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Toyota dealer key fob cost versus Tesla key fob cost. Somehow, Brian H involved.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Pollux, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Hi, folks,

    Over at teslamotors.com, I stumbled onto a thread started by @be-jouled about a multi-month cross-country trip she is making in her S85. I also took a peek at her blog about this journey. Many fun entries!

    Thread:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/multimonth-cross-country-trip

    Blog:
    http://be-jouled2014.blogspot.com


    One entry particularly stood out for me because I have recently had a similar experience: @be-jouled lost her key fob and had it replaced at a service center. Here is what they charged her:

    In my case, about two years ago, we lost one of the key fobs for a 2010 Prius. When we went to sell the Prius, I inquired of the Toyota dealership where we had purchased the vehicle what it would cost to replace the fob, thinking that a future owner might well like to have two fobs instead of one. The cost was "estimated" to me as $450-$500.

    So far, I've only experienced zero-cost Tesla service. Every single thing, no matter how large or how small, has come under warranty. OK, OK, there was ONE thing: I rammed the car into a snowbank and dug a significant groove into the nose cone. The local service center charged me for a new nose cone and even after I argued with them for 5 minutes simply refused to charge me anything for labor.

    Nice to see what looks to me like an entirely *reasonable* charge for parts and labor, compared to what Toyota would have charged me for a replacement key fob.

    Here's hoping @be-jouled has a wonderful trip!


    Alan
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

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    That's really great of Tesla, and I hope they continue this level of excellence.

    As for Toyota (or the Toyota dealer), shame on them for the blatant inflation of costs.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I also lost a Prius key fob about 3 years ago. I don't recall the exact cost to replace it but do remember that it was over $300 and I was pissed off about it.

    I am frankly amazed that the Tesla fob is so inexpensive.
     
  4. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Yup. BMW charged me $280 to replace a key (with remote buttons) for a 2002 M5, a 12 year old car. It's gouging monopolistic behavior which should be against the law.

    oh, and that's just because the battery isn't user replaceable. Nonetheless, I pryed open the key and tried to replace the battery (lots of online howtos to do just this), but couldn't get it to work on either of my dead keys. So I had to buy a new one, or just forego remote locking, which I had been doing for a couple of years already.
     
  5. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Member

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    That's the usual dealership mentality from Toyota: screw the customer as much as they can.

    My i-Miev has a remote control fob with a small LCD screen and a few buttons to setup charging times / pre-heat etc. so it does not have a smart-phone app, therefore this fob is the only way to achieve these functions. I was careless and dropped the fob and the LCD screen got broken. I asked Mitsubishi what is the cost to replace it, they quoted me $900. I got really pissed by that. It is a small electronic gadget, the production cost of it is probably way below a hundred bucks -- it has a monocolor very simple LCD screen.

    I wasn't willing to pay that much, so looked around and got an after-market replacement for $200. Of course, in order to make it communicate with my car, it had to be "paired" with it. I took it to the dealership for that. They have made 3 "attempts" each time I waited several hours and they made all kinds of excuses blaming the device that it cannot be paired with my car -- it looked completely identical with the original. Finally, I ended up taking the 2 fobs apart and swapping the LCD screens, so that I can use my old paired fob with the new LCD of the other one. It was a challenging job, because the fob had some very special screws for which I could not find compatible screwdriver, of course the after-market one used the same crazy screws so I'm pretty sure it came out of the same factory as the original one.
     
  6. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Wow.. I never heard of a key fob with an LCD, so I had to go see what this thing looked like.

    Talk about over-engineering.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. zro ltr

    zro ltr Member

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    I hate everything about that fob. I didn't think a picture of a key fob would ever make me angry.
     
  8. William13

    William13 Member

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    The bottom of the key fob looks like an angry face...
     
  9. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    LOL!! :) :)

     
  10. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I think getting angry over a keyfob might be the definition of "anger issues"...
     
