Did someone from Jaffarian give my name to a warranty company? Is this a scam?

Angry on Phone“Who is Weatherford INT? Someone from that company called our home said they represented you regarding the warranty on our Highlander. We said we weren’t interested and hung up. They kept calling back. This went on for five more calls from the same person wanting to talk to us about our warranty.”

The answer is a resounding NO! We do not give your name out to any unrelated parties. Your warranty would only be offered through Toyota. Unfortunately, it is too easy for scammers to get public information on registered vehicles. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion or Toyota would not give out your name. It is not in our best interest or yours, to have you buy a warranty from an unknown company.

Over the years, I have had our customers come in with postcards and letters offering warranties. Many warranty companies “sell outrageously priced extended warranties. The mailings look like an important notice from your car dealer or automaker. There is always an eye-catching warning on the front of the card, such as: Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty,” warns a government website.

We are not affiliated with these companies, and unless it is an offer from Volvo or Toyota offering to extend your original warranty, we would agree with how you handled the solicitation. (Out of curiosity, I looked up Weatherford INT and it appears to be a reputable international company in the oil business and does not represent vehicle warranties, which only reinforces it was a scam.)Warranty

Also, be aware of services that sound like AAA and offer products and services you would associate with AAA, a highly reputable nonprofit organization. With the internet, companies can choose domain names to confuse you or company names that sound familiar.

Not only does Toyota offer a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty on all new vehicles (all components other than normal wear and maintenance items), they also offer a 100,000 mile warranty on certified pre-owned and benefits such as a transferable warranty, should you sell your vehicle while it is still under warranty. They offer extended warranties as long as you make the decision prior to the expiration of the original warranty. New vehicles also include Powertrain Coverage for 60 months/60,000 miles on the engine, transmission/transaxle, front-wheel-drive system and rear-wheel drive system.

Toyota also includes rust-through coverage for 60 months/unlimited miles. For hybrid owners, hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for 8 years/100,000 miles.

It is important to keep in mind that if you do not keep your factory recommended service up-to-date, it may void your warranty. That is another reason to have your vehicle serviced at Jaffarian Service Department –because we maintain an accurate record of all service performed and will bill Toyota for warranty-covered services.

If you purchase a Volvo, most of the service is included in the price of the vehicle and those service visits will maintain your warranty. Volvo also offers a variety of Assurance Plans, including Protection Plus, Key Protection and Tire and Wheel Protection Plans, most of which include roadside assistance. Volvo has “VIP” or Volvo Increased Protection Plans. The benefit of these plans is to avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses.

The FCC has noticed an increase in warranty scams, most of which are illegal and violate the “do not call” lists. According to the FCC: “During the calls, which are usually automated or pre-recorded, the consumer is told that the warranty on his or her automobile is about to expire and is instructed to press a number to renew it. The callers often pose as representatives of a car dealer or manufacturer, and may or may not have specific information about the consumer’s particular car and warranty. Many may actually be fraudulent—if you press a certain number or stay on the line, you may be asked to provide several types of personal information, including your credit card number, which can be used to defraud unwary consumers.”

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives more than 1,200 complaints a year against extended auto warranty companies. Consumers across the United States are alleging that US Fidelis, a company touting itself as ‘America’s leading provider of extended auto warranties,’ pressured them into buying expensive and unnecessary vehicle service contracts from which they received little or no benefit.

The BBB is warning consumers to be extremely wary of telemarketing calls and mailers which claim their auto warranty has or is about to expire. BBB advises that the deceptive solicitations could persuade car owners to purchase an extended auto service contract of questionable value.

If you purchased a vehicle from us, please call us or stop by if you want to extend your warranty. Do not give out any personal information or credit card number to someone who solicits you by phone and be assured that we have not shared your personal information. When in doubt, check with us as we are happy to help you make an informed decision about warranties.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

There are so many “packages” referenced in ads – how do I know what they include and what some features actually do?

