Have YOU taken your Toyota ownership experience survey?
I have to admit I had no idea Toyota has a VP of Customer Retention but apparently Mr. Dave Zellers have his work cut out for him lately. I am reminded of that every time I drive by a Ford dealership in the area that posted a huge “$1000 Toyota trade in reward” sign a couple of months ago. I have received an e-mail from Toyota’s Headquarters today (as I’m sure did millions of other Toyota owners in recent days / weeks) and decided that this is the least I can do for my favorite automaker. I did have a few small issues I wanted to tell them about and I’ve actually appreciated the opportunity. So here goes:
As you enter using the Toyota-supplied URL (Web address) and authenticate yourself, you are presented with small and simply laid out pages with a dozen or so questions each. If you’ve checked any of the trouble area, on the very next page you will be given a chance to elaborate. Something like this:
By the way, is it just my car or someone else also has a problem with the fuel gauge? As you can see in my example, I had to report that mine goes from 10 to 3 bars very fast and then I can drive for a long time (that seems like the same time it took me to get from 10 to 3) between 3 bars and 1. I know Prius has a bladder in the gas tank that helps compensate for the volume changes with temperature but this does not seem to be a design-related issue. My first Prius (also 2nd generation) had a pretty darn reliable fuel gauge.
I did not have any steering or braking problems to report (unlike some people that made it into the evening news) so I thought Toyota may appreciate even small details that could help them improve. I have also reported that my car had a plastic molding underneath the rear bumper glued wrong (I would say, hastily). A small detail but it did rub me in a wrong way when I discovered it: my first Prius bought in 2006 had not one single flaw. I thought really hard about trading it in for this new one but ended up getting a new Prius in 2008. The first one saw pretty heavy use (80,000 miles in 2 years) and, as my driving patterns were about to change dramatically, I thought I may do better with a brand new car.
The trade-in for the old Prius was actually not as high dollar value as I expected (although this could be completely my fault – did not bargain hard enough maybe?) and the new Prius is getting much lower MPG (44.4 vs 51) so, that’s why the my overall satisfaction form looks like it does here:
Overall it was an effortless and very quick experience. Took me not even 5 minutes to complete (not counting taking the snapshots you see above) and I see no reason whatsoever to not respond to the survey.
Look for an e-mail from Toyota HQ in your Inbox. Check your spam filter for emails from toyota-quality.com domain to be sure if you don’t see one. If you drive their vehicle, help Toyota improve! It only takes 5 minutes.