  11. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Those in the Prius Community who are "in the know" have known about the rip off for replacement Prius fobs for a long time. There are aftermarket/non-Toyota sources including Ebay and elsewhere to buy new fobs for much much cheaper than the dealer's cost. And there is a "chicken dance" that can be done, if you still have a working fob, to program the new fob yourself. But a desperate owner not so well connected to the online community is at the dealer's mercy and will pay a hefty cost.
     
  12. LMB

    LMB Member

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    But this is the basic revenue model for traditional car dealerships: make most of your profit after the sale. That's why dealers are so frightened by Tesla Motors. They're afraid their customers will figure it out.
     
  13. tga

    tga Active Member

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    They also make a ton o' cash on used cars. There is a lot less transparency in the used car market. Edmunds, et al. have made it fairly easy to determine what a dealer paid for a new car, but no such tool exists for used cars - there's no way to know how much that dealer paid for the used car they are selling, and how much profit they stand to make on it. They use that information asymmetry to their advantage.
     
  14. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Hi, @tga,

    IMHO, the level of transparency in the new car market is actually unusual. It's not reflected in most other markets. Finding out what TJ Maxx paid for the clothes it sells; what Best Buy pays for its wares; what rug merchants paid for their rugs; what Bed, Bath and Beyond pays for its housewares; these and others are good examples where customers have little or no sense of the original cost of their purchases. For that matter, in addition to these middlemen, there may be other points in the supply chain where products are bought and re-sold. I don't know how much profit any of these middlemen make on the items I buy and in most cases I don't care.

    That said, the savvy customer comparison shops; waits for sales; has a sense of what the products *should* cost a customer. And the seller usually provides something beyond just the product itself. For example, the seller's brand connotes a level of quality and/or integrity that has value to the customer. Many sellers accept returns with little or no hassle.

    This is where I despise the used car dealers. And, for that matter, the new car dealers, too. I really *don't* see what value they provide me in 2014. I no longer need protection from the automobile manufacturers in the same way that I might have in, say, 1925. And whether used or new, the dealers tend to have a screw-the-customer-for-every-dollar attitude that hardly engenders loyalty.

    Realizing that I could have done a do-it-yourself Prius key fob replacement at a fraction of the cost that the dealer would charge me is yet another example why I leap at the opportunity to do business with Tesla instead of an auto dealer.

    Alan

     
  15. skboston

    skboston Member

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    I can't stand these people even a tiny bit. I bought a brand new vehicle with custom made body (sort of) for my company couple of years ago and while the sales person was nice and polite until I wrote the deposit check, he completely screwed me off from that point on, let alone it took 8 weeks beyond the promised delivery date. He was the biggest sleaze ball I've dealt in a long time, despite the fact that I'm a loyal customer to that dealership since 2006, especially their service department, which made quite a bit money off me.

    There was not a single apology from this guy and nobody else to escalate the issue to, the owner didn't care and the vehicle is sold to me by the Sales Manager, who else is there? Both of them not giving a damn about my business and the losses I'm suffering, because the delivery is full 8 weeks, each day I'm being assured it's tomorrow, it's holiday (4th of July) and so on. I have no choice to either wait or loose my deposit.

    I see no real reason for these guys to be there, I can deal directly with the manufacturer of both the truck and the body and will probably do a better job in that, why do I need some middle man to talk non-sense and make things worst?
     
  16. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    Exactly why the dealers are afraid of a direct-mfg-to-customer sales model. They don't add value that the customer can readily perceive. Why do some customers go to Best Buy instead of Apple when purchasing an iPhone? Because they can comparison shop against non-Apple phones, and that has value to them. Perhaps also because they are buying several different kinds of items on one trip. Perhaps also because....? At any rate, even though I almost never shop at Best Buy, it seems that lots of people see a value in using that particular middleman.

    Rare indeed is the story of the happy auto dealer customer. I think I'm going to start a thread about that.

    Alan

     

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