Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm Not the Only One With A TOYOTA LEMON!

2 YEARS? This is what Toyota U.S.A. does!

They don't CARE and hope you go away!

O.C. man ends Toyota picketing over ‘lemon’

June 15th, 2010 posted by

You won’t see Tony Scanaliato picketing outside Toyota of Huntington Beach on weekends anymore. That’s because after two years of legal wrangling and much of that period protesting outside the dealership, the Huntington Beach resident received a settlement from Toyota Motor Corp. over a 2007 Tundra that he claimed was a lemon.

The saga began soon after Scanaliato, 66, bought the truck new for about $35,000, when he said its 5.7-liter V8 engine began to sound odd, almost like that of a diesel.

He said the sound did not appear to affect the truck’s performance, but it bothered him all the same and he couldn’t find a remedy for it despite doing extensive research online about the issue, which has been reported in forums by other owners of the truck as well, some saying the sound is due to “piston slap.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are no recalls for such an issue on the truck. (Click HERE to search bulletins on the site.)

Scanaliato said his issue went beyond that of simple knocking or piston slap, however, and returned the truck to the dealer where he bought it seeking a buyback. The dealer had to refuse because the truck had been damaged in a minor accident.

Toyota of Huntington Beach General Manager Bob Miller said he offered to buy back the truck, but that it turned out to be damaged.

“We sat down … after he bought the truck,” Miller said. “I told him, ‘All the engines make that noise; there are 32 valves in there.’ I said, ‘Tony, why don’t I buy back the truck?’ He said OK, and as it turns out it’d been in an accident. I think he backed into a wall or something. So I couldn’t buy it back. I would have bought it back and resold it.”

Scanaliato said the damage was minimal, though, and continued to picket the dealership on Beach Boulevard, wearing a custom-made shirt that claimed he bought a lemon and fastening similar signage to his truck, which he parked outside of the dealership on weekends and picketed for several hours a day.

He also lost an arbitration case held in 2007, in which the arbitrator found the truck was “operating as designed,” similar to what a mechanic at the dealership found, as well as a Toyota field technician who also inspected the truck.

Still, Scanaliato continued in his fight, claiming that the truck just wasn’t right, and that it didn’t sound problematic when he test-drove it before buying.

Scanaliato enlisted attorney Jim Whitworth of Fountain Valley, who specializes in lemon-law cases.

Whitworth said Scanaliato is the only client he has had who’s taken such drastic measures, and that doing so isn’t something he’d normally advise. But for Scanaliato, picketing is what kept him going.

Finally, in late April Toyota settled the case out of court, cutting Scanaliato a check for $29,000. For his compensation, Whitworth got the truck, which was valued at about $20,000, Scanaliato said.

Whitworth said he plans to use the vehicle as a form of advertisement that can advise other consumers about lemon law.

“I’m trying to formulate a way to put Tony’s story on a never-ending advertisement,” Whitworth said.”That’s ultimately the idea.”

Miller said that while he didn’t think Scanaliato’s picketing deterred customers, he’s glad Scanaliato is gone anyway.

“We did absolutely nothing wrong,” Miller said of the dealership. “He took it to Toyota and Toyota settled. Every dealer is held harmless by the manufacturer. I didn’t build the car.”

While a Toyota official could not comment specifically on Scanaliato’s case, he said the issue of piston slap was known in a very limited number of Tundra trucks.

“There has been some customer complaints, but they were extremely low,” said Brian Lyons, a spokesman in Toyota’s quality communications department. “They were dealt with on a case by case basis.”

“The knocking that happened in rare cases did not affect the durability or drivability of the vehicle,” Lyons added. “This is a customer-satisfaction issue, not one of safety or durability.”

As for Scanaliato, he said he was anything but satisfied with his Toyota experience, and that his personal crusade against the automaker isn’t over.

“There is no closure until people know,” he said. “If (Toyota) had bought the truck back (to begin with), it would have been an admission of guilt. Just like they didn’t admit the problems with their gas pedals. They could have given me a new engine from Day One and still had me as a customer.

That would have just cost them about $5,000. They just don’t want to admit guilt.”

Scanaliato, who now drives a Dodge truck, the bulk of which he paid for with the settlement money, says he hopes that his ordeal can at least help others.

“I just don’t want someone to go through what I went through,” he said, citing that not giving up is the key for consumers who may face a similar situation. “People today have to stand up.”

In a twist of coincidence, Scanaliato was back on a picket line until a few days ago: He was on strike with his union against Boeing in Long Beach, where he works as an aircraft planner. (Corrected to Long Beach, not Seal Beach, 6/16)

Taking an optimistic viewpoint, Scanaliato says his picketing against the Toyota dealership gave him endurance for his latest strike.

“That walking did me good,” he said. “I can walk for four hours now.”

In other news:

    Photos courtesy of Anthony Scanaliato

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Full Disclosure!

