Sources: NTSB, Reuters
quote: Battery life cycle As the Prius reached ten years of being available in the U.S. market, in February 2011 Consumer Reports decided to look at the lifetime of the Prius battery and the cost to replace it. The magazine tested a 2002 Toyota Prius with over 200,000 miles on it, and compared the results to the nearly identical 2001 Prius with 2,000 miles tested by Consumer Reports 10 years before. The comparison showed little difference in performance when tested for fuel economy and acceleration. Overall fuel economy of the 2001 model was 40.6 miles per US gallon (5.79 L/100 km; 48.8 mpg-imp) while the 2002 Prius with high mileage delivered 40.4 miles per US gallon (5.82 L/100 km; 48.5 mpg-imp). The magazine concluded that the effectiveness of the battery has not degraded over the long run. The cost of replacing the battery varies between US$2,200 and US$2,600 from a Toyota dealer, but low-use units from salvage yards are available for around US$500. One piece of research indicates it may be worthwhile to rebuild batteries using good blades from defective used batteries.
quote: Top industry figures says there's no sure fire method of predicting internal shorts
quote: [GM] did trace fires in its Chevy Volt electric vehicle back to malfunctions