VolvoInteriorYou are right! There are many “packages” offered to consumers and it can be confusing to understand what exactly is included so you can make an informed decision. Generally, these packages are a group of options which are sold together and have incentive package pricing. Volvo tends to offer a lot of different packages, depending on the model. Here are some examples for the XC 60:

Climate Package – includes a three-spoke leather steering wheel w/deco inlay, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, heated windshield, interior air quality system, heated front seats, and heated windshield washer nozzles.

Technology Package – includes an adaptive cruise control which adapts to city driving, collision warning w/full auto brake, pedestrian and cyclist detection w/full auto brake and distance alert, driver alert control and lane departure warning, road sign information and active high beam.

Convenience Package — includes a garage door opener; cargo area cover/rear parcel shelf; grocery bag holder; one 12V power outlet(s) in cargo area; electrically foldable mirrors; and electrically-adjustable rear seat head restraints.

Inscription Package – This package refers to Volvo’s collection of exclusive interior & exterior features that express the best of Scandinavian design, including perforated leather upholstery; black interior ceiling option; wood and leather trim; inscription branded aluminum tread plates, inscription branded floor mats; and leather front tunnel storage cover.

Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Package  — offers a BLIS overtaking sensor; cross-traffic alert; lane change merge aid; front park assist front radar parking distance sensors, and rear park assist rear radar parking distance sensors.

The 2015 Volvo S60 is offered in a variety of options, including a T5, T6, and all-wheel drive, with a variety of trim levels with a few optional packages:

The Premier Package adds different 17-in alloys, keyless entry with push-button start, leather upholstery, a sunroof, a power passenger seat, a sophisticated instrument panel with driver-selectable themes and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Premier Plus Package contributes a rearview camera, a HomeLink garage door opener, power retractable side mirrors and a compass.

The Platinum Package tacks on auto-dimming exterior mirrors, ambient interior lighting, a navigation system with voice control and a12-speaker surround-sound audio system.

Toyota also offers packages which vary greatly by vehicle. The Toyota Tacoma truck packages are very different packages that fit that model vs. a Corolla, Camry or Prius. Premier, convenience and specialty packages, like those listed above, offer cost-effective solutions for customizing vehicles.

To learn more about the packages available for specific models and costs, check us out at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion and then come visit us in person. We are here to help you evaluate such packages to ensure you get the features and value you are looking for in your next vehicle. As the Volvo slogan reads, vehicle packages help you “Personalize the car of your choice – into the car of your dreams.”

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Isn’t drinking and driving a young adult problem for the most part?

sobrietytestLast week I discussed National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, focusing on the dangers of cell phone use. April is also Alcohol Awareness Month. This is perhaps the biggest driving issue for accidents and fatalities that could be totally eliminated without drinking and driving.

You are correct in thinking that drinking and driving fatalities correlate with age. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the statistics are as follows:

Age:               % of fatal crashes:

21-24               32%

25-34               30%

35-44               24%

45+                  14%

Some authorities focus on drinking and driving as a problem affecting only young people where the statistics are the highest, however, drinking and driving victims are people of all ages, professions and nationalities.

How big is the problem?

• Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are often used in combination with alcohol.
• According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every day nearly 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 51 minutes.

Hosting a party or going to a party or bar? Here are some tips so you or someone else doesn’t become the next statistic:
• Avoid drinking too much, by limiting yourself to one alcoholic beverage or two, depending on what you drink at parties, pubs or other occasions. Then switch to non-alcoholic beer, ale, or try a cranberry and soda with a twist of lime, sparkling cider, or other “mocktails.”
• Try enjoying great conversation, play darts or pool, tell jokes or play charades.
• If alcohol is on the drink list, have a system of taking away vehicle keys of guests as they step in the door. Never let a drunk, even a tipsy person drive, even if they tell you they’re fine to drive. If it’s necessary, call a taxi, find them a ride home and have them pick their car up in the morning.
• Remind your guests to plan ahead and define a designated driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver. It is your legal, moral and ethical obligation to be sure your guests will not cause harm to themselves or others on the road when attending your party.
• Never serve alcohol to minors, even in your own home.

