Rear Defrost "Optional"?

I admit I’m pretty disappointed to learn that the rear-window defroster on the 2009 Toyota Yaris LB comes only as part of an optional All-weather package" including an extra-large window-washer tank, etc. Uh, it’s pretty darned important to see what’s behind you six months out of the year. I would consider this piece of equipment ESSENTIAL in any but tropical regions and would expect it to be standard; it’s at least as important as the standard a/c and front defroster? What about comparables makes and models; Fit, Versa, Smart, SX4?

It’s a cheap car, you’re not buying an S-Class. The package only costs $340, which in the grand scheme of buying a car is almost nothing. At any rate you’ll be had pressed to find one on the lot without that equipment

I drove an '06 Scion xB (another Toyota-manufactured hatchback) during two of our pretty harsh winters and I never used the rear defroster once. Even when the windshield was frosted over, the rear one never seemed to. I have no explanation for why this is, but I have noticed that newer cars don’t seem to fog or frost up nearly as much as the older ones.

Also, keep in mind that even the Yaris with no defroster will probably come with the wiring for it, so if this “all-weather package” is very expensive, you ought to be able to buy a switch and a rear windshield with a defroster switch without too much trouble.

Another option would be moving to Canada, which has required them since the late-60’s!

Moving to Canada seems desirable on SO MANY levels lately; hmmmm…

Nothing new here. Been going on for years. In the Chevy Chevette…the rear seat was optional. My 84 S-15 the rear bumper was optional. My 90 Pathfinder…in order to get factory installed intermittent wipers I had to get the Automatic.

There are areas in this country where you don’t need a rear window defogger. You can either get the option or get aftermarket defogger. I’ve done it and it’s no big deal. Maybe there’s a OEM solution too.

I’m sure there are areas of the country (if not MOST of the country) in which you don’t “need” an air-conditioner, and yet it’s standard on the Yaris. I’m just sayin’… I don’t expect every bell and whistle on a base model econobox, but I would like the standard vs. optional features to MAKE SENSE re: driver safety.

AC isn’t NEEDED in any part of the country. Neither is the rear defogger. I guess you’re too young to remember that rear window defogger didn’t exist…and only the very high-end cars had AC. When temps reach above 90 here in NH AC is very nice to have…So based on that I’ll say that there isn’t a single part in this country that AC isn’t needed…HOWEVER…there are states that don’t NEED the rear-window defogger.

I think that you would get your $340 back in the resale value of your car. Scraping the windows sucks.

I think it is good it is optional. I live in Florida and it would be nice to buy a car that doesn’t have features I don’t want and don’t need. Besides, the dealer often adds popular features like these after the car gets to the dealership and before it makes it to the show room floor.

The solutions to this are quite simple. One is instead of backing out of the driveway, back the car into the driveway while the car is warm and the rear window is clear. The other option is to buy a product used to cover both front and rear windows so there is no snow or ice on them. You just go out to your car, take the covers off, and drive away.

You can find a product called the “Sno-Off Windshield Cover” at and at These are much more effective than your defroster and they keep you from ever having to scrape ice off both front and rear windows.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the rear window is vertical on these hatchbacks, unlike a coupe or a sedan.

Even in a cold climate you can use the air conditioner to remove moisture from the air in the winter to keep the windows from fogging up. Air conditioning is pretty important in cold climate areas for this reason.

These days dealers really don’t install anything like that anymore. Most anything that is electrical or mechanical in nature is installed at the factory. The only things you might see installed at the dealership these days are aftermarket running boards, custom rims, and maybe some bed rails. As a matter of fact many pickup trucks these days come from the factory with spray-in bedliners. The days of dealer installed air conditioning has long past.

Yeah, paying exorbitant taxes and dealing with 5 feet of snow 8 months out of year, and putting up with people who say “aboot.” Sounds like fun.

I have recently toured facilities that specialize in installing extras like factory air and other accessories on imports after they come off the boat and before they make it to the dealership. Although these facilities are off-site, they are owned by the folks who own the dealerships. The local community college has a partnership with these dealerships to train the installers.

I sold cars for about 4 years (3 years at a Nissan place, 1 year at a Ford dealership). And never encountered any new car that didn’t have the air conditioning installed at the factory.

I don’t resell, as a rule; at least not until they’ve been driven into the ground.

I sold cars for about 4 years (3 years at a Nissan place, 1 year at a Ford dealership). And never encountered any new car that didn’t have the air conditioning installed at the factory.

Must have been in the past 10 years. In the 80’s and into the 90’s AC was added by the dealer. If the the model came with AC it was installed at the factory. If it was a option it was installed at the dealer.


In 90 I bought a Pathfinder XE Sport. AC was NOT standard on the XE model, so I bought the option and it was installed at the dealer. The SE however did have AC as standard equipment so it was installed at the factory. By 98 when I bought my next Pathfinder AC was no longer an option…it was standard on ALL models.

Indeed it was fairly recently. I was in the game from 2000-2004. I don’t recommend it.

I thought that rear window defrosters had been required in the US for some time. Maybe it is only in some states? What do you guys know? I am really curious about this.

Don’t forget about the Florida Geezer packages. My observations indicate that either vinyl (either full or Landau) or faux rag top roofs are included. The chrome wheel well trim is also part of it as well as the things over the windows that keep rain from coming in when the window is cracked open a little. Last but not least, the turn signals that don’t self-cancel or can not be canceled, once used, until the car is turned off.

These are most often installed on Crown Victorias and Grandma Marquis.