Volvos affected by the electronic throttle module are 1999-2002 models (US model years). 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 failure, and you’re probably angry.
Volvo Repair Database Posts
Here’s our VRD posts tagged “ETM”. These are high-profile forum posts and other bits about this module.
Volvo ETM Forum Posts
In addition, we’ve got various posts in the Volvo Forum.
- Notice of the recall: Volvo issues a recall in the US.
- How to remove the electronic throttle module on all affected Volvos: How do I remove an electronic throttle module?
- How to clean an electronic throttle module on a S80: ETM Cleaning 2000 Volvo S80 T6
- A Volvo dealer electronic throttle module experience: 2000 XC70 ETM Cleaning Experience So Far
- When it’s not ETM Failure: Reduced Engine Performance
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 electronic throttle mechanism 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.
Resources Here on MVS
First, we’ve got an entire sub-forum dedicated to the Volvo ETM problem. It’s called Don’s Room, named after Colorado native Don Willson, a man who spent years working to make Volvo take responsibility for this part.
There are many many more electronic throttle mechanism posts in Don’s 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.