Gen3 cells in a recon Gen2 pack. I think I got ripped off. Help!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by justinohm, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Hi all, first post, but thanks for everyones efforts here. It allows me to be a DIYer with my 2006 Prius.

    Here's the issue. I got the triangle of death and Code P0A80 and did my research and decided to order a reconditioned hybrid battery that claimed to use Gen3 cells. The cost was $1400 plus $180 shipping and $400 core deposit. They sell the reconditioned packs with Gen2 cells for $1000 + shipping and core. After installing the pack I'm getting P0AFA - Low Hybrid Battery Voltage, which I've read can point to the the battery's computer. At this point I became suspicious and decided to take off the battery cover to examine the cells themselves. The company, Falcon Hybrid/PriusRebuilders is well reviewed and recommended on priuschat which is why I went with them.

    I've attached a picture of the serial number. I've read on another thread that Gen3 cells have a B3, B4 or B5 under the serial number. Mine clearly has a B2 which, according to the other thread means its a Gen2. I called the company and their initial response is that my information is incorrect and it doesn't matter what B# is under the serial number. I was going to give them a chance to send me the correct pack but now its looking like its going to be a fight. Not to mention it's looking like something is wrong with the battery computer. Their recommendation was that i use my old computer from my failed pack which doesn't throw the P0AFA code.

    My question is, is there any proof that Gen3 cells should definitely have B3, B4 or B5 under the serial number? Would there be another likely culprit of the P0AFA code other than the battery computer. I know there was a recall in '09.

    The title of the other thread is: gen3-hv-batteries-for-gen2

    Thanks for all your help.
     

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  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I see you have "H" modules, which mean they are from 2006....Gen2
     
  3. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Does it void your warranty to open the case?

    The 4th positon is the YEAR of the module
    Your picture shows "H" in the 4th position
    "H" module is from 2006
    Guess you'll need to ask them what they consider a "newer Generation 3 battery cell."

    G = 2005
    H = 2006
    I = 2007
    J = 2008
    K = 2009
    L = 2010

    From their web site
    "This battery features newer Generation 3 battery cells rebuilt into the Generation 2 core.
    Generation 3 battery cells are the newest version and have the longest life-expectancy possible when compared to generation 2 battery cells.
    This rebuilt battery is highly recommended for customers who are planning to keep their Generation 2 Prius for 3 years or longer.
    This item is rebuilt with good used cells that all have been serviced and tested using our advanced tech methods to check voltage, load, capacity, and endurance.
    These cells have performance levels much closer to new cells compared to Generation 2 cells.
    All cells have passed acceptable thresholds for performance.
    All connections and bus-bars are refurbished and nickel-plated using our special advanced technique.
    This battery comes with a 12 MONTH warranty"​
     
  4. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Wow, thanks so much. So it's confirmed then, that they sent me Gen2 cells and I paid for Gen3? I contacted Falcon and told them I want to return the pack and I'm not interested in a replacement. They said that I would still be on the hook for the shipping ($180). I suppose I'll have to dispute the charge if they don't back down on that, considering they didn't actually send me what I ordered. Anyone have a source for the 4th position indicating the model year? I would love to have that on hand for these guys and perhaps for the credit card dispute.

    At this stage, what would you guys recommend doing. Buy a new unit from Toyota, or start searching for a used unit from a late model Gen3 and swap the cells myself?
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you charged it on your credit card, you just need to call them to dispute. They sent you something you didn't order.......giving you a cheaper product than what's advertised. That's FRAUD
     
  6. jadziasman

    jadziasman Prius owner emeritus

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    Another reason I am not going to buy a reconditioned HV battery when the time comes for a replacement.
    You have no way of knowing what you're buying.

    If you can get a local Toyota stealership to sell you a new HV battery (which will have Gen 3 cells in it) for less
    than list price that's a better way to go. A lot of work for you to do but well worth it in the long run. It might be difficult to get
    them to sell you one without installation since many stealerships won't (they want to make $$$$ on the install).
     
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  7. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Your probably right, but at this point I'm not interested in a Warranty replacement, I want a full refund because they shipped me Gen 2 instead of Gen 3 cells, which I paid a $400 premium over the price of Gen 2 cells to receive.
     
