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Hello all,

My 2001 Prius, with 77,500 miles, has just been diagnosed with a bad "transmission" (no further specified). The cost of repair was quoted as $9150, at Grossinger's Toyota in Chicago. Through the Yahoo! Prius users group, I have since found another 2001 owner, 67,000 miles, with the same diagnosis, at a cost of $8000 (in Minnesota). Further research has turned up five other catastrophic transmission failures in the 2001 Prius.

The owner of the 67,000 mile car and myself are trying to find others who have had total transmission failure in their Prius. If you have, or you know of one who has, please email me.

Thank you!
Kenworthey
[email protected]
 

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kenworthey said:
Hello all,

My 2001 Prius, with 77,500 miles, has just been diagnosed with a bad "transmission" (no further specified). The cost of repair was quoted as $9150, at Grossinger's Toyota in Chicago. Through the Yahoo! Prius users group, I have since found another 2001 owner, 67,000 miles, with the same diagnosis, at a cost of $8000 (in Minnesota). Further research has turned up five other catastrophic transmission failures in the 2001 Prius.

The owner of the 67,000 mile car and myself are trying to find others who have had total transmission failure in their Prius. If you have, or you know of one who has, please email me.

Thank you!
Kenworthey
[email protected]
Doesnt the transmission qualify as part of the "power train" under the power train warranty ?

Of course I dont know what the power train warranty was on the 2001. What was it ? That is a BIG repair #, sounds like close to half the price of the car.
 

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I don't know about the name but I know someone on PriusChat had a transmission "problem" and the cost was substantial too. If it's the dealership, then we know something's fishy
 

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warranty?

Is this anything that might be covered if the extended warranty was purchased?

Any chance of a "second opinion" by the service department of another dealership? (I know, probably not practical if it has to be towed.)
 

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A friend of mine had the same thing but they covered it under warranty... about the same mileage too..
 

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Extended warranties cover two plans. One for six years and 75,000 miles and a second at seven years and 100,000 miles and the total automatic transmission is covered fully under both. The milage appears to be the key. Mine at 75,000 miles would leave me "out in the cold" but then since I would not own one of these without the warranty the car would be gone well before the 75,000 miles had expired. It takes almost five minutes to read what is covered under the extended warranty and that is a lot of parts which "could" fail. (feel like rolling the dice?) It appears Ken is out of luck and also that the owner with the 67,000 miles did not purchase the extended warranty and is in the same position. I don't see any recourse if it is in "black and blue". Should be a great sales pitch for the extended!
As time goes by, we will be learning a lot more about these cars but then more parts should be showing up on "E" bay where I have seen several first generation Prius complete power and transmissions salvaged going for about $4,000. Whether they would split off the trans is another matter and I'm not sure what the cost of replacing the whole unit would be but my service manager has told me that if I ever have any problem with my "Senergy" unit, it would be replaced in "total" and is made to be easily removed and replaced. (This because they are not worked on in the US as yet but are removed as a unit and returned to Japan)
 

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What?

Personally, I don't think there is any excuse for the repair being that expensive. Nobody buys a $20,000 car expecting a relatively common repair like a transmission to cost well over a third of the car's selling price.

I hope you raise hell with Toyota. That's simply a totally absurd repair cost.

Keep us posted please.
 

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Panjan, don't forget, you bought something totally different from a normal car. That is probably why you purchased it. However you can't expect Toyota to know what's down the road. Testing labs show only so much. They are taking as great a gamble as you with the extended warranties. When you look at what is covered you too will wonder how they could possibly sell them for the price they do! You really can't relie on the prior history of Toyota for trouble free cars with this model. Maybe in five more years!
 

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I believe I have seen this post at least 3 times now.

Have you ever finally gotten it pinned down EXACTLY what failed? If you do end up paying for the repairs, you have a right to get the broken part back, or at least to examine the broken part.
Might want to get a second opinion from someone else, like maybe Toyota themselves.

One of the problems these days with repairs is you have to get the whole assembly, rather than the broken part. If you break the coolant reservoir on the inverter, you just bought yourself a whole new inverter, unless you can juryrig something else, or get the part from scrap. Might be similar for the transaxle.
 

