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 Post subject: Bad design on protecting the radiator - cost too much to fix
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:09 pm
Posts: 4
Dear Mirai Owners,

I had a bad experience with my Mirai and I want to share with all of you. Especially the reaction from Toyota was very disappointed to me. Here is what happened.

One month ago, I was driving my Mirai on a local street and all of a sudden, an error popped up on my screen saying "domestic fuel level is low, stop the vehicle and contact the dealer". Even my fuel gauge was also showing an empty tank. But I knew I had more than 3/4 of my tank before I started my car. So I pulled over and turn off the engine. After restarted it, the previous error message was gone and fuel gauge was back to normal. But another error saying "Fuel Cell System Malfunction, Visit your dealer". So called the Toyota Care roadside service and had it towed to dealer. Next morning, they called me and said this is a non-warranty item which will cost about $5K to repair it. They found my radiator (the one located behind the front bumper towards the lower right corner) had a puncture and thus all coolant was gone. Of course, it seemed to be hit by a small rock or some small debit. So Toyota insisted that this puncture was caused by road hazard and thus would not covered by warranty.

If this happens on an ordinary vehicle, it's probably $500 damage. But for our lovely Mirai, just the coolant alone, 5 units cost almost $2,500. Plus a new radiator, labor, inspection fee after the replacement. That's why the total came to $5K.

After talking to my auto insurance company, they sent an inspector to the dealer to look at it. Even he said this is really non-sense (from a design point of view). He agreed that if that radiator can be damaged that easily and so costly to repair, Toyota should have designed with much better protection scheme in mind so that it will not be damaged that easily. We looked at the triangular opening of the bumper grill at the corner and certainly there are enough areas for debit to fly through and damage the radiator. So he was able to talk them to reduce it down to $4K. After my comprehensive deductible ($1K), my insurance paid for the rest.

I got my car last week and have contacted Toyota USA and filed a complain. Yet, final decision is that they will not pay for it nor have plan to change the design of the front bumper grill (as an example) to prevent this from happening again! By all means, I am back to the road and it can happen any time AGAIN!

So my first suggestion to all of you is that change your comprehensive deductible to as low as you can afford. I would choose $100 if I knew this is going to happen to my car.

Sorry for the bad news, but I figured out it's better for you to know now than it's too late (liked me).


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