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Toyota Hybrid Battery Replacement Cost Guide

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2008 Toyota Prius

2008 Toyota Prius

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"Sure, but what do the batteries cost to replace?" is a question frequently posed to hybrid and electric vehicle owners.

It's true that batteries aren't cheap, and at some point down the line they'll have expended their useful life and require replacement. But what do these packs actually cost, if and when that replacement date comes?

We've previously looked at the cost of replacing battery packs in the first-generation 2001-2003 Toyota Prius, but with several other hybrids on the market from Toyota alone, we wanted to investigate further.

Replacement is rare

The first, and most reassuring thing you should know about these battery packs, is that replacement is a rare occurrence.

Toyota told us that the engineers consider the NiMH batteries in Prius and other Toyota hybrids to be a life-of-the-car component. It could be several owners and hundreds of thousands of miles down the line before the pack requires replacement, at which point the car itself may well be past its prime.

That's backed up by stories like the 300,000-mile Ford Escape hybrid taxis, and Consumer Reports recently tested a 215,000-mile 2003 Prius and found its performance had barely diminished. In the latter, the only component that had needed replacement was a fan belt, at 127,000 miles.

Warranties are long

Toyota clearly has confidence in its battery packs, and offers an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty in most states. In states that adopt California's emissions regulations, that rises to 10-years/150,000-miles.

So in a worst-case scenario, any battery failure or significant performance drop-off will be covered by the warranty for up to a decade.

2004-2009 Toyota Prius battery pack, second generation

2004-2009 Toyota Prius battery pack, second generation

Enlarge Photo
Core credit

Should worst come to worst and your battery need replacement, there's one final silver lining from Toyota, known as "core credit".

This is a sum deducted from the new battery pack MSRP for returning the old battery to be recycled. That's not only better for the environment than the battery being thrown away when it gets replaced, but in a car like the Prius, it reduces the cost of a new battery by around a third.

The only additional cost is that of labor, which varies between cars, and labor rates which vary depending on where you live.

Toyota hybrid battery replacement costs

Below is a list of MSRP battery cost details for the three generations of Prius model, as well as those for the Camry Hybrid sedan and Highlander Hybrid SUV.

  • 2001-2003 Toyota Prius (1st generation) - $3,649 minus $1,350 "core credit"
  • 2004-2008 Toyota Prius (2nd generation) - $3,649 minus $1,350 "core credit"
  • 2009-present Toyota Prius (3rd generation) - $3,939 minus $1,350 "core credit"
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid - $3,541, core credit deducted
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid - $4,848, core credit deducted

Toyota didn't specify labor rates for the Camry or Highlander, but a pack in the 2nd-generation Prius takes 1.7 hours to replace (given its similarity to the first-generation Prius, we'd assume a similar time for that vehicle too) and a 3rd-generation Prius battery pack has labor of 1.6 hours. Once again, these rates vary depending on your location.

Any battery that needs replacement within the warranty period will be replaced at no cost.

It's worth noting that there are a select few third-parties that will replace the batteries, often at a slightly lower cost, but these won't have the fully-warranted backup of work carried out at a Toyota dealer, nor technicians fully trained to handle Toyota hybrid technology.

Little to worry about

Whatever you think of the prices above, it's worth reiterating that replacement batteries are the exception rather than the norm, and the vast majority of owners will never incur the cost of a replacement unit.

For the few that do, the prices above give you an indication of what to expect--and the reality isn't quite as dramatic as many people suspect.

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Comments (20)
  1. Do the replacement batteries use the same battery technology from went vehicle was designed, or do manufacture offer upgrades to offering newer battery chemistry?

    Early hybrid/electrics used older NiMH (nickel-metal-hydride) chemistry before moving to useing lithium-ion cells. Even the chemistry of lithium-ion cells has been enhanced over the past five years. These changes have added to battery efficiency & at same time reduced costs.

    Is the manufacture warranty on replacement batteries similar to the warranty offered on new batteries?

    My concern is more on larger capacity in an EV (electric vechicle) vs. the lower capacity batteries used in a hybrid; and the effect on resale value as the vechicle ages.
     
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  2. No, you don't get Li-ion replacement battery for your NiMH battery in the Toyota's hybrid cars...

    Actually, another thing to point out that sometimes, in warranty service, you get a "remanufactred" unit instead of a brand new battery replacement unit.
     
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  3. I just had my Hybrid Battery replaced on my 2007 highlander hybrid with just 53k miles. I would like to think I got a brand new battery and the warranty will kick in from the beginning because it's a new battery. How can I find out if I got a "remanufactured" battery? The Toyota Service guys was not too friendly with me because they didn't make any money of me.

    Thanks
    GG
     
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  4. What did you have to do to get Toyota to replace your battery? Did the car totally stop working, or where there other symptoms?
     
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  5. Good info, a lot of people were looking for this kind of first hand info.
     
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  6. I corresponded with a man in California with a 1st generation Prius. His cost to replace the battery and labor to install it was less than $900. And he provided a copy of the invoice.
     
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  7. This guy is well reviewed on yelp in los angeles. I spoke to him, he really does charge less than the dealers. He will replace the bad cells, or all of them. As for warranty, he offers one. As for quality, looks like he is pretty great but if your car has 200k miles on it and is on it's last leg, you can pay this guy 700 and be like new again and really have no reason to be so damn picky when it comes to insisting that the dealer do the change. In case you guys haven't noticed by now, the dealers are there to scam you.
    here is the link to the guys site. http://www.hybridbatteryrepair.net/home
     
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  8. The talk of how rare a hybrid battery will last is useless in my case. In Atlanta I can basically find only one company with experience with hybrids--a spin off of the Toyota dealership. They have never had to replace a Toyota Camry hybrid battery. Mine has 130k miles and is a 2007 model. The quote to replace is about $4000 including labor. That is something to worry about. Question: Can the two bad cells be replaced as with Prius batteries? If so, the cost is "only" $2500.
     
