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Will this be your only car? If you do run into an issue, it may take a lot of time to get repaired.
As far as big percentages lost in battery capacity (not referring to the quirky issues you reported at the end of your lease). My guess is if your battery loses 30% there will be something more than just capacity degradation going on - like one or more cells going bad. This will likely lead to a condition that will qualify for replacement under warranty.

You have more experience with the car having two of them, so you probably have a better idea of what to expect than most.
I think the question you have to ask yourself is how much risk are you willing to take? If you plan to keep the car for 6 years and buy one off of a 3 year lease, it will be 9 years old. No one has a any data on the reliability of the car at 9 years old. I don't think anyone knows what presence Fiat will have in the US and what realistic repair options you will really have. If they do import the new 500e to the states, then my guess is you will have more options than if they don't.

It also comes down to money. There are very few options for a low cost EV with a real TMS. Probably the Spark is the only real alternative. There aren't many out there and your only option is to get an older one. Personally I would still pick the 500e over the Spark.

If you have the cash, I would look at something like the Bolt. GM is likely to be around for a while and it will be easier to get support.
 

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Will this be your only car? If you do run into an issue, it may take a lot of time to get repaired.
As far as big percentages lost in battery capacity (not referring to the quirky issues you reported at the end of your lease). My guess is if your battery loses 30% there will be something more than just capacity degradation going on - like one or more cells going bad. This will likely lead to a condition that will qualify for replacement under warranty.

You have more experience with the car having two of them, so you probably have a better idea of what to expect than most.
I think the question you have to ask yourself is how much risk are you willing to take? If you plan to keep the car for 6 years and buy one off of a 3 year lease, it will be 9 years old. No one has a any data on the reliability of the car at 9 years old. I don't think anyone knows what presence Fiat will have in the US and what realistic repair options you will really have. If they do import the new 500e to the states, then my guess is you will have more options than if they don't.

It also comes down to money. There are very few options for a low cost EV with a real TMS. Probably the Spark is the only real alternative. There aren't many out there and your only option is to get an older one. Personally I would still pick the 500e over the Spark.

