Published on August 28th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota Prius hybrid battery pack stolen
Why did they steal just the battery pack and not the whole car?
A Toyota Prius owner in San Francisco has just reported that her Toyota Prius battery was disassembled and its main hybrid battery pack was stolen.
Marjory Kaplan parked her 2017 Prius just down the block from her apartment in Pacific Heights. Upon returning to her vehicle, she found that someone had stolen the Prius’ mid-mounted central hybrid battery pack. This is the battery pack that supplies power to the hybrid-electric system and not the auxiliary functions under the hood.
The battery pack which weighs in at about 180 pounds is worth somewhere between USD5,000 to USD5,100 and add to the damage done by removing the pack, this Prius owner is looking at a possible USD10,000 repair bill.
Is this repair covered by insurance? Probably not as insurance covers car theft, the whole car and not parts of the car.
NOTE: Battery pack thefts have been on the rise since ABC7 News first reported on the increase back in 2015. The packs are resold on the black market, which harks back to the days when clever thieves stole catalytic converters off new vehicles to extract the expensive precious metals found inside.
But what is different about this theft is that no windows or doors were forcefully damaged during the break-in. Rather, a small rear window was tactfully removed to gain access. This is a clear indication that the battery thieves are professional and know what they’re doing.
“It’s very organized, yeah, it’s very organized,” Jeff Garcia, a Toyota mechanic, told KRON4. Garcia said his shop is in the middle of repairing four other Prius cars whose batteries were stolen in a similar manner. “It’s not just the battery they’re stealing, they’re damaging all the harnesses and everything else around there. Seatbelts are being cut.”
“Had I been lucky enough just to have the window broken and the change taken,” Kaplan continued. “I would have been very happy.”
A street-view security camera was nearby, but unfortunately it was pointed the wrong way, so Kaplan doesn’t expect much to happen. She also plans to sell her car after the repair and to depend more on public transportation.