Old hybrid vehicles can come with massive bills when their batteries die, as an Arizona man recently found out.
Lucas Turner was driving his 2014 Infiniti hybrid when its check engine light made its annoying appearance on the scene, according to KPHO-TV.
Not good, but with fewer than 70,000 miles on the vehicle, he was not expecting the bill would be a whopper.
“They called me and said, ‘Oh, I’ve got bad news, Mr. Turner. You need a new hybrid battery and it’s going to cost $18,000 for the battery and another $2,000 to have it installed.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ My jaw dropped,” Turner said.
“I almost cried,” he said.
Turner had bought the car three years back and paid $16,000 for it. That made a $20,000 battery repair way out of line from his point of view.
“I can’t make this make sense in my mind. How does it cost $20,000 to put a battery in a car, but you only paid $16,000?” he said.
“When I bought the car, it came with the battery. It came with wheels. It came with brakes. It came with a body. It came with glass and everything. It came with an engine, but they want $20,000 just for a battery. It makes no sense in my mind,” he said.
Karl Brauer, an analyst for iSeeCars, raised his eyebrows at the tale, KPHO reported.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that [Turner] could find a less expensive battery from another source,” he said, adding “It’s not uncommon for these batteries to last 15-plus years and 150,000 plus miles.”
Buyers should beware, he said.
“That should be part of the pre-purchase inspection, which you should always do when you’re buying a used car, no matter what kind of car it is,” Brauer said. “If they can confirm the battery is in healthy state, that’s the first step. If it’s not in a healthy state, they should use that as a negotiation point and they should research potential replacement costs.”
Turner said his choices are “$20,000 or a pile of scrap metal in my driveway.”
Turner said that after KPHO started asking about the issue, Infiniti cut the cost in half.
Turner is not alone. Last year, as reported by the website AutoEvolution, a Florida driver was hit with an estimate of almost $30,000 for the replacement battery on a 2012 Chevrolet Volt, a hybrid that was produced as Chevy was dabbling in the electric vehicle market. Its place in Chevrolet’s lineup has now been taken by the Bolt.
Roger Dean Chevrolet in Cape Coral, which prepared the estimate, noted on Facebook that seeking a part for a discontinued vehicle is not cheap.
“This is an estimate for a 12-year-old vehicle out of warranty and for a battery that is extremely hard to get, due to the older technology of the 12-year-old vehicle,” the dealership posted “Think of it like big screen TVs. Remember when the first big screen came out, they were very expensive, and as the technology advanced the prices became better. This battery is also out of warranty of 8yr/100k miles whatever hits first.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.