Rebate! Rebate! Rebate!

Here is information on the Canadian rebate.

If you are looking for my rebate in the USA, click here.

The story below was sent to us after successful arbitration (which, it seems is more fair in Canada than that here in the US). If you live in Canada, this case is proof you can achieve restitution for your malinvestment with Lexus.

" I first wrote to you about a year and a half ago complaining about the very same issues everyone at the site has brought to your attention. I had already brought my Lexus in for servicing and complained to the dealer, who said that I needed to better acquaint myself with the NAV system.

I told him that there was no need to insult my intelligence, that I use all the other electronic products I’ve purchased without needing a course, and that there was something wrong with the system. The dealer finally agreed to investigate further, asked me to leave the car there for a week (without a loaner), and then returned it to me newly ‘recalibrated.’

However, nothing had changed. The system still failed to get me where I needed to go. I then followed your advice, and contacted Consumer Reports, who were shocked to hear about the defects and problems I was encountering with a Lexus product.

I changed dealers and tried to get someone there to take an interest in addressing these issues. I got sympathy, but only an offer of one upgrade on the mapping system, with no guarantee that it would fix the problems I had getting to my destinations.

I then contacted Lexus Canada customer service, who took several weeks to get back to me. When they finally did, I was stonewalled, and told that there was nothing wrong with the car, that “this is how the car is designed.”

Naively, I wrote to the president of Lexus Canada. I suggested to him that he check out to see that I was not alone in my grievance with the NAV system. He never replied. Instead, the same woman who stonewalled me the first time called again, telling me again that there was nothing wrong with the car, refusing to do anything more give me ‘one complimentary mapping upgrade.’ I replied that it was an insult to offer only one upgrade when there was a clear problem with the system. I stated that Lexus should commit itself to repairing whatever was defective – however long it takes and whatever it takes to do so. Lexus Canada refused to do anything more for me than give me an upgrade on the mapping system.

In frustration, I contacted the Automobile Protection Agency here in Canada who suggested that I bring this to the attention of the Canadian Motor Vehicle Arbitration Plan ( CAMVAP  is “a program where disputes between consumers and vehicle manufacturers about alleged manufacturing defects or implementation of the manufacturers' new vehicle warranty can be put before a neutral third party (arbitrator) for resolution.”

The arbitration is entirely free, but is confined to defects only.  Like all those at I detest the fact that there is no override option on the Lexus NAV system, I understood that CAMVAP is not the place to settle that issue. I therefore confined my complaint to the defects I had in operating the system:

·         It tells me that an address does not exist when it’s been around for more than 50 years.

·         It tells me that my Home is on the left when it's on the right.

·         It leads me onto routes that are dead wrong or more circuitous, longer and indirect than those available and familiar to me.

·         It tells me that I'm about to enter the highway when I've been on it for more than 1/4 km.

·         It tells me that I've arrived at my destination when I'm more than 250 meters away from it.

Given that we had plenty of defects, we contacted CAMVAP in May and asked for an arbitration date. In October, we met with the arbitrator, a Lexus representative from the dealership, a Lexus lawyer, and a Lexus technician. We had a statement from clients from New York who had been with us when we were sent 45 minutes out of our way. We also brought a witness who had been with us when we tried to go to our airport, and were sent in the wrong direction.

We gave a summary of our complaints to the arbitrator, including all the documentation of our letters to Lexus Canada, and then we all got in the car and took it for a spin. Not surprisingly, the NAV underperformed.

When we returned, Lexus stuck to its original offer, i.e., an upgrade on the mapping system. I told them that this was an insult, especially in view of what they themselves just witnessed. The arbitrator asked what we wanted: we said that we want to be refunded the cost of the NAV or have Lexus buy back the car, which was our preference.

The arbitrator said he would consider all three options, and adjourned the meeting. Two weeks later, he awarded us the cost of the NAV. We would have been happier with the buy-back option because we have no faith in the Lexus product or service. However, we are satisfied that we are being compensated for the defect that we paid handsomely for that has never consistently worked.

This was a time-consuming process, but I urge others in Canada to pursue this option if their NAV is similarly defective. The arbitration is binding, and we feel that our concerns were considered fairly – and without cost to us.

(Please do not post our names…I do not wish to be contacted for advice. My letter lays out the strategy that worked best for us, i.e., writing letters and emails to Lexus, recording names and dates of phone calls, and contacting CAMVAP. If readers have a similar defect in their NAV, I urge them to follow suit.)

So, there you have it. More proof that perseverence and patience can be effective.
I also urge as many of you as possible to follow our paths. Write Consumer reports. Comment in Edmunds. Print up the business cards and leave them in dealerships. We will find a way to make Lexus do the right thing, since they pretty clearly cannot bring themselves to do it on their own....