B.C. Hyundai Plug-In Hybrid owner hit with $15,000 electric battery cost

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Electric car owner hit with huge cost to replace battery'
Consumer Matters: Electric car owner hit with huge cost to replace battery
A Kelowna man who owned a Hyundai Ionic got quite the shock when he needed a new battery. The cost before labour was $15,000. After Anne Drewa and Consumer Matters got involved, things changed – Nov 30, 2023

Peter Birovchak says when he purchased his plug-in hybrid electric vehicle he thought he was being a good steward of the environment.

“I liked the idea of going to a gas station once every three weeks instead of once every week,” Birovchak said.

In November 2017, the Kelowna resident purchased a brand new 2018 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid for around $30,000. Birovchak says he saved about $300 a month on his gas bill.

However, this past September, the engine light came on while driving. After taking the vehicle to a Hyundai dealership, Birovchak was told the electric battery would need to be replaced.

“I got a quote the next day for $15, 272 not including labour,” said Birovchak.

What’s worse, Birovchak’s vehicle had 190,000 kilometres, which meant it was past the warranty of 160,000 kilometres.

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Birovchak says at the time he received little to no help from Hyundai Canada to meet him halfway and help pay for the replacement.

“You feel you’ve been kicked in the teeth,” he said. “How is it even statistically possible that one component of the vehicle can be worth almost as much as the vehicle?”

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Consumer Matters: Electric vehicle demand continues to grow

Consumer Matters reached out to Hyundai Canada on Birovchak’s behalf about covering the cost of the battery.

Hyundai Canada stated “Mr. Birovchak’s vehicle has surpassed the 160,000 kilometres warranty limit by more than 30,000 kilometres, which is why the initial warranty claim was not approved. However, given this unusual situation, our consumer relations team remains in contact with Mr. Birovchak and we are committed to working with him to agree on a mutually acceptable solution.”

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Birovchak said Hyundai Canada will now cover the cost of the battery and honour the warranty.

“I can’t thank Consumer Matters enough for stepping in and helping me and going to bat for me,” he said.

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The non-profit organization, Car Help Canada, which helps consumers with purchasing a vehicle says when it comes to replacing an electric vehicle battery, drivers should be aware of the costs.

“From what we’ve seen on average it’s reasonable to expect to replace a battery at a cost from anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 for most of the more popular electric vehicles. A hybrid vehicle – it’s realistic to expect anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 best case scenario,” Shari Prymak executive director of Car Help Canada said.

“In reality, battery failure with electrified vehicles is a very rare scenario. It does not happen very often.”

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Hyundai Canada also told Consumer Matters:

“Battery replacements after a warranty expires are rare but we recognize battery costs represent a challenge for our customers as well as the industry. Hyundai is currently prioritizing the development of new processes to provide more cost-effective solutions to EV customers coming out of warranty.”

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