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I thought I was being smart and bought a used 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid with only 88k miles for a good price. Had a dealer do their inspections for any major issues and finding none I decided to buy it. Here we are 6 months and only 5k miles later we are leaving dinner and the engine won’t start. Car throws a warning “hybrid system failure”. I’m already assuming the worst and it’s going to be a $10k battery replacement. Haven’t had it towed to the dealer yet. Has anyone seen or heard of this issue and know what I’m up against? I thought I had done my research well but I’m finding these cars have a myriad of issues.
 

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I can't offer much in the way of encouragement. The 958 hybrid was a new design for Porsche and really the first experience Porsche had with a hybrid driveline. There is added complexity to a hybrid - it's an electric car (without a lot of range but still having those expensive batteries that do fail with time/use) and an internal-combustion engine car with the problems that engine can have, plus add in the regenerative stuff and the engine to battery charging system - it has a 3rd complete set of items ready to give issues.

I'll be brutally honest - I wouldn't go near one out of warranty with a 10-foot stick. German cars out of warranty can be the most expensive car you've ever owned. Engineering is carried to extremes and it seems as if there is a love for additional complexity in any design they've made in the past 15 years. With added complexity comes added points of possible failure, even if everything is first-rate and well-engineered. The added points of failure are what make owning one out of warranty a painful thing for many owners.

With the hybrid - the majority of aftermarket secondary shops (independents) don't have the skills, training or equipment to adequately service and diagnose problems with the hybrid. I don't see that changing - most independents are afraid of the hybrid system (high-deadly voltages, nasty batteries) and don't want to invest in the special equipment and training needed to service them. That means it's going to the dealer every time something goes wrong - and that's about the most expensive place for a Porsche to go.

I realize this possibly isn't the way to retain members (and welcome to the Cayenne forums) - but if it was ME, I'd be looking at getting it mobile again then selling it while the used car prices are high. It's possible that a really stupid Porsche dealer who is very low on used car stock (as most are right now) might offer you a reasonable price for it AS-IS, if they think they have a buyer for it. Then once it's gone - come back here and we can discuss what really makes sense to own.

Good luck - let us know what you do..
 

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I thought I was being smart and bought a used 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid with only 88k miles for a good price. Had a dealer do their inspections for any major issues and finding none I decided to buy it. Here we are 6 months and only 5k miles later we are leaving dinner and the engine won’t start. Car throws a warning “hybrid system failure”. I’m already assuming the worst and it’s going to be a $10k battery replacement. Haven’t had it towed to the dealer yet. Has anyone seen or heard of this issue and know what I’m up against? I thought I had done my research well but I’m finding these cars have a myriad of issues.
I have a 2012 S Hybrid which I am the original owner on. Just passed 200k miles on the odometer this week. I’ve had this error message appear twice the entire time I owned the car. Both times, a simple turn the car off and back on and the error message went away and the car worked fine. On next service visits, no stored codes.
In both cases it happened during episodes where the hybrid battery was close to a low charge and the temperature outside was hot (over 90 degrees). One of the clear issues hybrid batteries have is their ability to handle high temperatures. With my mileage, I can only get 3-4 cycles on the battery during summer months before it has had enough for the day. At your mileage the battery can’t have been through enough charge/discharge cycles to be worn out unless you live in an extremely hot climate.
Did your car require towing or did the message reset itself?
Contrary to the other poster’s opinions below, Europeans have been designing and racing hybrids for quite sometime. Is the car more complex? Yes. But my experience says it can be as rock solid as a standard engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't offer much in the way of encouragement. The 958 hybrid was a new design for Porsche and really the first experience Porsche had with a hybrid driveline. There is added complexity to a hybrid - it's an electric car (without a lot of range but still having those expensive batteries that do fail with time/use) and an internal-combustion engine car with the problems that engine can have, plus add in the regenerative stuff and the engine to battery charging system - it has a 3rd complete set of items ready to give issues.

I'll be brutally honest - I wouldn't go near one out of warranty with a 10-foot stick. German cars out of warranty can be the most expensive car you've ever owned. Engineering is carried to extremes and it seems as if there is a love for additional complexity in any design they've made in the past 15 years. With added complexity comes added points of possible failure, even if everything is first-rate and well-engineered. The added points of failure are what make owning one out of warranty a painful thing for many owners.

