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Discussion Starter #1
On December 24, 2003, my son got in what seemed to be a relatively minor fender-bender with my 2 month old 2004 Prius - he hit the rear of a SUV. I figured it would be a $4000 repair. Well, it turns out that some kind of coolant bottle in the inverter was broken. For the 2003, you can buy that part only for about $30. For the 2004, Toyota will only sell the "inverter" as a unit, for $4400. That plus high costs for all the other parts ran the bill up to nearly $12000. Also, excruciatingly slow parts delivery meant that it spent just over two months at the repair shop. Now I like my Prius, but I now wish I'd gotten something else. My insurance company is probably going to raise my rates (already high with two teenage sons on the policy) and when they analyze Prius repair costs, they'll probably raise yours too.

BJB
 

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Darn, and I was going to enter a demolition derby this weekend...

Seriously though, thanks for the heads up, sounds pretty amazing that it would cost that much.
 

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bd041556 said:
On December 24, 2003, my son got in what seemed to be a relatively minor fender-bender with my 2 month old 2004 Prius - he hit the rear of a SUV. <snip> My insurance company is probably going to raise my rates (already high with two teenage sons on the policy) and when they analyze Prius repair costs, they'll probably raise yours too.
I'm happy to hear that your son was not injured.

I had a fender bender last month.

I hit a couch which was dropped from a van a few cars ahead of me on the freeway. I avoided hitting it head on (great handling at freeway speeds, by the way) and gave it a glancing blow on the front passenger quarter-panel.

I took it to a local body shop that my insurance company works with and the total for an alignment, pulling off the panel and pounding it out, replacing all the clips that hold the panel on, painting the panel and feathering into the adjoining panels, a new wheel cover, and a full detail of the car was 623.00 plus four days rental car. My deductible is $500. (it gave complete details about the experience over at PriusChat here.)

I just got my renewal notice and my insurance did not go up and I was actually pleased at how quickly my claim was processed and my car fixed.

I'm sure repair work will vary, but if it's just a standard ding, most body shops will not have any trouble with the Prius and incidents like mine will help show the insurance companies that not all damage to the Prius will be expensive.
 

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Auto Crash !?><

I am glad to hear your son was not injured. Maybe alittle more drivers training and driving experience, could have prevented the crash. But It wasn't the Prius that caused it. Right? It takes alot more thinking on the part of the driver of the Prius, than conventional cars. And with more cars on the road driven by people doing everything BUT DRIVING, crashes will be the end result. I see drivers doing everything but DRIVING, everyday in the small area I live in and it makes me wonder. My wife rear ended a panel truck 5 years ago traveling in bumper to bumper traffic. Speed
5 mph, the car she had then was an Eagle Talon.
It cost over $5,000. for repairs, yes my insurance premium increased.
We didn't rush out and blame the car,or trade it in for a Big Gas Guzzler
She Learned to drive farther away from cars and watch everything going on around her when she is driving. A good think to do everywehere you drive no matter what you drive when you drive. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not "blaming the car" for the accident, as some seem to think. As I pointed out to my son, accidents like this are caused by one of three things:
1. Following too closely
2. Not paying attention
3. Going too fast.

In his case, he was in a line of traffic starting from a stop light. For some reason the SUV in front of him stopped for some reason and he hit it at probably 10-15 MPH caused by a combination of errors 1) and 2).

What I am pointing out is the absurd parts policy of Toyota - and I quote directly from the insurance supplement

Inverter Assembly $4474.36

All that was needed was a $30 portion of that assembly, which would have been available separately if it was an '03 rather than an '04. That was just about 40% of the 11,601.93 repair total. You can choose to believe or not that others are going to have similar high repair costs in comparatively minor accidents and that those costs are going to eventually be passed on to you by the insurance companies.

BJB
 

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Re: Auto Crash !?><

Tony Liscio said:
It takes alot more thinking on the part of the driver of the Prius, than conventional cars.
I don't get this. What additional things are there to think about? What ever happened to "just drive it"?

As for BJBs injured Prius, that sounds like a tough blow to the wallet. Unfortunately, car manufacturers seem to be doing more of this to try to save inventory cost to themselves to the detriment of people unfortunate enough to be in an accident. Consumer Reports rails against them occasionally, but they don't care since it doesn't seem to affect buyers' decisions. Similar complaints can be made about manufacturers' tendencies to make it harder and harder to get service at mechanics other than the dealers.

It's often possible to find parts at salvage yards, but this is way too new a model for that to be likely. It will be easier in a few years. Still, quite a few salvage yards no longer let you take small subassemblies. :cry:
 

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I believe his repair story completely. The same happened to me and my 1995 Supra. Small fender bender tot he front of my car. Another SUV'er stopped short while pulling away from a light. Yes the accident was my fault so get off your high horse. Damage was on the driver's side including bumper and sub assemblies, hood and left fender, radiator and other close structurs. The impact was directly on the air bag sensor so both air bags deployed. (Digression: Don't put anything on the passenger's seat except a passenger. Any weight activates the passenger airbag and it's so expensive to replace, torn open dash and usually a broken windsheild from the dash components slapping it from the inside, that it's deployment, that is the passenger airbag, that it make the difference between a repair and a totaling of the car in many cases. End of digression) The sheetmetal of the engine compartment around the radiator was distorted but the damage did not extend to the engine or pullys. Well, 3 months later, I got back a factory looking Supra. The body shop did a PERFECT job. Right down to the last nut and bold. There is NO evidence of an accident anwhere on the car. The insurance company picked up the $20,000 tab. Initial estimate was $13,000 which the adjuster thought would be a total, until he researched the car's value. After seeing the details on the repair, Toyota is not big on small parts availability. There was a small plastic sheild around a spot on the engine wiring harness that was broken. Not available. We had to replace the whole engine wire harness at a cost of $1,200, for a $3.00 piece of plastic. Other small seemingly cheap parts were rediculessy expensive. And I thought German parts were high. Especially in the case of the Prius. It is so new and the demand is so high, and every part being manufactured for it is going into new car production It is understandable that repair parts supply is limited.
 