    Since signs went on my car, at the end of my driveway and I have shared my BAD experience with others about Route 44 Toyota,  folks have gone out of their way to make sure they informed me of their positive experiences with Copeland Toyota.

    One woman walked across a hot parking lot and stood in the hot sun to share that Copeland Toyota interceded with Toyota U.S.A. for her to resolve a problem.

    I don't know these people and have never traveled to the Copeland Toyota dealership unfortunately.

    I'm deeply saddened that I didn't buy my Toyota from Copeland Toyota...my mistake!

    Not a single person has offered a negative comment about Copeland Toyota. They must be doing everything right! I haven't kept track of how many I have spoken to, but I've heard some chilling tales and it's wonderful to hear such high praise!

    I sent them an email to that effect because they should be proud for the way they do business.

    Copeland Toyota
    Address: 970 W Chestnut St, Brockton, MA 02301
    Phone:(508) 584-2440

    Thank you for restoring my faith that there are dealerships that possess the honesty, integrity, professionalism and responsibility!

    Sunday, June 23, 2013

    Route 44 Toyota: Big Brother Award!

    When you make the bad decision of purchasing a Toyota from Route 44 Toyota, the process is overbearing, to say the least.

    Part of the offensive process is taking your picture next to your NEW Toyota, about which I balked.

    Then they send you a crappy calendar....and use your photo as ADVERTISING without disclosure.

    Perhaps more egregious is that they include your name on their facebook page...along with your license plate in some cases.

    Just another example of Route 44 Toyota believing they are above the law in violating your rights to privacy.

    Are they deliberately advertising locations of NEW cars to be targeted for theft?

    I have friends who have been stalked. Do you?

    These are among the many that appear on their facebook page --

    Jane Casey poses with her new Corolla and salesman Dan Siciliano.


    A very excited Regina Brown takes delivery of her newly purchased Toyota Camry. Pictured with her salesman Terrence Gandy.

    Mr. Ricardo Carter is congratulated by his salesman Oyewale Dairo as he takes delivery of his newly purchased Toyota Rav4.


    Hmmm what word would you chose?
    I haven't filled the gas tank of my BRAND NEW TOYOTA since
    May 2012!
    Tim Bruno, General Manager and President
    He doesn't look like someone who would break the law, does he?

    Friday, June 21, 2013

    Route 44 Toyota: NOT indemnified for their illegal actions

    Each time we waste the court's prescious time, it seems as if Dilly Dally Dan [AKA Attorney Daniel Vierra, representing Route 44 Toyota] drags out M.G.L. 93B [below].

    Section 8. (a) Notwithstanding any terms or provisions of a franchise agreement to the contrary, a manufacturer or distributor shall indemnify its motor vehicle dealers and hold them harmless from and against all damages, liabilities, losses, and reasonable expenses of suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, arising out of or incurred in the defense of any claim brought by any person seeking compensation or other relief predicated upon the negligent design or manufacture of a new motor vehicle, or any part or component thereof, manufactured or distributed by the manufacturer or distributor where the basis for liability is finally determined by a court to be solely the result of such negligence by manufacturer or distributor and not in any way the result of any fault or neglect on the part of the motor vehicle dealer. The manufacturer or distributor, after having been notified promptly in writing by the motor vehicle dealer that the claim has been asserted and is pending, shall assume the defense thereof and resolve the same at its own expense.

    M.G.L. 93B


    It certainly appears that deep-pocketed Toyota U.S.A. will pick up the tab for the legal fees of Route 44 Toyota......so Dilly Dall Dan gets a free ride, billable hours as he prepares for his great court trial....except....

    for the ILLEGAL BUSINESS PRACTICE of violating FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act] for which Route 44 Toyota is solely responsible.

    No wonder they're mad!

    They will have to pay to defend their illegal actions.

    For additional information:

    Route 44 Toyota and FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act]
    Route 44 Toyota Violates FCRA
    Route 44 Toyota Illegal Business Practices Continue
    Toyota: No one is responsible!

    Route 44 Toyota: Where Arrogance and Disregard of the Law Prevail

    Toyota Table of Contents #2

    Rip Off Report

    from: ripoff report --

    Submitted: Fri, May 31, 2013

     i have previously bought car in 09, service was the pits so i left driving 40 miles in oposite dir, i must tell you how misled and outright lied to about a vehicle coming in which is here and they thought i would pay a premium another 3k wrong one lied and two swore to it, don t believe them get it in writing and check their bad ratings, check edmunds, yelpripoff etc before you even go there y can buy from a better rated company for sale, service and customer service, i would get it in writing(they hate that) they owe up to their reputation in the blogs, drive by it will be rewarding and stessless



    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    The Corrupt System of Credit Reporting

    The article below highlights problems with CREDIT REPORTING.

    There is simply no accountability!

    Route 44 Toyota ILLEGALLY accessed my credit report TWICE and that of a friend - 6 MONTHS after a new car was paid for.
    We NEVER applied for credit. This violated FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act].