What other safety steps can you take to ensure your safety and others in your vehicle or on the road?
• Whenever your social plans involve alcohol, make plans so that you don’t have to drive after drinking.
• Don’t let your friends drive impaired. Take their keys away, drive them home or call a cab. They may give you a hard time, but they will be grateful the next day.
• If you have been drinking, get a ride home, call a taxi, or stay over a friend’s home if possible or in a hotel. Never drink and drive, no matter how safe you think you’ll be. In 45 states including Massachusetts, there is a Designated Driver Service. Access this list before you go out.

At Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, we are committed to your safety. During Alcohol Awareness Month, remind the young adults in your life of making good choices and take this opportunity to personally reflect on making good decisions. We want you arrive home safely each and every day.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Is the campaign to not text and drive the same as the distracted driver campaign?

DistractedDriverApril is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and this topic is so important because it results in thousands of fatalities and accidents a year. It certainly includes texting, but goes well beyond that. There are drivers who read directions, women who put on make-up and men who shave while driving. Eating and drinking while driving, talking on a cell phone,  turning to talk to a passenger next to you or children in the back seat—these are all distractions that take one’s eyes off the road.  This is what we are trying to prevent, distracted driving in any form, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is so committed to promoting the cause, that we offer a pledge on our Facebook page. You can log in and invite someone you care about to take the pledge. The government also has a website at www.distraction.gov where you can go to Take the Pledge as well. This short pledge focuses on phone calls and texting:

It reads: “Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. I pledge to:

• Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.

• Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.

• Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.” Distracted driver girl

Last night’s local news included a piece on National Distracted Driver Awareness Month with an announcement that both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are filing legislation supporting talking on a hand-held cell phone against the law. Though they recognize that the law in most states, making it illegal to text while driving, is hard to enforce and ineffective. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is planning to support the legislation.

The National Safety Council (NCS) is also running a campaign called “Distracted Driving: One Call Can Change Everything.” This campaign focuses on the main cause of people driving distracted:  using cell phones while driving. An estimated one in four crashes happens because someone was talking on a cell phone, according to the National Safety Council. The National Safety Council is also focused on educating people that hands-free driving is still driving distracted. Studies have shown that your brain is still distracted by, and focusing on, the conversation rather than the road. While better than holding the cell phone in your hand, the NCS is working hard to educate drivers that hands-free does not eliminate distracted driving.

The Distracted Driver Stats:

• NSC estimates 28 percent of all crashes – or 1.6 million crashes – each year are caused by drivers using their handheld or hands-free cell phones and texting while driving. This is much greater than the number of crashes caused by any other distraction.

• The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver; this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011. (More recent stats are still being tabulated based on determined cause.)

• Ten percent of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

• Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes, so please speak with your young adult children about this important issue.

The NSC is so concerned about distracted drivers using cell phones; they commissioned Nationwide Insurance to research and write a paper on the under-reporting of cell phone use in accidents. National data shows that at least 350 fatal crashes a year are caused by drivers on cell phones, but most safety experts know the problem is much bigger. About 50% of all fatal crashes involve cell phone use and thousands admit cell phone use during a crash that was not fatal. The biggest problem is that in fatalities, the witnesses often don’t report cell phone use and in crashes where the drivers live, they are not going to admit to cell use.

Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion joins both the NSC and NHTSA to encourage drivers to commit to not using their cell phones while driving during the month of April and beyond until it becomes a habit. These organizations encourage drivers to silence, turn off or put their phones away in trunks or glove compartments, reducing the temptation to answer a ringing phone, text message or e-mail. Drivers also are asked to change their voicemail greeting to alert callers they may be driving.

Please drive safely and put down the cell phone while driving. One call really can change everything.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

We haven’t heard much about the Toyota RAV4. How does it compare to its competitors?

2014-toyota-rav4-limited-front-three-quarters (2)I’m glad you asked about the RAV4! The RAV4 is receiving many accolades in the small SUV category for its overall value, the many features that come standard in the RAV4 as compared to the six main competitors in this product category.

One reviewer commented that RAV4’s “active-safety acceleration, handling and cornering performance on snow” is better than all of its competitors. Both Kelly Blue Book and Consumer Reports gave accolades for the RAV4’s smooth ride, fuel economy, transmission and roominess. It’s one of Toyota’s many models that has stood the test of time (over 20 years) and continues to improve thanks to Toyota’s ongoing technological advancements.

