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Old 23rd September 2013, 12:06   #1
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Default A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Over a year back, we got home the Red Liva.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-...s-update-6.htm

I can confidently say, it is probably the most boring car ever. Dull interiors, dull instrumentation, non existent noise insulation, and built to the price.
When you buy such a car, you wonder, whether the engineering itself is also built to a price?

And as we lay stranded on the side of the long lonely highway, it was not the white elephant on our side.
We had gotten the Toyota so that such things do not happen, and such things had happened.
Now, it was not a regular "breakdown per se", but more of the vagaries of the road. The past few kms had been killer, with deep sharp invisible potholes. And at this stretch, the left front wheel had started making weird noises, and also jamming.

So as I fired up the GPS on my phone to locate where we actually were, the thought going through my mind was "is the liva a delicate build to the cost car, not fit enough for our highways".

Anyways, it was time to call the helpline and wait. As we waited, I decided to give the car a benefit of doubt. Maybe we hit the underbody. But a detailed inspection did not reveal anything sinister. Even the under body plastic protection plate as well as all linkages were totally unmolested.

Had the potholes broken something delicate, built to the cost?

After 30 minutes of wait(Toyota says 60 minutes outside city limites), the flatbed truck arrives. The driver and his helper are polite and helpful, and in no time, we are riding inside the car, but on top of the flatbed towards the Toyota service center over 10kms away.

This is the same workshop we bought the car from, and guess what, its at the city limits edge.
Toyota provides this service free of cost. There is absolutely no charge.

At the workshop, the service adviser is quick in getting our car to the workshop floor, quickly freeing a bay. The mechanic is confident that a shock absorber should work as intended, so hitting potholes should not damage anything.

Yet, the liva tire is making weird noises. At first they suspect brake pads getting misaligned. Tire is unmounted, and suspension checked. On the ramp, as they spin the rotor, there is absolutely no jam or sound or anything.

This is quite weird.
And they they decide to mount the rim again, and this is when we see it. At the inside edge, the tire is bulged, and the rim is bent. Due to small (about 5mm) clearance between the disk brake caliper housing and the alloy wheel, now when it rotates, it touches the housing, hence the noise.

NHAI has cost me alloy repair + new tire costs. As for Toyota, no charges, the spare is mounted, suspension is checked, and so are things like pulling left, camber etc., and all is fine. The alloy did not fare well, and ditto for the Apollo acellere, but the Liva is fine.

Lesser potholes have cause me to run hefty alignment bills with the safari, but the liva, she takes it in her stride.
I remember how I had to go for a new tie rod when I hit a pothole hard in the indica, and how sharp potholes during a a highway run caused me to get a permanent camber problem in the Safari which went away only on wishbone shaving.

On a totally related note. Shame on you NHAI. May your cars hit potholes and then sommersault into the lovely green fields. you charge such hefty toll and also increased the price on NH1 recently, when the road is probably not fit for bullock carts!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd September 2013 at 12:39.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 12:50   #2
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Sorry to hear about your breakdown, and thumbs up to Toyota for their quick and hassle-free intervention. Providing free breakdown service is something other manufacturers need to emulate. But I guess there must be a range limit for this service, correct?

I think any car, if driven hard over many potholes, would have ended up in the same way, so I don't think there are quality issues with the alloy or the tire.

Thanks for posting, and wish you many happy miles with it.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 13:01   #3
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Good to hear the good story on a Monday morning Tanveer. Glad that what could have been a major purse pincher ended up something much lower. Toyota A$$ at its best I should say.

On a lighter note, I doubt if you would have got the same in Bangalore. With the number of potholes in the city (Bangalore Mirror recently estimated around 50K potholes or so) and the number of people hitting these badly with their four wheelers every day, Toyota will be losing lakhs or rupees every week if they start giving this service for free.