If you have the cash, I would look at something like the Bolt. GM is likely to be around for a while and it will be easier to get support.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I just turned in my second leased 500e (I had a 2013 and a 2017). I live in LA, where there are lots of cars available at pretty low prices as they come off lease, and I'd planned on buying one. But, believe it or not, somehow Fiat's transformation away from the 500 series generally escaped me until just recently. Now I'm really getting cold feet. I'm primarily concerned about maintenance and repair. I drive fairly lightly. My second car had 17,000 miles on the odometer when I turned it in. But if I buy a car, it's going to have to last for at least six years, probably longer. Many southern California dealerships seem to have really scaled back their focus on Fiats, and I'd expect that to continue. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to find a shop in a few years.
I'm also apprehensive about the possibility of a rapidly deteriorating battery. As I understand it, whereas other carmakers often warrant their batteries for replacement if capacity drops below 70%, Fiat offers no such guarantee. I think there's California law that might help to fill that gap, but I'm pretty vague on that, too. If there are other California owners with knowledge on that, I'd appreciate any information.
On a somewhat related note, I have some experience that runs counter to the optimistic mileage accounts I've read here. My 2013 car did seem to hold its range pretty consistently through the three years I had it. I came to ignore the range estimate and just use my experience and the percentage readout. But in the last months of my last lease, the Guess-O-Meter sometimes seemed to take charge. Performance was spotty, with several times, the range topping out at around 60 miles. I hadn't done anything differently than I had on the occasions when I had a normal range of around 84 miles. I pretty much stopped using the air conditioner or heater unless I absolutely had to. I did take the car in for a check and they kept it a couple days -- again, a departure from how Fiat used to do things. The shop didn't come up with an explanation, either.
So I may not buy a 500e after all. But still, they're a lot of fun to drive and they sell cheap here. So I guess I'm hoping somebody can assuage some of these concerns. I'm especially concerned about battery life.
Thanks in advance.
I’m reconsidering some of my earlier doubts about buying a used 500e. It occurred to me that
I just turned in my second leased 500e (I had a 2013 and a 2017). I live in LA, where there are lots of cars available at pretty low prices as they come off lease, and I'd planned on buying one. But, believe it or not, somehow Fiat's transformation away from the 500 series generally escaped me until just recently. Now I'm really getting cold feet. I'm primarily concerned about maintenance and repair. I drive fairly lightly. My second car had 17,000 miles on the odometer when I turned it in. But if I buy a car, it's going to have to last for at least six years, probably longer. Many southern California dealerships seem to have really scaled back their focus on Fiats, and I'd expect that to continue. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to find a shop in a few years.
I'm also apprehensive about the possibility of a rapidly deteriorating battery. As I understand it, whereas other carmakers often warrant their batteries for replacement if capacity drops below 70%, Fiat offers no such guarantee. I think there's California law that might help to fill that gap, but I'm pretty vague on that, too. If there are other California owners with knowledge on that, I'd appreciate any information.
On a somewhat related note, I have some experience that runs counter to the optimistic mileage accounts I've read here. My 2013 car did seem to hold its range pretty consistently through the three years I had it. I came to ignore the range estimate and just use my experience and the percentage readout. But in the last months of my last lease, the Guess-O-Meter sometimes seemed to take charge. Performance was spotty, with several times, the range topping out at around 60 miles. I hadn't done anything differently than I had on the occasions when I had a normal range of around 84 miles. I pretty much stopped using the air conditioner or heater unless I absolutely had to. I did take the car in for a check and they kept it a couple days -- again, a departure from how Fiat used to do things. The shop didn't come up with an explanation, either.
So I may not buy a 500e after all. But still, they're a lot of fun to drive and they sell cheap here. So I guess I'm hoping somebody can assuage some of these concerns. I'm especially concerned about battery life.
Thanks in advance.
[/QUOT
Will this be your only car? If you do run into an issue, it may take a lot of time to get repaired.
As far as big percentages lost in battery capacity (not referring to the quirky issues you reported at the end of your lease). My guess is if your battery loses 30% there will be something more than just capacity degradation going on - like one or more cells going bad. This will likely lead to a condition that will qualify for replacement under warranty.

You have more experience with the car having two of them, so you probably have a better idea of what to expect than most.
I think the question you have to ask yourself is how much risk are you willing to take? If you plan to keep the car for 6 years and buy one off of a 3 year lease, it will be 9 years old. No one has a any data on the reliability of the car at 9 years old. I don't think anyone knows what presence Fiat will have in the US and what realistic repair options you will really have. If they do import the new 500e to the states, then my guess is you will have more options than if they don't.

It also comes down to money. There are very few options for a low cost EV with a real TMS. Probably the Spark is the only real alternative. There aren't many out there and your only option is to get an older one. Personally I would still pick the 500e over the Spark.

If you have the cash, I would look at something like the Bolt. GM is likely to be around for a while and it will be easier to get support.
Thank you. You're pretty much correct. I had several recalls with the 2013 model and maybe one with the 2017. And Jeeze, I'm only driving 6,000 miles a year, in Los Angeles, no less. Yes, I do have another car, an old Mercedes that is battered and prone to sending out false alarms on its electrical system but essentially reliable. What you say makes sense. I don't want that to shut off other contributions, but it's a huge relief to find a place where people are thinking about the same problems I am. I hope I can chip in.
 

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Another remaining question I have is, if I do plunge for another 500e, should I worry about cars being older than 3? Supposedly, a younger car would give me up to a year to get neglected repairs taken care of. But I do expect that eventually I'll have to pay for something mechanical. And I can save money up front by buying a slightly older car. I don't think it would make any sense to pay for an extended warranty. But I'd welcome suggestions.
I shared this kind of concern when I bought my 2016 500e back in June, so we went ahead and got a 5-year warranty from the dealership, so that we would have coverage to the full 100K mile mark on top of the factory 80K mile warranty on the battery.

