Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The MPG Mystery

This post has nothing to do with Toyota's current issues of floor mats, brakes and gas pedals. This has to do with my little Prius, Adam, and BIG business. :)

About a month ago, Adam's little gauge that tells me how many miles per gallon he is getting started dropping. We also noticed that we were putting in more gas than we had been. Irv said that with the cold weather, warming Adam up some mornings and running the heat could all lower his gas mileage, but the gauge kept dropping and we kept filling up the tank. I had been getting 49.5 MPG and now Adam's little gauge said 45.3. We decided to check the mileage ourselves and were shocked when our calculations showed that Adam was only getting 37.8 MPG!

Oh no.......was my darling little Adam sick?

We stopped at the Toyota dealer so Irv could run in and talk to someone in the Maintenance Department. I waited in the car and after about 10 minutes Irv came out.

Adam wasn't sick. The drop in miles per gallon is normal for a Prius during the really cold weather. The gauge takes a long time to come down to the mileage you are really getting. Blah, blah, blah....it has something to do with the cold and a bladder in the gas tank and blah, blah, blah. I don't get all the technical automotive lingo.

First of all, shame on me and Irv for not doing our homework so we knew that fact before we purchased Adam. We would have still bought him, but it would have been nice to know that. I am not complaining over 37.8 MPG. Here is the kicker though.....

The guy told Irv that he had probably had 50 Prius owners in over the past couple of weeks with the same concern.

What ?!?!?!

I said to Irv....if this is something that causes that kind of negative response every winter, why on earth wouldn't they just tell people about that when they are looking at the car and talking about the gas mileage? "Just so you know, the gas mileage on the Prius does drop a bit during the really cold winter months." That's all they would have to say. If the person asks how much it drops....tell them it varies. If they press, then tell them whatever the average is for goodness sake. It isn't that big of a deal!! It's still great gas mileage!!!

Irv said, "They aren't going to tell people that because then someone might not buy the car."

Good point....in this world of BIG business, I guess it is better to sell 50 cars and then have 50 upset customers than it is to risk a couple less sales.

Not the way I would do business, but then I am not a car dealership in a slumping economy either.

15 comments:

Mary said...

That is discouraging, to say the least. I have a Corolla which gets 40+ miles on the highway, even now, but of course Corollas are included in the recalls--supposedly not mine but we're having it checked anyway....I'm so over big business, lying, cheating, winking, smirking....argggghhhh!

Lanyardlady said...

Makes you wonder what else they're not telling us about our cards, our appliances, our medical insurance, etc. I hope Adam will be happier when it gets warmer -- soon!

LDWatkins said...

ARG!! The other stuff they don't tell us!!!!

Cathryn said...

We bought a stove from a major brand store. Turns out even as we were purchasing this stove, there was a recall on the oven door because it failed to close properly. We weren't told that we would have to have this replaced and when the oven door quit closing properly, we got the runaround.

I'm sick to death of corporate businesses looking at the bottom lining of their pockets/bank accounts that they are shafting the people who keep them afloat.

The Muse said...

sadly in all areas....honesty no longer seems to be the best policy..
(sigh)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I GUESS...but I'd want to know! I never heard that!!!

Oklahoma Granny said...

Thanks for the info. One of our relatives has been thinking about buying a Prius. I'm going to pass your information on to her.

Matty said...

You are absolutely correct. It's all about money. If properly informing a potential customer means the possibility that they won't buy your product, then good business practices (in their minds) dictates that you don't tell them.

I've never been a business owner, but I couldn't, in good conscience, not treat customers the right way. Sam Walton, the founder of WalMart had it right. When he started his one little store in 1949, his principle was that the customer was always right (even if they weren't) and he gladly exchanged or gave refunds even if it meant taking a loss. Why? He knew that in the long run, that customer would keep coming back to buy more and would tell other people about their positive experience. How many businesses work under that principle today? I have stopped doing business with a number of places because all they cared about was the money they made on this one transaction, and didn't see the bigger picture.....the future profits of my repeat business (that they no longer have).

You hit a nerve with me on this post. Good article.

DUTA said...

One has to be on the alert all the time, unless he doesn't care about being cheated upon. That bad it has all become.

Angela said...

Very interesting! Have you seen the new car called "Leaf" it is 100% electric...but they aren't really showing too many pictures of it yet. I bet it is hideous! ha ha

Beth Anderson said...

That's just bad business.
One thing I have to say about my new company, we could give just about everyone and every business a lesson in customer service and I'm proud of it.

Ms Sparrow said...

My old Impala has been getting such poor gas milage that I thought somebody was siphoning gas at night. I'm glad to blame it on the weather. I hate thinking badly of the neighbors!

lilylovekin said...

When is all of this going to stop? I am so tired of big businesses they are all the same and think they have it over us little guys that it doesn't matter what they tell us.

The Muse said...

vegetarian? i respect that....and i will tell my beloved he needs to do some salads and other veggie dishes :)
all the more for me :)

gayle said...

I think they are all the same!! No one wants to be truthful anymore!!

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