Questions: 1. Is my roommate getting ripped off (and by how much)? 2. Can he do anything about it?
Context: 1. Roommate's engine broke 2. He brought the car into his dealership - they told him the FIX would cost 4.5k - 7k, but they needed to do an engine diagnosis to figure out the issue. (No price quote for the diagnosis) 4. He phone authorizes the diagnoses 5. He receives notice that the diagnosis is half complete, and that his diagnosis to this point would cost ~$2k 6. He requests an itemized invoice, they "couldn't" print him one, but showed him some numbers on a computer screen 7. His car is currently sitting in the dealership w/ a taken-apart engine. Toyota is trying to convince him to trade his car in
Additional details: They are charging him $175/hr for 11 hours of labor (half the diagnosis job). Furthermore, the dealer is calling this a 'by-the-book' job, which means that he will get charged for all 11 hours even if the mechanics didn't spend 11 hours on the car.
My car has 55000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
Hello, thank you for writing in. There are several aspects to consider in this situation. First of all, dealerships are known for insanely high labor rates, but labor should not be over $100/hr for most repairs. The technicians that work on Hybrid vehicles do need extra certifications and training, which may be adding to their charges, because Hybrids are more difficult and dangerous. That is not to say the dealership is not wrong for charging those prices. Most technicians do charge a standard number of hours that have been pre-calculated based on the specific job being performed. If the job has not been completed, then they should not be charging for the full repair. Management at the dealership needs to be involved, and any paperwork that has been signed up to this point needs to be read carefully. Good luck.
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