That said, many of the threads here about the Bosch battery & motor system that is in the 500e line have given me much more confidence in the car for a longer period of time, to the point where I am hoping to get at least 6-10 years from my 2016, which currently has 30600 miles on it (expecting around 8000 miles per year with my current commute and drive tracking so far).

Whatever you decide, please do report back, if you don't mind, as I'm more and more curious what people are getting after the 500e as a "starter Electric Vehicle" - I personally hope there will be any kind of used market for the Tesla Model 3 in 3-5 years, but they are going so fast now for still such high prices (well above $30K) that I'm concerned they may not be decreasing in value even in that amount of time.

My current "wish list" for my 500e is a JuiceBox Pro charger for home and a my500e.com telematics package, so I can precondition and set charging limits, as I would like to be able to charge to 80-85% more regularly without having to do as much math to figure out how to set the charge timer scheduling to start & end to the point of getting the charge level where I want it to be for daily driving (without going to 100% more than a couple of times per week to balance the pack).
 

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I just turned in my second leased 500e (I had a 2013 and a 2017). I live in LA, where there are lots of cars available at pretty low prices as they come off lease, and I'd planned on buying one. But, believe it or not, somehow Fiat's transformation away from the 500 series generally escaped me until just recently. Now I'm really getting cold feet. I'm primarily concerned about maintenance and repair. I drive fairly lightly. My second car had 17,000 miles on the odometer when I turned it in. But if I buy a car, it's going to have to last for at least six years, probably longer. Many southern California dealerships seem to have really scaled back their focus on Fiats, and I'd expect that to continue. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to find a shop in a few years.
I'm also apprehensive about the possibility of a rapidly deteriorating battery. As I understand it, whereas other carmakers often warrant their batteries for replacement if capacity drops below 70%, Fiat offers no such guarantee. I think there's California law that might help to fill that gap, but I'm pretty vague on that, too. If there are other California owners with knowledge on that, I'd appreciate any information.
On a somewhat related note, I have some experience that runs counter to the optimistic mileage accounts I've read here. My 2013 car did seem to hold its range pretty consistently through the three years I had it. I came to ignore the range estimate and just use my experience and the percentage readout. But in the last months of my last lease, the Guess-O-Meter sometimes seemed to take charge. Performance was spotty, with several times, the range topping out at around 60 miles. I hadn't done anything differently than I had on the occasions when I had a normal range of around 84 miles. I pretty much stopped using the air conditioner or heater unless I absolutely had to. I did take the car in for a check and they kept it a couple days -- again, a departure from how Fiat used to do things. The shop didn't come up with an explanation, either.
So I may not buy a 500e after all. But still, they're a lot of fun to drive and they sell cheap here. So I guess I'm hoping somebody can assuage some of these concerns. I'm especially concerned about battery life.
Thanks in advance.
I've had two leases as well. Love the car, so when my last one ran out, I was ready to lease again but there were no deals to be had, so I took the leap and purchased a used vehicle from a dealer. 2016 model with 19K miles for 8K. Have only had it for 3 months but no problems so far. Its a risk for sure, but you have two things going in your favor:
1) EVs are far less prone to failure than ICE cars
2) At 8K its hard to lose money

I say just go for it.
 

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Being in L.A. makes me think that your not going to have as much of a problem as someone who lives in a less populated area. There will still be plenty of places in driving distance for you to get service unlike say someone in Sacramento who has to go to Concord or Berkeley.
 

