We purchased a new 2005 Toyota Corolla several years ago and had a good experience with the sales team and service department. Although we lived out of town, we continued to bring the Corolla back to Pekin for its regularly scheduled service appointments.
All had gone well until the vehicle went through a costly 100,000 mile check-up. No problems were reported but a couple weeks later, the heater was not working. We called the service department and they recommended that we bring it back in for a check-up. The service department indicated that the heating coils were "gummed over" and that they needed to have a chemical added to circulate through the heating system to "chew through the gum." We were instructed to drive the vehicle for 2 weeks and let it "circulate" through the system.
Within days, the car reeked of a chemical smell. After 1 week, the needle began to indicate that the car was getting hot. The next day, the engine light came on. We called the service department and were told to bring it back to Pekin to have it serviced.
The car died on the way back to Pekin. We paid to have it towed to Pekin and the service department ran $500 worth of diagnostic testing and indicated that the engine was ruined and would have to be replaced. We were told that the cost to replace the engine was equal to the value of the car. The service department provided us with a loaner to use at no charge until we were able to obtain another car; however, they would not admit that their course of action to repair the heater was the likely cause of the engine failure, but the sales team offered to help us find another vehicle because they "appreciated our business." They would offer us very little for the trade in of our now, damaged Corolla and could not provide us with a reasonable deal on the vehicle of our choice.
We made arrangements with a towing company to tow our Corolla back to our home town, at our expense and made arrangements with the service manager to return the loaner car the following day since we would be traveling once again from out of town. When the operations manager, Tom Zwicky learned that we would not be purchasing a car from them, he called me at my place of employment, cursed and yelled at me, threatened me and then hung up on me before I had a chance to speak. I called the dealership back, asking for the name of the individual who had just called and asking to speak to him. I was once again threatened and cursed at and hung up on.
We ended up having to pay the $500 of our service bill and a loaner vehicle charge for everyday we used the loaner, (which we had been told prior would be waived--until we opted to not purchase a car from them).