Volvo’s Electronic Throttle Module (ETM)

Volvos affected by the electronic throttle module (“ETM”) 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… this problematic ETM.

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’s 1999-2002 ETM fails because there is physical contact between two small parts that results in wear, then damage, then failure.

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.

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 The ETM Room, and was inspired by Colorado native Don Willson, a man who spent years working to make Volvo take responsibility for this part.

A company named XeMODeX makes replacement modules . XeMODeX is no longer a retail business, so contact them to find a retailer near you who sells their products.

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.


This ETM webb talk all makes sense ! Just got back from my service garage with a $6,500. estimate and a sense of total panic ! We have a 2006 XC 70 volvo wagon and it misteriously falls into a ‘Sleep Idle MODE’ at start up! On occasions if you let car sit several hours and it will start and all is all fine! ! ! ! Then I left the car in my garage to analyze the economics of putting money into a car with 250,000 k’s on it ! Just yesterday I jumped in to start it and sure enough, it started rough idle and shaking, sputtering and on ‘sleep mode’! I tried to stop and starting and still remain in sleep Mode! Then I found a way to TRICK the electroniics ? I started the engine in it “sleep mode state ” and pushed the gas pedal slowly down to the floor and held it down>>it only reved at 2000 rpm and while holding the pedal fully down >>> I then turn the key off and on in a slow rhythm>>suddenly on the 3rd or 4th on/off cycle there was a small intake back fire and the engine rev full and then I quickly Iet off the gas peddle and it ran normal ********* Now at lease can drive it with a back up plan to temporarily drive the car home ! Will let you know about my results! ANY COMMENTS [email protected]

Yo deseo asesoramiento tengo un volvo S80 2.9 año 2000, de gasolina tipo
sedan de 4 puertas, en perfecto estado, lo he cuidado muy bien, pero el
ETM, me ha fallado desde siempre, que hago quien me puede conectar con
la persona que pueda reparar o bien cambiar el sistema.

Bought a v70t, had all the symptoms of etm. On the air filter housing it had TBA ok and a date painted on it. Wasnt gonna pay the 1600 we paid on my wifes c70 when it went bad, so i visited a local pull-a-part. Paid $35 for a yellow label etm from an s60 (apparently the same as a 5cyl turbo). Installed and allowed the car to sit 10 min, switch on, to learn zero position. Car runs fine now. Mine may have had computer update already, dont know, but a used yellow label etm in place of the bad white label for $35 cant be beat.

I have ETM problem with my Volvo S80 2.9 2000 model,please can somebody tell me how reliable is new module.XeMODeX if I get one from there can it work for my car without any programing?

Hi to all – I work for a Diplomatic mission here in Brazil and we have a Volvo XC90 year 2010 but we just start driving it on March 2011 that was the date when the car was delivered here.So less than 3 year it had a few problems first year,AC problem AND now the worst problem…ETM (the mechanic at the Volvo dealer was detected THROTTLE BODY PROBLEM.They are charging something around $3.500,00 to replace the throttle body.That’s ridiculous .Does anybody could send me a store in the U.S.A where it costs less.????Thank you very much.VOLVO?NO MORE!!!!

Yes xemodex charge $650 for a new (rebuilt) ETM. they also have a support team that will guide u along the way. If you run into any problems

I purchased an after market contact-less unit, this is a 1999 S70 T5, installed as directed by the seller on e-bay. The car was in limp home mode, wouldn’t go over 30 mph prior to the installation.
NOW, the car is misfiring, running extremely rough idle, below 900, trying to go into limp home mode, will reset if you turn the key off while coasting, no cruise control, at a total loss here with what happened with the car. These weren’t issues prior to the installation, help!

Hi. Have just bought a second hand ETM for my 1999 v70. The problem has got worse over about three years. First the car would stall when you come to a T Junction but start immediately and continue most of the time with no further problems and drive ok for several days or months. Now the car cuts out and will only start after 10/15 mins but then continues for miles and miles with no problems. On Friday 23rd August, it cut out 27 times in 6 miles. Car has never went into “limp home mode” during all these times and when I phoned VOLVO they tell me “Oh no, you cannot fit a donor ETM as the ETM needs to be programed and you cannot re-program a second hand part, you have to buy a new one – £350 plus labour.” Is it the ETM at fault? Suggestions please.

I found an ETM remanufacturing firm that will charge you $249.96 and free shipping with a lifetime warranty and you most likely will not have to have any reprogramming done. Here is where I found it.. Go to ebay and type in: bba-reman volvo etm remanufacturing.

will Volvo still fix my car involved in a recall for the Electronic Throttle Sytem even if I didn’t purchase from a volvo dealership?

I just purchased a used 2001 cv70. I ve only had this vehicle for 3 months now. I’ve had nothing but problems with it. I’ve replace all 5 coils, mass air flow sensor, now I’m sitting here without my car because of the throttle cable is bad :/ which is going to cost me $600.00 or more. I’ve looked up the recalls on my cross country. Unfortunately when I read the forums on the throttle cable many people spoke of stalling/ loss of power. I hadn’t experienced the stalling but loss of power. My question is . Do you think these parts that I have replaced so far, will Volvo consider reimbursement for what I’ve spent since the parts are on so many complaints

Thank you in anyone has answer for me

An 01 CV 70 has no throttle cable. It has an electronic throttle module. That is a whole nother can of worms. I hope that the shop who told you the cable is bad burns to the ground for either lying or having no real knowledge regarding your car. Run from them.
Where do you live? I ask this so I can better ascertain your predicament.

Volvo S60, when pulling off there is a delay as if it’s on gear 5, display shows transmission service required and skid…….They did gear box and programing but still. Is it the gear box electronic device?

Hi, ETM problem ??
Just got my Volvo XC90 5D 2008 from a friend who is gone to Euro for 12 month. First Volvo so very disappointing.
There is only 49,500km (Low!) and has had all servicing done by Trivett Volvo Sydney, where is was purchased. Can any one advise me on how should I deal with this as bill is $1800 to fix and I would have thought this should be cover by warranty ?

Kind regard
Disappointed, Pete Dixon

About Volvo TPS sensor, These throttle bodys have two different problems in general: one is broken sensor(90%), the other one is loose wire in the controller(10%).
As to problem from sensor, you just need to replace new TPS sensor.

’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.


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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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??

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

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

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 ??????

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.