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New Highlander died on bridge


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Good Day Scotty,

I Leased a new 2021 Toyota Highlander from Sansone Toyota in Avenel, NJ on 05/06/2021.  On my way to work on 05/17/2021 it just died on the Bridge with only 230 miles on it.  I Almost got killed.  Vehicle was towed back Sansone and I wasn't able to get to work that day.  The next day I got a rental/loaner from them.  The vehicle is a lemon and has issues.  They are pinning the blame on me saying I added bad gas.  The majority of the gas was still there's.  Fuel was added at Mobil on 05/11/2021 almost week before it just died. The scammers are saying the vehicle needs a new engine and the warranty is voided.  I am responsible for all the cost.  It's weird because the night the vehicle broke down and was being towed to Sansone,  they were already mentioning it sounds like bad gas before the vehicle even arrived there.  On 05/27/2021 I was informed by Sansone that the vehicle had bad gas in it and I am fully responsible for the cost of all repairs.  I disagreed with them but they didn't care.  Toyota Corporate was totally useless saying why would Sansone Toyota lie and They stand by the Dealership.  When I spoke to Carl the service Manager I informed him that most of the gas in the vehicle is from there original gas fill up.  He didn't care and said it was my gas and I had filled up several times because the vehicle has over 900 miles.  Vehicle only has 230 but he didn't care.  On 05/27/2021 I called GEICO for help and the opened a claim.  The Adjuster inspected the vehicle and took several pictures.  Th Geico adjuster had issues with Sansones gas theory and bumped it up to their investigations unit.  They never paid the claim believing it's a warranty issue.  The Mobil gas station has had no reports of selling bad fuel.  I had to pay a large sum of money for them draining the gas and changing the spark plugs.  I had to have my broken down vehicle  towed out of the dealership. They also charged me for the loaner vehicle. I had to hire a lawyer and I am paying every month for a vehicle I can't use.  I am currently in Limbo and this is causing me unnecessary stress. I am writing you because I know you love Toyotas, but it's been a living hell for me.

Thank You


3 Answers
Posted by: @zrock

the vehicle needs a new engine

why? What happened to the engine?

How can an engine be a total write off from bad gas?

Great question.


Toyota uses the “bad gas” claim to reject a lot of warranty work.

I’d demand prof that the gas is bad, have they taken it to a lab? Are they qualified to asses gasoline quality? Something tells me they’re not.

But before asking them for prof, I’d demand a sample of your gas - so that you’ll have evidence wether they threw it away. 


The lawyer is a good idea.

Personally, I had to sue a car manufacturer and they settled with me almost immediately.



Generally there are quite a few complaints about the Highlander on this forum, and the 2019 RAV4 is considered by some as one of the top 10 worst cars ever built. (According to it’s #7, and I’ve been hearing countless complaints about it having exhaust system issues and unresponsive/ hesitating transmissions)

Sadly, Toyota is going in the wrong direction - they, like virtually everyone else, seem to cheap out more and more on quality.


I wish there would be a better car brand, but currently there isn’t one.


Do they have any proof of bad gas?

If that were the case then surely they must have sample, and proof that it contains contamination that can be verified.



We had another Toyota horror story recently: