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As consumers shift their attention to purchasing a new EV, one should also look at the growing used market.Keith Srakocic/The Associated Press

The International Energy Agency projects 300 million electric vehicles must be on the road worldwide by 2030 to be on track for Net Zero Emissions by 2050.

In Canada, despite issues with charging infrastructure and criticism regarding government rebates, we have seen EV interest rising and sales growing quickly. As consumers shift their attention to purchasing a new EV, one should also look at the growing used market.

Most manufacturers guaranteeing batteries for eight years or 160,000 kilometres will make drivers hesitate when purchasing a used six- or seven-year-old EV with mileage approaching the factory warranty cut-offs. Fear of out-of-pocket battery replacement costs post warranty are creating the impression that high-mileage EVs are throwaway vehicles, regardless of their overall condition.

How EV maintenance differs, part one: Regenerative braking can cause corrosion to build

How EV maintenance differs, part two: Increased weight, torque is a recipe for faster wear

How EV maintenance differs, part three: Is an EV cheaper to maintain?

Currently, I am not aware of any third-party, nondealer warranty company that offers a policy specifically designed for EV’s, but I’m confident that will change and there will soon be a product for used EVs that is sold as an add-on to whatever factory warranty remains. A colleague who works for a warranty company asked for help with their underdevelopment product. I answered as many of their queries as possible given my automotive industry experience, but had no insight regarding what prospective customers might want or expect. That’s where you come in and how you can help shape a new product.

  1. What components are consumers most concerned about when considering an extended EV warranty?
  2. Length of ownership. How long do you see yourself owning your used EV?
  3. Who does the typical used EV market appeal to? The first-time owner or second-time EV owner?
  4. Realistically, what would you spend on a warranty when purchasing a used EV?

If you feel like adding your opinion, answer these questions in the comment sections or send me an e-mail. Your contact information will not made available to anyone should you wish to send in an e-mail.

Your automotive questions answered

Hello Lou,

I have a 2009 Toyota Venza all-wheel drive with 172,000 kilometres on it. Some time back, I started getting ‘CHECK SRS WARNING’ message on the dash. I noticed the message comes on if the driver’s side door is open when ignition is turned on or while the car is parked with ignition on and driver’s side door is opened. If I close the door, turn the engine off and then on again, the message goes away and does not come back.

I took it to my Toyota dealer and after spending $1,200 – in labour, they couldn’t find the problem and suggested trying to change the whole wire harness – for $1,000 to $1,100. No assurance it will fix the problem.

I then took the car to another independent garage and they determined that it was a sensor problem. Replacement would cost me $800 – $1,000 in parts and labour. However, they suggested it was not necessary to replace it. The airbags should work normally, and I should avoid opening driver’s door while the car is on.

Any suggestion?

Shah, G

I have a real problem with any shop that tells a customer to live with an issue when it is clearly a safety concern. What happens when an accident occurs? The airbags “should work” is not something I’m interested in finding out.

I also doubt the issue is the sensor, given that the light only comes on when the door is open. The front sensors are not sided, which means the two front doors employ the same part and the sensors should have been swapped from side to side to see if the error code went to the passenger door.

In my opinion the dealer is correct, the problem is in the harness that travels from the A-pillar into the driver’s door. This harness becomes brittle with age and fatigued from years of opening and closing that door. Dealers don’t want the liability of repairing an airbag wire and will always recommend a complete harness. Please go to another shop and have that harness thoroughly examined and a broken wire will likely be found. Have it repaired and go on with your life.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. To all of you living with Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag warning lights illuminated on the dash. When that light is on for any reason, the computer is telling you that a fault has occurred. The airbags may not deploy when an accident occurs. Ignoring this light puts you and your passengers at risk, please get it fixed.

Hi Lou,

Love your column! I’m an active retiree of 63 who will need a new vehicle soon and unlike the last one, I have no idea what to get. I have a 2013 Acura RDX I bought new in 2012. I love it. It’s has 220,000 kilometres on it and it’s well maintained. The service book is a bible to me, and I’ve looked after the body as well. I live in a small, remote community in the interior of B.C. so all I have are Ford, Honda, Toyota, Dodge and Subaru dealers within 45 minutes. I get it serviced at an independent garage in my town. I’m buying new though and luxury brands are not an option as Kelowna is 5 hours away. I want a hybrid for sure as I need range and electric isn’t there yet. Being stuck on a winter highway isn’t an option. If I could, I would buy a Subaru hybrid Outback, but it doesn’t exist. Honda’s and Toyota’s have been so good to me. I also need power for passing on our mountain roads and I always get stuffed snows on rims for winter. An SUV is a must, and the size of my Acura is perfect.

Any suggestions?

Tracey F

Thanks Tracy. Given that Hondas and Toyotas have been good to you, why not stick with something you are already familiar with. The first idea that pops into my mind is a Toyota RAV4 hybrid and the second is the new CR-V hybrid. I place the Toyota first because the RAV4 hybrid has been around for a while, leading me to believe that Toyota should have worked out most of the bugs by now. The Honda CR-V however will be closer to home though, as it is similar in functionality and drive to the RDX you already know and love.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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