PS: I had to change my route to office and take a slightly longer route just to avoid some of the worst pothole filled road you could every see.. and my steering started to rattle due to the constant ship like swaying that the car was going through while doing this 2 - 3 KM stretch.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 14:21   #4
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

This is a national highway, with many smooth stretches, and out of the blue without warning, bham, a crater on the road. Imagine you pay 105 INR at the toll booth, and then suddenly as you accelerate to 80-90(speed limit!) the road ends, and you have nightmare.
There was talk of not charging toll on such not done stretches, but NHAI has decided to rub salt, and they have increased the toll. Daylight robbery.
We got of lucky with a broken alloy, but many others meet with more serious accidents on NH1. Sadly, there is no legal recourse or remedy, as "Sab chor hain". or translated "Rule of the thiefs"
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Old 23rd September 2013, 14:23   #5
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

This is how things should be handled.
A nice example is set on Customer Satisfaction.
I wish other companies take note of the positive reviews this kind of service spawns and try to replicate this instead of aping cash discounts and freebies.
Car owners should have the assurance that should anything happen (as it often does) on the highway, there is someone you can depend on to get you out of the mess with minimum stress and inconvenience.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 14:42   #6
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

This reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago, on NH 48. I had described it here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...driveable.html (Palio MJD with broken suspension strut is still driveable?!!)

Most of our national highways can hardly be called as national highways. Many of the tolled highways are hardly maintained. If not speed breakers, then pot holes. I guess you were lucky that the pothole was close to the service centre!

Is it possible that the alloy absorbed much of the impact, and that saved the suspension components?

It's a coincidence that my car also ended up with damages on the left front wheel/suspension. It's been almost 3 years and more than 50,000 KMs since that incident. So far the car is running fine. Touch wood!!
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Old 23rd September 2013, 17:41   #7
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Good to hear such good news about service from a car company. Toyota has won my heart, will remember this.
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Old 23rd September 2013, 18:00   #8
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
After 30 minutes of wait(Toyota says 60 minutes outside city limites), the flatbed truck arrives. The driver and his helper are polite and helpful, and in no time, we are riding inside the car, but on top of the flatbed towards the Toyota service center over 10kms away.

Toyota provides this service free of cost. There is absolutely no charge.
A friend of mine got his broke-down VW Polo transported on flatbed to his preferred workshop in Pune from 50km distance, free of cost. [He was told that he has just crossed few kms else VW would have sent his car to Satara.]

Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Sorry to hear about your breakdown, and thumbs up to Toyota for their quick and hassle-free intervention. Providing free breakdown service is something other manufacturers need to emulate. But I guess there must be a range limit for this service, correct?
I'm not sure whether it was inclusive of Skoda Shield package but I too once got my Fabia delivered to dealer workshop in flatbed from insurance company (Bajaj Allianz), free of cost. Looks its been a norm to offer free flatbed services, now a days.
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Old 24th September 2013, 08:17   #9
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Smile Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Its great to know that Toyota reached the customer in the trying times. This would instill more confidence in the buyers knowing that Toyota will support in cases when required.

The only time I used RSA was when I owned the Fiesta and it took an harrowing 2 hrs for the tow truck to reach the spot which was not in the remote but a wellknown spot. Had written to Ford regarding the same and promptly Ford responded with an apology.
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Old 30th September 2013, 20:53   #10
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Default Re: A highway breakdown - And how it made me love Toyota even more!

Kudos to Toyota for going the extra mile in ensuring Customer Satisfaction. I too had a similar experience (albeit less serious) with Toyota Service. One headlamp and both the front parking lamps were fused after the 90,000 Km service (I had asked for Headlamp cleaning). I found that out only after I had reached home (as I took delivery of the vehicle at around 4 PM and did not use the headlamps then. However as an after thought, should have checked the headlamps during delivery).
As I had a function to attend, immediately called the Helpline number and asked for support. They responded within 30 minutes (I was within city limits) and replaced the bulbs (I had a spare headlamp, but they replaced the parking bulbs free of cost). Also no fee charged for bulb replacement.

Keep it up TEAM TOYOTA!!!

Regards
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Old 10th January 2014, 13:56   #11
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That's Toyota at its best. Others don't pay heed to the customer once the car is sold. But, Toyota are totally different. They are very courteous, listen to the customer's grievances and help them out in the best way possible.
Toyota has won my heart! No wonder Toyota has so many loyal customers
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Old 10th January 2014, 14:29   #12
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Kudos to Toyota!
But Hyundai also offers free on site 24hrs help and tow-truck service for the first 3years. Some months back I had a over heating problem in my i20 due to a blown fuse on NH1. Hyundai promptly sent a flat-bed within 20minutes. Everything including the labour, repair and the flat-bed was free of cost.
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