    There is no way other than court to force Route 44 Toyota to be accountable.


    Posted here:
    Route 44 Toyota: Where Arrogance and Disregard of the Law Prevails

    A Corrupt System More Americans Need to be Talking About

    In this country we concern ourselves with a varying degree of issues.  But there’s one that I rarely see mentioned anywhere and it has massive control over much of our lives—and that control only grows with each passing year.

    While many fear the government and what it might “prevent us” from doing, this is something that has the power to make Americans pay tens of thousands more throughout their lives and it can even keep them from getting a job.

    And the kicker?  Nobody really tells us how it’s calculated.

    I’m talking about our credit scores.

    And anyone who’s dealt with these credit rating companies know, they make massive errors—constantly.  Hell, we have three different scores depending on which company’s score you’re looking at.

    I was once listed at an address I had never lived at.  Trying to get the company to change that seemed nearly impossible.  Accounts that weren’t mine have shown up without me knowing, and the only real way to monitor these companies is to pay to have access to your report.  Sure, you can get one free report a year from AnnualCreditReport.com, but that’s just once per year.  If you want hands-on monitoring of your credit reports, you’ll have to pay.

    And as we’ve progressed technologically as a society, these credit scores have become more and more intrusive into our lives.  Once they just determined your “worthiness” of getting some line of credit.  Now your credit score is often used to determine your insurance rates for your car or home and can even determine whether or not you’re allowed to open a checking account.

    Nothing quite like paying 5, 10, 15+ years on car or home owner’s insurance, without a single claim or late payment, yet unexpectedly falling on rough times privately (though still paying both insurance policies on time) only to still see your insurance rates double because your credit rating dropped.

    It doesn’t make any sense.  Your insurance record should be your “credit score” for insurance policies.  Your record as a home owner or driver should be all that’s needed to determine your rates. 

    Being unable to pay your cell phone bill, resulting in downgraded credit, shouldn’t have a damn thing to do with how much someone pays for insurance when their insurance history is immaculate.

    Hell, even employers have taken up with the practice of running your credit score before offering someone a job.  Which is extremely ironic considering people get denied for jobs due to their poor credit, yet if these people were given these jobs, they would have the income to pay their bills and improve their credit score.

    Another issue that arises is how credit “hits” are handled.  It’s my opinion that unless your good payments are shown on your credit report, the bad payments shouldn’t be allowed.  Too often people will pay perfectly for years on items such as their cell phone or cable bill, only to fall on bad times. 

    Some unfortunate event happens where they can no longer makes these payments, the services are shut off and the balances are then sent to a debt collector and the “default” is put on your credit report.

    Never mind that you might have paid for a decade flawlessly, that won’t show up anywhere—the only part that will appear on your report will be where you stopped paying.

    Then there’s the completely asinine statement many have heard, “Bad credit is better than no credit.” 

    You could be financially stable, making good money, and have paid cash for most everything you’ve had.  Then one day find yourself in a situation where you have to take out a line of credit, well—good luck with that.  The fact that you have no debt is actually bad.

    These people want you to have debt—but not too much.  See, your debt to income ration needs to be solid.  Meaning your debt needs to be a certain percentage of your income.  A debt to income ratio too high or too low will negatively impact your score.

    Or there’s the stories I’ve heard about people pulling their individual credit scores and getting one number, say 705, only to apply for a loan and have that same company report their score as much lower—with no explanation as to why.

    And I can’t forget the whole circus performance from these companies in how they reflect how you pay your debt.  Did you know, you can actually hurt your score by paying off installment loans too soon?  That closing a credit card often hurts your credit score?  That you need balances on cards otherwise opening credit accounts with zero balance can lower your score as well?  That following credit “promotions” and paying balances off before the interest would kick in can cause your score to drop too?

    Does any of that make sense?  Hell no.

    Now we all know why this system is set up the way it is, to screw most Americans.  It’s built to give companies an excuse to pay you less or charge you more.

    Millions of Americans end up paying tens of thousands more throughout their lifetime because of a credit system built on secrecy, confusion and frustration.

    While many might just say “pay your bills on time and you’ll have good credit,” that’s simply an ignorant response from someone who doesn’t know the first thing about how credit scores work.
    If credit scores were just about paying bills, someone with no credit but a flawless record paying their bills (with cash) would have the best score.  But like I said before, if they have no credit they’re actually worse off most times than someone with bad credit.

    And these companies really don’t “lose” money when people fail to pay their bills.  What almost every one of these companies does is create an account in their yearly budgets they consider “losses.”  But they balance these losses by overcharging services elsewhere.  Even if they had 100% of their customers pay their bills, they still would have this account where they assumed loss and still continue to charge customers more.

    Then they “sell” these delinquent accounts to debt collectors for a fraction of what’s owed.  Then these debt collectors attempt to make a profit by making you pay “40% of your balance to settle this debt”—when they might have only paid 10% (or less) of what the original debt actually was.

