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 Post subject: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:09 pm
Posts: 46
So, I was driving along in my Rav the other day with everything normal as can be and came to a stop at a stop light. When the light turned I pressed the accelerator to get going and the car didn't "go". Almost immediately I got a "Check EV System" indicator and I also noticed the traction control light flicker briefly. I let off the accelerator and then pressed it again and the Rav moved forward as normal / as-it should with no issue or other unusual aspect. The Check EV light remained lit. There were no 'clunks', shifting out of gear, or anything at all associated with this event other as described.

I continued my drive to where I was going which was only 1/2 mile away at this point and parked normally. When my business was completed I returned to the car to go home, powered up, and all seemed normal with exception of the continued check EV indication.

I switched into reverse "gear" to back out.. again nothing out of the ordinary. The car switched into reverse and the annoying backup beeper sounded. I let off the brake and went to accelerate but nothing. Actually the car coasted forward slightly as I was in a slight incline.

I powered down, and then up again, and repeated the attempt.. the car backed out normally. I proceeded to drive home about 12 miles away mostly freeway traffic. No issues.

After exiting the freeway and only about a mile from the house I have to pass through four stoplights. The first two, nothing unusual. At the third, same issue car did not go when pressing accelerator but it did on the second or third attempt. Got home with no further issues.

I did the "reboot" thing by cycling the power button several times and car rebooted. Seemed normal. Made an appointment to take it to the dealer the next day.

The dealer is kind of far away at ~20 miles. When departing to the dealer all was normal. I made the whole trip with no unexpected behavior at all. However, while sitting in the dealers service lane I had another reoccurrence where it failed to accelerate when they asked me to 'pull forward'. All was ok on the second or third attempt.

I just now got a call from the dealer who says they did their diagnosis and have concluded that they need to "replace the engine". And that the new "engine" had been ordered from tesla. Upon further chat he read to me their internal notes which actually indicate that they're going to replace the motor and that this element had been ordered up from Tesla. Apparently the lead time is two and a half weeks and this is all covered under warranty.

My rav has nothing special about it other than having Tonys JDEMO unit installed (which was not a factor or mentioned by the dealer at all). This car has had no issues. It also has no special warranty - just the standard warranty.

I'd like input from the forum on a couple of things:

Has anyone has had this kind of issue before where stepping on the accelerator does nothing intermittently?

Any ideas what aspect of the motor might actually fail that could cause this?

It seems to be to be a positive thing that they're going to replace the motor; presumably this will stave off other potential motor issues such as the buzzing/whatever that plagues these cars (but hasn't on mine). Does this thinking make sense?

Are there any issues or pitfalls I should be looking out for during this replacement process?

And, finally, I am taken aback at how they determined to replace this under warranty completely on their own with literally no input from me other than a writeup of the failure. This seems unusual compared to what I read on this board where it seems extended warranties are required, lots of hassle and phone calls, and maybe even escalations to "Thorn" or other figures within Toyota. Is this unusual?

Thanks for any and all comments.


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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 268
Location: Redwood City, CA
Count your blessings for having this covered under warranty and for not getting any sh*t from Toyota or the dealer for having a JdeMO installed.

You are likely covered by the 5 year / 60,000 mi powertrain warranty that comes with our cars. It is the dealer's job to assess the problem, and then Toyota USA will decide whether to authorize warranty replacement. Glad to hear that went well for you!

Can you tell us what dealer you took it to, and do they confirm that they have no problems with motor replacement in JdeMO-equipped cars? I know that some dealers do.

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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:09 pm
Posts: 46
tgreene wrote:
Count your blessings for having this covered under warranty and for not getting any sh*t from Toyota or the dealer for having a JdeMO installed.


Yes, indeed. I was shocked at that and, of course, very happy.

tgreene wrote:
You are likely covered by the 5 year / 60,000 mi powertrain warranty that comes with our cars. It is the dealer's job to assess the problem, and then Toyota USA will decide whether to authorize warranty replacement. Glad to hear that went well for you!


Yes, thats what it is, the powertrain warranty.

tgreene wrote:
Can you tell us what dealer you took it to, and do they confirm that they have no problems with motor replacement in JdeMO-equipped cars? I know that some dealers do.