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It appears kenworthey is doing his proper homework, and helping protect all of us for the future.

I am hoping Toyota will respond with assistance of some kind, ie, financial, extending the warranty, etc.
 

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try another dealer

Try Lombard Toyota for the repair. They will work hard to keep your business by giving you a price break. They will also complete the repair in a speedy fashion. Their hours are 7am to midnight. I take my cars there and they have always been nice. good luck. sorry to hear about your sick prius.
 

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Not the point

hyperion, Yes, at least in part we bought the cars because they were different, but also because they are TOYOTAS, I would not, ever, period, have purchased a vehicle like this from anyone other than Toyota, Honda, and possibly Nissan. Reliability is absolutely key.

Regardless of how experimental the car is, a transmission cost that high is completely and totally unacceptable in a vehicle with the initial price tag of the Prius. Toyota will catch hell if these things are really this expensive to repair, and rightly so.

Hopefully you'll have luck getting that price down to something reasonable.
 

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Back to that initial price. There is no way of getting the true facts but all the research I did prior to purchasing indicated that Toyota heavily subsidised the production cost of the Prius tro get a hybrid on the market. One of the initial reasons I purchased when I did.
They picked the low twenties for the retail price because that was the niche the small mid sized Japanese sedan fell in. Seems to have been correct as the Accord hybrid is coming in above thirty thousand and the Lexas "H" we don't really know, but close to forty. That synergy unit cost an awfull lot more than the internal combustion engine in the Coralla and Camry and yet the cars initial cost was kept surprisingly low.
We don't know whether this incidence of 77,000 miles occured on a car with a 75,000 mile warranty or a 35,000 mile one. Neither was mentioed. Toyota is not trying to fleece anyone and that power transfer unit may just be a very expensive item which is not being subsidised by the factory as the car was. This adds an awfull lot of credance to the initial stories about the Prius being heavily subsidized. We've gotten spoiled by the price of inexpensive parts available for a standard car but again, the hybrid is a completely different "animal" and that extended warranty looks more and more like the best option offered on the car. My service manager told me that no work was done in the US on any part of the synergy unit and that if I had a problem with say the power transfer unit, the whole works would be removed and shipped back to Japan and a new unit installed. That might be some explanation for the high cost quoted.
Actually if the owner of the 2001 has had no problems with the car for five years and 77,000 miles he has been doing darn good. If however he purchased the car used at fifty thousand miles then he has just lost the lottery.
My guess is that Toyota will "partially eat the loss" if a 75,000 mile warranty was purchased, otherwise they could point out that the car has been driven 42,000 miles past warranty!
Toyota runs a good operation and certainly builds a good car but after all , they are in the business of making a profit selling cars. Personally, I wouldn't even expect consideration for any problem that occured to my car out of warranty. Hopefully a salvage parts supply will develop as more of these cars hit the wreakers.
 

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Who but Toyota rebuilds PSDs today? Probably nobody. So you pay an exchange price. If a $25 shim fails, you buy a whole transmission. When the PSD gets more common (after Toyota, Ford, Nissan bring out other models), and local shops learn how to deal with it, you might see a substantial price drop.
 

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2005 Transmission

I just bought a 2005 Prius. It came with an 8yr 100,000 warrenty on the hybrid system. Isn't the "Planatary CVT" transmission part of the hybrid system? Is the 2005 system different than the 2001?
 

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So far, it is Toyota's position that the planetary CVT is NOT part of the hybrid system, which is covered by the 100,000 mile warranty. This isn't obvious to me, either, and I haven't given up on Toyota making this right. I've now found seven other 2001 Priuses with catastrophic failure of the transaxle assembly. I haven't seen it in any other cars. Toyota local and regional are stonewalling, and even getting very nasty. (They actally told Erik if he wasn't happy he needed to seek relief outside Toyota Motor Sales USA. In other words, they told him, "So sue us.") I hope higher ups will be appalled at what is happening. I'm sure they are just in the dark. That will change soon, as Erik and I have just fedexed all our information to the CEO, COO and CFO.
 
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