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I just turned in my second leased 500e (I had a 2013 and a 2017). I live in LA, where there are lots of cars available at pretty low prices as they come off lease, and I'd planned on buying one. But, believe it or not, somehow Fiat's transformation away from the 500 series generally escaped me until just recently. Now I'm really getting cold feet. I'm primarily concerned about maintenance and repair. I drive fairly lightly. My second car had 17,000 miles on the odometer when I turned it in. But if I buy a car, it's going to have to last for at least six years, probably longer. Many southern California dealerships seem to have really scaled back their focus on Fiats, and I'd expect that to continue. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to find a shop in a few years.
I'm also apprehensive about the possibility of a rapidly deteriorating battery. As I understand it, whereas other carmakers often warrant their batteries for replacement if capacity drops below 70%, Fiat offers no such guarantee. I think there's California law that might help to fill that gap, but I'm pretty vague on that, too. If there are other California owners with knowledge on that, I'd appreciate any information.
On a somewhat related note, I have some experience that runs counter to the optimistic mileage accounts I've read here. My 2013 car did seem to hold its range pretty consistently through the three years I had it. I came to ignore the range estimate and just use my experience and the percentage readout. But in the last months of my last lease, the Guess-O-Meter sometimes seemed to take charge. Performance was spotty, with several times, the range topping out at around 60 miles. I hadn't done anything differently than I had on the occasions when I had a normal range of around 84 miles. I pretty much stopped using the air conditioner or heater unless I absolutely had to. I did take the car in for a check and they kept it a couple days -- again, a departure from how Fiat used to do things. The shop didn't come up with an explanation, either.
So I may not buy a 500e after all. But still, they're a lot of fun to drive and they sell cheap here. So I guess I'm hoping somebody can assuage some of these concerns. I'm especially concerned about battery life.
Thanks in advance.
I also have leased
I just turned in my second leased 500e (I had a 2013 and a 2017). I live in LA, where there are lots of cars available at pretty low prices as they come off lease, and I'd planned on buying one. But, believe it or not, somehow Fiat's transformation away from the 500 series generally escaped me until just recently. Now I'm really getting cold feet. I'm primarily concerned about maintenance and repair. I drive fairly lightly. My second car had 17,000 miles on the odometer when I turned it in. But if I buy a car, it's going to have to last for at least six years, probably longer. Many southern California dealerships seem to have really scaled back their focus on Fiats, and I'd expect that to continue. I'm wondering whether I'll be able to find a shop in a few years.
I'm also apprehensive about the possibility of a rapidly deteriorating battery. As I understand it, whereas other carmakers often warrant their batteries for replacement if capacity drops below 70%, Fiat offers no such guarantee. I think there's California law that might help to fill that gap, but I'm pretty vague on that, too. If there are other California owners with knowledge on that, I'd appreciate any information.
On a somewhat related note, I have some experience that runs counter to the optimistic mileage accounts I've read here. My 2013 car did seem to hold its range pretty consistently through the three years I had it. I came to ignore the range estimate and just use my experience and the percentage readout. But in the last months of my last lease, the Guess-O-Meter sometimes seemed to take charge. Performance was spotty, with several times, the range topping out at around 60 miles. I hadn't done anything differently than I had on the occasions when I had a normal range of around 84 miles. I pretty much stopped using the air conditioner or heater unless I absolutely had to. I did take the car in for a check and they kept it a couple days -- again, a departure from how Fiat used to do things. The shop didn't come up with an explanation, either.
So I may not buy a 500e after all. But still, they're a lot of fun to drive and they sell cheap here. So I guess I'm hoping somebody can assuage some of these concerns. I'm especially concerned about battery life.
Thanks in advance.
I have also leased two 500e’s in a row. The first I drove 45,000 miles and the second 22,000 miles. (I found a job closer to home). At the end of my second lease, I turned the car into the dealer. I then hired a broker to buy my car back from the auction. I paid $6,900 rather than the $21,000 that the I would have had to pay on the lease agreement. If you add in the $5,436 in payments I made and subtract the $2,500 I received from the state, my total cost of the car is $9,836. Not bad for a car with a sticker of $33,000!
Neither of my cars gave me any trouble. I fully expect this car to be trouble free for a good 5 more years. Over the total 8 year period, that works out to $100 per month. How can you go wrong?
 

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To clarify, the PURCHASE cost, spread over 8 years, would be $100 per month.

