Snap on Scan Tools Damaging Occupant Classification Module on Lexus and Toyota
I wanted to share an issue that I have been noticing lately on some Toyota and Lexus vehicles. First of all I am not trying to bad mouth Snap-on by any means. I just want everyone to be aware of what I feel is a huge problem that should have been made known throughout our industry.
It's a bit of a long story but follow it to the end and I promise it'll be worth it. So rewind about 3 months ago when I got a call from a bodyshop to diagnose an airbag warning lamp on with fault codes stored on a 2011 ES350. I found codes B1795-occupant classification ecu malfuntion and B1797-calibration abnormal. I tried to perform a zero point calibration procedure but it would fail every time. The zero point calibration procedure is a common thing that needs to be done on nearly every Toyota and Lexus that was in a rear-end collision.
So I performed my diagnostics and found that the OCS module was bad and needed to be replaced. The shop started telling me how the car had no airbag light on when it arrived but at some point it came on during the crash repair process. I got curious so I asked specifically when they noticed the light on. They said they had scanned it for faults and cleared those faults then the SRS warning lamp came on. I asked what tool they were using and they said a Snap-On Modis Ultra was used. They were adamant that the light was not on, so I started to research this problem. I found several cases where techs had no airbag light on. However, after doing a read all codes and clear all, the SRS warning lamp came on. Several techs had suggested that possibly the snap on scanner had caused the problem. Each and every case required a new passengers seat cushion / OCS module to fix it. It got me thinking about what could have happened but since it was the first time I had heard of it I just noted it and kept moving.
So a few weeks go by and I get another similar call with the same story. A tech had used a snap on tool to "clear all faults" and then an SRS warning light came on with faults for OCS that were not there before. I checked it out and confirmed that it does indeed need a seat cusion / OCS module. I called a fellow mobile tech and told him what I had been seeing. Coincidentally he had just had a Lexus the week before with exactly the problem I had described but in that case he had just assumed the shop screwed up so he did not look too deep into it. By now I'm convinced there is something going on with the Snap-On software but I did'nt have a way to prove it and did'nt feel like wasting time trying to explain it to tech support.
So just last Thursday, 10/25, I got a call for an 09 Tacoma that needed a steering angle sensor calibration done. I went out to the shop and got it calibrated but noticed an SRS warning lamp on. I asked the tech and he told me that for some reason the light came on after he cleared the codes in an attempt to fix the steering angle sesnor problem. He said the codes was something to do with the occupant classification module. I scanned it and found a B1797-OCS calibration abnormal code. I tried the relearn but it failed. I followed diagnostic which lead me to a faulty OCS module / seat assembly.
By now I have a pretty good idea what is going on so I called my local Snap-On rep and asked if he had heard of this. He said no but would check around. He had checked with another rep who did not know anything about it either so I called tech support. I explained what I had found over a 3-month span and he addmitted that they were aware of a problem. He had even went as far as telling me that the problem has been fixed as of 18.4 software version. He explained that somehow the scan tool was corrupting the OCS module only when you do a "scan all modules" then " clear all faults". He went on to say that the fix in 18.4 was just a band-aid of sorts as it just skips the OCS module when you select " clear all faults". It appears the problem is software level related and not scan tool related. Basically anything with 18.2 and older you dont want to "clear all faults". I dont know the exact years of vehicles affected but I know that I have personally witnessed it on 09, 10, and 2011 model year Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
In my opinion something safety related like this should have been made aware of as it is costing shops / customers thousands not to mention the safety aspect. Please share if you have run into this issue. I would love to hear your story. The first time i saw it I was in denial as I thought there could be no way that clearing codes with a scan tool could ruin a module. Not to mention the shops don't always give all of the info that I need to properly diagnose it so i was a bit skeptical.
Let me reiterate, this is not meant to make Snap-On look bad. All scan tools have their issues. I just want to inform you all about something I have noticed lately that could save you or your customers a lot of time, money, and aggravation.
Wow thank you for this info as I typically just run my snapon scanner instead of techstream as its usually quicker for me at the time. But looks like I will be changing that as of now.
This is extremely valuable info. I don't think you're badmouthing, merely just warning. I know quite a few people who use SO and will be sure to pass the word around those I know. Thanks so much for posting and the time it took to investigate!
Interesting, I did a diag on a Toyota the other day for a body shop that had a bad OCS. It was a light hit and there wasn't any reason that the unit should have failed. Probably the same issue. Thanks for sharing.
Wow Robert! This is crazy! Thank you so much for looking into this.