    So not only are most of these original companies not suffering any kind of real loss, because they’ve already assumed a certain amount of “loss” while charging more for their services to account for that, debt companies are making millions collecting money on debt that was never owed to them.  They just bid a small percentage on the total debt, then pretend to offer “deals” to get people to pay them money.

    It’s a system rigged to squeeze as much as possible out of people, while trapping them into debt.
    Because that’s what a “good credit score” essentially tells you that you must do—have debt to have good credit.  It’s a scam that I feel more people need to talk about—be enraged about.

    It’s ridiculous that a handful of private companies, with seemingly no accountability to anyone, have such power over the lives of each and every one of us.  Then when we demand answers, they refuse to give us any.

    And I feel it’s about damn time we put an end to this scam.



    Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Toyota: The Utimate Hybrid


    Toyota: Auto Industry Race to the Bottom
    by Barbara BriggsSpecial to CorpWatch
    September 16th, 2008

    Beneath Toyota’s buffed shine lies a dark undercoat. The Toyota Corporation enjoys a fine reputation for well-built cars, environmental innovation, flexible production lines and effective management practices. But in its quest for ever-increasing efficiency, profitability and growth, the world’s largest auto manufacturer has sparked a race to the bottom that, like its car sales, is global in scope.

    Around the world, the company has been complicit in union busting in the Philippines, and engages in cozy relationships with Burma/Myanmar’s military dictatorship.

    In the U.S. – where Toyota has 13 facilities employing some 36,000 people, and sells an average of 56,923 vehicles each week – the need of the Big Three (General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler) auto companies to compete is causing profound changes in the industry.

    And in Japan, at its flagship operation in Toyota City, some 30 percent of the workforce is temporary workers who earn as little as half what permanent employees do. In the surrounding area, a network of closely-related supplier companies utilizes thousands of foreign guest workers under conditions that, by many definitions, qualify as human trafficking.

    Toyota Japan has also created a work environment so stressful that, each year, an estimated 200 to 300 employees are incapacitated or killed from overwork and stress related illness.

    Prius in the Making

    In 2002, the year he died, Kenichi Uchino was 30 years old and married, with a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. He had worked as a quality control inspector for the Prius hybrid at Toyota’s Tsutsumi plant in Toyota City, north of Nagoya. Following his father and grandfather, who were both lifetime Toyota employees, Uchino had joined the company right out of high school, and was a good worker.  

    But as Toyota management added more and more responsibilities to his work load, Uchino began to feel the strain of the enormous overtime that was expected – and mostly unpaid. After his official, eight-hour shift was over, he prepared reports for the next shift. He had additional tasks relating to health and safety and traffic control inside the plant. Uchino was also a quality-circle leader. Toyota prides itself on employee participation in problem solving and constant improvement. Several times a month, workers meet in groups of ten or so, and are expected to submit at least two well-fleshed-out suggestions each month for improvement. All this time – to meet, to coordinate the group, write up suggestions and so forth – took place off-the-clock.

    Adding to their physical and mental strain, Toyota workers alternate weekly between day and night shifts. On the day shift, Uchino routinely worked 13 to 15 hours a day, often six days a week, from 5:40 a.m. to 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. The week before he died, he put in 85 hours counting the three hours he worked at home on Sunday. The week he died, he was on the night shift, normally 70 hours a week, from 3:20 p.m. to 5:20 a.m. He typically got home around 7:00, just as his wife Hiroko was getting up to make breakfast. But on the morning of February 9, 2002, he never came home. At 4:20 a.m., 13 hours into what would have been his regular 14-hour shift, he collapsed in his office. Twenty minutes later he was pronounced dead from a heart attack. But the real cause of death, was a condition so common that a word was created to describe it: “karoshi,” literally death from overwork.

    “He kept saying and hoping things would get better,” said Hiroko Uchino in an April interview, “but they didn’t, and he died.”

    Hiroko was left with two young children to support. When Toyota refused to acknowledge her husband’s death as work-related, she went to the Japanese Labor Bureau and then to court to win his pension. Kenichi Uchino had kept meticulous records of his work time, which totaled a stunning 155 hours of overtime in the 30 days before his death. Toyota claimed that he had only worked 45 hours of overtime – saying that the rest of the time was voluntary. Almost six years later, in November 2007, the court recognized 110.5 hours of overtime (putting aside the hours Uchino had worked offsite) and judged that, indeed, Uchino had died of overwork.

    This was the first time that anyone had won a judgment from Toyota establishing that karoshi qualified as a work accident. But Hiroko Uchino did something else that was a first: She spoke publicly about her husband’s death by overwork – practically a revolutionary act in a culture where families and communities are expected to be completely loyal to the companies that employ them.” People don’t talk about the problems [work-related illnesses and deaths] as it reflects badly on Toyota,” Hiroko Uchino said. “People tend to keep it to themselves.”

