TORRANCE, CA - Toyota will become the first automaker to offer certified used hybrid vehicles under a program announced Jan. 22, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Though certified used cars have been a reliable choice for millions of Americans seeking an inexpensive way to get into a car under warranty, hybrids have always been excluded from the programs. Used hybrid buyers were on their own, without the backing of a manufacturer's warranty.

Toyota's program, according to Autoblog, will not cover hybrids under the same warranty program as non-hybrid cars, but instead will "reside alongside the automaker's standard certified pre-owned program." Certified used Toyota hybrid will have passed a thorough examination with 174 individual points, 14 of which are hybrid-specific.

Assuming a hybrid were to pass the inspection, it is then covered under a warranty that includes seven-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain coverage," and seven years worth of roadside assistance.

The car's batteries, however, will not be covered under that warranty. Instead, Kicking Tires explains, "Toyota hybrid batteries come with an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty," beginning with the initial purchase of the vehicle. That warranty will be now transferred along with the car, so the battery will be covered until the car itself has been on the road for eight years or 100,000 miles.

A comprehensive three-month, 3,000 mile warranty is also included. Autoblog Green reports, "93 percent of all Toyota dealers in the United States offer the program," so if you're interested in a used Prius or Highlander hybrid under warranty, it shouldn't be too hard to find. Toyota, after all, has sold more than a million hybrids worldwide - even though they now have to offer a cash-back rebate on the Prius to sell it.