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Reminds me of a post I saw somewhere where someone complained about having to buy the entire pedal assembly on the classic prius in order to get what was otherswise a simple $45 component part. :!:
 

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I'm right there with you, bd041556 ! Someone ran into the side of my new Prius in a parking lot 2 months ago. They were driving a Toyota Highlander which, of course, had not a scratch on it. Well, the cost to repair a small dent and replace the bumper was $2600 and what's worse, it took one month to get the parts. I was concerned that it may not start after being idle for that long but it seems fine. When we got our Prius back from the body shop, we noticed a large scuff mark on the bottom half of the front bumper....ugh. They claimed it happened while parked in their lot after the repairs were finished and, of course, they are willing to fix it. We are not even going to bother bringing it back for the scuff mark.

We love our Prius but to be honest, between all of the annoying "quirks" and the major wind issue and the fact that it doesn't break 40 mpg EVER, if I had it to do over I would have chosen a different vehicle. Heck I could have saved 10K and gotten a Toyota Corolla and gotten the same mpg. Live and learn. We are stuck with the Prius due to it's horrendous resale/trade-in value:(
 
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Hi Pebblebeach:
Pebble Beach said:
The problem is all the damn SUV's on the road. Of course when they hit a much smaller car it will cause major damage.
___Whoooa, hold on there. Bd041556s son ran into the back of an SUV. Do you think somehow the SUV caused this? If there was an 18-wheeler or garbage truck in front of him, do you think he would have missed it? What if the automobile in front was a Honda Insight, Civic Si, or Geo Metro?

___In the case of Bttmamas Prius, it sounds like a straight up accident in a parking lot?

___~ 50% of the automobiles being purchased today are SUVs yet accidents/number of vehicles on the road has decreased over the years. Here is just one states (Washingtons) own accident and fatality record showing that miles traveled has increased steadily between the years 1989 and 2002 while total accidents and fatalities on the various types of roads listed has gone down over this exact same time frame. If SUVs are that much more prevalent in the mix, (between 1989 and 2002 they are), either SUVs on average are adding to the safety of our highways and lowering the number of traffic accidents or all personal and business use transportations (including SUVs) built in protection systems are saving lives. These same newer automobiles (including that many more SUVs on a percentage basis) built in accident avoidance HW is also helping lower the total amount of accidents and fatalities per 100E6 miles driven in Washington state anyway.

___And of course there is always the old saying Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics ;)

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:22d391g0][email protected][/email:22d391g0]
 

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xcel, I did not mean to imply that SUV's CAUSE more accidents. What I meant was collisions with them (when driving a normal vehicle) cause greater damage, regardless of fault.

PS: I always get a laugh when its icy and seeing all the SUV's pulled over the side of the road or in ditches. Some of the drivers have a fall sense of confidence. I also know or have read that several SUV models are much more prone to rollovers. But that is beyond the scope of what I was saying. Really focusing on the damage part.
 
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Hi Pebblebeach:

___Sorry I misinterpreted where you were going with that. Have you seen what Acura did many years ago with the design of the MDX SUV in terms of bumper heights and such for just one of the reasons you might be thinking about?

___As for the rollovers of SUVs, some still in fact do have high centers of gravity and 33% of all traffic fatalities happen in a rollover. If you get the chance, head on over to one of NHTSAs daughter sites, the New Car Assessment Program. This will give you individual automobile rollover rating assessments for your own take on what types of Cars, Trucks, Minivans, and SUVs that you may have not thought about having or higher and/or lower propensity of a rollover. Some SUVs and Minivans are actually safer then some cars we would generally consider to be safe in that regard

___As far as accident repair costs, a rollover has to be more expensive then just about anything under the hood of an 04 Prius more then likely?

___And to get back on topic. I had no idea as to the high costs of some of the parts internal to an 04 Prius! I always thought the Pack itself was expensive but not really much else? We will all probably get hit with higher premiums in the end but thank god for insurance today in any case.

___Good Luck to us all if we are involved in any of the above type accidents in terms of both costs or in particular, personal injury or death.

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:2f92grkz][email protected][/email:2f92grkz]
 

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bttmama said:
...We are stuck with the Prius due to it's horrendous resale/trade-in value:(
bttmama,
Did you say your Prius was "new." If so, I suspect you could sell it easily at little or no loss. Sorry to hear that your mileage never tops 40 mpg. Perhaps there is something amiss. I drive my '04 under less than optimal conditions (cool temps, short trips, hilly terrain) and I'm averaging just under 45 mpg.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Why do you say it has horrible resale value? Or are you not speaking of the '04? I'm sure I'd never get back what I paid, but with an $8500 down payment, I think I'd have at the very least $4000 of that back after selling it, especially since much of the cost was extended warranty, the interior junk they do, and the dealer mark-up, which it seems I am an idiot for paying, but too late now, I guess.
 

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crash

I received a huge dent on the rear bumper driver's side. The parts were in stock at a local Toyota dealer in Milwaukee. The parts came in over night and the car was finished in 4 days at a cost of $1700. I was surprised the parts were in stock.
 

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My own bumper repair (also driver's side rear) was finished in 2 days. Parts shipping took 2 as well (ordered on Tuesday, came in on Thursday afternoon). The cost? US$1350 total. And the work was done by our Toyota body shop in town.

I asked about parts availability right up front and was assured that Toyota had them in stock. This seems true enough for bumper covers.
 
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