An Auckland woman has been stuck with a $2228 bill after purchasing a Toyota from a car dealer who allegedly failed to provide her with a master key.

Helen Moore, who bought her 2006 Toyota Rush from Quality Cars earlier this month, took the vehicle to Toyota after a locksmith told her there was a "connection error" with her transponder key when she tried to get a second one made.

Moore got a shock when receiving her bill from North Western Toyota.

According to Moore, Toyota couldn't code the transponder key without the vehicle's master key – something she wasn't given by Quality Cars.


As a result, Toyota had to remove the glove box and trim underneath the dashboard area to access the transponder electronics and code a master key.

The breakdown of costs reveal Moore paid $314 for the master key, $310 for each transponder (x2), $431 for three hours of labour, $62 for initial labour (checking the situation) and $800 for coding.

Moore is now seeking costs from Quality Cars through the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal (MVDT).

In documents provided to the MVDT, Moore alleges that the car dealer will not bear any of the cost because they had offered to do an "alternative", which Moore said she didn't want because she preferred to have it sorted by Toyota.

"I was quite happy to wear the cost of getting a spare [key], not all this stuff over and above that, that's kind of his [the dealer] responsibility," Moore said.

Moore warned others to be aware of similar issues when purchasing motor vehicles.

"How do you know you're going to have this hassle," she said.

"How would I know, not even necessarily buying a Toyota, buying anything. You walk into a car dealer and they give you a key and go 'here you go'. How do you know it's a master? You don't."


Moore said she didn't have any issue with the prices Toyota charged.

Quality Cars did not want to comment on the matter, saying that it was with the MVDT and they'll deal with it that way.

Last year Toyota New Zealand was found to have broken consumer rights laws when Auckland man Damian Funnell was charged $525 to replace a lost vehicle remote.

Funnell decided to take action after dealership Armstrongs Auckland charged him $475, plus a $50 programming fee, to replace the lost remote for his Estima.

Funnell, who works in the technology industry, said remote key components could be bought and assembled for about $33.

He went to the Disputes Tribunal and won, with the ruling noting that under the Consumer Guarantees Act, a manufacturer must guarantee reasonable availability of spare parts.

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