I have been a long term customer and referred many people to Tokyo Automotive, but have to agree with L.C. that Tatsu has a new business model. I took my older Lexus to Tatsu because several warning lights had come on and the car was riding rough. I heard from Tatsu later in the day that a coil needed to be replaced. It was the #4 coil and spark plug and wires also need to be replace. He told me in writing it would be $780. or $1075.34 to replace the front 3 coils and plugs or he stongly suggested doing all 6 for $1939.64. I hung up and called a friend who is a mechanic and he said the prices were not right. Was I sure? I was referred to Dr. Mechanic in Placentia and call Tatsu at Tokyo to pick up the car. He charge me $160 for diagnosing the problem after telling me I should do all coils since every time to diagnosis would be $80. At 5:30 I drove my car to Dr. Mechanic and at 10:30 the next day my car was ready for a total of $248.37. If I had all 6 coils replaced per Dr. Mechanic the cost would have been $1100. As a courtesy to Tatsu parents, before posting on Yelp (my first time) I called Tatsu to get an explanation, apology or whatever. His answer was "I am not the cheap guy anymore." I pick up the Lexus and left my Tundra at Dr. Mechanic for brakes, oil change and rotation and will now be referring my friends and family to him.
Vince, I appreciate the many years you've been coming to our shop. I realize that from your standpoint what we're doing may seem like such a betrayal of who we were back then, but the way we were doing it back then and being able to keep it affordable for everyone would've forced us to underpay our employees or either that or force my dad to work well beyond retirement years. When faced with that decision, and we weren't willing to skimp on quality, we went with the high quality business model.
...and I get it the replacement of ignition coils and spark plugs is way cheaper at some places. But if I charged what that other shop charged, I could not afford to have a master technician on staff, I could not afford to give my guy's benefits, and I certainly would put the cheapest stuff on your car and hope that it doesn't come back within a year.
I just want to be the better shop, and sorry if I didn't state ahead of time that we've changed. Its so seldom that you come nowadays, that I forget that some of you remember us as the old version of us.
- Tokyo Automotive