    What Hiroko Uchino did not know, when she decided to fight for her children’s future, was that she would become the voice in Japan for Toyota’s overworked employees. Uchino’s case paved the way for a July 2008, Japanese Labor Bureau ruling that overwork was the cause of the January 2006 heart attack death of a lead engineer for Toyota’s Camry hybrid, days before the car was to be introduced at the Detroit Auto Show.

    But pressure on workers to “ganbaru” – endure without complaint – remains so strong that the few cases make it into the legal system. Those that do, are the “tip of the iceberg,” said a highly regarded lawyer familiar with karoshi and disability cases in the Nagoya/Toyota City area. Speaking anonymously in an April 2008 interview, he charged that up to 300 Toyota workers suffer serious work-related illness or death each year.

    Visit to a Toyota Factory

    On the Toyota Motormachi shop floor, the intensity is palpable. In April, a tour group, including this researcher, walked along an elevated pathway above the fray and observed the production lines at close range. Some 4,700 full-time workers, plus a large number of temps and subcontract workers race to produce 13,000 cars and vans a month. Efficiency has been taken the extreme. Huge robotic arms that move with great power, precision and speed carry out jobs, such as putting together large components of the auto bodies. The automation is controlled by computers on either side of the line.

    Elsewhere in the factory, the production lines are mostly supplied by remote-controlled carts that zip along designated pathways. The factory is a cacophony of machine noise and nursery rhyme melodies, each of which is actually an auditory warning that a cart is in motion. The auto bodies move down the line, but not just one model at a time. Each line is producing up to five different car models, according to demand. The workers move quickly and with machine-like precision, installing a sedan’s rear door one minute, a minivan’s sliding door the next. Highly specialized machinery assists. A crane-like arm, for instance, grabs each door from the dolly where it sits lined up and waiting, and guides it into place on the auto body. The arms are hung with every tool as well as pouches filled with all the screws and rivets that the human worker will need to install each different door.

    The workers are in constant motion, fetching pieces, stretching, bending into the cars and back out again, meanwhile planning several steps ahead for the motions needed to handle the next, different model car. After two hours, they get a ten-minute break; two more hours work, a half-hour for lunch; two more hours, and so on. But very few workers seem to rest during the breaks. Most are busy tidying and re-supplying their work areas. Even with the physical assists, one experienced worker commented that the physical and mental stress are such that “few workers past 40 years of age can work on the fast-moving production line....The work is just to hard and wearing.”

    Almost a third of the assembly line workers at Toyota City are temporary employees who earn an average of $12.13 an hour. These 10,000 temps toil alongside permanent workers, who earn almost twice as much – $20.49 an hour including bonuses. The permanent workers also enjoy benefits including child subsidies, cheaper meals at the company cafeteria, and far greater job security. Temps are, well, temporary, hired month-to-month, laid off at will and not represented by a union.

    Company Union Supports Management, Not Workers
    In line with the usual practice in Japan, Toyota’s official union, which represents only that company’s permanent employees, functions as a human resources management mechanism that doesn’t oppose management or stand up for worker interests. According to a number of long-time Toyota employees interviewed by National Labor Committee researchers on an April 2008 research trip to Toyota City, the company union works hand-in-hand with management, and worker demands for raises, job actions or even challenges to management policy are out of the question.

    Despite the fact that Uchino had been a union member in good standing, his widow charges that the union turned a deaf ear to her pleas for help in having his death ruled work-related and making his family eligible for his pension. Nor has the union taken any position on the company’s continued activities in Burma, on behalf of workers at Toyota’s many Japanese supplier companies, or in response to requests for help by Toyota workers fired for organizing a union in the Philippines.

    Toyota Troubling Supply Chain

    People in Toyota City, home of Toyota’s corporate headquarters and seven sprawling plants, like to say that “All roads lead to Toyota.” The adage is based in cartographic reality as well as the fact that Toyota’s own assembly facilities are constantly fed parts by the city’s robust network of car-related facilities. The more than 400 suppliers in the area, employing an estimated 280,000-plus workers, allow Toyota even greater flexibility and cost reduction. Employment in these subcontractor plants is far more unstable and, according to many workers interviewed by National Labor Committee researchers, conditions are much tougher. (The workers interviewed all insisted on anonymity, in most cases asking that not even the name of their subcontract company be mentioned.)

    In its zeal to “increase productivity,” Toyota presses its suppliers to produce more and more for less and less money. When there is a downturn in auto sales, the parts plants are the first to feel the pinch – and since a high percentage the workers at Toyota’s subcontract plants are temps, they are easily shed. Extensive, obligatory overtime is the rule, and it is very common for workers not to be paid correctly. For example, in one plant, workers interviewed normally worked 97-hour-weeks, typically receiving only one or two days off a month and no paid holidays. Some workers told investigators that their employers failed to pay what was owed.

    Toyota’s supplier plants also make extensive use of guest or “trainee” workers – under conditions that in some respects qualify as human trafficking: The workers, most of whom come from China and Vietnam, pay manpower agencies in their home countries as much as $8,000 to $10,000 for a two- or three-year contract.

