This is my first post, though I was lurking on this forum for a while as part of my research into purchasing a Volvo. My Dad bought his first Volvo in 1968 and owned several models through the 1980's, until the addition of electronics made it difficult for him to practice his backyard mechanic skills. I'm disappointed that the overall consensus seems to be that the overall quality seems to have gone down over the years. I guess we say that about a lot of makes though with the addition of all those "helpful" electronics.
I've followed the ETM recall discussion with interest and I have a couple questions. I puchased an 02 S60 about 2 months ago with 47,4500 miles. It's running great! The first question is whether this ETM problem is inevitable. Everytime I drive it now, I get the feeling I'm on borrowed time until mine fails.
The second question is whether there's anything I can do to be proactive. I get the feeling from what I've read that the dealer really won't take any action until the ETM fails. I hate to have this issue hanging over my head. Sure spoils the overall pleasure I've had driving this car so far.
Im no computer expert, but I dont think the ETM issue is inevitable for every car. Likewise, I cant imagine any proactive measures that one could take. Maybe the below link will help.
Here's a quote from the above post;
"I just called volvo customer service and was told that volvo is sending out letters, but they are sending the letter out in batches. Basically they want to avoid a backlog of requests so consumers aren't waiting months for their reimbursements. She said the letter will explain how to seek the reimbursement and it will also inform us about a software update that will be available in March. She mentioned that some people have called and demanded that the letter be sent, but they would appreciate it if we would be patient and wait to receive it in the mail. I'm a fairly patient person so I guess I will wait another month or so..."
This is my first post on this forum, couldnt help noticing the discussion of a so called "ETM recall". This info is false. There will not be a recall on ETM's. But if you do have a legitimate problem and your vehicle falls within the vin range of the faulty ETM's, the dealer will change it under warranty, even if vehicle is out of warranty. Hope this helps clarify the recall issue.
Thanks S60 R. I've also been looking at the information posted at the vexedvolvo website. Still seems to be a bit of contradictory information floating around. I'll mention the issue to my dealer at my next regular service and see what kind of reaction I get.
I guess by "proactive" I was hoping that the dealer may could judge the current condition of the etm and replace it before it got to the point where I was left stranded on the roadside as I have read in some of the other posts here. But I guess from their point of view why spend the money if the car's running fine.
I didnt mean to imply there was a recall, just passing on info that people are being reimbursed for ETM failures. Sorry if there was confusion. I just checked the NHTSA link, nothing for ETM's (at least for '04/'05 S60)
The affected ETMs are the Magneti Marelli (from Italy, a division of Fiat) units used between 1999 and 2001. If your 2002 is an early model, there is a remote possibility that it has an MM ETM, but it probably has a completely different Bosch unit.
1999 to 2001 - MM ETM, Denso (Japanese) mass airflow sensor
2002 and later - Bosch ETM and mass airflow sensor
There are no apparent problems with the Bosch units. They will probably eventually wear out too, but useful life is likely far more than 100,000 miles, and the simpler design (fewer electronics incorporated with the Bosch ETMs) may mean lower replacement cost anyway.
sadly the fault is now being looked into in the UK but for some reason volvo uk seems to be ignoring any investigations done else where in the world and refusing to accept there is a problem. the following is a link done by Watchdog to push them in the right direction
Thanks for such specific information. According to my documentation, my S60 is an early model 2002, so it sounds like a 50/50 chance I may have either brand. I may bring this up at my next service just to see what kind of dealer reaction I get.
So far though, the car has been a dream to drive these last 4 months.
You're welcome. I like to be as accurate as possible; ambiguity doesn't work for me!
Lift the hood of your car and have a look for yourself. The mass airflow sensor is just to the right (passenger side) of the air cleaner box on the left (driver) side of the car. Have a good look at the top. You will see lettering moulded into it, and it will either say Bosch or Denso.
The ETM itself is readily visible on a non-turbo (downstream of the mass airflow sensor), but it's hidden under the intake manifold on turbocharged engines.
Check out this link for lots of information and photos. http://home.comcast.net/~donwillson/
You will discover the basic reason for the failures. Based on Mr. Willson's analysis, failure is inevitable.
I live in the UK and run a 80,000 mile Year 2000 "new" shape V70 2.4 140bhp SE petrol. Running roughly recently but with no fault codes. Over the last couple of weeks the car is "missing" at medium revs, idling erratically and has cut out on 3 occasions (the last of which was at 40mph - hence, no power steering or assisted brakes).
Local Volvo dealer checked the ETM and confirmed there was a problem. Suggested that if I couldn't wait for Apr 06 software update, a new ETM would solve the problem... for £600. He stated that it was a now well publicised problem, agreed that it was a worrying and potentially unsafe situation. He then asked me to contact Volvo UK, as he felt I would have more say.
The number quoted in the BBC Watchdog report (0044 845 756 4636) got me through to Alex, the "Head of Dept." She denied that it was a widespread problem; said the extension of the US warranty was due to environmental concerns; and told me that I can expect the ETM to be subject to the same failure rate as any other component. In summary, she wouldn't agree that this was a special case requiring remedial action.
She offered me a "good will" contribution of 20% towards the cost of replacement. She also told me that the software upgrade will not fix faulty units...
I can't see that Volvo UK are that philanthropic to contribute to my maintenance costs without good reason. So, how widespread is this problem? This thread seems to be one way of tracking it.
Incidently, I am going to contact SMMT, Volvo Global Customer Relations (Swedish centre, have proved excellent in the past) and BBC Watchdog. As a last resort, I will probably find myself in a Small Claims Court.
I don't think that I'm being unreasonable in seeking a more substantial financial contribution. Especially, in the light of events in the US and the likelyhood of this being a problem suffered by folk other than just me - despite Volvo UK's view to the contrary...
The more I research this topic around the net, the angrier I'm getting. I can't help feeling that I'm being "fobbed" off by Volvo UK and that really iritates me. So tomorrow, I'm heading down to my local dealer armed with all the research I have gathered to get them to contact Volvo UK on my behalf... I'll keep you posted.
Just looked under my hood and it looks like I have the Magneti Marelli/Denso setup. I emailed the closest dealer (Louisville, Kentucky) and asked what they were doing in terms of towing etc., since I'm 50 miles from the dealership. I'll let you guys know what they say. I'm thinking about writing to Volvo NA and telling them that I will hold them personally and corporately responsible should I, my family, anyone in the vehicle with me, as well as anyone in another vehicle that might impact my car in the event of a failure, be injured. Probably wont get me anywhere but at least I'll get it off my chest. I think the next thing should be for all affected Volvo owners to petition the NHSTA to do a recall.
EDIT: I just got a call from the dealership and they basically said that I had to be having a problem and getting a check engine light for them to be able to do anything. I jokingly asked how to get a check engine light and he said to leave the gas cap off. Guess I'll just have to drive with my fingers crossed and hope for the best.