My Prius needs a battery, Toyota denies warranty due to EV button

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by naterprius, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    ..

    Lo and behold, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first Prius in need of a battery. Mine.

    Okay, so here's the story. At 3,900 miles, in the fall of 2004, the ICE shut down on my Prius. I drove it to the dealer on electric, and they flashed the ECU with new code, and told me it was all beter. After that, I noticed the car drove differently, and that the MPG was never quite as high. I concluded that it was the new software to blame, and there was nothing I could do about it. Over the next two years the car continued to behave reasonably well, but would suffer sometimes in the heat. It would get sluggish, the battery would drop to one bar (normally six, with a high of 8) and I would hear the battery cooling fan running. This would cause the MPG's to drop into the high 30's. I assumed it was the heat because it was only there in the summer. I had the dealer check it out in 2005 and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. Two months ago, the car really started giving me trouble, MPG's in the 30's all the time (even a whole tank at 38!), one bar on the battery, and the cooling fan running to cool the battery pack even when the interior of the car wasn't hot. I brought it to the dealer, who couldn't find anything wrong with it. I insisted that they keep checking. Finally, they concluded that I needed a new battery. I was shocked. 20,000 owners on PriusChat.com, and not one has needed a battery.

    Then the bombshell: Toyota corporate denied the warranty claim because I had added the "EV" button from Japan which gave you about a mile of all-electric operation. They claimed this damaged the battery, even though they supply this button in Japan and Europe!

    Anyway, I proceded to appeal my case with Toyota corporate, explaining that the trouble started at 3900 miles, through no fault of my own, and they finally came back and agreed to buy me the $4500 battery if I would take out the $40 button. I did, and finally got new battery today.

    I now have a new battery and a full warranty. On the way home the car got about 56 MPG. We'll see what happens on the daily commute.

    I donated my EV button to Hybrids Plus, who does PHEV conversions and kisses the warranty goodbye.

    I suggest the rest of you take out your EV button. It has really sucked the last two months.

    Nate
     
  2. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(naterprius @ Jul 19 2007, 08:24 PM) [snapback]481997[/snapback]</div>
    Bummer. But at least you got the new battery.

    I want to install an EV button, but I was wondering if they might try to deny warranty claims based on modification of the system. Now we know.
     
  3. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    There's always one guy who goes and ruins it for the rest of us!

    :D

    Just kidding. Wow. So they seriously were denying the warranty on the grounds of the button. How come this is the first I'm hearing about it? Did you intentionally keep it hush hush until you had a resolution?

    I suppose I'd have to ditch the button in the same situation. Though I admit that I would spend the next year poking the dashboard from time to time.
     
  4. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    :eek: who would've guessed? well now we know... and if we do have trouble guess what's coming out of the dashboard?

    glad they worked something out with ya but damn, that was an unexpected story.
     
  5. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    Yes, Tony, I kept it quiet until they installed the new battery and gave me back the car. I have already signed off on the Repair Order, so they can't change their mind.

    I was prepared to enlist the help of PriusChatters if things went south.

    There is now a blank where my EV button used to be.

    Meh.

    Nate
     
  6. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    OH oh oh. That would be a great place for an \ \ \ EJECT / / / button.

    I'm willing to bet that you can find/buy a plug somewhere but you're sure as shootin' not getting mine (just in case).
     
  7. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    Yes, I have a plug in there now. A blank plug. So very sad.

    Nate
     
  8. jrmgkia

    jrmgkia Wish I was cycling

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    Nate,
    How did they discover that you had the EV mod? I realize that the button is in plain sight but most Prius techs aren't smart enough to know what the EV button is and where to find it. Did you disclose the EV button up front or did they notice it? When did they notice it?
     
  9. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    The District Tech asked the Dealer tech to check for one, then declared the warranty void, then flagged my VIN so I couldn't take it to another dealer.

    Nate
     
  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    ouch!

    Well, glad to hear Toyota came through for you. $4,500 eh? Must've been after labour and taxes...(that's a lot of labour and taxes!).

    Well, I mean it could very well mean they're just covering themselves, you know? "just take it out and we'll replace it".... unless I'm being naive :ph34r:
     
  11. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    Tideland, I thought so too, I just couldn't believe there was anything wrong with the battery.

    It seems to be working well. To think, all these years I could have been getting in the 50's.

    I'll report back tomorrow if the MPG's and power remain high.

    Nate
     
  12. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    this is maybe the reason to use the CC EV mod. No button. This isn't the first battery replaced Tempus had one replaced about a year and a bit ago.
     
  13. silver-machine

    silver-machine New Member

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    Hi thats a scary story, and Im glad its worked out for you.
    But ... the toyota dealer response doesnt make sense, as you say outside the US priuses, like mine, come with the EV button. Id say they were trying to scare you into going away. Well done for sticking to it.
     
  14. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    The dealer is the one who helped me get the battery covered. It was Toyota Corporate who pre-emptively denied the claim.

    Nate
     
  15. Rxmxsh

    Rxmxsh Member

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    If they knew in advance to look for it, don't you think they would find the cc ev mod too?
     
  16. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(silver-machine @ Jul 19 2007, 11:38 PM) [snapback]482087[/snapback]</div>
    How long is the battery warranty in the UK? I'd also be curious how long it is in other countries w/the EV switch.

    In the US, it's 8 year/100K miles for most of the US and 10 years/150K miles for Cali and a few CARB states.

    The OP was lucky that they were willing to foot the bill on the condition of removing the EV switch.
     
  17. NoMoShocks

    NoMoShocks Electrical Engineer

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(naterprius @ Jul 19 2007, 11:12 PM) [snapback]482080[/snapback]</div>
    Wow! I think they really owe you some gas!
    I realize, they have the "no consequencial damages" cluse.
    I just mean morally, they owe you some gas.

    They should give you some compensation just to be sure you continue leaping up into the air and feezing in mid air as you sing;

    "Oh what a feeling"
    "To drive a Toyota"
    "Oh what a feeling"
    "to dri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ive"
    "Toyota!"
    "Toyota!"
    "Oh oh oh what a feeling to dri-i-i-i-i-i-i-ive"
    "Toyota!"

    Sorry, I don't have a copy of the sheet music, and I never learned how to read and write sheet music either. I am a music note illiterate.
     
  18. T-spirit

    T-spirit New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(cwerdna @ Jul 20 2007, 08:49 AM) [snapback]482107[/snapback]</div>
    In the UK, 8 Year/100,000 mile for the Synergy Drive bits and 3 year/60,000mile warranty for the rest of the car.

    That's why we decided to buy - if the Synergy had been 3 year/60,000 I would have needed to think very hard about the risks.
     
  19. JaviNOS

    JaviNOS Mod Freak

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    wow scary story..
    I'm glad it all turned out fine..

    Good luck with the MPGs... again
     
  20. priusmaybe

    priusmaybe New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(JaviNOS @ Jul 20 2007, 05:01 AM) [snapback]482120[/snapback]</div>

    I have 1200 miles on my car and have been getting in the high30's. I do a lot of short trips. I sure hope my mpg improves.


    Isn't there a way to check the battery or run code to see if it is "bad"?
     
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