    Toyota’s website touts its commitment to diversity, calling it: “one of our top ten business initiatives, and our goal is to continue to foster best practices in every aspect of our business, including employment, dealers, procurement, communications and advertising, and philanthropy.”

    Despite this commitment, Toyota’s foreign workers in Japan are second-class citizens. On arrival the guest workers’ passports are confiscated.  During the first year as “trainees,” they are not covered by Japan’s labor or minimum wage laws. They work alongside Japanese workers, putting in the same long hours, but often earning less than half the minimum wage – as little as $2.76 an hour, or $479 a month. As guest workers, they are required to remain with the same employer – no matter how bad the working conditions – and to live in the company housing assigned to them – even though some are charged twice what their Japanese colleagues pay for comparable accommodations. Any worker who tries to change jobs, or who complains about conditions may be forcibly deported. By the time food, housing, and taxes are deducted, some guest workers end up earning less than $600 for an entire year, according to several advocacy organizations and unions that work with subcontract plant temp and guest workers.

    Union Busting in the Philippines; Supporting Burmese Dictators

    It turns out, some of Toyota’s foreign workers didn’t need to leave home to enjoy poor working conditions.

    In March 2000, despite years of management attacks, the workers of Toyota Motors Philippines Corporation won legal recognition and the right to bargain collectively. Management’s response was to fire 227 newly elected union officers and members. Toyota Motors Philippines refused to reinstate them despite orders from the Philippine Labor Ministry, the country’s Supreme Court, as well as urging from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and many other international bodies. The ILO Working Group charged in 2003, that Toyota in the Philippines is “an illustration of how a multinational company, apparently with little regard for corporate responsibility, has done everything in its power to prevent recognition and certification of the Toyota Motor Company Workers Association.”

    Toyota headquarters in Japan has tried to distance itself from the situation, claiming that this is a “local matter” in which it would be inappropriate to intervene. But given that Hiroshi Ito, the president of Toyota Philippines comes straight out of Toyota Japan headquarters along with 30 other Japanese managers, it is likely that a word from headquarters could bring Toyota Philippines into compliance.

    Despite appeals for help, the official union at Toyota has also refused to support Toyota Philippines’ unionists, who continue to fight on – at great physical risk, given the level of political violence against unionists in the Philippines.

    In Burma, Toyota Tsusho – part of the Toyota Group and 30 percent owned by Toyota Motors/Toyota Industries – is involved in several joint ventures with the military dictators. The CIA noted Myanmar’s “military junta’s gross economic mismanagement, human rights abuses, and its policy of using forced labor ....”

    Toyota Tsusho (together with Suzuki) is working with the military-run Myanmar Auto and Diesel Industries (MADI) in the manufacture and sale of vehicles – including, presumably, vehicles used by the military. This collaboration with the military lends support to continued repression, the impoverishment of the Burmese people, and a broad pattern of human rights violation. In September 2007, according to the U.S. State Department, “the Burmese Government brutally cracked down on peaceful demonstrators, using gunfire, rubber bullets, batons, and tear gas against them and those observing in the vicinity. The authorities killed at least 30 people during the crackdown and arrested more than 3,000.”

    At least two other Toyota Tsusho subsidiaries – Myanmar Toyota Tsusho which operates a commodities and auto parts business, and the Tomen Company – also operate in Burma. Despite international embargoes and calls not to operate in Burma – since it is impossible to do business in the country except in partnership with members of the military or their families – Toyota has continued to generate revenues for the dictators, justifying its presence with the claim that Toyota Tsusho is a completely separate entity.

    In a May 28 letter to Charles Kernaghan, director of the National Labor Committee, Steven P. Sturm, Toyota’s group vice president for the Americas wrote: “Toyota has carefully considered the current environment in Burma, has conveyed to Toyota Tsusho Corporation its concerns about that environment, and has asked Toyota Tsusho to reconsider its business activities in that country.” Sturm noted that Toyota’s business in Burma is minimal. 

    Toyota Spearheads U.S. Race to the Bottom
    In 2007, the Wall Street Journal noted, “Toyota Motor Company...now sets the bar for labor costs in the U.S. auto industry.” Recognition of that influence was echoed that same years by Automotive News: “Toyota is going to set the pattern for the entire industry – wages, benefits and pensions.”

    Toyota’s clout was driven by its increasing profitability and market share. In the first quarter of 2008, it passed General Motors to become the world’s largest auto company, selling 2.41 million vehicles compared to G.M.’s 2.25 million. In the U.S in the first six months of 2008, Toyota sold 300,000 more vehicles than G.M.

    Toyota’s strategy has been simple: Build good cars; hold wages and benefits down, to the degree possible. And with U.S. car makers in a crisis of plummeting sales, plant closings and mass layoffs, holding down wages is becoming much more possible.

