SAN JOSE (CBS 5) – Scion owners are calling on Toyota to replace the hatch handle on Scion tC and XB vehicles manufactured between 2004 and 2011, saying the part is flimsy and prone to breaking.

Christina Good of San Jose is leading the charge. Earlier this year, she started an on-line petition that currently has 281 signatures, many from Scion owners claiming the same problem. Good said the handle on her 2008 tC broke off last year, shortly after the car’s warranty expired.

Good said her Scion dealer offered only half a solution, a free replacement part, but Good would have to pay for the labor and installation. Additionally, she saif Scion dealers across the country are addressing the problem in inconsistent ways, with some offering free fixes, others charging car owners for the entire repair.

“It’s not a cheap fix, and they don’t want to fix it for us,” Good told ConsumerWatch.

Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety agrees that the hatch handle is inadequate.

“It may belong on a toy car, it doesn’t belong on a real car,” he said. Ditlow said that while the problem doesn’t rise to the level of a recall, he thinks Toytoa should do what’s known as a service campaign for its Tc and XB models.

“They notify the owners and they say – we’re sorry, we made a mistake, we’re going to replace the plastic handle on your car with a real handle.”

Toyota told ConsumerWatch it takes the quality and safety of its vehicles “very seriously.” It said it is currently investigating the issue at this time.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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