A lesser charge
I would like your thoughts on the Toyota hybrid battery, as this week the battery died after 230,000km in my Camry taxi. I thought it was a bit premature and to replace it will cost about $4000. Calling around some of the Toyota dealers, generally they mentioned that they haven’t come across a situation like mine but I think it’s a lot of money if I have to replace the battery every 2 ½ years. Thomas Katahiotis, email Toyota spokesman Mike Breen says: “Our inspection of Mr Katahiotis’s Camry hybrid taxi revealed the hybrid battery failed due to overheating which was caused by the cooling fan being blocked by lint and fluff accumulation. Toyota recommends hybrid vehicles used as taxis are fitted with an additional filter due to the high incidence of entry and exit from the passenger-side rear door, which was not fitted in this case. All Toyota dealers and outside service agents have been advised of this requirement by service bulletin as well as major taxi fleet operators. In this case, despite the considerable distance travelled, Toyota has agreed to contribute 25 per cent as a gesture of goodwill and, in addition, a filter was installed and the owner advised of the regular maintenance requirement”. THE VF IS KING I am looking at buying a 2013-2014 Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore, standard model. Can you provide advice as to what is a better buy and any make of car I should also consider? Darryl Buchanan, email For me, the Commodore VF is the better car and gets The Tick. If you just want family transport, you should also take a close look at the Toyota Camry, which is vastly underrated but also a Tick car. XR8s ARE GREAT You are wrong about all the Ford FG-X XR8s being allocated to owners. I know of two sitting at Berwick Ford, and other dealers around the country. You can also still order them so maybe you need to do a bit of investigation. I’m a proud FG-X owner and wouldn’t touch the Commodore VFII SS with a 10-foot barge pole. It still has an old motor that Chev replaced out of the Corvette. Graham Dixon, email I can only report what I’m told by Ford and they have said they are allocated. Still, it’s no surprise dealers have pre-ordered cars to cater for diehard Falcon fans. LUCKY BREAK I would like to point out all XR8s are not allocated to owners as suggested in your column. This could be one of your readers’ lucky days as I have a Kinetic Blue manual in stock and I’m happy to sell it. John Tzelepis, Binks Ford And here is one, ready to go, for any prospective buyers.