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What WERE the designers thinking?

Was in a dealership with a friend today looking at new cars. We started with the Toyota Yaris iE.
We walked up to one in the showroom and began browsing. My friend asked to see inside the trunk. The saleslady said the battery wasn’t connected so the trunk couldn’t be opened. It can only be opened electrically. I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind: “do you mean that if my battery dies I won’t be able to open the trunk to get the jumper cables?”

And if the car dies on a road trip and I need to get it towed and stay in a hotel, how am I going to get at my luggage?

I’ve seen some dumb car design in my time, but none more dumb than a trunk that cannot be opened if the battery is dead. What WERE they thinking?

I don’t know a Yaris from the guy in Peter, Paul, and Mary, but doesn’t the rear seat fold down? Does it have a rear seat?

I saw one once. It looked like a “clown car.” I don’t think they’re intended for road trips. :wink:


I didn’t bother to try putting the rear seat down and checking for access to the trunk through the passage holes in the rear bulkhead. That shouldn’t be necessary. Especially in a rear seat area that small.

Yes, Yarises should be capable of a road trip. It’s a full-fledged car with seating for five (five sets of seat belts) albeit the three in the rear need to be very small in stature.

To me a trunk that cannot be opened except via the vehicle’s electronics is just plain dumb.

manual trunk release is behind the rear seat armrest.

Its described in the owners manual. There’s an emergency latch release button behind the rear seat. It can be done but it’s not as convenient as a key. Unfortunately not surprising the salesperson either didn’t know or was too lazy to do it.

There is a series of cars out there made by Chrysler that has an electric-only trunk release, no trunk key, and with the battery located in the trunk. If the battery goes completely dead you need to open the hood, attach your jumper to the auxiliary terminals located there, and then use the button inside to open the trunk. If your jumper is in the trunk, simply…uh wait…um…oh…well, you can always fold down the rear seat and open the trunk.

On a properly maintained modern day car where the battery is replaced proactively at 6 year intervals and the driver is alert a completely dead battery is a rarity. I can’t say I fault the builders for not designing an action plan for a dead battery.

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The auxiliary terminals in my Chrysler are located in the engine compartment. Jump it like any other car.

And if your jumper cables or booster pac are in the trunk?

I just realized my last two cars had an electric trunk release, via the key fob.

Never gave it a second thought. but they are station wagon type configurations, so never a problem.

Then I flip down the backseat and pull the manual trunk release…300C

Yup, same thing in the Yaris that @the_same_mountainbik was talking about in his original post. Seems pretty inconvenient to have to remove the baby seat, diaper bag, and backpack to get the seat down and then unload the camp stove, soccer bags, and groceries to open the trunk to access the jumper cables down in the spare tire well. Why not just have a key lock like the driver door has?

Look at the YouTube videos showing how to open the trunk on a Porsche Boxster. The battery is under the front hood, and the hood can only be opened electrically. There are terminals under the dashboard where you can attach a jumper battery, but they are hard to get to and require that extra power source. And the car does use quite a bit of power while quietly parked. If left for 6 weeks, it can be dead. My neighbor has one and uses it occasionally as a fun ride, and it can sit that long. He learned the hard way that he has to leave the hood open when not using the car, so he took out the light bulb that would be on all the time. He also learned that Porsche will void the warranty if you use the car less than some low number of miles a year (3,000 or 4,000). All in all, pretty stupid for a car people often use as a toy, not transportation.

Old horse, new trick?
Could those jumpers be stowed under a front seat or rear seat cushion?

Interesting. This would appear to be the case here.
For her sake I hope she learns more about her product. Or learns to ask someone who knows more when asked a question she doesn’t know the answer to. She lost any potential of a sale on this one, and won’t be able to make a living if she does this too often.

For my friend’s sake I sincerely thank those of you who pointed out the trunk release. This brings the Yaris back into the fold of potential cars for her to consider.

Yes it has come to if everything is not operational nothng is, tow it to a dealer, as bad as new dress dsigns on the fashion runway

Personally, I’d be more concerned about the safety of the car out in traffic than putting hands on jumper cables. I could buy some jumper cables in a pinch.

It’s a little like rearranging the deck furniture on the Titanic. :wink:

I don’t find information for 2018 cars, but some of those little cars made the LEAST SAFE VEHICLES FOR MODEL-YEAR 2017 list on the site. Check it out! :scream_cat:

LOL, it’s too bad they don’t make affordable cars that sexy anymore!

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Rollover seems to be high on the hit list, but I imagine my suv would be there also, 14 years old and not rollled yet.

A high percentage of the time a battery is depleted enough to not start the vehicle the lights might still work although dim, the trunk release might work also.

Well they saved $2.75 by not putting a key lock on it. Worse would be not being able to get into the car to open the hood. And I had a battery fail in my 3 year old Acura at the gas station. Just stopped for gas so batteries do fail unexpectedly.

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