Thoughts on purchasing a Rebuilt Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by suomynona, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    So I put a deposit down on a 2017 Toyota Prius Four Touring that was damaged in a front end collision. It doesn't look like I can add a URL to the auction since I'm new to the forum, but if you google the VIN (JTDKARFU7H3048951), you will be able to see the bidfax info link with pictures and info of how it was at auction.

    The person who was selling the car seemed super up front and honest about everything. He showed me the paperwork of getting it checked out, wheels aligned, and all the sensors calibrated at the local Toyota dealership. Went on a test drive and all the features seemed to work (adaptive cruise control, parallel parking, etc). I checked all the gaps between panels and everything seemed like it was lining up. I wouldn't have been able to tell it was in an accident if I didn't know the history.

    He offered it to me for $14,000 out the door with title/registration and such.

    But I've never done body work on a vehicle, so I'm hoping someone with better knowledge can let me know if I'm fooling myself into thinking it's worth it. I checked AutoTempest and didn't see anything close to that deal, even other salvage cars. And by looking at the pictures, it seemed a lot better than other salvage cars I've seen (doesn't look like it touched anything from the radiator and behind). I will definitely get it inspected again by a third party. I know that the warranty is void, but I guess I'm banking on the reliability of these vehicles.

    If anyone has any opinions on whether or not to run or follow through with the deal, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for any input!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,361
    38,884
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    it's a big risk, but no one can tell you which side of the divide you'll fall on. most poor repairs will not show up as defective for quite some time.
    prius is especially vulberable to shoddy work with all the wiring and ecu's
     
  3. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    So would you say that a thorough inspection from a dealer and 3rd party mechanic is not enough to catch any potential problems. Are there certain problems that can't be checked via visual inspection and obd checks?
     
  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    9,001
    6,570
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    There are little snaky inspection cameras with lights on the end for snaking into places. Not super expensive these days.

    One place I would snake one is up through the little flaps where the cruise control stalk sticks out of the steering wheel, to get a glimpse inside there behind the airbag. to see if anything looks like this.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks for the advice. I'm fairly confident that the airbags did not deploy (one of the reasons I was even considering purchasing a prius with a rebuilt title) as there are many pictures of it post-accident. But it's never a bad idea to verify. Thanks for the tip about where to look for the airbags. I'll see if I can get access to one of those types of cameras to see if I can see any spliced wires in there. If you can think of anywhere else to check, I'd love to hear them!
     
  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    5,890
    6,459
    0
    Location:
    near Brisbane, Australia
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Is it a salvage car - or just a car which has been repaired properly after an accident? If it's been repaired properly, the warranty should stand.

    You have to remember that if it's "AS IS" - then that means that they take NO RISK - and you take ALL RISK.

    Personally - I wouldn't be buying a car for that $$$ if I was taking all risk.
     
  7. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Yes it was a salvage vehicle, but it now has a rebuilt title and *looks* to be in good condition and repaired well. I've looked at many used cars from many different dealerships and they all come "as is" with no warranty (not sure if that's a regional thing). My test drive of this vehicle felt better than even certified used vehicles at toyota dealerships.

    I realize the risk involved, so was just trying to gather info to perhaps mitigate *some* of the risk by seeing what prius owners thought. I figure there are some people in this forum who have repaired or had accidents in their vehicle. Maybe even a mechanic or two. Any info is appreciated.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,361
    38,884
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    no one can tell you 100% by inspection. there's always risk with repair. but certainly, the more careful and expert inspection applied, the lower the risk.
    but there's the rub, most dealers and mech's aren't qualified, or would take the appropriate time and measures to do it properly.
     
    alanclarkeau likes this.
  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    9,001
    6,570
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    FWIW, if given a choice between a rebuild done by someone who is openly in the business of rebuilding Prii and says "here's the before photos, here's after, here's the parts we used, the state police signed off they weren't stolen, etc.", and a private party "used" sale that maybe had some repair work done somehow by somebody maybe, the rebuild would not necessarily scare me away.
     
    alanclarkeau likes this.
  10. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    563
    271
    0
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    You can probably pick up a used 16/17, never wrecked/salvaged/rebuilt for $14k. Why are you looking at this particular Prius?
     