    In the U.S., Toyota has set up non-union plants in the South – far from the unionized auto industry stronghold of the Midwest. Blunting support for unionization is Toyota’s practice of paying wages nearly on par with the U.S. auto companies (around $25 an hour in comparison with G.M.’s $26 to $28) – although with much lower benefits.

    Meanwhile the Big Three’s falling sales and market share have forced the American companies to adopt, and their workers to accept, two-tier wage and temporary worker schemes eerily similar to those used for years by Toyota – just to compete. And the race to the bottom seems to be just warming up. In September 2008, an internal Toyota memo leaked from its Georgetown, Kentucky plant, laid out management’s plans to cut $300 million in labor costs in its U.S. operations.

    In April 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota plans to end its practice of pegging its hourly wages to UAW rates, and will now pay new hires only 50 percent above the local prevailing wage. In Kentucky, this would mean a savings of about 12 percent, or $3.00 per worker hour – which, of course, will put even more of a squeeze on the Big Three U.S. auto companies and their unionized workforce.

    Barbara Briggs is assistant director of the National Labor Committee in Support of Worker and Human Rights. In June 2008, the New York-based NLC released a 60 page report, The Toyota You Don’t Know: The Race to the Bottom in the Auto Industry. The full report can be accessed via the NLC’s website: http://www.nlcnet.org/reports.php?id=562




    Although this article is outdated, it emphasizes the impact of NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES.
    This was prior to face book's popularity.

    I have offered, in good faith to settle this matter with Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota and they have REFUSED.

    How can I drive a NEW Toyota with NO BRAKES?

    If you have a problem, please stand up and speak out. It's the only way to change this arrogant corporate behavior.

    "A customer that has a good experience will typically tell 3 to 5 people, but a customer who has a poor experience will tell more than 20. When this is trend occurs via the web, these numbers can rapidly multiply and could spell disaster for brands that don’t have strategies in place to combat online negative chatter."

    The impact of negative consumer reviews is growing
    by Meghan Keane 27 October 2009

    As consumers gain more outlets for expressing their views online, brands are becoming less concerned with reaching out to professional writers to spread the word about their products. But while getting a positive review from a professional writer may have much of a sales impact, negative consumer reviews are becoming increasingly problematic.
    According to Brand Reputation, 84% of the consumers they surveyed are more likely to look for online product reviews than they were just a year ago. And those who have had a negative experience are five times as likely to tell their friends. Brands can do a lot to monitor this shift and arrange their resources accordingly.

    Due to the rapid growth of social media and consumer sharing online, marketers are moving directly to consumers rather than trying to grab the attention of a reporter. Renee Wilson, managing director of Publicis Groupe's MS&L, tells AdAge:

    "Consumers still get brand information but it's not filtered by a reporter at a traditional publication... Everyone is now looking at tapping the right communities or creating them."
    Paper Cuts, a website that tracks layoffs and buyouts at U.S. newspapers, found that nearly 30,000 reporters have left the new industry since 2008. That's part of why it's harder to get their attention. But also, professional opinions don't have the sway over consumers they once did.

    This week, Adam L. Penenberg, author of social media and crowdsource focused book Viral Loop, writes in Fast Company about the death of professional book reviews:

    "Book reviews don't sell books anymore. All they do is act as marketing fragments for publishers and authors to spin for promotion."
    In his piece, Penenberg documented a negative New York Times review of his book that failed to note a huge conflict of interested. But he is more concerned with reviewers at Amazon than any reporter's critique:

    "Cowan wasn’t reviewing the book. She was settling a score. And so do many of those littering book pages on Amazon with 1-star reviews. The difference is that these Amazon evildoers really do dampen book sales. Cowan’s ax job probably didn’t.”
    Consumer reviews (often listed directly before online checkout), are growing in impact. And winning over Amazon or Barnes and Noble reviewers may be more important than getting to a professional review. According to Brand Reputation CEO Graeme Crossley:

    "A customer that has a good experience will typically tell 3 to 5 people, but a customer who has a poor experience will tell more than 20. When this is trend occurs via the web, these numbers can rapidly multiply and could spell disaster for brands that don’t have strategies in place to combat online negative chatter."
    Based in New York, Meghan Keane is US Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter: @keanesian.



    Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Some More

    Route 44 Toyota and Toyota U.S.A. seem reluctant to sever our relationship.

    Notice has been received that the PTC [Pre-Trial Conference] has now been postponed to SEPTEMBER!

    YUP! That's what they do!

    At least I didn't end up like this because of Toyota --

    The DELAY gives the LEMON LADY the Fourth of July weekend and LABOR DAY and all of the heavy Cape traffic!

    HONK & WAVE when you see the LEMON LADY!

    And do your research before you buy a car!

    Talk to friends, neighbors and research complaints that have been filed.
    I didn't and got burned with a LEMON ..... Route 44 Toyota that denied responsibility!

    [70% of NEW car buyers don't do any research. Don't be one of them.]

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    'Transmission' Complaint

    Since everyone denies the PROBLEM, it's difficult to know how to categorize it other than 'TRANSMISSION.'