It went to Toyota of El Cajon. This is where i originally bought it new. There was literally no communication about JDEMO units, motors, or anything else at all. I simply dropped it off with a thorough problem description and waited a week silently as they got to it (i guess they have only one EV tech). The first call i got from them was on drop off day saying they need it for a week due to being backlogged and their one EV tech. This was a voicemail. I didnt care as I have other cars - they can have it as long as they want. Next call was one week later, exactly on time as they had indicated, and was a voice mail telling me about the “engine”, that it was ordered (from “Tesla”, apparently - he specifically said), expect two to three weeks, and so on. I called them back to just confirm I interpreted that right. Thats it.

I think they have done motor changes before. I seem to recall a service writer saying something about it on another car last year when i was in for regular service.

Anyway, im more curious if anyone has had a failure like this and / or has any idea what might have failed within the motor or whatever. Just a curioisty. The service writer didnt seem to know and i didnt want to push them since they're already solving it for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:50 pm
Posts: 3932
Location: San Diego
I had the same problem with a customer car.

It’s definitely the motor assembly, but the actual problem is not known.

Toyota would not fix that car, because it had 64,000 miles, and the powertrain warranty is 5yr / 60,000 miles.

Also, the previous owner had a Platinum warranty on the car.


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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:43 am
Posts: 268
Location: Redwood City, CA
TonyWilliams wrote:
I had the same problem with a customer car.

It’s definitely the motor assembly, but the actual problem is not known.

Toyota would not fix that car, because it had 64,000 miles, and the powertrain warranty is 5yr / 60,000 miles.

Also, the previous owner had a Platinum warranty on the car.



Did the previous owner not transfer the warranty to the new owner, or did Toyota not honor the Platinum warranty and was it still valid?

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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:30 pm
Posts: 241
Location: San Diego Co
I had a drive unit replaced at Toyota of El Cajon a year or so ago. At the time the EV service tech was Carlos. They used to have two, but one moved on. They did an acceptable job with the exception of properly purging the cooling system of air. The next day I got "battery overheating" and "power reduced" messages, and I had to take it back for them to top off the coolant.

This is a known issue and a "rookie" mistake. I mentioned it when I took the car in, but they rarely listen to the customer (my experience). Of course they told me they've done several motor replacements, but they didn't seem aware of the coolant issue and I still had to bring mine back.

I find Micah is the only service writer that I have worked with that is worth talking too. The other two I've dealt with were near useless. One told me that I should get rid of the car, that Toyota stopped building them for a reason. Apparently he was not aware that they never planned to build them long term in the first place.

You may notice my negative bias towards the service department, but that is just typical of my contempt for dealer service in general. Toyota of El Cajon is probably better than average overall and all in all I have been satisfied with the end result.

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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:00 am
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Aries wrote:
My rav has nothing special about it other than having Tonys JDEMO unit installed (which was not a factor or mentioned by the dealer at all). This car has had no issues. It also has no special warranty - just the standard warranty.


Nice. Would you mind telling us which dealer? Always helpful to know the good ones...

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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:09 pm
Posts: 46
Well, apparently the new motor has arrived “in a crate”. I’m going to go out tomorrow most likely to take a look at it as I’m curious what this all consists of. So, seems things are moving along and the motors apparently are available without a huge wait or anything.

They called today to comment on the JDemo, referring to it as an “aftermarket charging system”. It didn’t cause any consternation, he simply wanted approval for the labor they would need to charge to deal with removal and reinstall since apparently (and not surprisingly) the warranty authorization doesn’t cover this aspect. I didn’t have any issue with that.

So far, so good.


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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:09 pm
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Got the car back, new motor works great. This was a complete non-event!


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 Post subject: Re: Intermittent propulsion - new motor
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:33 pm
Posts: 15
Wow! I am floored with your experience. My RAV4 has been at Toyota El Cajon since Oct 14, 2017 with the exact same issue and they are still going back and forth with Tesla....Carlos is still the tech and they told me they had 7 EVs I. The service dept. at one point and are now down to 3. I have the Platinum warranty and the mileage is only at 31k on a 2014 car.

They first replaced the gateway ECU which had no impact. I expected them to then tell me the engine was up next based on other driver’s experiences but nothing. Supposedly have been waiting on Tesla this whole time.....

Can you tell me when you dropped yours off?

I’m a driving a rental they are paying for but I don’t understand why it’s taken this long. Toyota and Tesla know what parts are failing in these cars so there’s no reason it’s taken this long for mine.

Congrats to you though!! Hopefully based on your experience my car will have the enigine replacement soon.

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