What’s the Buzz: Avoiding a different kind of shock when buying a hybrid


While we can’t confirm the document’s veracity, the automotive end of Facebook was abuzz over the weekend with what appears to be an estimated repair bill for a Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid requiring a high voltage lithium-ion battery pack replacement.

hybrid shock
The purported repair estimation shared on a Mercedes E300 and E350e enthusiast Facebook group.

Goes without saying, many online commentators went to town over the purported cost of said battery pack replacement – RM120,960. When the W212-generation Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTec diesel hybrid went on sale in 2015, it retailed for just under RM350,000. Many expressed astonishment at the cost of repair, probably rightly so but these shocks can be avoided.

A new car purchase is an exciting undertaking and the eagerness to get behind the wheel can make us overlook certain details. But if you are an early adopter or purchasing a vehicle with cutting-edge technology (e.g. a plug-in hybrid), it helps to find out how the technology actually works, what are the costs involved beyond regular maintenance (e.g. replacement of hybrid components), the extent of the warranty coverage (e.g. what parts are covered, and for how long), and whether the brand offers extended warranty for the vehicle and/or the technology in question.

If the information sought can’t be made available to you by the dealership, reconsider your purchase or even move on entirely. All of this might sound like stating the obvious, but it’ll avoid all the unnecessary shocks later on.


Denis Wong

Denis Wong

In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.
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