Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Loser Toyota Hybrid 12V AGM Battery

Look what I've had to do to keep the Camry Hybrid running until I get this all sorted out.

My long tale of Toyota Woe started with my brand new Hybrid Highlander.  The 12V battery failed right away.  Luckily Yorkdale could measure it and replaced it under warranty.

After 7 years the battery failed on the Camry.  This is good performance for an absorbed glass mat battery (AGM).  On a hybrid, the battery does not start the car, but just keeps the computer going, so it can start the car from the main storage batteries.  The battery has a ridiculously light load.

The new battery failed within a year.  It doesn't fail like a standard lead-acid battery, it just loses capacity.  I brought it in when the car couldn't last overnight, and then the car wouldn't start.  I was so clever this time.  I brought the car to my favourite local mechanic who ordered the battery from Shaw Toyota.

Oh woe is me that I went this route.  The battery didn't last a year.  My mechanic tested it as you should for an AGM and it failed.  But cheapo Shaw never accepted this.  They tested like a lead-acid battery and said it was good.  Back and forth we went.  I went to Toyota Headquarters and no response.  Finally, I phoned the Big Shaw himself (manager) and threatened thermonuclear social media war.  I got a new battery.

The battery didn't last a year.  I had taken it in to Yorkdale for the intverter oil change, and they said the battery had failed the test.  But they said they were not responsible for the warranty, it was the other dealer.  Like heck I was taking it there!

I politely emailed Toyota Canada about transferring the warranty.  This time they responded and asked more questions.  I answered the questions, and was getting a bit hot under the collar.  Did the dealers pay for the warranty themselves?  Why were they so cheap?  This was a lot of my stomach acid under the bridge.

Toyota no longer responded, thus this article.  I will send it to them.  However, they know nothing of social media and reputation risk.  I'm sure they don't have a service and would not see it even if my friends copy it on FB.  Do it guys!

They are the stogiest of horrible bureaucracies.  They have no more control over cheap dealers who destroy their reputation than Tim Hortons has over cheapo billionaire heirs.  No young person should buy from them.  My kids don't.  I'll probably buy from them, but not from dealers.  You save thousands if you buy from an internet fleet service.

Do not buy this battery if it fails on you.  Get a cheap AGM from Costco.  There's all sorts of stuff on how you pry off the thermo sensor on the old battery.  At least you have a good warranty from Costco, there is no 'effective' warranty from Toyota.

ps.  Toyota is hiding.

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