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Re: Keeping 'em on the road (was RE: [T3] ethanol)

On 1 Apr 2006 at 17:05, knowonelse@sbcglobal.net wrote:

> Much like the myths surrounding the T3 FI system, the Prius battery
> isn't much of a problem from real life experience. I'm on 3 Prius email
> lists, including one with some serious techies (reminds me of this
> list!), and so far around the world, there has been exactly (1) one
> report of a battery with a problem. It was replaced by Toyota, and the
> owner saw the invoice for the battery, and it was about $1000. There are
> no reports of anyone paying to replace a battery, let alone for several
> thousand dollars, and anyone who says so, ask for direct evidence. A lot
> of myths out there, just like those out there concerning T3's. 

What I've heard is that since all these cars are still under 
warrantee, no one has yet set a retail price for a replacement 
battery. If that's true, the $1000 invoice price is meaningless, 
since Toyota could set it at any level they like, since they know 
that THEY will be paying it anyway.  That's probably a smart move on 
their part, for now, but it will probably change when the warrantees 
run out. 

How long is the Toyota warrantee on the battery? My guess is that 
Toyota is still likely to sell replacement batteries at cost or 
slightly less at first, just to keep the "sticker shock" down and as 
a good PR move. Time will tell.

> There are a bunch of Prii out there doing duty as
> taxis and have way over 100K already with no
> real problem reported, and several over 200K.

This sounds like the batteries have been well engineered, but it's 
important to keep in mind that time is more important than usage to a 
battery. I don't know what kind of chemistry these batteries use, but 
in many of them the worst thing you can do is to not use them. For 
many battery styles, the shelf life is no longer, and often shorter, 
than the life under normal use. That's certainly true of the lead 
acid batterys in our type 3s.

> Owning a Prius is much like owning a VW. If you
> don't mess with the original engineering, and it should
> last a very, very long time.

Are there people out there who are trying to "mess with the original 
engineering" on their Prius? I suppose it's inevitable....

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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