, all of my information gets sent to Wascor, a third-party company that apparently is responsible for this supposed “Lifetime Warranty.” And they deny me. Because even though tire rotations admittedly have nothing to do with a transmission, it was part of the maintenance plan (which I can’t find anywhere). So basically they weaseled their way out of paying for it.

Wascor is a THIRD-PARTY COMPANY. Meaning: They could give two shits about your car or your happiness with the product. And they will try to find a way out of it. Anyway they can. When I produced information that they were missing, they kept coming back with more things I didn’t have. Finally, the found something I didn’t. TIRE ROTATIONS.

I get it. It’s not Toyota. But do you know what is Toyota? They plaster this “Lifetime Warranty” everywhere. People feel secure knowing they have this. But they probably don’t—not unless they’ve kept completely spotless records of their maintenance. Even the Toyota guy on the phone tells me, “It’s kind of a scam. I yelled at them.”

A scam? You think? And somehow this does fall back on you, Toyota. Maybe do a better job of impressing upon people how important it is that they do this. They rotate their tires, even.

So that’s that, I guess. A dud of a car. The good news? Toyota in all of their shiny gleaming kindness has decided to pay for the part, since it’s pretty whack that 1500 miles after their extended warranty is up, the heart of the car itself fails. So thank you. But now still I’m forced to pay $1400 for labor, which has to be done at the Toyota dealership, of course. Because yes, Toyota realizes something very wrong happened are still going to bank off of it. They won’t cover the whole thing.

Thanks, Toyota. Thanks, Scion. This is my review of your car. I’m so happy that I spent $17,000 (plus taxes and an extra warranty) for a piece of junk car that lasted me 76k miles. If I wanted that, I would’ve bought a Ford or a Chrysler.

The only thing good I have to say is that the guys at Toyota of Greensburg did go to bat for me. They were kind. They hooked me up with a loaner car, which would’ve cost me around $35/day. They made me feel taken care of, heard. And I’m not ungrateful for that. But does good service make up for quality? Because now, if something else goes wrong, I know the warranty is garbage (all because of tire rotations, you know). I no longer have the security of the warranty or the brand. It seems like a new car is in my future when I just wanted to ride out Meredith until the end.

I’m not just someone trying to get something for nothing. I’m being loud about it, because it isn’t fair. It isn’t right. It’s your reputation, Toyota. And if you still feel the need to bank off of a faulty car, that’s on you.

So bummed… I guess the joke’s on me.

mt

 


 

UPDATES:

I tried reaching out to Toyota/Scion to no avail. After reviewing my case, they still ask that I pay the $1400 for labor. I think they believe I should just be grateful that they did anything at all.

After a barrage of posts online, the General Manager of Toyota of Greensburg called me. He said he was “confused” by my online outrage and that I didn’t note that Toyota gave me a loaner, which would’ve equated to $900 for all the days I’ve needed it. So as he is signing off on all this money (over $3,000), he is wondering why I’m still discontent. He feels I’m not telling the whole story. So I have amended it some to reflect what he felt I didn’t represent (which was not purposeful).

Sobe Lifewater Blues

First, a rant.

Someone, like me, has discovered the greatness that is Pacific Coconut Sobe Lifewater.

I snagged one on the fly on Saturday, looking for coconut water in a random Sunoco. First of all, this is not pure coconut water. It’s only 10%, but still, I was trying to hydrate and I found this bugger. Good grief is it delicious! There are two other flavors in the blue bottle, but neither live up to the coconutty goodness of this draaank. So you should get some. Or don’t.

Which leads me to my little whine.

I scoured the greater Greensburg area and it seems someone is onto this goodness, too. And well, it sucks. I went EVERYWHERE, finally catching a few in Giant Eagle. The other flavors are there, then lo and behold, the empty slot for the blue-topped, coconut heaven. Even Amazon is out of stock. WTF? But I must thank Amy and Matt (my bestos) for totally going on this water-seeking adventure with me.