I had the same issue with a 2013 Toyota Corolla now I know why.
Thank you for the information.
So it seems that all of these were related to accident/body shops, but say a car was just in for a evap leak and the scan all/clear all was done on these cars because they left the gas cap loose do we think we would have the same result? I would assume we would since it seems the scan all/clear all is the result of the problem per what snap on says. I guess we will just go directly into each module until we get the update which I have heard a few negative things from.
WOW, I do not own a Snap-On scan tool, but I will be letting my customers know! Thanks Michael!
So I called my snap on dealer and he also did not know about this. So he called tech support and got info on it. Snap on says this issue started at 18.2 so if you have the software before this you should not have this issue. Thanks for the heads up as this is a huge issue!
That's great information Chris. Thank you for sharing. It is a big deal for sure, that's why I wanted to get it out there since no one seemed to be aware of the issue besides snap on. Well snap on and a few techs who were pulling their hair out trying to figure out what they did wrong.
And I just purchased my first SO scan tool. Thank you for increasing my confidence!
Seriously, though, I do appreciate the info. SO should be paying up, but I don't expect it.
Thanks for the heads up! A little upset I think we should have heard about this from our dealer as soon as snap on found out.
Had the same problem with a Lexus 2011 IS250, never new exactly what happened, but now I know what happened, they do have a snap on tool at the shop, and they just couldn’t understand why they had an SRS light ON.
Same think diagnose the system and told them to replace the OCS system and calibration after repairs. Well guess what happen, they replace the entire system, perform calibration with snap-on tool, and they damage the brand new set, they call me back because in there mind I gave them the wrong diagnostic.
I whent back to do another diagnostic, and sure enough the module was bad again, but at this point I thought it was just a defective unit, ($1200) so they call back Lexus, and they told them that who ever did the diagnostic did it incorrectly. So now I was worried, told them that I was sure that the module was defective but couldn’t explain how it got bad again, but now I have it clear what had happened. Long story short they took the car to the dealer replace it with another set, and calibrated and all was good.
thanks for the info.
Sorry to hear about your troubles. I have found that when the seat/ocs module is replaced the light and fault code will go away without the zero point calibration needing to be done. However I still do it anyway just to be 100%.
Another thing that I forgot to mention did tech support tell you it is damaging the modules of no return? Tech support told my dealer that is it just "erasing" the data from the module but it can be brought back. From everyones stories here I would say that it is damaging them to no return.
Tech support told me that something is getting scrambled in the logic of the ocs module causing it to be damaged. Nothing can be done to fix it just than replacing as far as I know and from what they told me. It would be great if snap on would shed some light on this problem so everyone understands what's going on. It seems they are only giving information about it over a tech line call.
Yea a little light would be nice with what exactly is happening because my dad also called tech support this morning and they told him is it just erasing the module and it can be brought back to life. So I wasn't sure if any one tried reflashing it and it came back.
That's the problem. The is no reflashing of an ocs module to the best of my knowledge. Snap on indicated that it should need to be replaced but didn't come right out and say it.
Interesting and thanks for sharing. I have noticed an increase in failed modules and I was wondering why. I don't use Snap-On here, I prefer OEM. I've had a few Toyota vehicles that came from body shops wanting me to replace the OCS module and perform the SAS calibration. Up until two weeks ago they had all been body shops. In the last two weeks I've had three vehicles, two from mechanical shops and one a regular customer of mine, come in with the same problem. All three actually need the Steering Angle Sensor and that is what the codes were for but now will also need the OCS module (I'm guessing that, I still have to diagnose them later this week). My customer had a friend who scanned his truck with his Snap-On scanner as a "favor" for him when the Air Bag light came on. The other two were at shops that used their Snap-On scanners to clear the codes and after that had a new code that won't go away.
That's good to know that you are seeing this problem as well. In my opinion snap on should put out a memo or something to their dealers as many shops are likely running 18.2. I have a feeling we are going to find out that it's been a problem for a while and no one really knew. That's why I wanted to share what I have found. It's a big deal and tech's need to know what's going on.
You are probably right Robert its probably been a thing going on for awhile. And im assuming that's why snap on didn't put anything out because I would think they are liable for this issue and cost to fix it.
It hasn't happened to me, it's just what I've been told. If there is a problem I agree that Snap-On should step up and do something about it. I have one left to repair this week and I'll be able to keep the old module to play with. I'd like to try to bring it back from the dead.
