Car Toys - Badly Botched Car Audio Installation--2015 Rav4

I took my 2015 Rav4 into Car Toys on Aurora Ave North in Seattle for an installation of a Kenwood DDX593 receiver/monitor (no navigation), that I also bought from them online. The end result was a lot of unnecessary hacking and damage to the factory wiring, missing factory functionality, and very unprofessional workmanship. I bought that receiver especially because it was compatible with all the factory equipment and functionality on that vehicle, and I clearly expressed I wanted to retain the factory functionality. Good deal on the DDX receiver/head unit, but a disaster on the installation...

Their install techs did not bother to do even basic research or trace down any wiring, and spent over 9 total hours in labor charges over two appointments guessing, experimenting, and hacking away. My first appointment resulted in the factory camera being claimed to not be compatible, and the steering wheel controls non functional other than the basic volume buttons. The factory backup camera was also now non functional, so of course they sold me their after market one which they claimed would work.

The manager offered me a huge discount on the labor and parts at cost to correct the above. I accepted--big mistake. My second appointment to correct this resulted in no real progress and me deciding to have their work evaluated by a professional custom car audio shop. They were horrified at what they found and even took pictures of it for me as they found it (attached). Wires left bare, many hacked and spliced poorly, a connector left unconnected and hanging, bundles not secured and jammed hard into spaces, and a dangerous lack of proper secured spot bundling resulting in low hanging wires dangerously close to the gas pedal and kick panel. They left that part just high enough so I could not see it from a sitting position, unless I got down and looked. But it certainly might have caused an accident getting tangled in my foot or leg had that come loose and dropped.

The manager then offered to refund all of the charges after I showed him my evidence and wrote a detailed Email. But he could not reimburse me for the cost to correct the shoddy work and unnecessary damage and incorrect harnesses. The end result was I had to pay over $1000 in labor charges over 2 visits to a true professional custom car audio shop to re solder a lot of the factory wiring, trace the wiring, make the proper connections where necessary, and do the research to match the right steering wheel adapter unit, connectors and harnesses to get all the factory functionality back again using the same DDX Kenwood unit, including restoring the factory rear view camera.

I would not recommend anyone take any vehicle that has a factory backup camera and steering wheel controls to Car Toys if you want to keep them intact and not have their inexperienced techs *** up your factory wiring and overcharge you for guesswork labor unnecessarily.

I intend to file a claim with their liability insurance company for reimbursement and am seriously considering legal action. I will update this if successful.

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Price Affordability
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Value for money

  • What I liked
    • Products
  • What I disliked
    • Expertise
    • Poor workmanship
    • Lack of installation knowledge

Reason of review:
Poor workmanship
Preferred solution:
Reimbursement of costs to repair damage, poor workmanship, and to install properly.
Monetary loss:
Product or service
Car Toys Car Stereo Installation
Review category
review #920126 by

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