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As much as I love this car, I am troubled by reports I'm hearing of hugely expensive repair bills. One lady rear ended an SUV and did what looked like minor damage. The "inverter" unit was damaged, but not completely. The damaged part, alone, would cost about 3 bucks, but Toyota only sells the assembled unit, not the component parts thereof, and required her (or her insurance company) to pay, get this, $4000 bucks for the whole assembly.
The reason, according to one post, is that it saves Toyota from having to inventory lots of little parts, and, supposedly, reduces their costs which, allegedly, they pass on to us in the form of a lower MSRP, but with the hidden glitch of higher repair costs.
Another big issue is that all of the Prius parts are going into new Prii and there is a shortage of spares to replace damage to the Prii already on the road.
Have any of you had similar experiences? Given the meteoric rise of the Prius in popularity, it would seem the vast majority of consumers either don't care about this issue or haven't thought about it. I suppose it will even out in the marketplace. If the insurance companies continue taking it in the shorts, they will most likely pressure the manufacturers to change their practices. Either way, we will end up paying more for these cars; either the insurance companies will jack up the rates or Toyota will be more reasonable in their parts inventories and tack the added expense of doing so onto the MSRP.
 

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Funny you should ask... I was just talking to someone that works in the insurance industry, and she pointed out that with a new car like the Prius, it's hard to get parts, so it's expensive. When you have tons of Hondas in junk yards that you can get parts for, it's cheap, but for a car like the Prius, especially with this new technology, expect to pay a premium in insurance and in fixing it up.

Does that theory match up with you lucky owners? (I'm days away, they say, from being an owner.) How is your insurance payments compared to more "traditional" cars?
 

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When I was pricing the parts to replace the damage interior items, I was shocked at how much some of them cost. A theory came to mind - Toyota may be taking a very small profit margin on new Prius units but subsidising this by increasing margin on replacement parts. They are in business to make money after all :wink:
 

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Fascinating theory Joel.

An out of warranty repair can very likely kill the economic benefit component that some anticipate as a notable hoped for.

The repair/parts costs are very high. Classic prius ownwers have reportedly been taking out an extended warranty in anticipation of "out of manufacturer warranty" expenses. I know the faulty rack and pinion is expensive. Can you imaging what an electronic component will cost. And, true there are not many availble spare parts...YET. I say yet because the cost to repair may make folks run to something else and thereby provide some measure of salvage parts availability for those who are long-term die-hards.
 
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