With the hybrid - the majority of aftermarket secondary shops (independents) don't have the skills, training or equipment to adequately service and diagnose problems with the hybrid. I don't see that changing - most independents are afraid of the hybrid system (high-deadly voltages, nasty batteries) and don't want to invest in the special equipment and training needed to service them. That means it's going to the dealer every time something goes wrong - and that's about the most expensive place for a Porsche to go.

I realize this possibly isn't the way to retain members (and welcome to the Cayenne forums) - but if it was ME, I'd be looking at getting it mobile again then selling it while the used car prices are high. It's possible that a really stupid Porsche dealer who is very low on used car stock (as most are right now) might offer you a reasonable price for it AS-IS, if they think they have a buyer for it. Then once it's gone - come back here and we can discuss what really makes sense to own.

Good luck - let us know what you do..
I appreciate that! It has been at a dealer since Thursday. They just started work yesterday and I haven’t heard a diagnosis yet. I’ll report back when I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have a 2012 S Hybrid which I am the original owner on. Just passed 200k miles on the odometer this week. I’ve had this error message appear twice the entire time I owned the car. Both times, a simple turn the car off and back on and the error message went away and the car worked fine. On next service visits, no stored codes.
In both cases it happened during episodes where the hybrid battery was close to a low charge and the temperature outside was hot (over 90 degrees). One of the clear issues hybrid batteries have is their ability to handle high temperatures. With my mileage, I can only get 3-4 cycles on the battery during summer months before it has had enough for the day. At your mileage the battery can’t have been through enough charge/discharge cycles to be worn out unless you live in an extremely hot climate.
Did your car require towing or did the message reset itself?
Contrary to the other poster’s opinions below, Europeans have been designing and racing hybrids for quite sometime. Is the car more complex? Yes. But my experience says it can be as rock solid as a standard engine.
It was cold and rainy the day it decided to stop. We had to tow it to a dealer. Haven’t found the issue yet.
 

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Lots of great info snipped.. from a 200k mile hybrid owner..
Contrary to the other poster’s opinions below, Europeans have been designing and racing hybrids for quite sometime. Is the car more complex? Yes. But my experience says it can be as rock solid as a standard engine.
I don't think race cars are a good metric. The race car only has two requirements (1) finish the race (2) beat the other cars, ie - faster. The race car is built with no expenses spared, races tend to be short, especially where a hybrid might be competitive. The mechanics are there on-site - and they are very familiar with the vehicle since they're probably the people who built it. And it doesn't have to meet varied national and local safety and driveability standards. It's equating apples with crows.

A domestic hybrid has a much more difficult job to fulfill. It must safely be able to carry a number of people (and their stuff) some distance they feel comfortable with (perhaps in excess of many thousands - 200,000 for instance - of miles) safely and reliably without the need for a full-time support team. All at a price the consumer can afford. It has to meet standards for emissions and safety and continue to meet those for the expected life of the vehicle. It must last long enough to survive the manufacturer's warranty and at least 1 lease cycle. It has to be able to do all these things along with being driver-friendly for a driver who has no interest in the means of propulsion, who just wants to "get there.." And it should hopefully have a reasonable resale value meaning longevity is important (no one wants to pay the big bucks for a vehicle that has 10% of its useable life left..) A Toyota Prius can likely meet these requirements and make economic sense for the person who has a use that makes a hybrid ideal. An expensive and complex Porsche - less so IMHO.

Anyway - congratulations on reaching that mileage with your Cayenne Hybrid - it's the first report of that sort of mileage on the hybrids that I've seen. I hope it keeps going and proves me all wrong, but I (and it's only ME I'm talking about) wouldn't bet on it.
 

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I thought I was being smart and bought a used 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid with only 88k miles for a good price. Had a dealer do their inspections for any major issues and finding none I decided to buy it. Here we are 6 months and only 5k miles later we are leaving dinner and the engine won’t start. Car throws a warning “hybrid system failure”. I’m already assuming the worst and it’s going to be a $10k battery replacement. Haven’t had it towed to the dealer yet. Has anyone seen or heard of this issue and know what I’m up against? I thought I had done my research well but I’m finding these cars have a myriad of issues.
What was the fix I’m having same issue?
 
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