Toyota C-HR Problems: 8 Known Issues (Explained)

Toyota began production of its C-HR models in 2016, and it went on sale in 2017 in several countries, including the U.S.

The Toyota C-HR is a unique car, and that’s clear from its nameplate, which could mean Compact High-Rider or Cross Hatch Run-About.

Now, let’s examine all the problems you are likely to run into if you own a Toyota C-HR.

1. Untimely Transmission Issues

A good number of complaints from Toyota C-HR owners have been about their transmission developing major issues prematurely as one of the most common problems.

Some owners reported hearing humming sounds from the engine, which later morphed into grinding and whiny sounds.

They only found out it was a fault with the transmission when they reported the case to the dealers.

The owners also complained about the transmission issues coming up too early.

One particular owner suspected a transmission issue with her C-HR, which had only clocked 10,500 miles. Some of the other reports involved C-HR models with 35,000 to 100,000 miles.

A few other complaints bordered on the cost of replacing the transmission. Some owners reported having to settle for a used one because of this.

Causes and Solutions

Below are some of the reasons your C-HR may develop early transmission issues and what to do about it.



Low Transmission Fluid Perform a transmission flush to remove old fluid and contaminants.

Identify and fix any leaks in the transmission system.

Revitalize the system by refilling it with the appropriate amount of fresh transmission fluid.

Clogged Filter Address a clogged filter by replacing it with a new one.
Defective Torque Converter If you notice erratic behavior due to a defective torque converter, consult your dealer or a trusted auto expert for diagnosis and repair.
General Maintenance Regularly service and maintain the transmission system.

Consider implementing an annual or bi-annual maintenance plan for your car to prevent potential transmission issues.

Address any detected transmission issues to avoid the need for total replacement; some problems may only require a fluid refill or filter replacement.

Related: How Long Do Toyota C-HR Last? (Solved & Explained!)

Issues with Hybrid models

2. Recurrent Battery Issues

Some Toyota C-HR owners have lodged worrying complaints about the vehicle’s battery.

The owners claimed that the Toyota C-HR’s battery died after about a day of inactivity.

A couple of owners even reported their C-HR batteries dying twice in one week. These particular owners reported consciously using the car every day, which suggests that the problem goes beyond inactivity.

We noticed that these battery problems were common in the 2018 and 2019 models of the Toyota C-HR—also, most of the complaints involved cars with at least 20,000 miles on them.

On average a Hybrid battery should last anything between 7 to 10 years with proactively testing your batteries every eight to twelve months or every service.

It is best to keep the hybrid battery system cleaned and maintained at a level above 45% when using the car daily. You should keep the battery at 80% to 90% if parked longer than 2 to 3 days.

Here are a couple of tips you can look at to keep your 12-volt battery safe:

  1. Make sure your interior lights are off, especially the trunk light.
  2. Do you have a dash cam? A dash cam can drain your battery.
  3. Check that the vehicle’s daytime running lights have been set to OFF.
  4. A loud radio volume can use up extra battery.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Below are a few causes and solutions to your Toyota C-HR’s battery weakening faster than usual:



Old Battery Replace the old battery with a new one, especially if it has been in use for more than 3-4 years (electric and hybrid).
Corroded Battery Connections Regularly clean battery terminals to prevent corrosion.

Ensure terminals are securely fastened to prevent power transmission issues.

Extreme Weather Consider replacing an old battery if it struggles in extreme weather conditions.

Invest in a battery that is resistant to temperature extremes for better performance in harsh weather.

Faulty Alternator Have the alternator inspected by a professional to determine if it is functioning properly.

Replace a faulty alternator to ensure effective charging of the battery when the vehicle is in motion.

Hybrid vehicles have no alternator as they use their hybrid battery system to charge a 12 volt battery that runs all the electric components.

Related: Where Are Toyota C-HRs Made? (Solved & Explained)

3. Electrical Concerns

Several reports have surfaced regarding electrical malfunctions within the 2021 Toyota C-HR, particularly involving the electronic control units (ECUs), that bring about electrical system problems.

One owner mentioned incorrect programming on their ECU, resulting in confusion over the vehicle’s trim level identification. Other complaints involve starter issues, including longer crank times and unexpected failures to start the engine.