That's even IF after 5 more years it suddenly collapses into a pile of worthless dust.
 

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80% SOC is not all it’s cracked up to be. Simply don’t allow these cells to sit unused 100% SOC for more than 12-24 hrs.

What’s much more damaging is over-discharge because someone didn’t have enough SOC to complete a trip.
even at 100% charge as the car shows, the batteries themselves aren't at "100%" according to Samsungs literature. Bosch has obviously put in software safeguards to help increase battery life.
 

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It's been a while since I have visited the forum, but let me add my experiences. I purchased a 2013 500e new, did a lot of mods (lowered, 17" wheels, rear sway bar). I drive it 35 miles twice a day, charging at both ends (L1 at home, L2 at work)
and I just passed 90K miles. I commute in this car, usually with cabin heat in the morning, and AC in the afternoon (typical in Los Angeles), and I drive as fast as the carpool traffic allows, up to 75 mph, so obviously I burn watts at an accelerated rate. I always charge to full, even though I know that is not the best for battery life. In other words, I drive it like I would any other car. Surprisingly, I saw very little battery degradation until I hit about 80K, but since then there has been a noticeable drop. Lately, even when I have driven very modestly and then charged up, (which is when you will get the highest range readout) I only see about 80 miles indicated range. I used to get as much as 100 miles indicated. Also, keep in mind that because I am running significantly taller 17" tires, I am actually traveling about 6-7% farther/faster than indicated. Other than the early service recalls for inverter replacement and software upgrades, I have had no mechanical issues. I did have to replace a windscreen (huge hassle to get the correct one), and have replaced only wipers and tires. Brakes are still in great shape. When my carpool sticker expired, I lost use of the carpool lane, until a friend bought a Tesla and gave me one of his new stickers. I will drive it until the range gets too low, or I have a significant mechanical issue, or it gets crashed. I would seriously consider buying another late model, off-lease 500e, with low miles, if the price was below 5K
 

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80% SOC is not all it’s cracked up to be. Simply don’t allow these cells to sit unused Fiat/SDI/Bosch 100% SOC (4.1V/cell) for more than 12-24 hrs.

What’s much more damaging is over-discharge because someone didn’t have enough SOC to complete a trip.
Thanks for specifying. I'm mostly using the 80% guideline as a threshold for where I'd like the car to stop charging automatically if I leave the car plugged in over the weekend so that I don't end up leaving the car sitting for 48 hours at 100%. (I ran a decent number of errands over the US holiday weekends just to get the SOC below 100%, since I had forgotten what I had set the charge timer to after a few days of not having to commute.)

I'm hoping to not see too many drops in overall pack health, as I would like to get as many miles out of this car as possible - ideally at least 60k more, as I just passed 30k - and the 80 mile average range is just barely enough for trips across the metro area here if I don't have easily accessible Level 2 charging at my destination.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Thanks largely to the knowledgeable and convincing advice I've received here, I'm in the process of trying to figure out which used 500e to buy.
I had focused on 2017s, but that was probably dumb. Conceding a few months of life on the 4-year body warranty can save a lot of money up front, it seems, and I'm familiar with the car. I'll concede the extra months on the battery warranty, too, if I have a chance to nurse a slightly damaged battery along. See below.
More broadly, a lot of the questions I ask are based in my guilty knowledge of how I drove two leased cars. Maybe I should have paid attention to protecting the battery a decade out, but I didn't. I drove as long as I could and then recharged. I bet a lot of leasing people did that.
Now that I'm considering buying one of these cars, where I might inherit the consequences of behavior like that, it would be great to get advice on avoiding the predictable consequences. Toward that end:
I ordered a Konnwei KW902 scanner today and have discussed using it in the showroom w. one salesman. I'll keep pressing on that and will hope to find a use for it . But whether I can use it up front or not, I'd rather not fork over the $300 for a full pre-inspection lasting up to a day, something I doubt most dealers would agree to anyway. So I'll probably try to negotiate a deal to return the car if it flunks reasonable tests after I accept it, both through the OBD scan and at a technical facility.
A couple questions:
-- What constitutes flunking in a 2016 or 2017 model?
-- What red flags should a novice look out for in an OBD scan?
-- Is my basic approach reasonable?
There are people on this list who seem to have a little more money to play with than I do. I really don't. That's why I'm so careful, insofar as I can be.
 

