Steane Klose | Jan 23, 2009

With falling fuel prices, and hybrid sales along with them, Toyota is extending the value of its Prius hybrid by offering a 'Certified Used Hybrid' program. Toyota has sold a bunch of the iconic hybrids to date and many are now appearing in dealerships' used-car lots.

The program will work in much the same way as Toyota's existing used car program. The used Prius hybrids will undergo a 174 point safety check, including 14 hybrid-specific items, before being certified.

prius_engine

Upon passing the testing process, Toyota will cover the Prius under warranty which includes a seven-year/100,000-mile limited power-train warranty.

To most, the big question will be batteries, but they are already covered under an existing eight-year/100,000-mile factory warranty. Each certified Prius will also come with seven years of free roadside-assistance just in case.

prius_batteries

This is a very smart move by Toyota. With over one million Prius sold worldwide, the 'Certified Used' program will go a long way to retaining confidence in the long-term robustness of Toyota's hybrid technology. But with fuel prices likely to remain low in the immediate term, and with Americans now returning to the large car and truck segments (albeit at reduced sales volumes), the market for hybrid and electric vehicles may have shifted a little.

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