Power Inverter Failure 99,200 Miles - Toyota Prius Forum : Prius Online Toyota Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Power Inverter Failure 99,200 Miles

My 2001 Prius check engine light just came on along with the battery light shortly after. I started losing power to the vehicle with the display flickering in and out during start-ups and was soon unable to start the car at all.

Took it in to Toyota and they diagnosed a failure of my power inverter which has to be replaced at a cost of $6,000!

Luckily, I had purchased the extended warranty up to 100,000 miles but it did not fail until 99,200 miles.

Tustin Toyota representative said they had been replacing quite a few power inverters on 1st generation Prius and Toyota may have to issue a recall for this problem.

Please be wary of your check engine light coming on towards the 100,000 mile mark because my light has come on several times in the past with no consequence. And by the way, the extended warranty definitely came it handy and is strongly recommended by the Prius owner!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 09:16 PM
 
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A cost of $6,000 for the inverter alone does not make any sense. That's far too expensive.

I don't believe the "quite a few" comment, in general, either (especially since the posts online certainly don't confirm that). But if a dealer is making a massive profit from replacements, I could understand their desire to do that.

Think about it. Toyota actually made a profit from the Classic model. With a saving from the simplicity of the propulsion system and the addition of the inverter & battery-pack, the $3,000 to $4,000 more tends to equate fairly well. How just the inverter alone could cost $6,000 is beyond me. It's an impressive device, but not that complicated.

If it were me, I'd tow the car to another dealer for a second opinion & quote.

By the way, I did exactly that when I had serious engine problems with my Taurus. That turned out to be an excellent decision. (Of course, I had AAA Gold, so that towing was totally covered.)

Good Luck.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 09:20 PM
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Surely this would be covered by the standard drivetrain warranty? Wasn't it 8 year / 100,000 miles on the Classic?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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Correct. The hybrid system components are covered. In fact, that's why I decided against an extended warranty with my Classic and will do the same with my HSD.

Still, it never hurts to get a second opinion... since mechanic replacements are not always as precise as a factory install. So you tend to want to avoid unnecessary repairs. But then again, when you are close to warranty expiration you sometimes just want to go for it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 09:34 PM
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Anyway, it show's Toyota's engineers muffed up big time. Any professional engineer knows that vital components should be designed to fail 1000 miles after the warranty expires, not 1000 miles before. No bonuses for them this year.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Default Used Car Warranty

I originally purchased the car used at Poway Toyota and since it was purchased used, there was no bumper to bumper warranty for 100,000 miles [at least that was what I was told] for used vehicles. I decided to go ahead and purchase their warranty. The fix for the vehicle will only cost me a $50 deductible and they also give me a loaner car in the meantime.

I have only read a few instances on this site about battery problems but I'm not sure how close to 100,000 miles these vehicles are. Anyway, I'm glad some people have read this post and I hope that this doesn't happen to anyone else and if it does, I hope that they have a warranty.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-14-2004, 12:57 AM
 
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$6,000 isnt that unreasonable. after all it was a very limited production part.

lets look at some numbers.

engineers decide they have to design a part. they spend 300,000 to do so. then another 150,000 to retool and line up suppliers and train personnel to build and install the part.

now that cost must be recaptured over the life of the product. now only 40-50,000 were sold so that makes break even pretty high.

realize that the part isnt all that complicated, but it also doesnt have any other uses. the 2004 uses a different one. so replacement parts for the existing 40,000 or so that are still out there is the only chance to recoup the cost.

realize that the inverter for the 2004, although much newer and better, will also be much cheaper.

for a better example, try pricing parts for your 1985 VCR. i guarantee that before you have enough to put together of a VCR, you will have exceeded the over-inflated price you paid for the VCR back in 1985.

it is just the way end of life parts are and that is what the classic parts are, end of the line.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMO
Surely this would be covered by the standard drivetrain warranty? Wasn't it 8 year / 100,000 miles on the Classic?
The only warranty that has been added to the 2004/2005 Prius that wasn't on the Classic Prius is the CA emissions warranty on the hybrid battery pack, which goes out to 120 months/150,000 miles. All other warranties are the same:
Basic: 36 months/36,000 miles
Hybrid Vehicle System: 96 months / 100,000 miles
Powertrain: 60 months / 60,000 miles
Corrosion Perforation: 60 months / unlimited miles
Restraint Systems: 60 months / 60,000 miles




-- Michelle Vadeboncoeur, [email protected]
2001 Aqua Ice Opalescent
2004 Black BC
fuel stats: http://www.kluge.net/~felicity/prius.php
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