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Hello Hybrid Fools,

I've thoroughly enjoyed a 2001 Prius. It's my wife's car, but also our primary family car. I'm sure there's no need on this board to rave about the many benefits of this car.

The reason I'm writing is that this has become the most expensive car to operate that I've ever owned. First, the orinal tires wore out with less than 20,000 miles. Toyota redesigned the tires, and even paid part of my tire replacement costs. That was a cause for concern, but Toyota stepped up.

At the 60,000-mile service, the Prius required $1,000 of preventative maintenance. At the 90,000-mile service, it required another $1,000. None of the other scheduled services required anything extra. Altogether, tires and maintenance for four and one-half years were $3,600. I can live with that. I budgeted $1,000 per year for maintenance on this car, so the car matched my expectations fairly well.

Today, I had to have our pride and joy towed to the dealership to have the transaxle/transmission assembly replaced, for a tidy sum of $4,100. Ouch! I think blue-book value on this car is $7-8k.

I would like to think that this is an isolated, low-probability event. So I'm wondering, what are other Prius owners finding the cost of ownership to be? I'd appreciate hearing from you.

Best regards, Jerry
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