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Water in 2008 Highlander hybrid battery

scojac1scojac1 Posts: 1
edited June 2017 in Toyota
Car wouldn't start, electric came on but it wouldn't turn over. Towed it to Toyota Dealer. Trouble reported in window was "Check Hybrid System" and " Check CVS? and one other but don't remember. After leaving the dealer and arriving home, I had a call advising me that there was water in the hybrid battery to the tune of $6K. Manager told me that the car had to have passed through standing water or water rose to level where batteries were contaminated. Don't know of any flooded areas around here and no evidence of water on the carpet so how does water get into the batteries. Manager advised me to call insurance company to have them pay for it. Nothing surprises me today but how does water get into the system without flooding the car? Thanks in advance for any input.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    This doesn't sound plausible unless the dealer has some kind of evidence for it. Did the dealer find evidence of water intrusion in the battery tray? Did he actually open up a battery? What codes did he retrieve. Having those codes would be very interesting to study.

    I would suggest going to another dealer or bypassing the dealer and calling Toyota Corporate (listed on the back of your owner's manual, or in it) and complaining. I just don't see (at the moment) where the evidence is to deny you a warranty claim.

    Your insurance company is sure as hell going to ask for evidence, so the dealer had better come up with some.

    I suppose flooding the battery compartment could cause a short in the batteries, but you say that never happened---so that leads one to suspect perhaps a faulty inverter, or an engine malfunction (if the engine isn't running right, that could damage the batteries).

    So you have your work cut out for you. I also don't know where this $6,000 price tag comes from.

    None of this currently adds up I must say.
  • angelfarmsangelfarms Posts: 1
    edited December 2016
    I too, just got a call from Toyota dealership after having my 2008 Highlander Hybrid towed. The rear electric engine was flooded and we did not drive through water or have leaks in the car. The cost to repair was over $12,000. My car is totaled. What is going on and why is this happening? How did water get in the engine area? What do we do to get some of our equity back from our cars that we took really good care of and is now totaled and it is not our fault? What is up?
  • The comments about flooding in the hybrid battery happened to me also. The dealer service said there is water leak but I never went through high water or saw any wet spots on my rugs. Based upon others having similar problem, I think there must be some inherent problem that they're not acknowledging. After paying for fault finding which indicated battery replacement and with the possibility of additional charges afterwards they wanted $8600 for starters. The car wasn't worth that much. I had it towed to a garage where they replaced it with a used battery for $2000 but then other faults appeared. It is currently still being repaired but this experience has dissuaded me from buying hybrid again. The car had handled well and was very pleased with it until all these electrical issues developed. Would insurance really cover this type of problem or is there a warrant for the battery?
  • gardgengardgen Posts: 2
    2008 same thing.  Quote from dealer over $6000.  Water in compartment enough to use whole roll of paper towels. Helping friend through it right now.  He is using a road service company and cost will be $3k with 3 year warranty.  Had to drive up from Connecticut to Massachusetts. No contact with flooding other than driving during normal rain storms.  12 volt battery also dead and can't be jump started.  

    Had towing hitch installed this week and lighting harness had to be replaced.  Also did standard servicing at dealership this week.  
  • paulzakpaulzak ontarioPosts: 1
    My 2008 highlander went from running great to dead in 1 day. We purchased the truck in 2016 used and drove it without any problems for the past 3 1/2 years until just recently. Car broke down on the way back from the airport and we had to have it towed to a dealer. They informed us that water had gotten into the hybrid battery compartment frying the battery, relay and computer. We were advised that there was also water on the third row seating carpet and were asked if we drove through a flood. No flood but we called the insurance and beyond further inspection of the car, we were advised that they found the source of the water intrusion. Turns out that they removed the rear bumper cover and found that there were missing rubber grommets on one side of the car. Turns out that every time it rained water was seeping in through the holes and flooding the compartment. We never noticed a smell or any wet carpets because we never use the third row seating in the back. We are currently waiting to hear back on the insurance companies conclusion. Damage repairs right now are estimated at approx. $10,000 cnd. Hopefully this can help someone that is suffering with the same issue and help with a resolution. This is something that we never would have seen visually, I mean how many people are pulling off the rear bumper? I believe that this is a manufacturers flaw and needs to be addressed. Only found 1 article describing this same issue.
  • When are we starting a class action suit for the flaws in the seals of our hybrid motors? This should be told to people who buy these vehicles or checked by dealers regularly. I feel like this is a known flaw and we are not told.
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