Customer left angered over main dealer’s clutch advice

Toyota dealer recommends owner to have new clutch not knowing that an independent fitted one just a week earlier

Customer left angered over main dealer’s clutch advice
Toyota owner said he was "angered" to think customers could be paying for work that isn't needed.

Toyota RAV4 owner, Tim Curtis took his car to a main dealer following a recall but on collection technicians presented him with a visual inspection safety report, advising that the clutch required immediate attention.

However, unknown to the Toyota dealer, Tim’s car had recently broke down and his local mechanic fitted a new clutch just a week earlier.

Tim said: “I didn’t ask for the visual health check to be carried out.

“My car is fully serviced every year, so there would have been no need for such an inspection.”

He returned to his local independent that replaced the clutch but nothing was found to be wrong.

Independent inspection

An independent inspection was then undertook elsewhere which agreed that an “acceptable repair” had been made but failed to agree with the Toyota main dealer.

A Toyota spokesperson told Car Buyer its dealer was standing by its findings “regardless of the fact that the clutch was recently replaced by a non-Toyota workshop”.

He added: “The dealer has offered Mr Curtis a second opinion in their workshop, given him independent advice and also fuel, all free of charge, but unfortunately Mr Curtis has lost faith with Hull John Roe.”

Tim said: “It angers me to think that customers could be passing over money for work that did not even need to be undertaken in the first place.”

Have any of your customers experienced a similar issue with a main dealer? Leave your comments below.


  1. I don’t find anything unusual with this report. Every recall results in lots of work for the dealer so why shouldn’t they carry out a free health check.

  2. HUGE problem in South Wales , dealers claiming cars need things done and thy do not . Audi and VW mainly vehicles going in for recalls only to leave with a list of faults that should not even been looked at , not 1 car goes into a dealer for mot without leaving with an advisory for brakes . Dealers are still claiming that independents cannot carry out services on new vehicles which has been reported to Motor Codes who do nothing about it .

  3. Dealers are becoming “fast fit” centres with upselling and bonus incentives for the staff that encourage this type of thing to happen. We have had on many an occasion people call us up saying they have had amber or red flagged items that equate to a huge cost only to find upon inspection most items are more than serviceable. We have a Focus in next week that “requires urgent work” total cost would be £1400.00 bet you a small apple we will find less than a quater of the work will need doing.

  4. If it is diesel the flywheel may have been changed to a solid one which would have a heaver clutch hence giving the inspector the impression the vehicle had a clutch problem. If its petrol it may just have been a bit spongy or just needed a bleeding. The dealer may have been trying to recommend a new clutch kit based on the mileage and may have seen them fail around that mileage, its very easy to blame someone based on information giving without all the facts, No I don’t work at a dealer or ever did or I’m not saying the dealer wasn’t trying to scam a customer.

  5. I had a customer who had a Maserati and when it was serviced they told him he had 2000 miles left on his clutch , a year later next service and nothing was mentioned about the clutch


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