In 2013, a Toyota car dealership in Georgia sold my Army husband and me a new Toyota RAV 4. About a year later, it began breaking down at unpredictable moments, leaving me stranded on winding country roads in the middle of winter in Germany, where we were stationed. At first, Toyota refused to repair our vehicle unless we paid for the parts and labor out of pocket in advance. Even after we persisted, Toyota failed to provide the necessary parts, leaving us without a vehicle for months. Eventually, a panel of arbitrators ruled that our RAV 4 was unsafe and declared it a lemon. Toyota was ordered to take back our vehicle and replace it, but they refused. Instead, now they are suing us.
Why? They want to get a ruling in court that will allow them to get away with selling defective new cars to military families in our country, without having to honor the warranties if the families are later stationed outside the U.S. and take their cars with them. Sign this petition to tell Toyota to stop cheating US military families!
I could not be more proud of my husband, who is a highly decorated Army Tank Commander. We’re both honored to be a military family. When we learned we were going to be transferred to a duty station in Germany, we talked it over and decided to buy a brand new car, so we wouldn’t have to worry about having reliable transportation while coping with all the challenges that come with being stationed overseas. When we went to a local Toyota dealer in Savannah, Georgia, we asked whether Toyota would honor the warranty, even if we were serving abroad. We were repeatedly assured that Toyota is a global company with dealerships and repair facilities around the world, and there was no problem. It even said in the warranty book that "If you are using your vehicle outside the United States, US territories and Canada and need warranty service, contact a local Toyota dealership….The warranty repairs should be completed in a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed 30 days." So we bought the new RAV 4.
Unfortunately, Toyota does not want to honor that commitment or their warranty. They claim that because we are in the military, and took the car with us to Germany, they do not have to comply with Georgia’s auto lemon law. We are determined to fight back. Toyota boasts they made over $18 billion in profits last year. They should not make those profits at the expense of military families who are serving our nation and putting their lives on the line to help protect all of us from our enemies.
Tell Toyota to buy back our unsafe lemon car and stop suing us. Toyota should honor their warranties, including when their customers are in the military and stationed overseas; military families need and deserve the same protection from unsafe lemon cars, just as all Toyota's customers!
Here’s a news report about our battle.