Toyota Yaris flat batteries

My wife's 2021 Toyota Yaris hybrid with 5000 miles on the clock has developed a fault where it will fail to start when parked for a few minutes, not overnight.  It means that the car is useless as a means of transport. My wife has been left stranded on several occasions and Toyota's response has been to offer me a service appointment in 6 week's time.
Have resorted to searching the internet to see if it is is a common fault, and guess what, the internet is full of people reporting the same problem. So far as I am aware, Toyota have not come up with a solution beyond telling people to travel greater distances rather local journeys.  It's appalling customer service.


  • Wonka_2
    Wonka_2 Posts: 641 Forumite
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    So is this a case of a fault or a case of unrealistic expectations/use of the vehicle (as per DPF issues on short-journey diesel usage) i.e. the battery isn't able to recharge in the length/type of journeys done.

    Assuming the car is still in warranty and Toyota have agreed to look at it then you can't force them to look at it more quickly - though if you're a valued customer at the dealership then escalation with a positive attitude might help.

    To ensure you have the high-ground in any discussions have you read the manual and ensured you're following all the guidance within ?
  • Ayr_Rage
    Ayr_Rage Posts: 987 Forumite
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    I disagree, it is not appalling customer service, just an honest assessment by your dealer.

    Any car will suffer battery issues when driven so few miles, hybrids even more so.

    The 12v battery is small as it is only designed to start the electrics before the main battery starts the car.

    You should replace the 12v battery and ask Toyota if they will consider a warranty claim or partial payment as a goodwill gesture.

    This issue with small 12v batteries in hybrid vehicles and infrequent use has been around for almost two decades, you could have found that out by doing some research as to whether the vehicle was suitable for your style of usage.

    PS. I've had 4 hybrids from Toyota and Lexus and never had a 12v battery fail.
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,498 Forumite
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    It isn't a Toyota issue, its a use issue, it simply isn't being driven enough to keep the battery charged, especially over winter.

    For 30 miles a week you need to either buy a battery conditioner which keeps it topped up or rethink whether a car is necessary.
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,359 Forumite
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    As it happens I have a 2021 Yaris that's done 5000 miles, bought 6 weeks ago. I do a mix of short and longer journeys and haven't yet had any battery issue, but the car that I test drove (not the one that I bought) had a flat battery when the salesman tried to start it and he used a battery booster pack to get it going. If you have to wait 6 weeks for the dealer to investigate and you're concerned about using the car in the meantime perhaps it would be a good idea to invest in one, I've been thinking of doing so myself and even had a look at them in Halfords the other day, but without coming to a decision yet.
  • Goudy
    Goudy Posts: 1,481 Forumite
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    edited 13 March at 6:48PM
    I was talking to a friend who is an ex Toyota mechanic about small 12v batteries gone flat on hybrids and he told me some dealers are recommending solar trickle chargers for cars that get left stood a while and don't do many miles.

    He showed me a AA solar charger he had on the dash of his wifes Yaris.
    Fits nicely on the dash (not permanently) and plugs into the OBD port when the car is parked up.
    You can't leave it plugged in or on the dash when driving.

    I don't think they are expensive, might be worth a try.

  • Alanp
    Alanp Posts: 682 Forumite
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    I have a Yaris cross bought new last July, over Christmas I did a very short journey then left the car for two days, the battery had gone flat and I had to call Toyota assist, the hybrid battery wasn’t full enough to put enough charge back into the 12v battery, if you go over to the forum there’s plenty on there that have had this issue, general consensus is to fit a better quality battery, yausa or varta for example , you could try leaving the car in ready mode as I understand this puts charge into the battery, but if yours is failing after a few hours then it might be done and needs replacement, incidentally, my previous car was a ford puma mild hybrid, this had battery issues too, but, mine never actually went completely flat, it just shut down systems one by one, I have invested in a Noco booster for piece of mind and am also lucky enough to be able to charge mine in the garage…
  • facade
    facade Posts: 7,006 Forumite
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    I thought the advice was to power them up for 30 minutes at a time or so each week whilst you sit inside and read a book or play on your 'phone, then the 12V battery will charge off the high voltage battery. If the high voltage battery gets too low it will start up and charge itself.

    Makes sense to me, so it is probably a myth....
    I want to go back to The Olden Days, when every single thing that I can think of was better.....

    (except air quality and Medical Science ;))
  • Bigwheels1111
    Bigwheels1111 Posts: 2,351 Forumite
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    It’s a very common issue for low milage drivers.
    I have a Gooloo GT4000 booster pack.
    Used it 20 plus times now on friends and families cars.
    It would jump a bus as easy as a car.
    Not needed for my car yet.
    Handy to have in the boot, 
  • poppy12345
    poppy12345 Posts: 17,908 Forumite
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    I have a 22 plate Toyota Corolla and never had any problems with the battery. This includes last year when I went abroad for 2 weeks. Started first time when I returned home. 
  • WellKnownSid
    WellKnownSid Posts: 1,388 Forumite
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    facade said:
    I thought the advice was to power them up for 30 minutes at a time or so each week whilst you sit inside and read a book or play on your 'phone, then the 12V battery will charge off the high voltage battery. If the high voltage battery gets too low it will start up and charge itself.

    Makes sense to me, so it is probably a myth....
    60 minutes, actually.

    We recommend you put the car in ‘Ready’ mode for about 60 minutes before switching it off again and repeat the process at least once a week, providing you can carry out this procedure while adhering to the government’s advice regarding social distancing and Coronavirus (Covid-19). Please do not leave your car unattended when it is in ‘Ready’ mode.
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