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Chrome Wheel Rip Off


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Buyer beware! I just purchased a new GS350 with 17" 10 spoke aluminum wheels. I noticed the showroom GS350 had chrome 10 spoke wheels and I asked what it would take to get them on my GS350. I was told I could have them put on my GS350 for $2300 in exchange for my aluminum wheel. I agreed (stupid) and the dealer swapped them out for me the next day. Later that day I did some research on the wheels because the price seemed high. After a little internet detective work I determined I could have purchased 4 new 17" chrome 10 spoke wheels from Wheel Concepts for $1140. Or I could have exchanged my aluminum wheel (again, Wheel Concepts) for chrome wheels for $550. I went back to the dealer and asked for an explanation about the price and a price adjustment or a full refund and my original wheels back. I was told that a senior sales manager would have to follow up with me. I then followed up with a letter to the sales manager. It's been a few weeks with no response. I hope other will learn from my stupidity.

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I don't think we can call what happened a "Rip Off". The chrome wheel option list price has hardly budged in over a decade and was $1,700 for for chrome wheels (without a chrome spare) the first year it ws an official option on the GS in 1996: http://www.lexus.com/contact/pdf/1996/1996GSspecs.pdf

The 5-wheel chrome option on the LS in 2000 on the LS - the first year (I think) a chrome spare was an official option - was $2,125.

The official chrome wheel option is thought by some to be of higher quality and more resistant to rust. Are you going to be using your chrome wheels on roads where salt is used?

Dealers have always been known for making a lot of extra money by adding all sorts of accessories and F&I products to the deal during the delivery process when customers are most excited and tend to let down their guards.

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The $2300 does sound a bit steep being that they took your original AL OEM wheels also. That price would be "fair" if they had sold you the wheels outright and you had kept the original wheels. They will make another approx $1k on the OEM aluminum wheels. Not much you can do after the sale, except doing what your doing and asking for their mercy!

Good luck. Hope you can something out of it! Maybe if not a cash refund, perhaps you can work out some free maintenance in it.

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