So I’ve been a wee bit stressed out lately. Trying to keep up at work, write and paint… and now, manage the heat. Too cool for school means not opting for an umbrella or buying an air conditioner. These are my principles, folks. I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Besides, the thought of some noisy box hovering 3 stories up over my back deck just seems like an accident waiting to happen. I’d rather hire a few studs to fan me off with banana leaves or something. I’m going wild!

In other news, I’ve been spending an insane amount of time doodling. This is therapeutic. It’s also distracting and seems to accompany everything I do these days. Including talk on the phone. It took everything in me not to doodle during my meeting today with the web developer. Instead I nervously twirled my hair. Kudos.

Do something good for yourself this week. The heat eats people up—go grab yourself a water. Any flavor but Pacific Coconut that is.

mpt

Flavor Drop Update.

Some news. First of all, remember those Capella Flavor Drops that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Utter shit. While two of the five flavors I purchased, at least, have some flavor, the others are total duds. Unless you plan on putting like 10x the amount of drops recommended; in which case, maybe you should just poor acid on your tongue, too. The chemical-y taste is a bit too much to bear.

And to top it off, I wrote a pretty nice email to the chaps, just stating what I had found to be true—in a nice way. I didn’t request or demand FREE MERCHZZZ! or my money back. Just wanted to give them my piece. Forkers didn’t even respond. LAME! And before I get off the subject of these horrible little caustic, flavorless drops…

Word of advice: if you get a drop on your finger… DO NOT LICK IT.

Quick replay:

Note: zombie walk, baggy eyes, and the only positive thing about this picture (the coffee!)

And then I realize my order of tasty, sugar-free drops came in the day before! I couldn’t wait! I possibly didn’t sleep at night thinking about them. Kidding.

One of my favorite flavors OF ALL TIME… coconut! (: Perfect summery coffee flavor, no?

Not sure why I thought it was ok to lap up the rogue drop with my tongue, but um… it smelled good, right?

Just don’t do it. It was a combination of rubbing alcohol and tequila… and I’m pretty sure I received chemical burns on my tongue. The end.

A former colleague of mine (oh my god does that sound trite), Jason, runs an online lit mag called decomP. Kudos to him for that, first of all. But yea, he used one of my paintings (“earthbound”) as the monthly cover thang. How cool? Thanks for the pimp action, Jason. (:

Time to get ready for some Independence-style partying. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

xx
mpt

ps: If you didn’t click the “Forkers” link, you may want to do that.
ps2: For you all, I refrained from CASEY ANTHONY bs. The trial has suddenly taken over my life.

Babies use soap, right?

Being the lucky girl that I am, I have some pretty amazing friends. I wanted to pimp this girl for her unique and awesome brain. Well, I mean, a lot of people can make soap, but this girl makes it from base ingredients, meaning LYE! This shit scares me to be honest, as I can’t even use a kitchen knife half of the time. I digress. You should check out her soap. Not only does she make the soap, but it’s packaged in her handmade paper and lovely typewriter lettering. I’ll be making some with her soon, so pictures are to come.

In the meantime, check her out. She is up for new ideas, too. Give her a shout. cyfisch@gmail.com —or, if you’re too shy, hit me up.

So listen. My next stop is Dream Land. I’m going to make it brief, because how boring are dreams to other people? I know, BUTTTT… I dreamt I had a baby. I had a baby, was happy about it, and gave it away. Yep. I was a surrogate mother. It kind of messed me up all day. I’m a gusher. Add that to my list of hobbies… painting, writing, knitting, singing…surrogate mother. I kind of wonder what y’all think. Could you do it? Pros. Cons. What?

Just curious, as usual. >^..^<

New product, camping trip and obscene dream

Let me start this entry by talking about dreams. I know. I know. It can be one of the most moronic things to blog about… the unicorn ate my corn on the cob and shit out a dog. Yea. Sometimes there’s just no following a dream like that—no matter how amusing it may be to the dreamer.

