Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cat Scratch Fever: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Leasing

Consumers, heed my warning: Don't buy a Prius!

"But Del, you touted the awesomeness of your Prius (sans the terrible pin stripe)."
Well that day is long gone.

Blasphemy you say? I say Hindsight. The Prius seemed like a great idea at the time. By no means am I a green tree hugger but the Prius spoke to me. It's over the top techie and I'm a sucker for gadgets and tech heavy anything. It was a natural marriage. It didn't hurt that the car was an instant ticket to be self righteous and smug.

I was right in Toyota's wheel house and they knew it.

Of course all marriages end badly, or drag out in a battle of who can outlast the other despite the fact that you clearly hate each other. This holy union was no exception. Remember I said my dashboard went off like a firework display? Well I was ambitious on Saturday so I brought it to the dealership.

Prius, why have you forsaken me!?

The warranty for this car sucks by the way. The touch screen died in December...eight days after the warranty on it expired. Of course. Toyota wanted $1200 to fix it. I have since been operating the car without a functioning touch screen. Not that big of a deal. I don't listen to the radio and I can easily gage the temperature for the heater/ac. However every so often the screen will turn off the cd player. Kind of annoying, but manageable. I hoped the ABS light would either be a false alarm or be under the warranty. No such luck on either front. They called yesterday with a quote of $2500. WTF! There goes all the money I'm saving from the awesome fuel efficiency. Oh wait, I wouldn't reach $2500 in savings till 2020. Hmm, I wonder if the power train is under warranty till then. I have a sneaking suspicion it isn't. Call it a hunch.

I went to the dealership to question the quote. At this point I should list the places where I feel like a confused foreigner, completely out of my element:

1) The DMV
2) GNC
3) Car Dealerships
4) Doctor's office

This usually leads me to poor decision making done out of my extreme desire to get out of the situation as fast as possible. Recognizing your flaws is the first step to redemption. Knowing this I made a point to stand my ground on the ABS. I met my technician and explained my dissatisfaction w/ my car. For a person who lives in LA it's shocking how little I drive. It's an amazing gift. That said, there's no way my car should be having these issues so I had the following conversation:

Del: I've put less than 10,000 miles on this car. There is NO REASON for me to be having these issues. I can live with the screen not working...but this is ridiculous
Henry Molina AKA King of the Douchebags: It's an 04 man...It's an old car.
Del: LESS than 10k! Give me a break. I barely drive it.
Henry: What can I say the parts are old man.
Del: That's it?
Henry: That's it.

I've never been one to think "I'm going to write a letter to file a complaint" and I still wasn't at that point yet. I'd certainly never come back to this Dealership...and probably hold it against the entire Toyota Corporation, maybe even all of Japan, but I wasn't at the crazy letter writing mood. That is until they brought me my car....

As Henry dropped it off to me and said, rather curtly I might add, "Here you go." I opened my car and saw this
and the dialogue continues:

Del: WHOA WHOA WHOA what the hell is this? There are paw prints everywhere
Henry: Looks like your dog or cat?
DEL: What? I don't have a pet...and this was spotless when I brought it in.
Henry: Oh...must have been a dog or cat.
Del: Oh, do you think so? Get your manager.

What is lost in the recap is the way Henry spoke. It would drive Gandi himself into a blinding rage. So detached from the situation and totally indifferent towards his job. Picture the look and sound of Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. That's Henry Molina.

The manager came out and really had no more input on the situation:

Manager: Wow...I've never seen anything like this.
Del: What kind of place is this? Whose animal was in my car?
Manager: I bet the neighbor's cat got in here.
Del: How the hell did it get in my car?
Manager: Oh, we leave the windows open.
Del: Why do you leave the windows open?
Manager: Well, after it gets out of the shop we bring it out to the lot so we roll down the windows.
Del: um ok...but WHY do you roll down the windows?
Manager: Well, like I said after it gets out of the shop we bring it out to the lot so we roll down the windows.
Del: Riiiight...but what purpose does having the windows down serve...besides for letting stray animals into my car?
Manager: Well you see after it gets out...
Del (head about to explode): Just have it cleaned.

After it was cleaned the manager asked me what else he could do. I said short of fixing my car's problems I wanted nothing to do w/ Him, the dealership, and Toyota all together. If I could I'd trade the damn Prius in on the spot and be done with them. He said, without an ounce of sarcasm in his voice "Well if you want to talk about trading your car in call me tomorrow and I can get you a good price."

He just wasn't getting it. I wanted to tell him that he, and Toyota, were dead to me....but I was tired and hungover.

Update: fast forward to this AM. I got in my car and was overwhelmed by it's new found smell. Damn my heightened sense of smell. Of course I could have a cocaine ravaged septum and I'd still smell this god awful funk. That damn cat pissed in my car! Have I mentioned that I fucking hate cats...and that I'm allergic to them? My lungs close up after being exposed to those evil creatures for more than 10 minutes. Not a good time.

They are evil evil animals

Friendly tip: Don't park your car on the open air rooftop of your office's parking structure in a vain attempt to eradicate the funk. No amount of window cracking will be able to get that foul stench out...and the sun beating down on it will just make it worse. Trust me on this. I know from experience.

Back to Toyota tomorrow morning. I'm going to urinate on Henry Molina's desk.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

of COURSE you have to pick the cat that looks like hitler. don't hate on cats just because your immune system makes you a pussy. no pun intended.

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