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Update with Tips on Toyota, Lexus Cracked Dash Warranty Repair

By | Published June 30, 2015

What you need to know to get your dashboard repaired

Back in February we told you about the Lexus cracked dashboard warranty enhancement, see our article here: Lexus to pay for cracked dashboard repairs on GX470, ES and RX models. We mentioned that Lexus is offering to cover this $800 repair at no charge via their new "Warranty Enhancement Notification - ZLD" letter that they sent out to many of us Lexus owners back in January.

We've since learned that this issue was also happening to several Toyota models. If your model is effected, you will receive a letter from the manufacturer.

Here is the latest update, what you need to know, and what you need to do to ensure you are serviced in a timely manner. Also, keep in mind that this is not a cracked dashboard recall. It is a voluntary warranty enhancement; don't confuse this with a recall.

When will my car be repaired?

The big question on everyone's mind is when are the new dashboard parts coming in? Many of you have been emailing me asking "when will my car be repaired?" I checked with JM Lexus, who is our local dealer, as I am in the same boat with many of you. If you read my previous blog, those cracked dash photos are from my 2004 GX470 SUV.

Lexus cracked dash 1

First of all you might recall that the original letter from Lexus and Toyota sent to owners in January stated the brand new dash board replacements would be here under this warranty enhancement program by late spring, but here we all are, ready for Fourth of July weekend and we have no parts yet.

Lexus dealer says new dashboards are coming in August

My service writer at JM Lexus told me they are expecting in new replacement dashboards in early August. The service writers have each started what I call a "will call" list, so as dashboard parts come in they notify people on the list first, first come first served.

It sounds to me like Toyota and Lexus bit off more than they could chew and realized after they sent out these warranty enhancement notices, maybe they should have counted how many cars they have out on the road, because there are millions, and many of those owners have cracked dashes!

Now they have to tool up, create repair jigs, train service techs to remove and replace a part that was meant to be installed once and never removed, and they have to ship all these dashboards to authorized dealer repair shops around the world.

Are you on the list at your dealer? If not, get on the list now

Trap warning: Don't think that just because you got a notice alerting you to this special warranty that you are automatically entered into some red carpet VIP list, so it's up to us to make sure we're on the list!

Don't expect them to just call you in, you need to contact your local dealer and ask them if they have started a list yet, and get your name on it ASAP.

My service writer already had 50 names on her list before my name after only the first week, and she's just one of probably a dozen service writers there. The lists are filling up fast. You have to figure that the queue to get these cumbersome dashboard replacement and repairs done is going to be slow moving too, so you want to try to get at the front of the line. The early bird gets the worm.

You can see how quickly our list is filling up, so I would start checking with your local dealer and see if they have a will call list setup and confirm that you're on the list! It's like the VIP line at the fancy night clubs; if you don't know whether you're on the list, then you're not on it.

Don't assume you're on any list, instead assume you're not on the list, and motivate yourself to get on one. You would hate to miss out simply because you had no idea they were taking reservations.

Don't wait for Lexus or Toyota to call you, reach out to them first

Don't make the mistake of waiting on somebody to call you, it may never happen. Sure their original letter says sit tight and we'll let you know when the dashboard parts are in. But your local dealers may already be forming their own list of which owners cars get repaired first.

Lexus cracked dash 4

While you're sitting around waiting for the manufacturer to send you another letter telling you to bring your car in, many other savvier car owners are already securing their place in line for their free dashboard repair at the dealership.

This is not a recall and they are not obligated to and don't want to just install a new dashboard in everyone's car, they'll go broke doing it. These lists that dealers are starting are a good way to filter out people, and assure you of a first mover advantage if you call your dealer now to secure your position.

They will likely only install a new dash for those owners who take initiative to reach out to them and specifically ask for it, and whose car qualifies for it. It's up to you to go to them, and confirm you're on the list, and in my case I'll be calling back in early August for a status update and to confirm I am still on the list. This way you don't fall through the cracks (pun intended).

Remember your service writer's name and write it down, as they each might maintain their own list. You'll want to remember who took down your info when you called.

Also make sure you're in the dealership's system, with your car and VIN, make sure they can look you up in their system and have them read back the info concerning your vehicle's model and year, so you know they have the correct info on file, assuring you that your car is qualified under this program.

As we mentioned previously, eligible Lexus warranty enhancement models are:

Why are Toyota and Lexus doing this for free? Is this a recall?

As mentioned this is not a recall, it is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue, no need for the CPSC to step in and issue any recall. Toyota does have Technical Service Bulletins concerning this repair, Service Bulletin No.: POL14-11 with a NHTSA ID Number: 10057774 is one such example. There have been a few class action suits started against Toyota related to this repair issue, which may have gotten this whole warranty enhancement process started.

Summary of our tips for you to ensure a speedy repair:

  1. If Toyota or Lexus sent you a letter file it in safe place
  2. Call your local dealer ask if they have started a will call list
  3. Get your name on the list, ask when dashboards will be in
  4. Write down name of service writer you spoke to
  5. Have them confirm all your car's info in their system
  6. Confirm your car is eligible under this warranty enhancement
  7. Call dealer for status update on date they expect dashboards in
  8. Re-confirm they still have your name on the will call list

Toyota's letter calls it Warranty Enhancement Program - ZE6 and covers these vehicle models:

The above list of models and coverage is as it appears on the letter from Toyota.

Who to call at Lexus and Toyota for more info

Call the Lexus Customer Assistance Center:
(800) 255-3987
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Toyota Customer Support
(800) 331-4331
Hours: Monday - Friday 5:00 am - 6:00 pm PT
Sat 7:00 am - 4:00 pm PT

Good luck out there, and let us know about your success or issues with your dash repair.

Author Jeff Ostroff

About The Author: Jeff Ostroff is a consumer advocate, Founding Editor and CEO of CarBuyingTips.com overseeing a team of expert authors. For over 17 years, he's been the recognized authority on car buying, leasing, used cars and financing. He developed sophisticated spreadsheet tools to help consumers negotiate on a level playing field. He is a widely sought out guru, cited by the press for his expertise in savvy car buying and preventing consumer scams. Jeff has been quoted in CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC, Wall street Journal, Consumer Reports, NY Times, Reader's Digest, and many live call in radio shows. He has covered the automotive space since 1997. Jeff also has extensive experience and expertise in selling used cars for clients on eBay and Craigslist. Connect with Jeff via Email, Twitter or on Google+.

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