I’m an avid dreamer. A lucid dreamer. I’ve flown. I’ve been licked by a pack of stray puppies. It’s all happened. But last night, like so many other nights, I dreamt I got fired. Not only did I get fired, but the reasoning? I had been taking meth mixed with aspirin? What!? I don’t even know what that means… the most interesting thing about a dream (that we can all share, I think) is that feeling the whole next day. You know how a dream just really shakes you? I was so disheartened by being fired that it had me reeeally upset. It was more of the trying-to-prove-I-wasn’t-a-drug-addict. Blah.

Anyhow, it was quite a nice weekend camping with my friend Larissa and her family. Good times. I ate enough to feed a small country and so I’m back on the wagon starting tomorrow. I bought about $75 worth of healthy groceries. Even a $10 bag of almonds. God. That’s an investment. I’m just really losing focus. I’m ready now.

I did want to talk about these flavorings I found online: Capella Flavors. Apparently it’s flavoring for many things (including coffee) without calories or sugar. Just flavor. So you drop a few drops into your iced coffee, your recipes, your tea, whatevs. I’m liking this idea. Dunkin Donuts has a similar method with their flavors—you add your own sugar, or for me, Splenda (let’s call it Splendor. It cracks me up.)

So tonight, I ordered 5 bottles of the stuff. It was buy 3 and get 2 free. Pretty good deal. Especially with the $3 shipping. I ordered tonight around 7PM and it has already shipped! (It’s 11PM). I’m ready to let you guys know how this stuff works out. I’m namely buying it for my iced coffee. But they have fruity flavors that can be used for water and so on. Check out the site, at least. There’s a lot of info on there. I purchased: Coconut, Cinnamon Danish Swirl, Vanilla Cupcake, Chocolate Raspberry and Toasted Almond. If these are good, not only will it save me a ton of money on flavored creamers, but I won’t have to put that thick creamer in my iced coffees!

Happy Memorial Day! Hope you, too, got drunk off of boxed wine… er…. something similarly delicious!
<3

The Show Me State… Day 1

So far, so cool. The trek here wasn’t bad at all. Luckily, Mr. Casey K was all up on that driving for a bit. After 5 hours of straight driving, my brain wasn’t entertaining itself any longer with Meghan’s Top Tens (which consisted of me evaluating everything in my life—sorting and rating—in lists of 5 or 10) and my eyes were getting sleepy! We pulled over at a Flying J (makes me think of some sort of winged illegals)… anyhow, we crashed for like an hour and a half in the parking lot. We woke to some interesting sights when we ventured inside. “I need a shower and a pack of cigarettes.” Yep. Don’t we all.

Essentially, we rode 70 the whole way here, which was easy. And I really did overestimate my need for gummies and licorice, because I still have some for the way back! But I’ll tell you what… as much as I love the Starbucks, I sincerely warn you to never ever EVER have one of their energy drinks.

I’m sure that the concoction of the great Sheetz meatball sub I had, alongside one of THEIR coffee drinks wasn’t the best predecessor to this Starbucks beverage, but still. The taste was horrendous. Like Casey suggested, it’s like coffee and an energy drink had a baby… “and named it NASTY.” (That was my add-on there.) It had a smooth delivery, a chemically jarring flavor and an aftertaste reminiscent of something I’d like to refer to as “Robot Coffee.” I’m not talking Terminator here. Terminator had more realistic appeal than this beverage.
Besides my drink rant, I had a great day. We arrived with sun and blue skies, with a gorgeous skyline and a crazy feeling that I was driving into Pittsburgh. Strange how, thus far, St. Louis has been comforting—home-like. More on that later. All you need to know is I’ve encountered an awesome brewery, an affinity for riding bikes on a flat surface and a love-hate relationship with a cat named Prince. He’s like the cat version of me—complete with the attention span of a 6th-grader, 2 extreme functions (HYPER-ON or off) and an indecisive swagger. Sloan tells me if Taylor Swift and Adam Lambert had a baby… a cat baby, this would be Prince. You decide:

Oh, so there’s that. I plan on showering now. It’s been awhile since that’s happened. Ha… it’s what happens when you visit hippies.

Take care, all! <3