My 2015 Toyota Camry's ABS actuator failed

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Nov 28, 2018
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#1
In June 2018, I purchased a used 2015 Toyota Camry with 13,000 miles from Carmax. In Nov 2018, the ABS actuator failed. The 3 year manufactures warranty expired in May 2018. I only put an additional 3,000 miles on the car. The dealer wants to charge me $3,000 to replace the actuator. I already called Toyota Customer service complaining that I should not have to replace an ABS actuator after only 3 1/2 years and 16,000 miles - they gave me a case number and I haven't heard back. I read Christopher Elliott's March 13, 2018 article about a failed ABS actuator for a Toyota Highlander which was not optimistic. My regular mechanic urged me to pursue this further with Toyota saying they should pay to replace the actuator. I'm also considering going back to Carmax and asking them to give me a refund and take the car because I worry now that Carmax knew they were selling me a lemon. I'd really appreciate everyone's advice. Should I focus on getting Carmax to take back the car and give me a full refund (or realistic price based on wear and tear) or should I focus on trying to get Toyota to cover the cost of replacing the actuator? Or both? Any strategies or either effort? Thanks,
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#3
@bethpindc ... If the ABS actuator failed 5 months after Carmax sold the vehicle, why would you think that they sold you a lemon? Parts fail and you don't have any history on the car. Unless you can show that Carmax knew or should have known that the car had a defect when they sold it to you, I think that's probably a losing battle.
One other thought would be talking to the independent mechanic you took it to for an inspection prior to purchasing it (please tell me you did this) but this is probably an uphill battle too.
Have you done any google searches to see if this is a chronic problem with the model year?
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#4
I am a bit confused, you purchased a used car after the manufacturer's warranty had already expired. In most states, used car purchases are as is. Were you offered the option to purchase an extended warranty? Did you have the vehicle inspected before purchase?

I do not think you will have any luck with asking for carmax to take the vehicle back and give you a refund. If this is a manufacturer's defect, you may have luck writing to the Toyota executives. The only thing you will be out at this point is time and you may end up getting something to put towards replacing the actuator.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#5
In June 2018, I purchased a used 2015 Toyota Camry with 13,000 miles from Carmax. In Nov 2018, the ABS actuator failed. The 3 year manufactures warranty expired in May 2018. I only put an additional 3,000 miles on the car. The dealer wants to charge me $3,000 to replace the actuator. I already called Toyota Customer service complaining that I should not have to replace an ABS actuator after only 3 1/2 years and 16,000 miles - they gave me a case number and I haven't heard back. I read Christopher Elliott's March 13, 2018 article about a failed ABS actuator for a Toyota Highlander which was not optimistic. My regular mechanic urged me to pursue this further with Toyota saying they should pay to replace the actuator. I'm also considering going back to Carmax and asking them to give me a refund and take the car because I worry now that Carmax knew they were selling me a lemon. I'd really appreciate everyone's advice. Should I focus on getting Carmax to take back the car and give me a full refund (or realistic price based on wear and tear) or should I focus on trying to get Toyota to cover the cost of replacing the actuator? Or both? Any strategies or either effort? Thanks,
If you do choose to replace the part, take it to an independent mechanic, not the dealer. They can probably find a used or rebuilt part for much less $$$. The dealer will steal you blind for this type of service. Google "abs-control-module-replacement-cost". The dealer is quoting you a price that is 5x higher than it should cost.
 
Nov 28, 2018
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#6
Yes, I checked with my independent mechanic who inspected the car when I purchased it - he recommends I pursue this with Toyota since the car is only 5 months after the end of the warranty and ABS actuators normally last the life-time of the car. He said it can't hurt to try Carmax but he isn't optimistic. He said Toyota probably installed a defective actuator. Unfortunately, the article about this happening with the owner of a Toyota Highlander resulted in a no from Toyota because the person was seeking a refund and the right code didn't trigger a warranty repair. And, the Highlander had a lot of miles on it. Elliott was pretty critical of Toyota at teh end of the article. I'm hoping I might do better since I haven't done the repair yet and I have only 16,000 miles on the car.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#7
Your mechanic inspected the car when you purchased it and didn't find the defect either - so Carmax can't be held responsible for the part failing.
We have company contacts on top of our pages - you can try to go up the executive chain at Toyota and see if they will help with this.
 
Likes: bethpindc
Nov 28, 2018
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#8
Here’s the outcome. Toyota offered me 10% off a $3,000 bill. I checked with several independent mechanics who told me the dealer had to make this repair so finding a cheaper option wasn’t available. Carmax bought it back at a reasonable price so my loss was about half of what I’d have paid to repair the vehicle. I am now car free since after calculating costs, I’ll spend less money using car and ride shares than owning a car.