    This is another source to review prior to purchase or to post complaints --

    when transitioning from battery to engine, significant impactI was in a parking garage traveling at a low rate of speed [~8 MPH] and the impact was so significant, I initially believed I had been struck in the rear.  If this had happened on the highway, it would have created a serious safety issue.  Reported to Toyota and incident # recorded.
    Dealer dismmissed issue with 'No Computer Error Message.'
    - , Middleboro, MA, USA

    As a footnote, it seems that Toyota U.S.A. is unresponsive to consumer complaints.
    You only have to review the consumer complaints to draw that conclusion.

    Friday, June 7, 2013

    Route 44 Toyota: LOST to a LEMON!

    Attorney Viera and Route 44 Toyota have an obsession with THREATS.

    Early in this Folly, Attorney Viera threatened to charge STORAGE of $25 PER DAY for MY LEMON that was left on the property of Route 44 Toyota. [That's when I refused to jeopardize the safety of others because my BRAND NEW TOYOTA had NO BRAKES.]

    The was before he threatened a SLAPP suit.

    While no personal knowledge is claimed, the threatening behavior is symptomatic of Bullies, Batterers or Narcissists.

    Attorney Viera [otherwise known as Dilly, Dally Dan] was pretty full of himself, his threats and his arrogant behavior in court this week.

    That Darn LEMON!

    How does it feel to lose to a LEMON?

    This week's court activities were Tim & Denise Bruno's resistance to be 'deposed' - to have their depositions taken and to testify about their VIOLATION of a FEDERAL LAW....  

    and maybe even address why they convinced themselves that had the right to VIOLATE the FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act].

    Sometimes ARROGANCE knows no bounds and believes itself exempt from the law.

    [Tim Bruno, as General Manager of Route 44 Toyota, signed the Agreement with Credco, the reporting service and wrote a letter indicating that he had complied with the law. NOPE! He didn't!]

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Route 44 Toyota: Where Arrogance and Disregard of the Law Prevails

    On April 23, 2012, payment in full was presented to Route 44 Toyota for a BRAND NEW VEHICLE that subsequently turned into a LEMON.

    [This cartoon reminds me sooo much of Attorney Viera, otherwise nicknamed 'Dilly, Dally Dan' preparing himself for a Supreme Court case, elevating a defective car to silliness.]

    Here's the RMV-1 form:

    Note item #22 requests License #/ID#/ or SSN.
    When the paperwork was being completed by a youthful twerp who knows how to fast-talk and totally confuse with the flurry of paperwork, he requested my Social Security number.
    I challenged the request and offered my MA license number, yet he insisted the form required my Social Security number.
    You will note that the form does NOT require the purchaser's signature so I would have no way to know that I had just been Flim-Flammed.
    That's how the sleazy clowns at Route 44 Toyota obtained my Social Security Number.
    On that day, Route 44 Toyota requested my credit report even though the vehicle was fully paid for.
    They retained my Social Security Number.
    On October 11, 2012, almost 6 months after the LEMON was purchased, Route 44 Toyota awakened to the fact that my vehicle was on their property with no license plates.
    Why? Because I had turned the plates in in August and cancelled the insurance.
    Why should I pay for a vehicle with funky, unpredictable behavior?
    Tony Roma left a message on my answering machine because the right hand apparently doesn't know what the left hand does.
    The Not-Very-Bright Bulb sputtered when I returned his call, unable to remember the purpose of his message. thought financing was a problem, sputter, sputter.
    My LEMON was sitting on the property of Route 44 Toyota, as it had been since May 2012 when I refused to drive a vehicle with NO BRAKES.
    My LEMON had a valid inspection sticker. Wouldn't even a dumb bunny comprehend that you don't inspect a vehicle until it is registered????
    I suggested that he pull up my information on his computer before he continue to comment.
    The reference to being unable to obtain financing seems to indicate that Route 44 Toyota had already pulled my credit report even though I had NOT applied for credit, had not communicated with Route 44 Toyota.
    In addition, the Clown even requested the credit report of a friend whose name is NOT on the title of the vehicle.
    When the call was returned to Brain-Dead Tony Roma, he sought a resolution and I recommended that he have their attorney contact my attorney because a law suit had been filed, Route 44 Toyota had been served.  
    I was forced to put him on notice to delete my contact information from their records, cease harassing me, cease communicating with me because I was represented by counsel.

    The rest of the arrogance of Route 44 Toyota has been explained elsewhere when they threatened a SLAPP Suit to bully and intimidate because I posted that they had illegally requested credit reports.

    Had Route 44 Toyota been an honorable business, they would have acknowledged their error [that they got caught] and removed the credit inquiries. Arrogance prevailed!

    At the top of the Middleboro Review blog is a SEARCH feature in the upper left hand column - type in SLAPP [Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation] or FCRA [Fair Credit Reporting Act], and Voila! previously posted entries.