In addition to these problems, several owners of 2020 C-HR models have experienced issues with their Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which erroneously detects low tire pressure.

Furthermore, the use of a soy-based wiring harness in the C-HR has proven vulnerable to rodent damage, potentially leading to electrical faults or stalled engines.

Some customers have also voiced disappointment about a delayed two-minute cooling period after purchasing the vehicle.

These issues affect both the 2018 and 2020 C-HR models, raising concerns about the reliability of Toyota’s electrical systems across different years.

While some of these problems appear to be unresolved, it remains unclear how they will be addressed moving forward.

Causes and Solutions

Here is a table demonstrating some causes and solutions to these electrical issues:



Incorrect Programming – ECU  Seek professional assistance to diagnose and correct ECU programming issues.

Address any identified electrical system problems promptly to prevent further complications.

Starter Problems  Have the starter system inspected and repaired by a qualified mechanic.

Monitor and address any unusual cranking or starting issues promptly to prevent potential breakdowns.

TPMS Sensor Misreading Check and recalibrate the Tire Pressure Monitoring System to ensure accurate readings.

Consider professional assistance if the TPMS issues persist for a comprehensive diagnosis and resolution.

Soy-Based Wiring Harness Damage Implement rodent deterrent measures to protect the wiring harness.

Inspect and repair any damaged wiring promptly to prevent electrical malfunctions and potential stalling.

4. Brake and Suspension Challenges

Toyota’s C-HR model has generated controversy due to recurring technical glitches, specifically involving its electronic parking brake.

Reports suggest that the brake in these vehicles might not function properly, resulting in unexpected movements of the car while the driver steps away from it.

Several incidents have occurred, causing damage to nearby properties as well as personal injuries.

Moreover, owners of specific 2018 and 2019 C-HR models have persistently experienced brake failure, rendering their cars unable to stop responding to the driver’s inputs.

Unfortunately, this issue has resulted in accidents and mishaps, which have led to various injuries among affected individuals.

Beyond brake-related troubles, some drivers have also encountered difficulties with the Electronic Brake System (EBS). As a result, the vehicle struggles to provide adequate power assistance during braking maneuvers, making it harder to operate the car safely.

And, despite offering a relatively comfortable ride over minor imperfections and quickly recovering from larger ones, the C-HR falls short in terms of its ability to handle rough roads.

Sudden hits on poorly maintained surfaces, such as crumbling pavements or jagged bumps, can create an annoying ruckus inside the vehicle. This highlights the need for improvement within its suspension mechanism.

There have been glitches with this pre-collision system where the vehicle shall do this while driving with no one around.

Some owners reported that their vehicle engages emergency brake assist and forces the vehicle to come to a complete stop, risking the chance of an accident or an unexpected lock up.

Year models where this has typically occured are on the 2019 and 2020 models.

Given these problems, it is crucial to prioritize an inspection from a professional mechanic to address safety concerns and elevate the overall driving experience in the Toyota C-HR.

5. Air Conditioner Problems

We also found several reports concerning the Toyota C-HR’s air conditioner.

Many of the owners reported that their air conditioners were blowing warm air instead of cold.

Some owners also complained that it was even more frustrating because the issues came up within a few months of purchase.

A few others with new models were grateful because they were able to get it fixed for free under warranty.

We also noticed a complaint about the AC taking up to two minutes before cooling.

Several owners corroborated this complaint, claiming it was on-brand for the Toyota C-HR.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Here are potential causes of the C-HR’s AC’s problems and solutions:



Freon Leak Early detection is crucial; address any signs of reduced cooling efficiency to minimize potential damage.

Repair the component responsible for the Freon leak to restore the air conditioner’s cooling effect.

If the leak is left unattended, moisture may enter the system, causing additional damage. Consider professional assistance for complex repairs.

Blocked Condenser Regularly inspect and clean the condenser to prevent blockages caused by dirt or debris.

Ensure proper airflow by keeping the front of the car free from obstructions that could hinder the condenser’s cooling ability.

Electrical Issues Seek assistance from an expert to diagnose and address electrical problems, such as bad wiring, affecting the air conditioner.

Avoid DIY solutions for electrical issues to prevent further damage and ensure a safe repair process.

Defective Cooling Fans Visually inspect the cooling fans for cracks or signs of damage. Replace faulty fans to ensure proper cooling of the condenser.

