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Volvo’s ETM fiasco is here, it’s bad, and here’s what you can do about it.

Volvos Affected by ETM Failure

Before 1999, Volvo used a good old mechanical set of parts to control the throttle. In 1999, they switched to a “fly-by-wire” module. Volvo’s 1999-2002 ETM fails because there is physical contact between two small parts that results in wear, then damage, then failure. This design affects almost a half-million Volvo gasoline cars.

If you’ve got a 1999-2002 Volvo that goes into “limp home” mode or has erratic throttle behavior, your Volvo may be suffering Electronic Throttle Module (ETM) failure, and you’re probably angry.

Where Things Stand Now

Owners are still “on their own” with this failure, but less “on their own” than they were before 2006. Now Volvo will pay to have the ETM replaced under a 2006 recall, but this can follow great cost to the owner because dealers require many parts be in 100% working order before a new ETM replacement work order is declared.

ETM Resources Here on MVS

First, we’ve got an entire sub-forum dedicated to the Volvo ETM problem. It’s called Don’s ETM Room, named after Colorado (US) native Don Willson, a man who has spent over three years (and counting) working to make Volvo take responsibility for this part.

Recently a company named XeMODeX introduced a $600 service that refurbs your ETM with new, non-contacting parts.

Volvo ETM Forum Posts

In addition, we’ve got various posts in the Volvo Forum.

There are many many more ETM posts here, just use the Search This Site box at the very top of all MVS pages, and please get back to us with your ETM story, experience or solution. Please register and share your thoughts in Don’s ETM Room.

If you’re lost, see the Help page for information on how to find information and how to register and post to the Volvo Forum.

17 Responses to Volvo’s Electronic Throttle Module (ETM)

  1. Pingback: Tips and Hints for XeMODeX ETM Installation

  2. Pingback: Performance & Troubleshooting: KISS Your Throttle

  3. Pingback: Newer ETM in 2001 V70

  4. scot koepke says:

    i have a 2001 xc that is out of warranty as far as etm replace 130000 miles i will try cleening it also this car is a repairable haveing been rear ended lightly now air bag service message is on and some options dont work .sun roof,right rear view mirror fuses are good any ideas? bags did not deploy and seat belts are all good awsome car i hope i wont regret buying it

  5. steveraynor says:

    I think its digraceful and ignorant for volvo not to put things right ,perhaps there earning too much money ,putting there probem right,,,errrrrr wont be buying another one.

  6. colin says:

    volvo v70 2001 car has had throttle body replacement replacement air mass car revs up and down and no power goe into limp mode .please could somebody tell what could be wrong ??????

  7. Ed Echenque says:

    Multiple failure with the volvo ETC.No consideration to their loyal clients. Bye Bye Volvo, Hello BMW. No more loyalty to Volvo.

  8. Mary Burris says:

    I have a 1999 Volvo V70GLT Wagon, was just diagnosed needing a new ETM. As my car is over 10 yrs old it is beyond the 10 recall extension Volvo gave I assume I am S.O.L. Sad because my mileage is less then 140K. Any advice? I was just quoted $972 to replace/fix it. Oh by the way I am self employed as a Real Estate agent in St. Petersburg, FL. Anyone want to buy a house or condo from me so that I can fix my car? LOL Any advice is appreciated. Mary

  9. Jon says:

    I have a 2006 S80 2.5T FWD. (93K miles) It just started yesterday having problems while idling. The engine shakes, there’s a low rumbling noise and sometimes the engine will have low power on acceleration. I’ve heard it might be the ETM or the Idle Air Control, but I’m unable to know for sure. I did a OBD check when the light came on and got P0507, P0101, P0300, P0302, P0304, and P0305. Any ideas??

  10. james says:

    Xemodex is the way to go. The whole affair which after having my heart broken by volvo was completely stressless. The hefty price tag is the only downside to the whole affair. I got the part the next am and it was configured by xemodex using my vin #. I simply put the new part in and drove away. Not a problem since. Car runs great again.

  11. ziyad says:

    I want an electronic throttal to volvo s80 . 2006 . mottor 2000 turbo ?

  12. sumner atkins says:

    I have a 2000 volvo c70 conv. I am bringing it to germaine volvo naples florida on17 dec 12 for elec. throttle system failure. Will inform readers of results.

  13. kosta says:

    do not waste time and money.
    I you are handyman and can check error codes
    if any related to ETM’s Pos.sensor signals
    {low pedal signal} or P0221,222,1610,1620
    get XeMODeX. go to company web
    There is checkup chart and video how to do your self.
    Personaly I had trouble [on my 4th volvo and on S40 also]
    I was happy seen my volvo wasted less fuel than
    volvos ratings for 1/2 litar,I recorded and boom.
    Dillers ask for 1200 plus taxes comes to 1500can$
    I was lacky to faund XeMODeX at 50km plus on my way to work.Personaly delivered my module and got
    new-rebuild,one day job done. I start the car next morning so I slept well and runs as sowing machine. consumption same as original but well responding. [1% accurancy - 13%volvo???]
    I’m driving 250km each day or its past 10000 with
    new module.XeMODeX it’s the profetionals not side shop.

  14. Donald C. Cramer says:

    Our 2nd Volvo ETM was dying. We only get about 50,000 mi. from these Volvo ETM’s. I purchased one of the Xemodex ETM’s. Part arrived when promised. Part was pre-programed so all my mechanic had to do was bolt it to the engine and plug it into the electrical harnass. Total labor, incl. tax, was $155. My mechanic was very impressed. I drove our V70XC home and no “ETS” light. I’m sending my core back to Xemodex in their pre-paid UPS mailer. This should be the end of the crappy Volvo ETM problems.

    Don Cramer

  15. Harry says:

    Volvo S60, 2001, 260,000km. Stalled on hwy, replaced with a used engine, all seem okay with engine except for the emission system message displays, engine light on, and passenger door won’t unlock with the remote sometimes opened with the door switch, driver door won’t open with the remote used the key. i used the key to open the doors and that seems to reset something temporary. subsequencely the problem will return. i suspect the electronic control module,ECM,. please advise what i can do to fix, correct the problems?

  16. Richard Ray says:

    ’99 S70 turbo with 165 K miles is showing signs of ETM trouble. It is a white-label unit, never replaced by Volvo or anyone else. Not into limp home mode yet. I see a contactless unit from Israel for $150 or less.
    It replaces one end on the OEM ETM and will not require any programming, so they say. Seller references this site for instructions on how to repair the ETM itself, not the R & R procedure.
    1) where is this link?
    2) is this the cheapest solution?
    3) If I find a yello-label ETM from a later 5 cylinder turbo will it require re-programming?

    Please understand that the programming issue is the heart of my concerns. Some sellers say none required, but then admit that they get their info from the various Volvo Forums. Looking to find the truth and obtain the cheapest repair.


  17. Tamas Porkolab says:

    I wonder if this company can provide the service to Europe, too?

    Thank you

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