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Prius Hybrid Battery Replacement

I have a 2005 Toyota Prius and at 75,000 miles the battery went completely dead. The good news is that the dealer is replacing it under warranty; however, the bad news is that it’s been out of action for eleven (11) weeks and counting while the battery is continually unavailable. As a side note there are four others at the same dealer, all awaiting batteries with no ship dates available.

Can you tell me if this is a nation wide Prius epidemic or an isolated problem? Is there a shortage of batteries, or is a factory down somewhere.

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan severely damaged Japans industrial production…I suspect all of the new batteries available are being used to support new car production not replacement parts…

I wondered about that, but wasn’t sure. I am sure about one thing, my car is sitting at the dealers, in the heat, which isn’t doing it any good by not being driven once in a while. I guess I shouldn’t complain too loudly, they have provided me with a pretty nice rental while I wait. Thanks for the input.

A friend of mine with a late model Scion suffered a major failure in the rear suspension and the dealership provided her with a new Corrola as a loner while they waited for parts to repair her car…I thought that was rather large of them…Her car is out of warranty…

Your Prius sat in the sun at railroad yards and on car carriers and on the dealership lot without being driven before you bought it. It won’t be hurt sitting for awhile in the sun now. As long as the dealership provided me with an equivalent or better car as a free unlimited miles loaner while I waited for the battery, I’d be fine with it. After all, you’re racking up a lot of miles that aren’t going on your car.

As much as I like the Prius, this is something that really bugs me - a family member has one, and while the battery hasn’t died, they have had quite a lot of problems with the vehicle - basically every 18 months or so, it lights up its dash like a christmas tree, goes dead, and spends many weeks in the shop while they try to diagnose it and then wait forever on parts. I wish they would improve the parts supply simply to avoid these issues.

Caddyman may be right. But he forgot the nuclear powerplant meltdown (a result of the tsunami).

Japan, an island country smaller than California, has truely survived the “perfect storm”, a combination of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, an historic tsunami, and a nuclear meltdown. Three historically major disasters, any one of which would be devastating all by itself. I have deep and sincere respect for the Japanese people and how they’ve begun recovering from these disasters. It is a great testiment to them. But it had to affect their ability to keep their parts sully lines full.

You might be concerned about rubber seals drying out. The AC compressor seals might dry out and leak. I had that occur on a car I bought in 1987. The car sat on the dealer’s lot for more than 6 months before I bought it. It’s been a l25 years, and seals may have improved a lot. Your Prius may not experience this problem, but it’s worth remembering in case it does.

If they give me a new loaner to drive, they can keep my ailing Prius as long as they want…

Consumer Reports recently had an article on an older Prius. I think it was 10 years old, making it a 2002 I guess. Anyway, it had over 100K miles and the original battery was tested by CR and was practically good as new. Assuming you haven’t been in an accident, I think you may have just got a dud battery to begin with. The dealership is replacing it for free under warranty, so that’s about as good as they can do. They don’t make the battery, they just install it.

The earthquake in Japan is almost certainly the reason for the parts delay. It isn’t just affecting Prius batteries, it is affecting pretty much everything made in Japan. As said above, perhaps the dealership can let you drive one of their loaners while you wait for the battery. If not, ask them if they will offer you some compensation for a rental. Renting a car by the month can be pretty economical if you call around to the various places. Avoid the rentals from the airports I think. I’ve had best luck with long term car rentals from an Avis located at a nearby Sears retail store.

The only other thing I can think of is to call around to the local junkyards and see if they might have a used Prius battery.

@george they’ve been given a rental from the dealership, so they don’t have to worry about rental fees.

This also brings up a question; Just how many Prius owners are going to give up after so long and just buy a new car rather than wait for theirs to be replaced?

I think for anyone who asks on the forum here about Prius battery replacements, we should refer them to this thread.