Hybrid battery failure - home shop says dealer is ripping me off

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ashkmiller, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. ashkmiller

    ashkmiller New Member

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    On Monday, my 2007 Prius dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and began running on the gas engine only as I attempted to leave Springfield, IL, for a 6.5 hour drive home. It is displaying the dreaded P0A80 code as well as P3016 (battery block 6 becomes weak).

    A Toyota dealer here told me the entire hybrid battery needs to be replaced to the tune of $2,600. I just bought this car 3 1/2 months ago. 153K, car fax checked out, no issues to this point.

    Naturally, I called the Toyota dealer I bought it from back at home. A service tech looked over the printout from the dealer here and said only one of the blocks was bad and that I didn't need an entirely new battery pack (and suggested the dealer here was attempting to rip me off).

    My dealer at home said they have only replaced one whole battery and that their techs regularly replace cells. I called back the dealer here and the person I have been dealing with was hesitant when I told them what my dealership told me - replace the bad cells instead of the whole battery.

    I'll have an answer tomorrow but I told them I am NOT paying for a whole new battery pack. There is another Toyota dealer within an hour that I can get to by back roads - I don't feel safe driving it on the interstate in its current condition.

    Is this common practice that Toyota dealers cannot (or will not) replace bad cells? My dealer at home said buy the cells on Amazon or eBay and any certified tech should be able to do it.

    I've tried looking at online hybrid battery companies but it seems like most only replace the whole thing, not individual cells.

    If the dealer here refuses to do the repair I'm a) inclined to ask the one at home to send a tech or b) see if the other dealership within an hour can fix it. Is it safe to drive there in its current state?
     

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  2. dubit

    dubit Active Member

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    Replacing individual cells is called "whack a mole" by people here. You can replace one, then a month later, another, rinse repeat continuously until tired and end up buying a new battery. Honestly, your better off just buying a new battery. You can go for a "non" Toyota refurbished battery, but they are just "whack a mole" batteries themselves. Your in an 11 year old Prius, the battery has lived it's life. Give the car a 2nd life and replace it's battery.

    As for people having a Toyota dealer play whack a mole - I've never heard of it, but I guess it's possible.

    As for driving the car - don't do that...
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    A Toyota dealer should not replace individual modules, it's not the proper repair process. Not sure why a dealer would mention this is available.

    A dealer should only replace battery with a new battery. So your home dealer is doing something that's out of the norm.

    You can try asking the selling dealer to pay for this repair, as 3 months is a very short time of owning this car. I think your home dealer is trying to pull a fast one here to cover themselves on selling you a car with a potentially bad battery
     
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  4. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I am very curious about your situation and would like to know more.

    If you would take a moment to call me I'd really appreciate it. (608-729-4082) Who is your home dealership?

    I have not heard of any Toyota dealership replacing modules. I wonder what the cost is?

    And by the way $2,600 for a NEW battery from a Toyota dealer is a good deal. I have seen prices range from $3,000 to over $4,000.

    Maybe your home dealer will price match the other dealership for a new pack?
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    iirc, another poster said a dealer did that for them. or was it a rebuilt pack? either way, it was the first i had heard of it.

    try calling toyota and asking for goodwill warranty help. it is not unheard of for 11 year old batteries to fail.
     
  6. ashkmiller

    ashkmiller New Member

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    My home dealer is Hosmer Toyota in Mason City, Iowa. They said they have replaced maybe one full hybrid battery and said they regularly replace cells. The person I was working with said they usually have customers buy the cells from eBay or Amazon and then their techs install them for $300 or so. He also emphasized that any certified tech should be able to do this.

    He said he shared my diagnostic with techs there, and said based on the voltage readouts, I only needed to replace block 6.

    I reiterated this information the next time I talked with the dealer here. They first said no, and then said yes, but quoted me $700 and then $1,200 for labor and couldn't provide any guarantee. Toyota customer service (the 800 number) was rude and of no help to me.

