Thieves stealing Hybrid Batteries in SF !!?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by 3prongpaul, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    They send out window stickers, not bumper stickers. At a glance, these are easily confused with Marine Corps stickers.

    In my area, when parked, it just makes the car a prowl target. When driving, it triggers rage from a certain other fraction of the community. So I don't post mine, just keep it handy in case of excessive attention from certain troublemakers who incorrectly pigeonhole all Prius drivers into a certain narrow demographic they strongly dislike.

    Haven't needed it yet. Probably would skip it anyway, other measures should be more effective.
     
  2. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    If you lock your car with a front window down, try the rocker switch. You will find the rocker switch does NOT unlock the doors. I did not try the inner door handle, but I think that should open the door and set off the alarm.
    There is an inside release lever for the hatch door. Once hatch is open, they can easily unhook negative 12V cable to stop the alarm and proceed to cut the harnesses and take the hybrid battery. I'll bet a practiced thief can pull all this off in a minute. Sad stuff, but it has happened.

    edit - I don't think they would even need to open any door or hatch to do this.
    ------------------------------

    Great. I read the thread about this on reddit . The Luscious Garage poster says the Gen 3 HV battery is pretty vulnerable (fairly easy to get to / out). Also said used HV batteries are in demand at junkyards and can be priced north of $1500. Great.

    Glad mine is garaged at night, geeeez.
     
    #62 cycledrum, Feb 7, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  3. Randy G.

    Randy G. Member

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    My nephew went to West Point, so while on a visit there I picked up a "West Point USMA" license plate frame and it's on the Prius. It gets mixed reviews as some don't know what to make of it. I guess Prius owners aren't supposed to be pro military.

    NRA has good insurance for the folks who have gone through the process and been approved here in CA. "Other measures" are certainly more effective.

    Trash part not so good. But they won't be finding any gun safe.
     
    #63 Randy G., Feb 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2015
  4. MattNiem

    MattNiem Junior Member

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    So how much US Toyota dealers are asking for battery replacement, if some one can sell stolen one without background info for 1000-2500 usd?
     
  5. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Why steal a HV battery? They're only £800/$1,200 fitted over here. Hardly worth the risk of electrocution - though wouldn't that be a shame? 300 volts dc going up their cutters. :whistle:

    But all this would be small fry (get it (y) :rolleyes:) once fuel cell cars become more prevalent. All that platinum sat in one place.
     
  6. Randy G.

    Randy G. Member

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    Easy to find the crooks. Just check with the local chiropractors.
     
  7. Jonny Zero

    Jonny Zero Giggidy

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    You mean they do not have OSHA approved lift equipment?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. GaryHere

    GaryHere Member

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    Gone are the good ole days when they just stole your radio :-(
     
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Heard about this first from ONLY ON ABC7News.com: Car battery thefts from hybrid cars, especially Prius' on the rise in San Francisco | abc7news.com (posted 5/15/15)...

    I'm not that active here on PC anymore (lack of time and now my daily driver is a Leaf)... so I hadn't seen this thread until I did a search. The 11 pm ABC 7 news only aired a VERY brief blurb and at first, I thought the $9K to $10K figure was just FUD until I saw Carolyn's video... And, I originally figured it was perhaps FUD w/prodding from big oil...

    I'm still amazed that thieves would really want to spend that much time to steal such a bulky and heavy part.
     
    #69 cwerdna, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  10. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    What we all want to know is how are you finding the Leaf? Is it a gen1 Japan built version or the 1.5 home built? Are you having any issues with the battery? In the UK the gen1 Leafs are losing the first capacity bar at about 45k miles, whereas the gen 1.5 Leafs are reported to be losing the first bar about 90k miles, meaning they'll have a much more useful life.
     
  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Hope the thieves are smart enough to not try this with a PiP...that might be interesting
     
  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Just thinking about this...

    The thieves seem to be stealing Gen3 batts. But at least on Prius Chat, we have very few dead Gen3 batts.
    Unless Lucious Garage is seeing more dead Gen3 batts than we are hearing about here, all of these stolen Gen3 pack must be going to Gen2 Prii e.g.; via EBay single modules sales. In other words, lots of labor in breaking into car, dis-assembling batts, re-assembling 28 cells into the Gen2 batt housing. Or maybe some harder use taxi firms are losing their Gen3 batts and need replacements, thereby bidding up the black matket Gen3 batt costs.

    But that's a stretch....the main obvious elephant in the room is Gen2 batts are dropping like flies after 10-yrs or so, and the number of 10+ yr old Gen2 batts in CA has got to be sky-rocketing right about now as the 10-yr CARB warranty wears off on 2004+ models.
     
    #72 wjtracy, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  13. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Something similar happened over here about 20 years ago. A popular taxi was the Montego (an ugly but cheap workhorse) and the diesel version was much in demand. The Montego had a smaller, mechanically identical hatchback sister car called the Maestro which was only ever in demand to old retired types. Suddenly there was a time when the diesel Maestro was one of the most stolen cars on the roads and when they were recovered the engine was missing. Doesn't take Hercule Poirot to work out what was happening.

    My money is on black market thefts for taxi companies. Whether the cab companies are in on it is another question. I know where my money would be if I were a betting man. As others have said, with the amazing warranty provided in CARB states there is no reason why such a black market needs to operate for private owners. Very high mileage taxis however.....
     
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  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Here in the U.S., a significant fraction of private owners exceed the warranty mileage before the warranty calendar runs out. Plus, many of us live in places without the longer CARB warranty. So any black market will also be driven by the non-taxi market.
     
  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    The thread was about thefts in SF where a 150,000 mile/10 year warranty applies. Sure many private owners will be over that mileage, but for them to turn to steeling? Hmmm. And wasn't the theft mainly gen3 batteries? Sure they 'could' be using them in a 10 year old gen2 with 250k miles on it, but more likely a 3 year old gen3 with 300k miles on it and a taxi sign on the roof?
     
  16. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...we're trying to come up a theory about why these batts are being stolen.
    We have almost zero regular consumer Gen3 batt failures on PriusChat but we know Gen3 taxis seems to have a higher failure rate from the EU taxi reports. So one hypothesis is Gen3 taxi batts looking for replacement. The other hypothesis is use of Gen3 cells in Gen2 bad batts.
     
  17. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    strong work. i totally buy it. someone need to alert the SFPD so they can do a sting operation (park new prius near shady taxi company with cameras rolling).
     
  18. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    That'd never happen, but believe me, taxi drivers become aware of such offerings via less obvious means. Some like me didn't want to know, but some drivers want the cheapest, dodgiest parts they can obtain and don't care where those parts come from. There are plenty of people offering them and see cab drivers as a great, concentrated market. The things you get offered as a cab driver you wouldn't believe.
     
  19. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    You would not believe how hard it is to try to sell a new battery to a taxi company.
    Even though it gives them the longevity they need, they almost never choose it.
     
  20. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Because they can get one to order for 1/5 the cost? :whistle:

    But you're right, some companies use the cheapest parts regardless. "Dodgy, cheap donkey cart tyre? Yep, that'll do fine for my car" o_O
     
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