click for more images of the 2009 Toyota Prius

As the first batch of Priuses sold in the United States reach their get ready to turn eight in 2009, the battery replacement issue is going to pop up more and more. We noted back in September that Toyota had dropped the price of a new pack a few hundred dollars to $2,299 for model years 2001-2003 and $2,588 for model years 2004-2008. On the Toyota Open Road blog, editor Jon Thompson has written a post on the strength of the Prius batteries after all these years, with at least one example reaching over 400,000 miles of service. Green Car Advisor counters that, yes, the MSRP for the battery packs may have been reduced, but the automaker is not above tacking on some questionable extras when you go and have it installed. The short version: your Prius' battery is very likely a strong one, and should work quite well. When it stops, though, be ready to shell out a few grand and don't hesitate to call Toyota Customer Service to see if they can't knock a few bucks off the estimate.

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