What's delaying Toyota dashboard repairs?

Posted at 3:53 PM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-09 21:05:01-05

Four and a half million sticky dashboards need to come out, but the replacement dashes are hard to find.

Joe Burke wants to trade his Lexus for a newer car. He won't get his money's worth because of his melting dashboard.

"This is like a sticky material they used on this," Burke explained.

His sticky dashboard is flaking off.

"Obviously I am worried because there is an airbag behind it," Burke explained.

Toyota promised to fix the problem dashboards after months of pressure. Then the delays started.

"They basically told me we are getting to it. You are on a list," Burke said.

The more time that passes, the older Burke's car gets, and the lower his trade-in value.

"Why should I have to take a hit off that when it's not my fault?" Burke asked. "They need to hurry up."

Toyota blames the delay on the size of this warranty program, the large number of models impacted, and the number of different colored dashes they need to make.

Solara drivers were first in line for parts. Eric McDonnell got his new dash this summer several months after Toyota first promised him one.

Mechanics at Earl Stewart Toyota worked overtime to get repairs done, but the repairs have slowed.

"I feel so bad for our customers," explained Earl Stewart.

Stewart said his dealership has more than 450 dashboards on order.

"They're getting the runaround," explained Stewart.

Juan Bauta filed a lawsuit against Toyota over the dashboard issue.

"The realities are it's going to cost a lot of money to get these fixed and I think it comes down to a money issue I'm guessing," said Bauta.

The repairs in Lexus vehicles can cost between $1,500-7,000+ because in some cars even the doors melt.

"If you rub against it it gets all over your clothes," explained Daniela Perez.

Perez is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. She's worried she may pay an even bigger price if this expensive mess is not fixed soon.

"When you're driving in the sun, the sun creates a glare on your dashboard, and you can't see. It's like white light," explained Perez.

There have been a handful of accidents blamed on the glare.

"I can't believe they have the audacity to not even deal with this," explained Perez. Leaving drivers feeling helpless.

"We are waiting on them," Burke said.

Toyota will not say how long this wait will last, but it's lasted long enough already that Bauta said he is moving forward with the lawsuit and possible testing of these dashboards. He wants to know why they are melting.

Toyota full statement:
Toyota, Lexus and its independent dealers are committed to customer satisfaction and to helping ensure that repairs taking place through our dashboard warranty enhancement program occur in as timely and efficient a manner as possible.  As we have explained to customers, while we have been diligently preparing replacement parts since before the announcement of the program, given the number of vehicles and the range of ages, colors, and sizes of the parts covered under program, the supply for certain design configurations varies by model.  Parts replacement is proceeding in several phases, based on model, and we are continuing to increase production levels and provide dealers with replacement parts based upon supply and actual customer demand. Any customers with questions or concerns can contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or the Lexus Customer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-255-3987.

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