According to the most objective source, Consumer Reports, “The RAV4 uses an energetic 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a smooth six-speed automatic that combined to return 24-mpg overall in tests of the AWD version. Handling is quite nimble and very secure. Though the ride is firm and well-controlled…”

The six competitors of the RAV4 include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee or Patriot, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue. When researching vehicles, it is important to FIRST define what features are important to you and your driving needs and preferences. This can be very helpful to protect your wallet while also ensuring you remain focused on evaluating makes and models that include what you are really looking for.

The following are standard features in the RAV4: (Note these same features are not standard in the RAV4’s primary competition. They are available in some at an additional cost or not available at all.)

  • 6 transmission speeds in automatic mode
  • Front knee airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated exterior mirrors
  • Power sun /moon roof
  • 15.9 gallon fuel capacity
  • Voice-activated control
  • The widest body at 72.6 inches
  • Integrated back-up bumper
  • Fold-flat second row seat.

Kelly Blue Book rated the RAV4 high in the performance category because of its “Dynamic torque-control AWD (all-wheel drive) which makes other SUVs just feel like UVs.”

What features did KBB like best?

  • Rear view aids — “As fashion and safety rules emphasize thicker pillars, cars are getting harder and harder to see out of. The RAV4 comes standard with a backup camera, and ups the ante with available blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert, warning you when other vehicles are approaching as you reverse.”
  • Cargo capacity – “Despite being a compact crossover SUV, the Toyota RAV4 offers up a lot of cargo space behind the second row. If that’s not enough, fold those seats and you’ll get a class-leading 73.4 cubic feet, all of it usable thanks to a flat load floor.”
  • Technology — It offers “Entune App Suite mobile apps you want, integrated with the vehicle you love.”

The RAV4 has a lot to offer and is fun to drive. Seating 5, choose from 8 exterior color options. Come to Jaffarian Toyota Scion and test drive one if you’re thinking that an SUV will meet your needs. If you’re not sure, we can help you make that decision based on your input and the opportunity to drive an SUV, especially if you haven’t owned one before.

Welcome spring! Now perhaps it time for that long-awaited test drive…

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

Do men still make most of the car-buying decisions?

WomenDrivers.comA resounding NO to that question! Many people will be surprised by that answer. Some people still remember the single or married woman shopping for a vehicle with a man by her side to help her make the decision. And with that scenario, the all-male sales staff would be making eye contact and speaking to the man, even if the car was for the woman. I hope those days are long-gone everywhere, but I can tell you that scenario does not exist at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion.

In many cases, women come in alone as the sole decision-maker and couples come in where the woman is the decision-maker for the family vehicle. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion is aware that “women buy 52% of all new cars sold in the U.S., influence more than 85% of all car purchases and are the fastest growing segment of buyers for new and used cars. All told, women have full or partial say over a staggering $80 billion worth of spending on cars,” according to Forbes.

Additionally, research shows that 65% of all customers taking their vehicles in for service are women. With so many women in the workplace and those with kids to tote around to school and activities, women have specific needs for the type of vehicles they want to buy. They tend to make practical decisions – it’s less about image.

In 2014, a Forbes article stated, “For the first time in the history of the car industry, a Frost & Sullivan report finds that the number of women with driving licenses in the U.S. over took that of men, not just in one of the young age groups, but consistently across all age groups greater than 25… it is clear that 80 percent of the car buying decision is now influenced by women. While buying a new car, women are practical and tend to connect the purchase to the ideas of freedom and independence. They prefer small and maneuverable cars, but further give importance to design, spaciousness, safety, quality of materials, vehicle color and sustainability of the car. They like options like park assist, clear lighting for petrol and easy access, integrated systems for mobile devices, entertainment (especially moms) and everything that can make car-time easier and more intuitive.”

