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Yesterday I was sold a wrong battery for my Lexus IS200 (switched polarity) and I inadvertently connected it to the car.

When I hooked up the wrong battery I noticed immediately that something was wrong (the warning lights went on and stayed on without blinking!) and disconnected it quickly, but it stayed connected for a few seconds. I called the store and asked them to check the old battery which they were going to dispose of and they confirmed they had sold me the wrong battery. Went back to the store, got the right battery, hooked it on the car and the instrument panel is dead. The throttle response is also really strange.

I am afraid I have damaged electrical and electronic systems in the car, but how bad can it be? Could it be just a few fuses or can it be potentially worse? Also, in your opinion, is the store responsible? I did bring them the old battery and said, "one like this, please". The clerk admitted when I got the right one that he had failed to check the polarity.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

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If no fuses are blown or it still doesn't work after changing them, there is likely permanent damage, take a look at this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=547692

As to liability they probably are liable, but proving that and then getting them to pay may be difficult.

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