Regularly check and maintain the condition of cooling fans to prevent overheating and related air conditioner issues.

Related: Toyota C-HR In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

6. Fuel System Recalls

During the production of the Toyota C-HR, some notable issues arose regarding the fuel system, particularly among vehicles produced from 2016 to 2018.

It was discovered that the symptoms included certain areas of the fuel tank being too thin, which could result in cracking and potentially dangerous fuel leaks or even fires.

In response, Toyota swiftly issued a recall for the affected vehicles at no cost to owners, ensuring they receive a prompt repair.

Additionally, for the 2019-2021 models, there was another issue involving a possible fuel pump leak in gasoline models, affecting 452 vehicles in New Zealand.

If left unaddressed, this problem can cause a loss of power while driving, putting both the affected vehicle and others on the road at risk.

To mitigate this danger, Toyota is offering a free inspection and fuel pump replacement if needed, with the entire process estimated to take around three hours.

As a further precaution, Toyota allows owners to choose whether to have their vehicle serviced or opt for one that has already undergone the required recall procedures.

Either way, the goal is to ensure that the fuel system issues are resolved quickly and efficiently to maintain the highest safety standards for all Toyota C-HR owners.

7. Exterior Defects

There have been reports of unusual windshield malfunctions in certain 2021 Toyota C-HR vehicles, according to recent findings.

In one instance, the windshield allegedly spontaneously shattered onto the dashboard under direct sunlight, even though the car had remained stationary in its driveway for several days with no evident outside disturbance.

A second case featured a similarly unexplained windshield failure during the height of the day, once more occurring in a vehicle that hadn’t been operated recently and displayed no signs of nearby disruption.

Some owners of earlier model year C-HR cars (2020) have likewise voiced worries concerning their rear windshields, including episodes of fracturing and, on occasion, complete breakage seemingly devoid of external influence.

As this may pose a hazardous distraction while operating the car, it is crucial to be aware that the manufacturer’s guarantee does not protect against subsequent harm caused by these defects.

This issue raises significant safety concerns and if comparable circumstances arise, it is recommended that drivers seek expert advice for suitable recommendations.

8. Safety Issues

Safety remains a top priority when it comes to the Toyota C-HR, as recent incidents have brought forth some pressing concerns that require immediate attention.

Specifically, certain 2019 models were recalled due to loose rear axle bolts, which could lead to damaged brake components or even complete wheel detachment while on the road.

Another potential hazard involving models from 2017 to 2021 is faulty axle shafts, which may break apart during certain driving situations, putting drivers at risk.

Similarly, incorrect installation of seat cover kits in affected models (produced between 2014 and 2019) can result in improper airbag deployment in accidents.

Beyond these more targeted concerns lies a broader worry regarding overall safety, as some 2018 C-HR owners have experienced frustrating instances of non-airbag deployment following crashes.

So, don’t hesitate to double-check your vehicle’s status through official recalls or by scheduling a free inspection with a certified Toyota mechanic. After all, safety shouldn’t be taken lightly!

General Pros and Cons

Here are some of the advantages and demerits of the Toyota C-HR:



Affordable Untimely Transmission Issues
Reputable Brand Air Conditioner Problems
Fuel Efficiency Recurrent Battery Issues
Adjustable Cabin Electrical Problems
Premium Infotainment Safety Concerns
Safety Features

What Do the Reviews Say?

“Countering any downsides is Toyota’s excellent reputation for quality and robust resale values, the C-HR’s engaging driving manners, and the assurance provided by the numerous standard driver aids.”

Source: Kelly Blue Book

“The Toyota CH-R delivers a distinctive, funky look, which is crucial in this image-conscious crossover class. Inside, there are plenty of high-grade materials, and a decent tally of kit, while the layout is good and features plenty of bright colors.

Smartly styled, good to drive, practical, and featuring a classy cabin, the C-HR is a tempting alternative to more mainstream crossover models.

Source: AutoExpress

What Is the Resale Value of the Toyota C-HR?

Model Year



2018 Toyota C-HR 35,014 miles $21,590
2019 Toyota C-HR 23,962 miles $22,590
2020 Toyota C-HR 10,159 miles $25,990

Go Back: Problems for each Toyota model.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.