    Rmay635703 and Christov Tenn like this.
  11. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    4,891
    3,190
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Not in the USA. From exclusions section of the boiler plate warranty PDF found on the owners site:

    Salvage or Total-Loss Vehicles Any vehicle that has ever been issued a “salvage” title or similar title under any state’s law; or has ever been declared a “total loss” or equivalent by a financial institution or insurer, such as by payment for a claim in lieu of repairs because the cost of repairs exceeded the cash value of the vehicle. This exclusion does not apply to the emission control warranties, including Emission Control Warranty Enhancements, or any open Safety Recalls.

    https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-19Corolla/pdf/T-MMS-19Corolla.pdf
     
    alanclarkeau likes this.
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
    3,357
    3,262
    1
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius c
    Model:
    Two
    Call your insurer. Premiums are often higher on vehicles with salvage titles.
     
  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    9,001
    6,570
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Thanks for posting that. I had heard conflicting things about whether emission warranties and recalls were excluded too.
     
  14. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    4,891
    3,190
    0
    Location:
    So. Texas
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Yeah, so would the VERY expensive gen 2 brake accumulator recall or the gen3 inverter software campaign be considered safety related? I think so but "winning" the battery lottery with an early failure during the warranty period like some have; probably not.

    FWIW
     
  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    9,001
    6,570
    0
    Location:
    Indiana, USA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    It does seem to say "any open Safety Recalls". Does the document you quoted from give a specific meaning somewhere to "Safety Recall"?

    I'm not sure I've heard of a non-safety recall. If the issue doesn't impact safety enough to require handling as a recall, it seems to end up in the special-service-campaign or warranty-enhancement buckets.
     
    fotomoto likes this.
  16. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I haven't seen any deals as good as this one, at least near me. I've seen some on AutoTempest, but anything around this price point was either a salvage or high-mileage vehicle (~200,000 miles). Do you think it's a terrible deal based on price point? I've only been looking for like a week, so perhaps I don't have the greatest sample on price points. I've test driven probably like 20+ gen 3s and gen 4s over the past week, and this one seemed like the best value. It drove like a new car (smooth driving with no rattling or shaking) and felt better than certified used cars from dealerships I test drove.

    The person selling it also seems like a good guy that I wouldn't mind giving my business. I think all he does is buy salvaged cars and rebuild them. He personally warranties his work for 90 days and he seems to be very open to talk to me about my concerns. And other people seem to like him based on reviews. But I'm not sure if there are things about the Prius specifically that I should worry about after front end damage. Little hidden problems that might bite me later on.

    And ya, I have been told that the warranty is void, but Toyota will still handle safety recall issues if they come up.
     
  17. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,637
    2,213
    9
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three Touring
    No, but in the U.S., Toyota consistently uses that term only for remedies required by 49 U.S.C. § 30120.

    Interestingly, the Warranty & Maintenance Guide (PDF) for model year 2020 uses different wording: “This exclusion does not apply to the emission control warranties, including Emission Control Warranty Enhancements or any open Safety Recalls/SSCs/LSCs.”

    I think this change is retroactive, in practice. Policy 6.1, “Safety Recalls and Special Service Campaigns,” in the Toyota Warranty Policy & Procedures Manual (available by subscription to techinfo.toyota.com) states, under the heading “Salvage Vehicles,” that “every attempt should be made to complete an open SSC, LSC or SR when circumstances permit, except as otherwise noted in the SSC/LSC, or when it may not be possible.”
    Recalls come with publicity and regulatory oversight, and they make it unlawful to sell or lease affected vehicles (49 U.S.C. § 30120(i)), so automakers do them only when legally required.

    The threshold is in 49 CFR § 573.6(a): “Each manufacturer shall furnish a report to the NHTSA for each defect in his vehicles or in his items of original or replacement equipment that he or the Administrator [of NHTSA] determines to be related to motor vehicle safety, and for each noncompliance with a motor vehicle safety standard in such vehicles or items of equipment which either he or the Administrator determines to exist.”
     
    alanclarkeau and fotomoto like this.
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,361
    38,884
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    How long has he been in business?

    Does he have pics of the wreck?
     
  19. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    563
    271
    0
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Even though he's rebuilt it to a condition which you can't even tell that it was in an accident, that alone would still affect the value of the car. $14k just seems too high for a salvage and rebuilt Prius of that year.

    Only if you are fine with buying it and living with it because ultimately that's what its going to come down to.
     
  20. suomynona

    suomynona New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2020
    20
    4
    0
    Location:
    utah
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I think he's been in business since 2017. I can't post links, but like I posted before, if you google the VIN (JTDKARFU7H3048951), there is a link to bidfax which has pictures and information. And he showed me paperwork for all the inspections and dealership calibrations and such.

    What would you consider a decent price for a rebuilt Prius of that year? And that is with tax, title, registration and stuff included.
     
Loading...