I had my car towed to the car dealership this morning. Dealerships are wonderfully expensive for repairs compared to other repair shops. However, you can typically count on them to do a good job. They also warranty their work. This dealership charges for diagnosing the problem, even if they don't fix it.
For most other cars I have owned, I would go to another repair shop. On the Prius, it's quite another thing. The problem is electrical, based on the burning plastic smell before the car shut itself off. I think this is something best suited to Toyota specialists.
I had a great deal of hesitation in deciding to have my car towed there because of the cost. However, to be fair, the Prius has been the lowest maintenance car I have owned. It has been astoundingly reliable up until now. It is approaching 200,000 miles. I have heard that they often reach 300,000 miles.
Still, this incident has left me slightly spooked. I may have to pay for the repairs and then sell the car. In August, I could start shopping for its replacement. I would not mind a newer Prius. Although, I might go for a used electric vehicle. The range on electric vehicles is limited. However, they require even less maintenance than hybrids. For longer trips, I could rent a car now and then. Or, we could use Mrs. Mata's car for long trips.
But, I may be jumping ahead of myself. The repair may not be as costly or serious as I imagine. The unknown can cause so much anxiety, often for nothing.