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  9. There are several companies out there that are re-building these packs for a fraction of what the dealers charge. I have dealt with one company www.priusrebuilder.com that offers several versions for each generation prius as well as several different warranties ranging from 90 days to 2 years. another company that i have talked to is reinvolt. they sell the same thing as priusrebuilders gen1 w/2 but charge almost as much as a new battery.
    There are a lot of companies on the west coast, most famous is lucsius garage.
    For anyone who needs a hybrid battery for their prius their are many other options other than going to the "Stealer-ships"
     
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  10. Watching God guns and automobiles,very first show customer wants to buy a hybrid. Mancows brother sat there and told that man that the battery would need to be replaced in 8 years etc. Jerks like that caused me to pass over the prius in 06 when I bought my scion xB. I have an xB I rarely drive now because I eventually bought a 07 prius and quickly learned the prius is the car I should have gotten in 06. Hybrid cost 3K more. To go 100 miles P=2.1 gallons xB=3.8gallons over time that cost $595 every 10K miles. So 100K miles I save $~6K enough to cover hybrid cost and a new battery ! Emergency preparedness is another reason to own a hybrid range increases in city traffic at 80 mph my Prius got 38 mpg range 420 miles. Go 65 mph got 48mpg 550m
     
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  11. So how do I remedy this well I have a scooter I ride it get 50 mpg (economy I would get in a prius) when I have to transport the kid I use the xB 30mpg. I have to pay $75 a year insurance on the scooter and have the maintainence but a bike is not too expensive of a way to remedy this, that is as long as the texters, drunks, and deer don't kill me. The dog likes the scooter more than the car but he don't get to vote. I want a 2nd prius and I want a trailer on it so I can go camping with a pop up camper. The plug in hybrid prius is a great car I want one but they are not sold here yet IDK if I want to sink that sort of money in a change when I don't need ne. Should the opportunity present itself I will upgrade.
     
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  12. I'm sure glad that it almost never happens, to others... I own a 2001 with 144,000 miles and the battery crapped out and they want a LOT of money to fix. We are screwed - the car is worth exactly what it would cost to fix...
     
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  13. You could cheap out and get a reconditioned pack for it instead of a new battery pack. May be less than $1000. I think it'd be worth it with the gas savings. Would pay for itself
     
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  14. Great info, but sounds like the writer doesn't have enough life experience to know that cars don't always follow the mfrs plans. While most people will have a trouble-free experience, a sizable chunk of owners are going to have something go wrong right after the warranty expires or will be stuck with a bad dealer who will try to trick them into paying even though the repair is supposed to be covered.
    And in estimating costs, don't forget most shops now include bogus add-on fees like "shop supplies." While the repair may only be 1.7 hours of labor at $100 or $150 an hour, there could be hundreds in spurious charges--plus taxes, so add another 5 to 11% depending where you live.
     
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  15. Beware "reman" and "rebuilt" hybrid batteries on the internet. Can the rebuilder show documentation regarding the power and energy capabilities of the battery? Are the cells in balance? Has it been charged to 60% capacity just prior to selling it to you? Gen 1 Prius batteries are not worth conditioning for reuse as they have problems with electrolyte leakage and they don't dissipate heat properly. Opt for replacing all cells with gen 2 cells if the car is worth saving. Honda battery packs all have inherent cooling problems that tend to damage the cells in the middle of the pack. The Hybrid Shop offers a replacement Honda pack that has improved cooling and comes fully conditioned and properly charged.
     
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  16. We have a 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid. I had the hybrid battery replaced under warranty on 27 January 2010. Then today the Hybrid Battery light on the dash came on after the car shut down at a stop light. We just had it towed to the dealership and are waiting to find out if it is under warranty. Cross our fingers. The dealership informed us that hybrids do not do well in cold weather. Super...we live in Alaska.
     
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  17. The dealership lied to you. Hybrids do just fine in cold weather. Last month I drove from California to Canada, stopping off in Salt Lake City and Helena, Mt. The car functioned well at temperatures as low as -8 F. The only problem we had was with our windshield wiper fluid; it was completely frozen. Honestly, these dealerships are skeevy as hell.
     
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  18. I know of two people, in CA, who's battery pack on an older mid 2000's Prius had to be replaced at 120,000 and 130,000 respectively. There is a guy near Passadena who specializes in replacing the packs. He buys a used one (30,000 to 65,000) miles on it from a scrapyard for about $1,200 and then puts it in for another $1,500. So for $2,700 you have replace the battery that at the dealer will run $4,000 to $5,000.
    Cost wise if you compare a non hybrid getting 30mpg over 120,000 at $4.11per gallon, even with the cost of the used replacement you are $3,740 ahead of the game. However if you had it done at a dealer you would be $1,940 ahead of the game. It will catch up to you on your 2nd replacement battery if you get over the 220,000 mile mark.
     
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  19. My 2001 Toyota Prius battery failed at 76,000 miles and 7.5 years. I was told that I was "going out the door" with a 8 year 100,000 mile full new car warranty. I had same type problems for more than two years but the dealers were always able to make minor repair and keep me going. At 76,000 Toyota said warranty was expired. I still have the car, what is it worth with dead battery?????
     
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  20. I had my 2004 Prius gen 2 hybrid battery replaced a year ago for $3,400. Now the Transaxle went out and the inverter is leaking I was told by the dealer it would cost $12,000 to fix. It is not worth that much and I just put $600 into it two weeks ago. Who will buy a non running Prius? I still owe $1,700 on the battery.
     
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