  8. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I think this happens quite often when the consumer can't tell the difference with the products.

    Product 1 - $100
    Product 2 - $200
    Product 3 - $300

    basically all the same.....whichever you choose
     
  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Well... It reads like it, but at the same time they didn't say the cells were from a GenIII Toyota Prius. They said the cells were Generation 3 versus generation 2, which means nothing since the cells are used in many vehicles, not just a Prius. If they said the cells were from Generation 3 Prii, then that's different but the wording very carefully doesn't say that. Also if you want to be technical, they could argue they are Generation 3 cells. Generation 1 were in the first early 90's Prius that never came to the USA. Gen 2 was what we call Gen 1 here in the USA, and Gen 3 would be 2004-2009, Gen 4 2010+, etc. The fact that they are vague, would be a flag to me. Just marketing hype. Like how every cell phone carrier can say they have the best coverage which can obviously not be true but it could be under a very specific test in a very specific area.

    Common. Be glad they are taking it as a return. You opened the pack up, so does that void the warranty? I would push for them to cover it, but it doesn't seem that uncommon for you to be on the hook for return shipping. Who was to pay for core shipping, and did you already send that in?
     
  10. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    I did use a card, and if they don't do a full refund I will do a dispute. Thanks again for your response.
     
  11. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    As I said earlier, you must first get Falcon to tell you what they consider "Generation 3 battery cells".
    Get them to put this in writing.

    Now, most people use this nomenclature when referring to Prius Generations...
    Gen 1 Prius 200 -2003
    Gen 2 Prius 2004 - 2009
    Gen 3 Prius 2010 - 2015
    I would think you assumed you were getting 2010 or newer cells.

    That said, a sneaky/shady seller could argue this...
    - Generation 1 battery cells were the cylindrical cells used in the overseas Prius, first used in the 1997 model year
    - Generation 2 battery cells were the prismatics first used in the US in the 2000 model year
    - Generation 3 battery cells were prismatics first used in the US in 2004 model year

    I have worked with other members to get a refund from their credit card companies when it comes to getting a refund for misrepresented batteries. Feel free to call me if you need assistance.
     
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  12. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Ok, I see your point. They could be sticklers with their definition of Gen 3. Still doesn't seem right though, its read as Gen 3 Prius not some custom definition they have. I didn't send in my core yet and instead used the pre-paid label to send back the defective/fraudulent pack. I guess they could say it was a mistake and not intentional but I just don't want to do business with them at this point. I also don't want to be on the hook for shipping for something that was completely out of my control and most likely as a result of incompetence or dishonesty.
     
  13. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Sorry,
    I see 2K1Toaster beat me to the punch regarding "generations"

    Again, get Falcon to tell you EXACTLY what they mean by "Generation 3 battery cells."

    Then you will have complete information to file a dispute.

    Also, by obtaining this info, we can warn/educate others.
     
  14. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Thanks so much for the offer. I may take you up on that.
     
  15. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    At this point I'm considering buying a salvage gen3 pack and transferring the cells. The pack I found on Craigslist is from a 2012 Prius V. Any problem there? Also, it's been sitting for 1.5 years out of the totaled vehicle. Any problem there? Can I just swap them in or do they need to be balanced considering it's been sitting out of the vehicle for a while?
    It's selling for $950. Worth it?
    Thanks for your input.
     
    #15 justinohm, Jun 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
  16. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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  17. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    It seems to be an individual seller and not the Elite seller from that post. He also said I could volt test the cells, so I'd be able to check the serial numbers. Honestly I'm torn though. I'm also considering buying an individual cell off eBay and replacing the defective cell or just going with a new unit from Toyota. I just don't have the experience to know what option I should go with. I'm getting fast at ripping that back seat out. But I don't want to throw away money either.
     
  18. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    One of the larger ebay cell vendors is actually falcon under a different name... So, take that as a data point.
     
  19. justinohm

    justinohm New Member

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    Yep, good looking out. I noticed the same Ridgefield NJ location. Thanks.
     
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