Replacing the Data Communication Module

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Ccooke, Oct 7, 2020.

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  1. Ccooke

    Ccooke New Member

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    Has anyone had to replace the data communication module on their prime?

    I have a 2017 advanced and I think mine just went bad. It’s at the dealership now with them diagnosing it.

    Srangely enough I think my in cabin microphone ( hands free & voice commands) died at the same time. I’m hoping it’s not too expensive of a problem and was wondering if it could be a diy project if they come back with too high a price.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    also consider calling toyota corporate, and asking for goodwill warranty. that's a pretty unusual problem
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I don't have a specific number, but nothing is cheap on fixing this car. Any electrical works would be very expensive and involved depending on your skill level that may not be DIYable. I am hoping my car stays trouble-free, but in case any major repair crops up, I am saving money in my automobile funds. The fund was started with the money I did not use on the extended warranty plan my dealer tried to sell to me, which was ~$1500, and adding to it every month. If I don't use it for repair, it will be used for the purchase of the next car.

    Keep us posted on your repair outcome. Good luck.
     
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  4. Tips

    Tips Member

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    Is it possible that you may have turned it off it the set-up minu! It may not even be in the set-up, just something too think about!

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  5. Ccooke

    Ccooke New Member

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    I don’t think I turned it off. Still waiting to hear back from the dealer. Since there is the location service for the car ( vehicle finder ) , the last time it was updated shows when I parked it for work one morning almost a month ago, so it seems like a failure rather than a setting or firmware update.

    I’ll update this when I hear back.
     
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  6. ems2158

    ems2158 Active Member

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    I have a 2017 Prius Prime, also. At the end of the 3 year free safety connect period, the apps and safety connect stopped working. This is all related to the DCM.
    I was told the DCM may have failed by the dealer and toyota customer service.
    I spend many hours on the phone with various toyota reps with no success.

    A month after this "failure," I got this email from Toyota:
    If you intend to reactivate services, the Data Communication Module (DCM) in your vehicle is equipped with software that may require an update at this time. In order to maintain full functionality of your Safety Connect services, please contact your Toyota dealer to make an appointment to have the software update performed free of charge to you.

    This may be the cause of your problems.
    Beware of incompetent dealers looking to replace parts that they don't know how to diagnose.
     
    #6 ems2158, Oct 9, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  7. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    That’s not strange at all: the microphone in the map light assembly is connected to the DCM (also called the telematics transceiver), which in turn is connected to the navigation receiver assembly (head unit). This allows the DCM to intercept the audio from the microphone when you use the SOS call feature.
    The list price for the DCM, part number 86740-47160, is $949.43, but several dealers offer them online for less. The removal and installation procedures in the Repair Manual (more info) aren’t very complicated, but since the DCM is part of a telecommunications system involving Toyota and the wireless carriers, there are two caveats that may make a do-it-yourself replacement impracticable:
    • A replacement DCM has to be activated, as described in the Repair Manual activation procedure and in Toyota bulletin T-SB-0019-19, “Telematics Data Communication Module (DCM) Activation Procedure Supplement” (PDF), February 15, 2019. This requires not only a Toyota Techstream diagnostic system, but also access to Toyota’s servers, which might be available only to dealers.

      The “Telematics” and “Service Lane” pages mentioned on page 4 of the bulletin, for example, aren’t part of the Professional Diagnostic subscription to Toyota TIS that’s available to the public, and neither is access to the Technical Assistance System (TAS), Toyota’s dealer-only support line.
    • A replacement DCM probably has to be a new one, purchased as a service part from a Toyota dealer, not one salvaged from another vehicle. The Repair Manual activation procedure mentions several fault codes for situations such as “identified as a previously used part,” “already associated with a vehicle,” and “not a service part,” which implies that Toyota’s systems check for those conditions.
    Since a main purpose of the DCM is to let you use Safety Connect and other services for which Toyota charges subscription fees, at least after a trial period, I think it would be reasonable—as @bisco kindly suggested—to ask for Toyota to make a goodwill contribution towards the cost of diagnosis and repair.
    I’ve posted before about that service campaign, but I don’t think the GPS receiver problem would cause a microphone failure, too. That’s more likely to be a sign of a failed DCM or a wire harness problem.
     
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  8. Ccooke

    Ccooke New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback and information.
    Here is the update:

    After the first day they wanted to keep it one more day to do additional diagnostics. They originally thought it was the full DCM but now they have identified the problem component as the transceiver assembly part # 86740-42040.

    The part is ~$550 at the dealership but the wanted to charge ~$1500 in labor since it takes a full disassembly of the dash to replace the part.

    At this point I’m thinking about doing the labor myself, as I’m pretty handy with electronics, and saving on the high labor cost.

    I’ve also lost a bit of confidence in the technition as when I picked it up it seems they have inadvertently disabled the HUD.
    It was working when I dropped it off, but now it’s not on, and all the settings for it are grayed out and not selectable.
     
  9. Ccooke

    Ccooke New Member

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    How is the best method to contact them about this? Is there just a corporate customer service number to call, or a email address?
     
  10. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    “DCM” and “telematics transceiver” and “transceiver assembly” are all different names used by Toyota for the same part. The part number may have changed, perhaps because of the service campaign; Toyota’s website lists 86740-42040 as being used on RAV4 vehicles, but perhaps it’s also useable on Prius Prime cars.
    That’s just not so. A “full disassembly of the dash” is something that’s done when replacing the air conditioner unit assembly, or the ID code box for the Smart Key system that’s hidden behind it. In contrast, according to the Repair Manual, replacing the DCM requires removing just three panels, two of which are held in place only with clips and claws, and the navigation receiver assembly (radio head unit).

    Toyota’s Flat Rate Manual doesn’t give a standard labor time for removing and replacing the DCM, but for removing and replacing the navigation receiver assembly (multi-display), it allows 0.5 hours (operation number 866101, VDS KAMFP). Even if the technician has to spend another 90 minutes using Techstream and on the phone with Toyota’s call center, I don’t think that adds up to $1500.
    If you want the replacement DCM to work with Toyota’s services, find out whether the dealer would be willing to activate it after you install it, and how much they would charge for this service.
    Through the dealer, or using one of the methods on Toyota’s Contact Us page.
     
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