    At this point, I'm done dealing with Toyota and scheduled an appointment with Green Bean on Monday. I could tow my car home, but the time it's all done, it'll be the same price. At least Green Bean is offering me a 5-year warranty and replacement that's nearly half the price of the dealership.
     
  7. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    I have heard of dealer's doing rebuilt Toyota pack. And even 3rd party packs.

    But I've never hear of module level replacement.

    Ashkmiller, please call me.
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Active Member

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    My dealer said they tried replacing individual cells, "and didn't have much success with it". From the posts I've seen here, I suspect that's true. They don't do individual cells at my Toyota dealership anymore. I opted for a new OEM battery back installed at my Toyota dealer after taking about a week to think it over and to do some research.

    I think $2,600 is a good price for a new OEM replacement, and if it is done at a Toyota dealership the warranty is 3 years. The battery should be good for 10, though.

    I figure it only took me 82,000 miles to save almost $7,000 in gasoline over the small SUV I was originally planning to buy, which took some of the sting out of the price. Now I figure my car is good until it is a quarter-century old, lol.

    On your "is it safe to drive in it's current state?", no it's not. But if you're careful you should be okay over SHORT distances (NOT to a dealer an hour away, though!) Understand it will hesitate when starting out, so don't pull out into traffic. Don't get the gas engine hot, or it will go into limp mode. If it goes into limp mode, you can clear that for a short time by pulling over and cycling the power. Or you can wait until the ICE cools. So if you drive it, baby it, don't drive far (only a few miles), don't drive highway, and don't jump out into traffic. Babying at routes that allow 30-40 MPH is your best bet.
     
    #8 Wayne, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  9. ashkmiller

    ashkmiller New Member

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    That's interesting to hear. I ended up going with Green Bean Battery and will have the replacement done Monday.
     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You are being mislead here a bit......but it was NOT by the shop that suggested that you replace the whole battery.

    ALL of those cells have the same age and use on them. They likely will continue to fail as time goes on.....until you eventually replace them ALL, and that will be a LOT of hassle.

    Search on here for owner reports of what happened to them with a "rebuilt" battery.
    Pretty much NOBODY reports a long and happy life.

    (Edit: I see that you came to that conclusion already. Hope you enjoy your Prius. I lived in Springfield for about 15 years and think I remember some REALLY bad experiences with the Toyota dealer there.)
     
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Yay another new battery, another Prius on the road for another decade.
     
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  12. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Actually they went with a USED battery.

    Hopefully it lasts a few years.
    I spoke to ashkmiller on the phone.
    Was interesting to hear about the Iowa dealer that is replacing cells. I might give then a call to find out more. Seems like a really bad idea from a dealership standpoint.
     
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  13. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    You can still have a dealer install the 2600$ new Toyota battery and get 5 years of like new mpg’s.

    Or save 500$ and do it again in two months, and then two months later.

    You need a new factory traction battery, not a band-aid.
     
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  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Does it sound like a side hustle rather than dealer sponsored?
     
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  15. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Fix a warranty replacement, then sell the new battery to another customer. What a side hustle......
     
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  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    I spoke with a dealership in Florida this week that is also replacing cells in the battery. A customer had brought them one of my packs to install which they did (also strange for a branded dealership) and they had asked about getting old cells because yes they were putting them in customer vehicles. Basically $600 for a whack-a-mole solution by a dealership.

    It is part of that southern US Toyota screwball mess, so it may be different...
     
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  17. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    That is hilarious.
    I'm sure the dealer does as little as possible.

    I would guess that they may not even have a high voltage charger on site to charge a pack or balance it.

    Swap a cell and move on.
     
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  18. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    WOW! I wonder if corporate knows about this.
     
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I’m thinking no;).

    I can imagine the white towers response though(y).
     
  20. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Maybe the prolong guys approached them and sold them a professional unit
     
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