Now I know why snap on called to ask if I have upgraded, do we think that snap on should be responsible in some way to compensate some of these people? I am lucky enough not to have caused this fault on any vehicle. I use the snap on every day.
I believe they should be responsible for their malfunctioning issues. because of this my client end up spending more.
The shop my brother works at had the same issue. Tech was checking engine codes and did all modules, and also cleared all modules. Light came on after the clearing of codes. I asked my brother about this issue and he said he had called snap on and asked them about it, his reply was they laughed at the idea it could have been caused by there tool.
Robert, thanks for the warning. I often due a "scan all modules" but rarely a "clear all faults".I haven't run into this particular issue but I will add that after a "scan call modules" command I've had vehicles set numerous U-codes and then will not start. The codes then wont clear and the only way I've gotten the vehicle started is a hard reset(touching battery cables together). This has happened 2 or 3 times, most notably on my personal vehicle a 2013 Nissan Leaf. I use a Verus Edge and always updated with the latest software. I'm curious if anyone else has seen this.
I had it on a 2007 Lexus RX350 came in for check engine light, after repairs. I did health check and clear all dtcs then the air bag light came on and would not clear. I used solus with 18.2. I'm pretty sure 17.4 still has the same issue.
For all the vehicles their software has damaged they should at least offer you free update.
I think the least they could do is push out a patch update to correct the issue in everybody's tool. You should not have to buy an upgrade to fix this type of issue.
Take it with a grain of salt not that i dont trust him but my dealer said tech support told him there was a 18.2.1 that put a band aid on the issue. But i have no idea if snap on was giving this out for free. And if you dont have a weekly snap on guy im sure you would have never got this patch to begin with .
I'll check with my Rep on Monday but most of the tools have an auto update feature now. You should not even need to ask, it should just be pushed to everyone's devices.
This isn't just a glitch, it's bricking modules and costing people money and time.
i own a snap on scanner and to my knowledge have never ran into this issue. i have many complaints about the tool besides learning about this issue. my question is , is auetel having the same problem?
To the best of my knowledge snap on is the only one having this problem. My Autwl does not have this problem.
thank you!!! just loading up my arsenal when snap on comes around trying to sell me the newest scanner. snap on always claims that autel is all stolen software and cheap china junk. at the end of the day. I DO NOT CARE,as long as i purchased it legally and it does what i need. thanks again for the great information. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!
I called support. They have a fix if you don’t get 18.4. It’s on snap on website under shop stream connect that updates it for free. On the tool There is an option to connect to Pc.
It’s called a Service Release, and we roll those out about 2-3 months after a major update, sometimes 2 releases in between versions. Currently there is no service release for 18.4 because it hasn’t been out long enough.
For those with SMX platforms (Ethos, Solus, Apollo, Modis) you will use Shopstream Connect (google Shopstream connect Download) to install updates (if your tool’s on subscription) and releases. Power the device on, select Tools, select Connect-to-pc, then in SC select Tools at the top, Check for Updates, then select your tool
If you have a Verus/Zeus, use the Shopstream Update Tool to download and install updates
I know this discussion is a month old but the information is still relevant. I received an email from Snapon Diagnostics that was informing me that a patch was available for any scanner with 17.4 software to fix the OCS corruption issue. Many of you have stated that you have had issues with 18.2 software as well but when I called tech support they said only 17.4 was affected. Has anyone plugged in a scanner with 18.2 recent to check for the patch? My Modis Edge with 18.2 didn't show anything for updates but I run the patches every time I plug it into Shop Stream Connect. My Zues and Modis Ultra are running 18.4 and the Solus is running 15.2 I haven't checked them all yet but will be tonight.
Yes I have 18.2 Solus ultra and there was an update for it.
On Dec 5 we released the 17.4.2 service release which corrects the OCS issue. The 18.2.1 release on July 23 corrected the issue in 18.2.0. It’s also already part of 18.4
Had an issue today with my snap on Verus Edge with 18.4. 2004 Nissan 350Z when I went in to OBDII to look at data My temp gauge dropped all the way cold and fan came on high. Several warning light came on and showed no engine codes. When I returned to Nissan side it had several communication codes Engine P1612 Nats U1001, Meter and BCM U1000.
The temperature gauge dropping and the fans coming on high are a clear indication of loss of communication between the PCM and the ipdm.
This is also why the fans come on high during module programming events on Nissan and Infiniti vehicles.
Most likely the traffic sent out from the Snap-on device created some kind of garbage signal on the network corrupting the ability of the module to communicate.
I find this to be a very common event with autel scan tools.