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New Hamburg, Ont. family can't get truck's faulty transmission fixed due to aftermarket attachment


A New Hamburg family is feeling deflated after buying a new Toyota hybrid truck.

After waiting 18 months for it, Susi and Rod Roth finally got the pickup truck in April 2023. They say within the first month, they had to bring it back to the Toyota dealership in Stratford to address a problem with the transmission.

“[It’s] the truck of his dreams,” said Susi, referring to her husband Rod. “Until it started with a vibration. Every time it accelerated up the hill, a vibration to the point where the whole truck shook.”

Over the last year, the truck has been back and forth between their home and the dealership. Susi says there have also been several holdups with getting a loaner vehicle.

They did have their truck back for a short period of time, before having to send it back after noticing the transmission still wasn’t repaired.

“We have a truck that hasn’t been working since the day we got it, and four months later we put a hitch on it, hoping that we can actually get some use out of this truck,” said Susi.

They wanted to be able to pull their camper, as they say it was advertised in a commercial for the pickup truck.

“But we’ve never actually hooked this up to the truck,” said Susi, pointing to the camper. “It’s just sat here for a year.”

That’s because of their concerns over the transmission.

Fast forward to March 2024. The truck returned to the dealership, and they still do not have it back in their driveway.

“We were just told this week that because [Rod] put a hitch on that existing truck back in August … it is now out of warranty because it’s an aftermarket part and they would not replace the transmission, which has been the issue since the day we got it,” said Susi.

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for Toyota Canada Inc. says they learned about this particular case and are looking into it.

“Relating to your question about the aftermarket goose neck on [the] vehicle, the installation and use of such a hitch will not, in and of itself, void the warranty as long as the trailer towed, including its content, fall within the tow rating guidelines of the vehicle. Further, proper installation of such a hitch is critical. When it comes to warranty claims, they are evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” the statement reads.

CTV News responded asking whether an improper installation was the concern, and that the family indicated the hitch they installed never towed anything, Toyota’s spokesperson said they can’t comment on specifics because it is being investigated by the warranty department.

The Roth family says the transmission and hitch are in separate areas of the truck and feel it should not void the warranty.

“That is clearly a defect in the truck for a hitch that was installed four months after the problem was identified,” said Susi.

The family says progress has been made after CTV News contacted the dealership.

“Within hours of contacting you, I’ve now got them willing to actually discuss solutions,” said Susi. “Since you got involved, they’re now offering us to trade a lesser vehicle for the one that’s not working properly.”

Still, it’s not the solution they’re looking for since they are determined to get their original truck back. They admit, though, it has made for a bumpy ride in many ways. Top Stories

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