Costco Auto Program - Costco Auto Program & Death Traps

Posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 at 5:56pm CST by jonathan G.

Product: Toyota Camry

Company: Costco Auto Program

Location: COSTCO Members Senior Management/ Board of Directors Corporate Offices 999 Lake Dr. Issaquah, WA98027
Issaquah, Wa, 98027, US


Category: Other

February 22, 2010

My complaint has to do with my impressions and personal opinions regarding COSTCO Auto Program. Negotiations with a dealer for purchasing a car through COSTCO Program began on and around January 20th. 22010. I am a long time member of COSTCO Buying Program and with the exception of auto purchases have had good experiences with the company. This is my 2nd attempt at trying to purchase a car through the Program.


COSTCO Members

Senior Management/ Board of Directors

Corporate Offices

999 Lake Dr. Issaquah, WA98027

Summary Statement: It is my view that the Toyota dealer mentioned below would have allowed me to leave his lot with a vehicle having accelerator defects; the very same defects which may have caused the deaths of several Americans; these defects were a matter of public knowledge. It is my belief that the dealer may have had advanced knowledge of the stoppage in sales because of a defective accelerator. As a matter of fact, the Wall Street Journal published a directive from Toyota on the 22nd of January: the paper reported that all dealers should stop selling 2010 Camrys and 2007 Avalons. The time period is precisely the same time period when I was negotiating with the dealership listed below, and encouraged by sales representatives to sign an agreement resembling a post dated check, then to drive a 2010 Camry off the lot.

Specifically, my complaint is against COSTCO Auto Program. I believe that the program should have provided information about problem vehicles to consumers. COSTCO Auto Program, responded to my initial complaint by defending the dealer. Instead, the Costco Auto program, should have taken strong and deliberate steps to make absolutely certain, that members are protected from unethical dealers.


Short Form My Personal View:

1.) Upon entering a dealer's place of business and after asking to see the invoice and the Buying Program discount sheet, a Costoc member has no way of knowing whether the dealer is providing reliable information. Is the paper actually the invoice? an approved "Costco Auto Program Discount" sheet?

2.) Upon entering a dealer ship for comparison purposes; that is, at a time when you are merely checking out vehicles but basically undecided, a salesperson may disregard your affirmations about being a Program member and/or misrepresent himself as an authorized cooperating COSTCO representative.


Mr. Stanley Managerl

Power Toyota

7970 South Autoplex Loop

Tempe, AZ 85284

3.) Finally, COSTCO Auto Program does not give warnings at the time of referral. In other words, certain makers may have made vehicles that developed mechanical problems in the past, but COSTCO doesn't seem to provide information regarding problem vehicles.

A Very Dirty Trick: My Personal View

Following is a narrative detailing my impression and opinions about a recent experience during late January of 2010. My objective was to purchase a 2010 Camry or 2007 Avalon.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Toyota Corp had stopped all sales of several vehicles on Jan. 22nd. On Jan. 23rd, I was talking to two Toyota Dealerships, comparing prices.

1. Power Toyota (mentioned above.)

2. Riverview Toyota (located in Mesa, Arizona)

Both dealers, on the 23rd, made attractive offers, and seemed willing to have

Me drive the vehicle off their respective lots. I decided to close at Power Toyota, but for financial reasons, I wanted to delay the final transaction until

the 25th..


So the actual transaction would have occurred on Jan. 25th, a dark day in Toyota s history.

Run for it. Here comes the really, really dirty part.

Mr. Thomiisian, together with nother sales person 'ian' insisted on Jan. 21rst or 22nd that I purchase the 2010 Toyota on the spot. (In reporting this to Costco, I made a mistake, with respect to dates.) The two men insisted that I;

a. Sign a contract that functioned as a post dated check.

b. Take possession of the vehicle, immediately, and drive it off the lot.


At this point I became suspicious, went home and checked with COSTCO. It turned out that the lead sales person Mr. Thomisian was not a COSTCO representative. The price he quoted for the vehicle was not a COSTCO price.


It is important to bear in mind that my negotiations with Power Toyota were b

Response from COSTCO: The Nasty Part

Why join an auto club if you are not sure of getting a fair deal? My purpose for joining Costco's Auto Program was to obtain protection from unscrupulous dealers and to obtain a fair price.


In two cases, that didn't happen. In one case, Showcase Honda, my wife and I were treated like criminals, and now--at Power Toyota, I came within an eyelash of purchasing a car that might have been a deathtrap. The same scenario might well have been repeated at Toyotas Riverview Toyota in Mesa, Arizona.

Again, everything written above is my personal opinion. I believe that my version of events is true, and I am willing to make corrections to any false statements. Copies of this complaint have been forwarded to Costo Auto Program and to Power Toyota. I have invited both organizations to make corrections.


7c627e99, 2010-02-18, 06:28PM CST

Costco did respond to my complaint. I am waiting until that response is posted before I rebut certain statements found in Costco's reply.


In case someone is interested in more information, I can be reached at [email protected]


4951496b, 2010-02-22, 02:52PM CST

Dear Costco Member,

The Costco Auto Program is another valuable service that Costco Wholesale provides for members who desire to be referred to a participating franchised automobile dealer and take advantage of member-exclusive, prearranged discounted pricing and a streamlined, no haggle transaction process.

The value of this service is enhanced by a Member Advocacy Group that follows up with every member who is referred to a participating dealer. We actively seek members' comments, suggestions, questions and rating of our service. Occasionally an issue may arise during the purchasing process and the Member Advocates are there to assist the member. This Advocacy role is unique to membership based vehicle purchase referral programs, and to the automobile industry in general.

We appreciate the opportunity to address the concerns you have identified and will be vigorously researching these issues to provide directly to you a response and a resolution.


Costco Auto Program

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