First the thieves came for the car radios, and I did not speak out. Then it was airbags. And now, according to Toyota dealers, battery packs are increasingly becoming the target of smash-and-grab thieves.
The Toyota Prius, as you may know, is a hybrid—it has a small 1.5- or 1.8-litre engine, along with an electric motor that’s driven by a battery pack (nickel-metal-hydride, NiMH, in the case of normal Priuses, and lithium-ion for the plug-in hybrid version). Like most batteries, the one in the Prius gradually loses its efficiency over time, eventually necessitating a replacement.
The cost for replacing a Prius battery pack is not insignificant—outside of the warranty period, it’s about $2,500 in the US. Curiously, it’s much cheaper in the UK: just £800 according to Toyota.
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