Toyota Auris owners – 12 volt flat batteries

2012 Toyota Auris Hybrid

As part of Toyota’s rigorous quality control programme, we have investigated the cause of a 12 volt flat battery issue that has left some Toyota Auris drivers unable to start their cars after only a short period without use, usually a couple of days.

We would like to apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience that may have occurred as a result of this issue. But we can now confirm that the cause has been identified and a permanent solution developed.

The following information only applies to any Toyota Auris (including Hybrid) produced between December 2012 and February 2014. If you have an Auris produced after February 2014 your vehicle is not affected by this issue. No other models are involved.

Toyota Auris Hybrid Flat Battery: What causes the issue?

The issue is caused when the hazard switch is partially depressed for a very short period of time, incorrectly activating the car’s CAN-bus electrical communications system. This draws a constant flow of current that can discharge the 12 volt battery if the car is left unused for several days.

How can I prevent this from occurring?

Toyota has published a Technical Service Bulletin to its dealer network advising them of a permanent solution to this issue. The bulletin contains information and software files that will enable technicians to modify the software of the car’s combination meter. This update will prevent the incorrect activation of the CAN-bus system and prevent any potential flat battery concerns arising from this area of the vehicle.

If you still have concerns regarding the 12 volt battery of your current generation Toyota Auris then we recommend you get in touch with your nearest Toyota dealer for further assistance. http://www.toyota.co.uk/find-a-dealer

307 comments

  1. I have had my first Toyota, Auris hybrid 2013, for just over 2 years now and it could well be my last!
    In over 20 years of owning cars I have never had to jump start a car as many times as I have this Auris in the last 6 months.
    As a key worker the car has been used to travel 20 miles 5 days a week, yet I still have to jump start it regularly. Despite the car having a full dealership service within the last 2 weeks and being given a full bill of health I have today found myself having to jump start it again before my nightshift.
    Toyota need to get a grip with what appears to be a very common fault!

    1. My wife has the same problem with her aruis hybrid. Having to jump start quite often . Had car checked by local Toyota agent and got clean bill of health And told battery was ok (replaced app 12 months a go due to same problem) we have now received a e mail From Toyota advising to buy a TRICKLE CHARGER to help with the problem Toyota seem to know about It must be definitely a Toyota fault as my son and daughter both drive hybrid cars of different manufacturers Hyundai and Mitsubishi with no problems whatsoever If it is is supposed to be their fix they should be advising their customers of problem and supply trickle charger free of charge with car

      1. Hi Robert,
        Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry to hear this.
        Fundamentally, the vehicle needs to be driven in order for the 12 volt battery to charge. The shorter and fewer journeys that we have been encouraged to make do not give the 12 volt battery adequate time to recharge, and this is the same as with any combustion powertrain. We’re advised by the AA that they report a significant number of callouts from owners of all brands due to this problem.
        The ideal situation would be to take longer, more frequent journeys, but we appreciate that this is not possible at the current time.
        Using a trickle charger can help to maintain the charge in the battery and, although this is an optional route, it is easily achieved by connecting the charger straight to the 12V battery and can offer some peace of mind, particularly when a vehicle is left standing for long periods of time. This can be purchased via your nearest Toyota Centre.
        If you are unhappy with the service you have received from your Toyota Centre, our Customer Relations team will be best placed to help you.
        They can be contacted here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/help-centre/email-us.
        Thanks.

  2. This modification was done, a new 12volt battery purchased at £ 100 plus and still have flat battery problems after a few days of non use .
    I think it’s a poor thing to
    jump in the car only to find it won’t start and having to call the AA service,
    Displeased Audi’s Hybrid owner

    1. Hi Colin,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We’re sorry to hear this.
      Fundamentally, the vehicle needs to be driven in order for the 12 volt battery to charge. The shorter and fewer journeys that we are currently being encouraged to make do not give the 12 volt battery adequate time to recharge, and this is the same as with any combustion powertrain.
      If you believe that your battery isn’t functioning as it should, we would recommend getting this checked out by your nearest Toyota Centre.
      If you are unhappy with the service you have received from them, our Customer Relations team will be best placed to help you.
      They can be contacted here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/help-centre/email-us.
      Thanks.

  3. I’ve been having problems with my Auris hybrid not starting on and of for years (reg Sept 2011). The past 12 months have been horrendous! I keep the battery display on ALL the time and make sure the battery is fully charged by the time I return home. Then after 3 or 4 days if it’s been frosty, it won’t start. The last time this happened (just over 2 years ago) I had a new battery at great expense. I honestly am at my wits end with it. This is my 2nd toyota and I had the same problem with the first one I bought.

