A lawsuit by a Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid owner says that a “13-mile” battery power range is deceptive.
Earlier this month, owner Richard Rosenbaum filed the suit in Michigan federal court claiming that the Prius Plug-In he purchased in 2012 has not been able to meet the 13-mile electric range that Toyota was advertising. Rosenblaum also said he wasn’t able to run on electric-only mode when the temperature dropped beyond a certain point. The Prius owner is seeking to represent a class of Prius Plug-In Hybrid owners.
He claims to have only been able to drive the car approximately eight miles on electric power alone. Taking his car in for inspection to a Toyota dealer, Rosenbaum claims the Prius was then able to achieve 10 miles of range. He says the dealership was able to make an adjustment to the car that increased the range. Toyota denies this happened.
The lawsuit also claims the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will not operate in electric-only mode at all in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The suit alleges Toyota failed to highlight these limitations in its advertisements for the car, which constitutes a violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.
The electric range listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency already differs with Toyota’s rating. The Prius Plug-In Hybrid has an electric range of 11 miles, according the EPA. In small print, the EPA says that the plug-in hybrid only has six miles of continuous battery-only operation available. The balance includes intermittent operation of the gasoline engine, according to the EPA.
Production of this version of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid ended in June 2015, several months ahead of the switchover from the third-generation Prius to a redesigned fourth-generation model. The new version, the 2017 Prius Prime, is scheduled to go on sale this November. Toyota says this revised version of the Prius plug-in hybrid will have 22 miles of electric range.