If the solenoids I paid to replace are later recalled am I entitles to a refund?
My mother had the power door lock solenoids burn up while she was in her 1989 Toyota Camry. She had to climb out the window to escape. My father had to remove
all of the solenoids himself so that the doors would operate manually. Toyota said at the time that it had never heard of such a problem and charged us $900 for the
repair. I've heard that Toyota has since issued a recall. Any advice? -- Hugh
TOM: Yeah, write to Toyota and ask for your 900 bucks back. If you don't have the receipt anymore, your dealer may still have it -- or you may have a canceled check
or credit-card statement.
RAY: Toyota certainly DID have a problem with these solenoids (the tiny electromechanical activators that operate things like power door locks). In fact, I even
remember customers being advised by their Toyota dealers to carry a brick with them at all times so they could escape the car in case of emergency -- since sometimes
the power windows failed, too.
TOM: Toyota did issue a recall and fixed this for free on the affected Camrys (if you want to know if your particular make and model has been recalled, get a free "Car
Talk Car Report" at our Web site, the Car Talk section of www.cars.com). The fix involved adding an additional sub-relay to the system to prevent it from locking up,
and it seems to have done the trick.
RAY: And if you paid for the repair of a federally recalled item, you're entitled to a refund from the manufacturer. Tell 'em you'll trade 'em your brick for $900.