Rice Toyota
2630 Battleground Ave
Greensboro, North Carolina
New Car Sales: (888) 903-0876
Used Car Sales: (866) 834-1004
Service: (336) 288-6225
Parts: (800) 849-2775

NC legislators considered vehicle repair fraud a serious enough problem to pass the "North Carolina Motor Vehicle Repair Act" to protect vehicle owners from it. To see a complete copy, go to and click on the G.S 20-354 link. After I read the two paragraphs from it shown below, I filed a formal complaint against Rice Toyota with the NC Attorney General. § 20-354.5. â?o(b) If a customer cancels the order for repair or, after diagnostic work is performed, decides not to have the repairs performed, and if the customer authorizes the motor vehicle repair shop to reassemble the motor vehicle, the shop shall expeditiously reassemble the motor vehicle in a condition reasonably similar to the condition in which it was received.â? § 20-354.8. It shall be a violation of this Article for any motor vehicle repair shop to: â?o(4) Misrepresent that the vehicle being inspected or diagnosed is in a dangerous condition or that the customer's continued use of the vehicle may be harmful or cause great damage to the vehicle.

Here is why I filed the complaint: While I was driving it near the Rice dealership, the gear shift lever on my 2003 Tundra broke, and I pulled into into their service bay. I surrendered my truck to the Rice service rep., with the automatic transmission in Drive; engine running. Upon receiving the repair cost estimate of nearly $900, I asked that the truck be returned to me in the condition which I surrendered it (engine running; in Drive). Initially, the service rep. agreed to do as I asked after I paid a diagnostic fee. I paid the fee. He disappeared, later returned and refused to return the vehicle, claiming liability issues. I offered to sign a statement absolving Rice of any liability. Again he refused, saying that the only way I could remove my un-repaired truck from their lot was to have it towed. Clearly the service rep. tried to do the right thing but was overruled. I complained to Mary Rice, who ignored me. So I called a tow truck. When it arrived, a mechanic showed the tow truck driver how the gears could still be shifted, even with the gearshift leaver broken. At my request, the tow truck operator removed my truck from the Rice lot then showed me what the mechanic showed him. He showed me that when the driver operates the (now broken) large gearshift lever, it moves a smaller lever on the steering column which in turn operates a cable, which changes the transmission gears. With the an exception of the large lever, all of the parts required to change gears were intact and operating properly. And the driver could easily and safely change to and from all transmission gear positions by moving the small lever with his fingers. All other controls on the steering column (lights, turn signals, wipers) were working properly, as were the brake pedal safety features. The absence of the large lever did not make changing gears less safe; only less convenient. Slightly! I drove the truck to another mechanic who fixed the problem for over $300 less than Rice quoted.

Lawrence Johnson

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