Many Prius Series 1 owners have given up on their vehicle after bad experiences with their car HEV battery. This is not surprising as there has been very little help or information available to them to allay their fears and frustrations.
They are told that it costs $12,000 for a replacement battery by none other than Toyota themselves! This is as good as saying "Your car is scrap metal" It may be that this model was never meant for the international market and only exported out of Japan as used vehicles. However it does not help the image of hybrid cars to early adopters of this technology.
The Prius Series 1 Hybrid is A VERY GOOD CAR. This is our unreserved opinion after reconditioning the Series 1 battery pack since 2007. Our breakthrough came when we were able to clear the fault code in the battery computer. This made it possible to correctly diagnose the real problem with the vehicle which contributed to the HEV battery failure in the first place. What we have discovered is that any inefficiency in the internal combustion engine (ICE), affects the HEV battery.
The most important thing to do when owning a hybrid vehicle is to keep the ICE operating at peak efficiency. Ironically because the vehicle seems to runs so well even when the ICE is not 100% - maintenance is neglected.
We have seen vehicles run without coolants ! Spark plugs which are normal standard plugs not changed for 150,000 Kms, Most important the air flow meter is not operating at 100%. It should be cleaned on regular basis and if not performing correctly, it should be replaced.
We would be the only people who will recondition the Prius Series 1 HEV battery for $1500. The battery is not new but even so, if the ICE is operating faultlessly this car will perform as expected. We will be able to keep the HEV battery operating for as long as the car continues to get a warrant.