$10,000 Chevy Volt Owner Crushed When Dealer Quotes Over $30,000 for Hybrid Battery Replacement

A Chevrolet Volt owner in Florida is the next to discover how expensive hybrid and EV repairs can be. When the Florida man took his Chevy Volt to Roger Dean Chevrolet for work, they were quoted $26,853.99 to replace their hybrid battery. This came as a complete shock because he bought the 2012 Chevy Volt for $10,000. Even worse, the 10-year-old car only had 70,000 miles before it needed a complete battery replacement. 

Black 2013 Chevy Volt posed
Black 2013 Chevy Volt | Chevrolet

How much does it cost to replace a hybrid battery? 

Several older, used EV and hybrid owners have gone public with the outrageous costs of replacing EV batteries. The real pain in all this is how quickly this Chevy needed what might as well be a full engine replacement. 

That $26,853.99 wasn’t the end of the cost. This was the cost for just buying the battery; the dealership also quoted the Volt owners $1,200, and here’s the kicker, $33.98 for coolant. After taxes, the grand total to replace the hybrid battery was quoted at $30,842.15. Carscoops mentions that the car needing the $30,000 worth of repairs could be sold to Carmax for $9,000. 

What does it mean when a car is totaled? 

A Tesla Model 3 is as safe as a Model Y, according to the IIHS.
A Tesla crash vehicle | Patrick Pleul, Getty Images

A totaled car makes us think of a wrecked car, but that is not always the case. This 2012 Chevy Volt is the textbook definition of a totaled car. A car is totaled when the cost of the repairs outweighs the value of the vehicle. Considering that the repairs are 3x more than the value of the Volt, I’d call that one toast. 

Carscoops speculates that the owner most certainly didn’t pay the exorbitant repair bill. While it’s a no-brainer to turn down such a repair estimate, we still want to know why the repair bill is so high. We know the batteries used in Hybrids and EVs are pricy tech full of pricy materials. However, $30,000 is extreme. This lofty price has led some online commenters to speculate that the price quote was a hoax. Aside from the monster expense, the hoax believers point to the quote’s lack of address and phone number as proof of funny business. 

While that argument sounds reasonable, the Back the Truck Up blog and fact-checking website Snopes contacted the dealer, confirming the insane price quote. The dealership shifts the blame onto the third-party supplier for the shocking cost. Back the Truck Up pointed out that the supplier was Spear Power Systems, a Missouri-based manufacturer of lithium batteries used in aviation, maritime, and mining industries. However, Carscoops says that SPS didn’t reply to Snopes when it attempted to confirm SPS was the source of the battery.

Could the dealership have inflated the cost? 

Dealership technician
Dealership technician | Getty

Times are tough across the car market. We have seen time and time again that dealers are dealing with the current hardships by super-inflating prices of new and used cars, citing scarcity as the defense for marking cars up by as much as $100,000 over MSRP, in some cases. 

Roger Dean Chevrolet wrote on Facebook that it didn’t set the price of the battery, saying, “This is an estimate for a 12-year-old vehicle out of warranty and for a battery that is extremely hard to get, due to the older technology of the 12-year-old vehicle.”

He added, “In the newer EV or EUV vehicles with newer technology, the batteries do cost less. Think of it like big screen TVs. Remember when the first big screen came out, they were very expensive, and as the technology advanced, the prices became better. This battery is also out of warranty of 8yr/100k miles whatever hits first.”

In response to the dealership’s Facebook defense, Reddit users allegedly dug up that GM Parts Online suggests that “a refurbished battery assembly for a 2011-14 Volt is available for $6,880, having been reduced from $9,100.” 

Carscoops makes the final blow, reminding customers that the cost of the battery – as quoted by the dealership – could more than cover the cost of a brand-new Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf with enough left over to get ice cream on the way home. 

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