    1. Hi Jo,
      Thanks for your comment. We’re sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing issues with your Auris battery.
      We would recommend taking your vehicle to your nearest Toyota Centre, who will be able to assess the car and diagnose any potential issues.
      People are currently being encouraged to make fewer journeys, and these are often a quick couple of miles to the local supermarket at most. As with any combustion powertrain, this does not give the 12v battery adequate time to recharge. In the colder months, the increased use of heated seats and air conditioning puts additional strain on the vehicle. This is something that is not unique to Toyota. The decreased usage will impact upon all vehicles, including those with regular combustion engines.
      We have put together some hybrid battery maintenance tips, and these can be viewed here: https://mag.toyota.co.uk/coronavirus-toyota-hybrid-car-maintenance/.
      Thanks.

      1. I’ve checked the link you gave – thank you. But it has left me puzzled:
        Quote -Toyota hybrids generally contain two batteries: a 12-volt battery (which powers systems such as the headlamps and audio) and a high-voltage hybrid system battery (which supplies the power to start the combustion engine and drive the electric motors). – unquote

        Why have my local Toyota garage told me that it’s the 12v battery that starts the engine and have advised they fit another one for £125 – the last one they sold me has only been in the car 3year 2 month and I’ve been having this problem for almost a year.
        SO – can you please confirm WHICH battery starts the engine. And if it is the hybrid one and mine is always fully charged when I return home, why is it not starting intermittently. PS: usually it does start eventually providing I open the garage doors and leave it for a while to get some air! Could it be damp? PPS: I never use the radio, heater or AC anymore and lights are not on automatic anymore either

      2. Hi Jo,

        The hybrid battery technically starts the car, but the 12v battery initiates systems that allow the hybrid battery to switch on. If the 12v battery is flat, the car won’t be able to start.

        Thanks

      3. Hi Jo,

        We just got around to responding to your question. It has now been approved and answered.

        Thanks

  4. I have toyota Auris 2014 model and since last few months I am having a problem with flat battery. I have to jump start my car for most of the time. Even if I drive 50 miles continues and switch off and on my car twice the battery gets flat. I have asked my local garage to check the life of battery and they said its fine nothing wrong with battery. Can you please help me why I am having this problem.

    1. Hi Jitenkumar,
      Thank you for getting in touch. We’re sorry to hear that you have been experiencing issues with your battery.
      If this has not been assessed by your nearest Toyota Centre, we would recommend making an appointment with them in order to do this.
      They will be able to assess your vehicle and diagnose any potential faults.
      We are unable to diagnose your vehicle over the internet, but there is the possibility that not being able to drive a car long distances, such as during the lockdown, may have a negative impact regarding the charge of the 12v battery. As with any combustion powertrain, this does not give the 12v battery adequate time to recharge.
      The ideal situation would be to take longer, more frequent journeys, but we appreciate that this is not possible at the current time.
      Using a trickle charger can help to maintain the charge in the battery and can offer some peace of mind, particularly when a vehicle is left standing for long periods of time. This can be purchased via your nearest Toyota Centre.
      However, as previously mentioned, we would recommend taking your vehicle to your nearest Toyota Centre to be assessed as they will be able to provide a more accurate diagnosis, especially if you are already driving longer distances more frequently.
      Thanks.

  5. I have a Toyota Auris 16 reg. The 12 vilt battery went flat ladt Friday. Had to call the rescue services and was told i beeded a repkacdment. They jump started me but sent me off to drive for 30 mins! I had my battery replaced yesterday costed me 227 euros and I was told that it will need replacjng every 5 years or it can die suddenly. There is no warning light nothing with all the technogy in the car that warns the battery is nearing the end of its life.
    1-this is ahuge week point and I certainly would not consider an Auris again!!
    2- WHY are you as s monufacturer more transparent about costs for the most common oarts and services. One feels completely at the mercy of ones local Toyota dealer. There should be a standard approved fee for this given how common it is.
    3- after the repair i spoke to the mechanic and he told me that the battery failed it had voltage but no current gojng through it. How comes i was able to drive myself to the repair pmace? Abd I drove thd car around for the three days prior. Isee aconflict of jnterest jn having thd car serviced by a Toyota dealer. No diubt you are thd best people toservice but also the worst! For all we know your jnternal policy might be to try and get the customer to replace as many parts as posdible during the lifetime of the car so you guys stay jn business feels like amafia thing with no transparency! Not a nice experience more like extorsion with an explanation.

    1. Hi Livia,
      Thanks for your comment.
      We would recommend contacting Toyota Ireland with your concerns.
      Thanks.

