Drive-Start Control Malfunction (Solved & Explained)

The Drive-Start Control is part of a new technology invented by Toyota to prevent unintended acceleration. If the Drive-Start Control technology malfunctions, then the Toyota vehicle will alert the driver to the issue and urge them to contact the nearest Toyota-certified mechanic.

Why Would The Drive-Start Control Malfunction?

Faulty wiring, improper installation of the system, and a properly functioning sensor can cause the Drive-Start Control malfunction button to light up on the dashboard.

If this warning signal lights up on your vehicle’s dashboard, Next time stop what you’re doing and send your vehicle to the mechanic.

According to several Toyota forums, many drivers have found that faulty or damaged wiring is one of the main reasons why the control warning light activates on their dashboard. 

Forums commenters and their experiences with the drive-start control system.

Toyota hosts a popular forum site so Toyota users and potential customers can all gather together on one website and create a community of Toyota enthusiasts. This website is called

There is an area on the forums to discuss the Drive-Start Control system. There’s also another thread that covers the control malfunction warning light.

In that thread, one Toyota vehicle owner said that his Drive-Start Control warning light suddenly turned on one day. He took it to the mechanic and his mechanic said that squirrels or some kind of rodent chewed through the wiring.

Another issue that causes the Drive-Start Control malfunction warning light to turn on is faulty wiring or a blown fuse. So there may not be an actual issue that turned on the function warning. It could just be a problem with the control system itself.

Another issue that could cause the warning light to turn on is an issue with the catalytic converter. One commenter who had a Toyota vehicle said that the warning light turned on to his dashboard.

When he took his car to the Toyota dealership mechanic, they told the driver that the catalytic converter had burned out and it needed to be replaced. 

So it seems like the Drive Start Control malfunction button turns on whenever there is an issue with a part of the engine that causes acceleration, deceleration, or turns gasoline into gas fumes. 

What Does Drive-Start Control malfunction mean?

If you have never heard of drive to start control, it is probably because you do not own a Toyota.

If you own a Toyota and you do not have this technology, then it is probably not a recently made make or model. Then new Drive-Start Control technology is only available For vehicles that are made in the past two or three years. 

For the past decade or so, Toyota cars have been in an unusually high number of accidents involving unintentional acceleration. Some of these conditions could be caused by the driver.

Maybe they were not paying attention to what they were doing and accidentally accelerated their own vehicle. Some of the collisions could be caused by faulty wiring or issues with the vehicle itself.

But it became a problem that was too big to ignore and so the Toyota company decided to do something about it. 

In order to prevent their vehicles from accidentally accelerating and causing a light or severe collision that could kill someone, The Toyota Company has developed several new technologies that monitor the conditions around acceleration. 

They will also monitor what gear the vehicle is in when the gas pedal is pressed. The last aspect of acceleration that it monitors is if there are any obstacles or objects behind the vehicle and in the driver’s bling spot. 

The Drive-Start Control System

One of the new technologies that Toyota has developed is called Drive-Start Control. This is the technology that directly monitors the conditions of acceleration.

The main purpose of the Drive-Start Control system is to Monitor the gear and if the driver is using the right here when they press on the throttle.

If they are not in the right ear when they press them on the throttle, the drive control Warning sign will flash on the dashboard. a while the warning sign is flashing on the dashboard, the vehicle’s computer system will limit the engine power, which will reduce the force of acceleration.

How To Fix The Drive-Start Control When It Malfunctions?

When there is an issue with the Drive-Start Control function, there will be a small icon blinking on the dashboard of your Toyota vehicle.

There are several reasons why the drive start control malfunction turns on. But none of the reasons why the signal turns on are easy to diagnose. 

So what should you do when your Drive-Start Control malfunction button turns on?

When the warning signal comes on your dashboard, you have two options: you can take it to a mechanic who knows about the Drive-Start Control. They will use their diagnostic tools to communicate with the cars diagnostic system and determine the exact cause of the issue.

The other option is to work with your car’s diagnostics system yourself then diagnose the issue with the help of your Toyota vehicles manual and a little savvy vehicle know-how.

You can also purchase diagnostic tools and use them with the Toyota system. Once you find out the issue that caused the warning light to turn on, then you can fix it yourself or take it to a mechanic. 


The Drive-Start Control malfunction warning light alerts the driver of the Toyota vehicle when there is an issue with the system that monitors the acceleration within the vehicle.

This control system was created by Toyota after a pattern emerged revealing there was an unusually high number of Toyota vehicles getting into accidents that involved accidental acceleration.

Some accidents happened because of driver error and others were because of faulty wiring or poorly made vehicles. There are many different reasons why the warning light will turn on.

If you have an issue with your malfunction warning light, you can visit the Toyota nation Drive-Start Control thread and see what other drivers are saying about their malfunction warning lights. 

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!