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[Solved] Attempted Dealer Rip-off


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I drive a 2015 Toyota Prius (70,000 miles) that has been serviced regularly at Prime Toyota in Saco, ME.  I've been a loyal customer of theirs for over 20 years.  At the most recent routine maintenance appointment, they said it needed new pads and rotors (cost $986) - the pads were measuring 3mm all around.  Unconvinced, I brought the car home and measured the pads and rotors myself (with the help of a friend) and the pads measured 4 to 5mm all around.  The rotors were barely worn.  It was obvious, the car didn't need new pads, yet.  After a lengthy and heated confrontation with the service manager, service advisor and mechanic, the pads and rotors were replaced for free.  My question: Should I be concerned about anything the dealer might have done in retribution for my free brake job?  Anything I should be cognizant of?  Obviously, dealerships are not in the business of handing out free brake jobs and I'm sure they're not too happy with this experience.  Thank you.

11 Answers

If I were you I would take your vehicle elsewhere, preferably to an independent, honest mechanic.  Dealerships are sometimes called stealerships for a reason.

On top of that, they sometimes can’t even do the job right and/or troubleshoot/fix the problem correctly.

Sometimes this is true. Been a victim of poor dealership service before and it definitely isn't a good experience.


@mountainmanjoe I see this crap every day. The difference for me is we are usually talking thousands of dollars instead of hundreds. Have we made mistakes? Of course! We are human and it happens. But the one thing I don't tolerate in my shop is confrontation of ANY kind. So when a customer comes in upset, I invite them to my office and ask what the situation is. If it is a legitimate complaint, I ALWAYS make it work for the customer. But we have one rule in our society that is total BS and it is: the customer is always right. It simply isn't true. We all know it. In a case like this, having already refused the work, if OP had come back to my shop irate and basically just looking to fight so they could get something for nothing, I would have told them we were refusing service to them and to please take their business elsewhere. My team works hard for every customer we have and there is absolutely no way I would ever let a customer berate a member of my staff, much less three of them. This story does lend truth to the stereotype of the typical Prius owner though. 1mm of pad and you want to rip 3 people, cause a scene, and get a $1000 bill paid for by the house? Yeah, you're the kind of customer I don't want or need. Oh, and did they do anything to your car for "revenge"? Just the fact that you would ask that says a lot, but no. They would be liable and no shop owner in their right mind is going to jeopardize their business over some guy in a Prius with an overinflated sense of self importance. Man these things irritate me. Deceitful  

Laughter To Tears

I understand and agree with you. But let me expess another aspect, based on my experience.
As a customer I'm ready to pay for correctly done job. Yes, mistakes happen too. If a worker eliminates or corrects them, I see no problem.
But there are also ones that do not want to admit they did not do right and have sometimes strange excuses. I had to argue with those too to correct the things. Some of them later realised they had been wrong.


All this over 1mm of pad wear 🤷‍♂️


Good one. They tried rip you off and you 'convinced' them to do the job for free. How did you manage that? Hope they did it right.

Respect for that 'revenge'! 😎👍

I was persistent, angry and the facts spoke for themselves.


I doubt they did anything bad to get even with you. The liability for purposely screwing up your car would be astronomical. Their cost for doing your brakes wasn't that much.


 $986 for pads and rotors. Are they gold-plated? I think it's important that the car manufacturers know about this kind of crap (I got Toyota to make a dealership refund $1500 for billing me for work they didn't do). Otherwise, the dealers keep doing this. I can't speak for other brands, but Toyota will ride herd on their dealers. Go to:!/app/ask

Thank you. I've been deliberating on whether to do that or not.

I just bought a 03 RX300. A few months ago the previous owner paid about $900 for pads, rotors and new brake fluid. And that was not at a dealership.


Even though they did not succeed in their attempt to rip you off, you'll be wanting to take your business elsewhere in the future, and I would write to the owner to let him know that they have lost a decades-long customer and why. That truly is a stealership worthy of the name.

Even assuming you needed them that is an insane amount for pads and rotors - $986.00? Prices from for 2015 Prius brake parts:

Centric front rotor: $28.79

Centric rear rotor: $19.45

Akebono front pads: $40.79

Akebono rear pads: $38.99


So even figuring markup on the parts plus labor that really should only be about a $500 job.






I don’t think there’s any chance they did anything in retribution. With dealers they earn money off of customer retention it’s more so a case that they knew they messed up and wanted to do the right thing to keep your business and I’m sure the tech in question did not get off Scott free from it.  I wouldn’t be concerned and it says something about them that they were willing to go that far as to do it for free for you just to keep you happy and a customer of theirs. I wouldn’t throw in the towel on them over it mistakes happen 


I am sure a note has been placed in your file at the dealership and you will end up paying for that "free" brake job eventually. I'd switch dealers, or better yet find a trustworthy independent mechanic.


I deal with the same issue. Everytime I need something fixed on my 4Runner it’s expensive. I go to a Toyota dealership that has a huge overhead. 


Scotty is surprised they made it for free after gotten caught in a lie. 8:03