Toyota owners and auto recyclers have been complaining for years about how heat and humidity has been destroying their dashboards. The dashboards of affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles have become shiny, cracked, and even melted. Finally, after years, and a few class-action lawsuits, Toyota is answering these complaints. Toyota is offering replacement of the dashboards on certain models of certain years of quite a few Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
The replacement program, which Toyota is referring to as their “Customer Support Program” will be replacing an estimated 3.5 million dashboards, regardless of current warranty or mileage, to fix the issue of the dashboards becoming cracked, sticky, shiny and melting when exposed to heat and humidity. The new dashboards will come with two different warranty extensions. The first warranty extension will cover all newly replaced dashboards until May 2017, regardless of mileage or the date the care was first used. The second warranty extension covers the new dash for ten years, from the date the car was first used. This second warranty disregards mileage just as the first one did.
There are two phases to Toyota’s Customer Support Program. The first phase will involve contacting every customer who has already paid out-of-pocket expenses to get their dashboard replaced. These customers will be reviewed to see if they qualify for reimbursement. The average cost of a dash repacement for the vehicles affected comes out to around $1500. The second phase is estimated to start May 2015. Why the wait? Apparently Toyota has to wait for all of the 3.5 million dashboards to be shipped and stocked at their dealerships.
The cars affected by this dashboard malfunction are listed below. Only the years and models listed are included in the replacement program.
2007-2011 Camry and Camry Hybrid
2007-2008 ES 350
2003-2008 GX 470
2006-2008 IS 250 and 350
2007 LS 460
2004-2006 RX 330
2007-2009 RX 350
2005-2008 RX 400h
Toyota has already begun sending out notices to contact owners of the vehicles listed above. A second notice will be sent out in May 2015, and once this notice is received, owners are urged to call their local dealership to set up an appointment for replacement of the dash. Before any dashboard is warrantied, the dealership will perform an inspection to ensure the glazing, cracking, melted or sticky dash is a manufacturer’s defect, and wasn’t caused by some other means. If the dealership determines it was caused by something other than heat or humidity, the vehicle will not be covered under the replacement program.
This issue is affecting millions of vehicles across the United States, and after years of customer complaints, the issue is finally being rectified by Toyota. Any questions and concerns, and to determine if a vehicle qualifies for repair or is covered under this program, consumers are urged to call the manufacturer of their vehicle. For Toyota drivers, the number to call is 1-800-331-4331. Lexus owners will want to call 1-800-255-3987.