Re: Toyota Certified Pre-Owned: Gimmick?
I bought my 2007 FJ from Bernardi Toyota in Framingham, MA as a "Toyota Certified Used" vehicle.
In MY experience:
-The impression that they go through the vehicle with a fine tooth comb is bull5h!t. Mine still had the factory spark plugs, a filthy cabin air filter, unchanged oil, nearly empty windshield washer fluid, and a rear cargo area full of sand. The best part of all this was the huge yellow sticker on the rear glass that beamed "SERVICED."
-The price on the extended warranties appear to be negotiable, especially from dealer to dealer. I paid $1350 to warranty mine bumper to bumper until 7 years/100,00 miles. Others here have paid less, and still others more.
-Based on the (IMHO unfounded) "faultless" Toyota reliability reputation, you absolutely SHOULD NOT need one of these warranties. So, if the dealer is trying to sell you a Toyota, which is supposedly one of the most reliable vehicles ever made, why the heck would you also need them to sell you a $500-$2000 warranty??? The answer rhymes with p-r-o-f-i-t !
-Being completely honest, I bought mine simply for the peace of mind knowing that I would put a ton of miles on it and that parts would be MUCH more expensive than the previous (American) cars I have owned. Nothing major has happened since the truck passed 36k miles, but the airbag in the passenger side seat did go bad the night I drove the truck home (with ~34,500 miles on the odo). Had this happened beyond the warranty I would have been screwed, since the remedy was to replace the entire seat! I've heard of others paying as much as $3000 to replace a seat with the built-in airbag!
-Bear in mind that the CPO already gives you an extended powertrain warranty, so adding the bumper-to-bumper may or may not be cost effective for you. It was to me since none of the suspension or emissions components are included in the powertrain coverage of the CPO plan.