A “back-up beeper” is the sound your car makes when you put it in reverse. This sound is played on the outside of the car to alert pedestrians that this vehicle is backing up. Usually, you see this on commercial vehicles like dump trucks and construction vehicles as a safety protocol. It was first invested by the Japanese in the 1960’s and has now found its way to your everyday vehicles. Even my 2012 base model Toyota Prius who has seen its end has this beeper.
On my car it’s a simple “beep.” Most cars do not have them but the reason my Prius has it is because of its hybrid drive train. When a hybrid backs up, it also uses the electric motor to put it in motion until the gas engine kicks in. Because of this, the car does not make any exhaust noise and could be dangerous to dogs, people, or little kids. To combat this, automakers who make electric and hybrid vehicles but the back-up beeper as a feature so that people can hear the car backing up because of the low noise level.
However, that noise has evolved from a very mundane beep to now an angelic and speed progressive sound which plays on the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. You can also find this sound on some Lexus models as well. But can you believe that some owners actually think that this sound is a transmission problem? Should Toyota maybe address this?
Jessica Michelle posted on Facebook’s Toyota RAV4 Hybrid group saying,” is there a way to subdue the opera choir sound my 2020 has when I put it in reverse? It’s always had it so I’m guessing it’s on purpose to make sound when backing since it’s so quiet?”
Now yes, this vehicle is a hybrid so naturally it would come with a back-up beeper. However, I think that the fact that Toyota changed from the traditional “beep” to the now angelic whine should’ve been re-visited a few more times before production. For instance, If the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is my first hybrid car with a back-up beeper, nine times out of 10 there is going to be a chance of me thinking that there is some sort of problem with the transmission when I put it in reverse if my dealer had not disclosed that this sound is normal beforehand.
There is no way to turn it off unless you hack into your car or jailbreak it however it should not be too loud and luckily, it isn’t an annoying sound. Check out the YouTube video linked in this article to see just how angelic and beautiful this sound is. Most cars have a simple beeper that gets annoying like my 2012 Prius however I think that this new sound is very interesting. In a Tesla, you can change your horn sound without having to change the actual horn. I hope that someday we can change our back up beeper noise to fit our desired sound. If that were to happen, expect to hear a bunch of funny sounding cars backing out of the mall parking lot.
What do you think? Is this sound annoying to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun for daily Toyota news.