  6. Hello,

    We have bought Auris Hybrid 2013, and there is a problem with starting a car. When the car is trying to be started, all the lights are blinking in the dashboard but nothing happening. There appear note “check ahb system”. We charged a car several time from another vehicle. Then it starts and it is okay that day, but after the night it does not start again.
    We ordered new 12v battery as it is might dead (8 years old). But I assume it could be manufacturer defect as described in this article and many other owners of this model rise this problem.
    I understand we should contact our local Toyota center (we already have ordered new battery from them and are waiting to arrive). But should we pay if asked for this defect maintaining or fixing as it is not our fault? We are based in Lithuania and the car is from Italy, the car was owned by one owner and was maintaining in Toyota center previously, but the guaranty is passed. How should we deal with it?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Deimant,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us.
      Unfortunately, as we are a different market, we are unable to advise on this matter.
      We would recommend contacting Toyota Lithuania for further assistance. You can find their website here: https://www.toyota.lt/.
      Thanks.

  7. Like every one else, we are having difficulty starting our 2013 (63 plate) purchased from new and serviced yearly by Toyota (Rayleigh,Essex),
    After using the car at the weekend my wife wanted to use the car again today (Monday)
    After the usual starting procedure all that happened is that all the dashboard lights remained on but unable to start. So she had to go by taxi. I tried again 10minutes later and the car started. I then went for a 30 mile drive. Like many others have had the boot battery replaced, also many visits from the AA.
    Really thinking hard about another Toyota purchase.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Stan,

      We apologise for the temporary issue experienced with your 2013 Auris. It sounds like the vehicle is working properly now though, which is good to hear. We hope you don’t experience it again.

      Thanks

  8. I have a 2012 Auris with this exact problem. After several AA call outs in late 2018,it was decided that the battery was not holding its charge so I had a new one fitted at my dealership. I had a year with no problems, then it let me down again. I’ve made a habit of driving it up and down the main road every day for 30mins to maintain a charge,but if I occasionally missed, it would fail me. On Friday last,yet again completely flat in the morning,out came the AA( I know all my local engineers by name now!) Jump started, checked to see if battery charging,and off 1 went for a 90min drive to charge it up,drive it Saturday and Sunday, drive it for 40mins Monday morning, purely for the charge,decided to take it out Tuesday evening, won’t start.
    Aa man out again Wednesday am,started again and off to dealership for overnight battery charge and check for problems. I have a good relationship with my dealership and they make every effort,they rang me yesterday evening to say it had been on charge all day but still said it needed a full charging, kept it overnight and this morning it still said it needed a full charge. So it appears my 32mth old battery needs replacing,OK,needs must, they order me a replacement and I should get car back today. Now I’ve been informed that these batteries are on back order with no lead time as yet given, so my car must stay there till sorted,as there’s no point me taking it back only for it to fail again,which is fine on my driveway, but no joke 8f I’m away from home. They’re currently ringing round trying to source this replacement battery,I can only assume that this is such a common problem,that we’ve used up the worlds supply. I’ve had 3 toyotas,and had never had any problems till this one,it seems I’m not alone in this. Had I known of this models chequered history I would never have bought it. Its only my great dealership staff that keeps me on board.

    1. Hi Judy,

      We are sorry to hear that you experienced issues with your 12v battery. The guidelines the government has set during the pandemic have clearly had consequences, and impact us all in some way. In many cases, not being able to drive a car long distances may have a negative impact regarding the charge of the 12v battery. We’re advised by the AA this is a major issue and they report a significant number of callouts from owners of all brands due to this problem. Once the battery has gone completely flat, even if it is recharged, it may be damaged and not able to hold all of its charge, hence the repeat issues you had. Due to the huge demand from owners of all types of vehicles for new batteries, there does seem to be a bit of a backlog. We are really sorry about this, but it does sound like the centre is doing all it can to source one.

      Apologies again for the issues you experienced and we hope you are back on the road soon.

      Thanks

  9. Hi

    I have a Toyota Auris 2011 which is a hybrid and I have to jump start the car every day. I have checked the batter with a multimeter and when it’s off it reads 12.8 and when it’s started it reads 14.60
    Both these readings seem to be ok.

    Can you please advise if the battery is faulty or what are need to do?

    1. Hi Mohammed,
      We’d recommend contacting your nearest Toyota Centre for further help and advice with this, as they will be able to physically inspect your vehicle.
      You can find them using this link – https://fal.cn/3h2dT
      Thanks.

  10. Hi guys, please can you advise on changing a 12v battery in a auris hybrid 2018, my question is can I change it my self, I have heard that’s it’s ok to do yourself but then I have heard that it should be done by Toyota or a garage because if you do it yourself you might cause system problems to the hybrid system or error codes? Is this just scare tactics, I would like a honest answer,
    Kind regards rob

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