Tagged Greensburg

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).

Art-drunk & Inspired: Local artist Gabe Felice makes memories at Headkeeper

Last eve, at Headkeeper in Greensburg, Gabe Felice had his gallery opening. Sweetness! This kid has it going on as an artist, man. No joke. Sometimes I wonder if he’s been peeking in at my brain and painting it. His art is bold, intricate and nearly intoxicating: lines, colors and distinct faces that peek at you from everywhere. Go Gabe!

Along with the surreal nature of Gabe‘s abstract musings, the night seemed just as fantastical with an interesting mash-up of banjo and electric guitar—that you couldn’t take your eyes from—and a man giving free tarot card readings.

Cuban-inspired pizza with diced pickles! Swoon-worthy!

Headkeeper, located in downtown Greensburg, PA, is a local tapas bar with a tasty, ever-changing gourmet menu and a wall of over 600 kinds of beer, both imports and domestics. I won’t lie, the wall of beer is what had me hooked since the dawn of its inception. Hey, I like options: buffets, a plethora of Pandora radio stations, t-shirts in every color, a draw spilling over with pens. It’s true!

Since its inception, this dreamy hangout with its industrial decor, colorful culinary creations and all-around sweet vibe has really given Greensburg a shove in the right direction. To think, just a few years ago, my friends and I were stopping by the same locale [the adjacent six-pack shop] to pick up 40’s of Mickey’s. These days, Headkeeper hosts art shows, live entertainment and even beer-tasting events. We really got lucky with this one, fellow Greensburgers.

On a more personal note, one of the highlights of the night for me was getting my cards read.

Image from the Rider-Waite deck.

I’ve read cards since high school, so I mean, I’m no newb to such things. But! To have someone else read them is always much more beneficial. Besides, we all have different energies, right?

I am the moon! Mister tarot reader tells me it’s my “super power.” I’ve been telling my friends this for, like, a year, at least. Even if I’ve got the fire of the sun, Leo, in me, I’m mostly moon. I think Atwood’s poem, “Tricks with Mirrors,” is a great way of highlighting some of the negativity I feel about being “the moon.” 
“Don’t assume it is passive/ or easy, this clarity/ with which I give you yourself.” —Atwood

He made some good points, though: the phases; the fact that the moon is great at observing patterns—a helpful way to learn from the cycles of life and myself. Still, the moon’s secretive otherworldly darkness and ability to reflect the brightness of others is where my real truth lies.

So what?

A little nugget of validation is all. That and lots of “truths” that eve. I suppose that was the most lively Sunday night in a long time: mystical insight, gabs with friends, colorful art staring back at you and a boy beating sounds from a banjo.

mt

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

“It’s a twistah. It’s a twistah.”

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the house still stands, and I am alive. Who knew? The tornadoes caused some damage and some funny videos have surfaced, but I think everyone is ok.

Since I was a kid I had dreams of tornadoes sucking me up and spitting me out into the sky. Not today, I guess. The sky turned an eerie shade of green and Tasha grabbed Mr. Winston and put him in the basement, while I finished cooking my ham. Ha!

Edit: peep this photo, kids!

<3! xx