Is TCUH in TOUCH? Certified Hybrids

Certified Hybrid Vehicles From ToyotaToyota now certifies used hybrids

A new program in the U.S. is being rolled out by Toyota. The Japanese auto giant is now certifying used hybrids. Since its debut in 1996, Toyota’s certification program has been quite popular on their used cars because it allows buyers to purchase a pre-owned car, while still getting the benefits of a full warranty, thus reducing the risks many people associate with buying used vehicles. The fear of buying used hybrids was especially great because people feared the older hybrid technology and parts might no longer be available or covered. With Toyota’s new certification for hybrids, buyers can purchase a used Toyota hybrid and retain the warranty.

Toyota is the first hybrid maker to offer such a program. It is especially prudent to do so in the current economy because more people than ever are looking to save money by buying a quality used car. The TCUH (Toyota Certified Used Hybrid) program might also come in handy as a lot of people dump their late model Prius for the 2010 next generation version.

The certification standards for the used hybrids are different from the standards Toyota uses to certify other used vehicles. Hybrids must pass 174 individual inspection points, of which 14 are specific to the hybrid power train. Once a used hybrid vehicle passes inspection, it will be under warranty for seven years of roadside assistance and seven years/100,000 miles of limited power train warranty (same as non-hybrid certified Toyota’s). A three month comprehensive warranty is also included in this new certification.

The one area not enhanced by the certification program is the hybrid car battery. The battery warranty begins at the initial purchase of the car and lasts for eight years or 100,000 miles. This warranty does pass along if the original buyer sells the car before the warranty is up.

What do you think? If you were thinking of buying a hybrid, does Toyota’s certification system make you consider buying used? If you were already going to buy used, does this new system persuade you to focus on used Toyota hybrids specifically? Here is the official press release from Toyota.

Tags: certified highlander hybrid, certified prius, certified camry hybrid

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