Have you ever bought a brand new cars only to forget where you put it? How about 300 of them? Probably not – unless you're Miami-Dade County, which was recently reunited with 298 vehicles it bought brand new between 2006 and 2007.

The county "discovered" this fleet of no-mileage vehicles after reading about them in a Spanish-language newspaper there (see the source for more images). Most of the misplaced motorcade is made up of Toyota Prius hybrids whose warranties either expired with very few miles on the odo or will very soon.

Looking to save some face, the county has rushed at least 123 of the hybrids into service. The Toyota warranty covered the hybrid bits for eight years or 100,000 miles, but we're not sure if that covers cars parked for five of those eight. We're also not sure what that much time in Miami heat and humidity does to an unused hybrid powertrain, but it can't be good.

The county, as you probably guessed, is looking into how it lost so many cars. The leading theory is that they might be part of Carlos Alvarez's time as mayor. He was the mayor during the period the Toyotas were purchased, but a 2011 recall election successfully removed him from office. Apparently the voters "felt, among other reasons, that he had been behind multiple acts of misappropriation of funds."

We've tried to contact Toyota to see what kind of warranty support these cars will get but haven't had any luck so far. We'll update with their response.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      How did they manage to misplace 300 cars? Seriously, the logistics of the whole thing is mind boggling.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It was dirty politics when I lived there in the 80's, looks like nothing has changed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow this is criminal negligence. Taxpayers there should have a government bonfire. I wonder how the huge batteries are in a Prius that sat for 5 years.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Rob J
      • 3 Years Ago
      Government wastes money. News at 11:00.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Someone besides 1 man knew about these vehicles. The department head(s) they were bought for, the person who mwrote the checks, the people who stored them there. Somebody knew.. That's damn near 9 million dollars that just vanished...BULL
      • 3 Years Ago
      This reminds me.. I think I have a hybrid stashed somewhere.. Never cared to drive it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      And remember folks, with the government managing your health care, nothing will go wrong.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The county should probably check into how many cars were initially purchased??? Maybe Carlos just forgot to come back for the rest!
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thats over 10 million dollars. You would think that sum might show up on a balance sheet somewhere?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfriggin believable! For government agencies (or for that matter even pricate entities) to purchase equipment, there has to be a need / request from various departments , so how in the heck does no one say anything about equipment that is purchased but not used.
        • 3 Years Ago
        And the Ark is lost somewhere in New Cumberland PA (NCAD logistics errors...)
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is about 10 million worth of cars! Don't even dream that anyone is going to get fired for this. This is business as usual and there is no accountability whatsoever in the county!!!! What a bunch of incompetent bastards!!!
        • 3 Years Ago
        $10 million worth of cars? Priuses don't cost $33,000 apiece (and didn't in 2006, either), especially when purchased by a municipality... think half of your estimate and you're probably right. Still a boneheaded move at $5 million, but let's not overstate the cost.
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