Please help! I have no idea where else to turn.
On 29th February 2016 I bought a Toyota Verso Excel D4D from Motorline Toyota.
Since taking ownership of the car on the 10th March 2016 I have had a problem with a recurrent smell inside the car. Initially I believed this to be as a result of me following other vehicles that were emitting an acrid smell. It happened regularly enough that it became a talking point in the car with my two older children who were then aged three and four. The smell often occurred on the school run which is approximately 4 miles from home.
Initially I noticed the smell occurred approximately once a month then on the 5th August 2016 whilst filling up my car with diesel at a petrol station, smoke appeared inside the car via the vent in the centre console. At the time my two sons and my baby daughter aged four months were inside the vehicle. Having paid for my diesel and returned to my car my eldest children asked me why smoke was coming inside the car. I immediately telephoned Motorline and told them about the problem and received a curt response which was that I had AA cover and I should call them. I was informed that they would decide if the car needed to be returned to them. I contacted the AA who came and inspected the car and diagnosed that the oil filler cap could not be tightened sufficiently enough without it popping off.
He advised me to contact Motorline and inform them. This I did and I was again surprised by their initial response. I was informed that they were unable to supply me with a new oil filler cap as they were having a problem with their suppliers. I replied that that was unacceptable as I could not be in a situation whereby my three children were in a car with smoke entering the inside. I was then advised that if I were to bring the car into the garage they would attempt to locate an oil filler cap that would fit from another car. This I did, a forty mile round trip. However they did manage to source an oil cap that fitted. I decided that the smell that I had noticed in the car must have been the result of the faulty oil cap and felt assured that now that the problem had been identified and rectified it would no longer be a problem.
However it did reoccur and I called the AA again on the 2nd September. They reported that they could find no reason for the smell and reassured me that everything appeared to be fine. The smell continued to occur approximately every three weeks and after yet another occurrence I called the AA out again on the 23rd December. Once again no obvious fault was identified and I was advised to contact Motorline Ashford.
In November I had received notification from Toyota that there was a safety recall on my car relating to the Throttle Body. I decided that I would contact Motorline in the New Year to arrange for the recall repairs to be carried out and to discuss the issues regarding the smell.
In the meantime, on an occasion when the smell occurred, I drove straight to a local garage to ask their opinion. They advised me that in there opinion the smell was not right and they advised me to contact Motorline .
I took the car to Motorline for the initial inspection on the 18th January 2017. I was advised that they would look into the car but they mentioned it may be due to the DPF. I had now noticed that the smell was occurring approximately every two weeks.
When I returned to collect my car I was advised that they had been unable to replicate the smell and so there was nothing that they could do. I explained that that was not acceptable and became emotional. I asked for advice as to what they thought I should do as when I stopped the car the smell would go. As far as I could see the only way I could get them to smell the smell would be to drive the 30 minutes from home to Ashford with at least two of my three children, if not all of them, being subjected to the awful fumes which I was concerned were harmful. I asked what they would advise I do in the event of the smell occurring again given that I did not feel it was appropriate to subject my children to the fumes in order to drive the car to Ashford. I asked if there was a garage local to me that they would not be happy for me to go to for them to give an initial assessment. She just repeated that the problem would have to be replicated whilst with them.
Following this event I decided to call Toyota Customer Relations. I rang them and relayed the problems I was having. I was informed that a case manager would be in contact with me within a few days. I never did receive a call from a case manager. I did however receive a call from the After Sales Manager. He agreed that they would use the car in a manner similar to myself in the hope that the smell would be generated. I agreed with this plan.
My car was collected on the 3rd February by Mark. The After Sales Manager rang me later that day and asked me if I knew how many miles I had done since I last noticed the smell as he was able to tell when the car had last gone through a cycle and how many miles I had driven since. He believed the smell was to do with the regeneration system. Given when the smell had last occurred and how many miles I had done since I concurred with this. My car was returned to me on the 6th February. He told me that the smell was due to the regeneration system but assured me that the fumes were not coming into the car. I asked how I was smelling them if they were not entering the car. He said that the system was close to where I sit in the car and that was why I may be able to smell it.
He explained that the regeneration system was designed to flood the engine with additional fuel and burn it off at a high temperature before dumping the fumes out of the car via the exhaust. He also explained that if the car had not completed a cycle it would emit a smell once stopped. He said that a regeneration cycle should occur on longer journeys and he felt that the problem may be because I was doing shorter journeys as I had been on maternity leave and doing more local journeys. He felt that this may also be the reason why I was smelling it more often. I explained that that did not make sense as I had recently driven a 30 minute drive and that the smell had occurred when I parked up at my destination. It was explained to me that as well as a longer journey other things had to be happening in the engine such as it getting to a particular temperature etc. to ensure a successful regeneration.
I asked that if I needed to do longer journeys for the regeneration system to work properly then I should have been informed of this when I bought the car as, knowing I was due to start Maternity Leave, I knew that I would not be doing long journeys. I suggested that the car may therefore have been mis-sold to me. He advised me that the regenerations system had now been reset to the factory settings (I believe he said that this was every 2000 litres of fuel). I asked what advice Toyota gave to their customers about the regeneration system and was informed me that none was available. He also told me that he had found out what he had by looking on google and reading chat forums. He asked me why I had chosen a diesel and I explained that it was what I was used to driving and that it was what I was advised to purchase when I was buying the car. He suggested that he could speak to Matt Brown about me changing my car and suggested either a petrol Verso or a Prius Plus. I said I would consider this.
We met with the manager on the 11th March. He agreed to see what he could do. He listened to my concerns and appeared to understand my distress. I explained that I knew that I would lose the £3204 I had paid in repayments but that I did not expect to be out of pocket as I believed the car was faulty. He agreed that finance would be 'sorted'. Matt agreed to look for a suitable car. I was happy to consider an older Prius Plus as well as a petrol Verso.
I received a telephone call from the dealership on the 20th March. I was given details of a Prius Plus. I was getting ready to leave the house and took quick details about the car including the repayment details. A day or so later I rang and spoke to Toyota and asked if I could have a more detailed breakdown of the finance for the car. I explained that whilst I accepted that I would lose the £3200 that I had spent paying for the car over the past year, I was not prepared to lose the £2200 part exchange value of my previous car as I was returning the car because I believed it to be faulty NOT because I had changed my mind. I was told that there was no way that I would get the £2200 back. I said that I believed that I had a case to take to Toyota Finance to say that I was in dispute over the car as I believed that the car was faulty.
I believe the car to be faulty and that it was mis-sold to me. I want to return my car and have the finance cleared and I wish to be reimbursed the £2200 I put down as a deposit (part exchange value of my Toyota Yaris)
I have written to Toyota Finance and have not yet had a response but I do not hold out much hope as I did write to the CEO and have had a response saying that 'the issues I have are a consequence of driving styles and usage.' they go on to say regarding my claim that the car was mis-sold that 'we have not been privy to those sales discussions and are unable to pass comment'.
The car was bought on finance. The initial cost was £17495 and I had £2200 deducted from that for the part exchange of my old car.
The car continues to smell inside the cabin on a regular basis and happened last week with all my three children in the car. It is a revolting, acrid smell that makes me feel sick. I am greatly concerned for my children's health being exposed to this smell.
Thank you to anyone that takes the time to read this.