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Every place I've been to while I was shopping around for the 500e allowed me to scan the cars. As for what you should look for, there are a few things that are pertinent although they can be very misleading if the car isn't charged to full from empty. Most cars on the lot will have minimal charge for the same reason that they don't fill the tanks of all the ICE cars. Maybe you can ask them to charge the cars of interest to full before you test drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Every place I've been to while I was shopping around for the 500e allowed me to scan the cars. As for what you should look for, there are a few things that are pertinent although they can be very misleading if the car isn't charged to full from empty. Most cars on the lot will have minimal charge for the same reason that they don't fill the tanks of all the ICE cars. Maybe you can ask them to charge the cars of interest to full before you test drive.
Thx.
Did you bring in your own scanner?
Where were you shopping?
It's my understanding that a lot of these dealerships just let the cars sit without charging them, which hurts the batteries. What was your experience on that? One of the better bargains I'm seeing is with a dealer that can't be expected to know much about EVs, how to charge them, etc.
 

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I've been to pretty much all of the dealers here in SoCal and yes I brought my own obd scanner. Most of the cars were at around 30% SOC. A few were at around 80%. I really didn't think much of it. Besides, they all sat at the auction lot for much longer after they became off lease. As much as I shopped around, the car that I ended up buying was negotiated over the phone. After all the test drives I realized that they were pretty much the same. It came down to me finding the cheapest 2016 that wasn't beat up cosmetically and with decent mileage. I knew that I would be putting a lot of miles on it anyway so I didn't feel like paying more for a low mileage car. I think I paid $6,700 before tax for a clean 2016 with 30k miles back in November. I'm already at 36k miles as of this weekend.
 

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I'm in the process of trying to figure out which used 500e to buy...
-- What red flags should a novice look out for in an OBD scan? ... There are people on this list who seem to have a little more money to play with than I do...
Congratulations, & welcome as a true (future) owner!

Now LMFAO! I am dirt-poor, which is one reason I love my 500e: It's dirt-cheap to buy, & even less to drive!

With knowledge gained before & after more than 4 years of ownership, if mine is irretrievably stolen tonight, or my garage burns down, etc, I will definitely buy another one, probably relatively older, with even more miles. Probably the cheapest white one I could get within a few hundred miles, & sleep in it if needed to charge on the way home.

Unfortunately, even the wonderful members of this group do not quite seem to have discovered a true means of determining much if anything from an OBD scan, because none of the AH or SOH numbers have any distinct trend. I truly hope that someone reading this will join me in having analyzed the user-reported OBD data here & be able to find anything that helps.

Since I mount my own phone in the hole for the Tomtom (so I don't care if it's missing), & don't even like the driver's armrest (so I don't care if it's cracked) I would just look for any cracks in the orange charge port, & make sure it charges from the OEM cord as well as L2 (test-drive to a local public charger). Having the 2nd "ignition" key would be nice, but not a deal-breaker.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Any thoughts on the driving patterns I described? I bet I'm right, and I bet I'm not the only leaser to have driven this way: I frequently drove the cars down to about 8% percent remaining in the charge meter and routinely charged them to 100%. I confess that I just didn't read the manual with respect to that. I was thinking about getting where I needed to go. On the other hand, it's reassuring to hear that Bosch may have designed the system with that kind of driver in mind.
By the way, assuming I can push this whole thing through, I'm going to have questions about modifying the later-model 500e's "infotainment panel" as I think they call it. You'd think somebody at Fiat would have thought about the fact that many of these cars are in a sunny climate and the screen is illegible in bright sunlight. They should have stuck with the original TomTom mount.
 
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