This can be part of the reason why so many women shop our brands. Women love the safety records of the Volvo and the safety and economy of Toyotas. Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion participates in the “Women Driver Friendly” certified dealer program where we receive online ratings and reviews, similar to dealerrater.com. Women-Drivers.com is the industry’s leading female online review service, connecting women car shoppers to Certified Women-Drivers Friendly® Car Dealers. Our Women Driver Friendly score is nearly perfect at 4.96 out of 5. This is based on the following breakdown:
 Shop 5.0
 Purchase 4.97
 Service 4.92
Overall 24-month rating = 4.96

The mission of Women-Drivers.com “is to shift the traditional women’s car buying experience and help to create a new marketplace and paradigm, where when a woman walks into any dealership she feels like she is walking into her favorite Target or Nordstrom’s. She will be satisfied with her experience, knowing that whoever assists her will be respectful, trustworthy, and knowledgeable… each and every time.” We are proud to live up to their standards with our high rating. We also have women on our internet sales staff.

Women — you can be sure from the moment you are greeted in either the showroom or in the service area, you are treated with the greatest respect and not any different than we treat men. This is also good for men to know, that the woman in your life will not be spoken to or treated any differently here; nor will you have to worry about her being taken advantage of, or taken for granted. We believe in building relationships with each and every customer. We want you to Demand the Best. Get the Best. You deserve better and we are here to earn your trust and your business with every interaction.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary

How do I get my car back to the way it looked in the fall? It’s been out in the snow all winter.

Toyota inCarwashThe most important thing is to keep up with cleaning your car off even between storms to help prevent rust, which is caused by the salt mixtures used on the roads. Because you may have waited for the better weather, don’t wait one moment longer to take care of the exterior of your vehicle.

Fortunately, the staff of Jaffarian Auto Spa at either Volvo or Toyota service areas at 600 River Street in Haverhill can treat your vehicle to a cleaning that is much needed this time of year. In Massachusetts, the State Highway Department does a great job of keeping roads clear and putting mixtures down according to the road conditions and temperature. Sodium chloride is the most readily available and at the lowest cost. It has some disadvantages, however, including its impact on the environment and its corrosive effect, especially on vehicles. It also doesn’t work well at low temperatures.

The State also takes into consideration reduced salt areas marked by road signs. In those areas and when the temperature is extremely cold, the road mixture includes a sodium chloride/calcium chloride blend which is better for the environment, but at a higher cost.

When to have your vehicle washed:

In washing salt off in wintertime, do so during the day so the vehicle has time to dry. You don’t want the water to freeze on your finish after temperatures fall. The outside temperature should preferably be around 40°F or higher. While your vehicle is still collecting slush, salt and sand, it’s recommended to wash your vehicle off every 10 days or so.

What services to look for at a car wash:

• Undercarriage wash – That is imperative during and after winter to clean out the salt mixtures from the roads. This is particularly important for trucks as the mixtures can actually get into the electrical components and promote decay of the brake lines.

• Evaluate the services provided – Did they dry the edges of the doors inside and out, including the undersides of door handles, all hinges, plus the hood and trunk edges. This helps keep them from freezing shut. (But let’s hope the cold is nearly over!)

• Wax and seal – After a winter washing (and in the fall) apply an additional coat of wax to all exposed metal. If you do it yourself, use a hand-held hair dryer to warm the metal surfaces before applying the wax and warm your buffing rags in a dryer to help the wax better adhere to the cold metal surfaces. But better yet, have it professionally waxed.

• Quality spray protectors should be used on all exterior rubber or vinyl surfaces. It may be best to spray it on an applicator instead of spraying the product directly onto the surface. This will avoid any overspray onto the paint.

• Carpet cleaning — If your vehicle’s carpets are stained from the salt mixture, the best treatment is hot water and white vinegar in a 50/50 mix put into a spray bottle, though it may not smell good. If you have your vehicle cleaned professionally on the inside, we will be sure to leave it smelling fresh!

Jaffarian Auto Spa packages start at $39.95 and you can schedule an appointment by calling (888) 234-2854. Your vehicle deserves a trip to the spa after the winter we just experienced!

Ask Gary Jaffarian

Categories: Ask Gary
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