TOYOTA AUSTRALIA announced this week that it has extended the warranty on the hybrid battery of the Toyota Prius, covering owners of the popular hybrid with an eight-year/160,000km warranty.
The extended warranty applies to more than 12,700 cars sold since the Prius' Australian launch in 2001, as well as all new Prius cars sold from June 29.
Also covered by the extended warranty are the Lexus GS, RX and LS hybrids, of which there are more than 2200 on Australian roads.
Toyota Australia's Senior Executive Director for Sales and Marketing, David Buttner, pointed to the extended warranty as evidence of Toyota's confidence in the life of the hybrid battery.
"Fewer than one-quarter of one per cent of Prius hybrid batteries have been replaced in almost eight years of sales," Mr Buttner said.
"Their endurance has been tested under severe conditions, with several Prius taxis driven for more than 400,000km on the original battery in the hot, humid climate of Cairns.
"That's equivalent to more than 20 years of normal driving.
"There is also a comprehensive recycling program in place for the batteries with our suppliers certified to ISO14001."
Current Prius and Lexus hybrid owners will receive a letter from Toyota notifying them of the changes to their warranty.
The 2010 Toyota Prius - the third generation in the Prius line - arrives in Australia in the second week of July 2009.