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Juan Carrera 06-22-2004 04:34 AM

This is the 06/01/2004 update concerning "REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY" or
"UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE" problems that affect many JVC camcorder owners.
Many also
have had only blank tape to show after videotaping. The problems also go by
error codes such as "E01", "E03", "E04" and probably others, depending on
the camera model. In the case where the unit seems to record but the tape is
empty later, there is no error code, to my knowledge.

There are so many complaints on the Internet that I have started keeping
track of them at The earliest complaint
dates back to 1997.

There are 503 people complaining about the issues listed above. So far 179
of these people have given me their contact information and joined this
lawsuit. There are complaints from 26 different countries, and 82 different
JVC camcorder models.

Here is the number of complaints, by JVC Camcorder Model. The letters at the
end of the model number have been removed, as they only indicate which
country or market the model was sold in. For example, if you have a
GR-DVM90U model, drop the "U" at the end before looking in the following
list. If you do not find your model number listed, it is because there are
two or fewer complaints about that model.

GR-DVM90 35
GR-DVL300 14
GR-DVL805 13
GR-DVL505 9
GR-DVL100 9
GR-DVX10 7
GR-DVM80 7
GR-DVF21 7
GR-DVL520 5
GR-DVL720 5
GR-DVM70 5
GR-DVX44 4
GR-DVL150 3
GR-DVX80 3
GR-DVL500 3
GR-DVL510 3
GR-DVL20 3
GR-DVL915 3
GR-SXM240 3



A legal firm is preparing the case against JVC. This process will take some
time, but it will get JVC's attention. As part of their investigation, they
have asked me to ask you to consider lending your camera to a mechanical
engineer who is looking at the problems that affect us all.

Your camcorder would be shipped via Fedex, free of charge, insured, and
returned to you a few weeks later. I for one am sending mine in, since I own
the GR-DVM90, the model with the most complaints, and there is particular
interest in looking at models with the highest number of complaints.

I realize the uneasiness you might feel in lending your camera to strangers,
but this is a key step in the lawsuit. The lawyers need to present the case
in court with a solid, convincing argument that JVC has done a poor job of
designing and manufacturing their cameras, so the more cameras they can look
at, the better. If your camera is, due to its problems, virtually unusable
at this point, you would help the lawsuit and possibly get a clear diagnosis
of the problem with your particular unit if you agree to lend it in.

If you have not joined this lawsuit, join now, and you will help yourself,
us, and future camcorder buyers. These problems have been known to JVC for
years; they affect multiple product lines, and have cost us time and money.
Worse, we have lost opportunities to tape our family and other things that
are important to us. Together, we have great power and cannot be ignored by
JVC or asked to pay for repairs that do not work. There is no cost to you or
any obligation on your part if you decide to join.

To join, send your name, address, phone number, camera model, and a
description of your losses, and any horror stories to

Here is additional information about the camcorder problems. For most of us
this information arrives too late to do anything about our cameras, but
maybe it will help you understand your particular situation better.

Here is some information about the UNIT IN SAFEGUARD MODE and REATTACH
BATTERY problems that your JVC camera is having. Everything here has to do
with those errors and those errors only. I hope at the end you will
understand your particular situation and be in a better position to decide
what to do about your broken unit.

First of all, you should know that I am not a camcorder technician, but a
consumer just like you. The Internet is full of "solutions" but often they
are more rumor, coincidence, and temporary workarounds than real solutions.
I will try to sort through these too. I am not responsible for anything that
happens to your camera as a result of your reading this document. Whatever
you do is your decision and thus you are responsible for the consequences.


When the little motor that pulls the videotape through the camera detects
that the tape is not moving at the right speed, you get the SAFEGUARD MODE
error. The principle here is that the camcorder detects a problem and shuts
down in order to avoid doing additional damage to the unit. This is a
legitimate way of protecting itself.

The problem is that there are many reasons why the unit might not be able to
move the tape, and obviously the question is: Why it is happening to my unit
in particular? If your unit is still under warranty, then by all means run
to JVC and have it diagnosed and repaired for free as soon as possible. Once
your warranty runs out, if you start getting these errors again, it can cost
over $150 just to have JVC look at it. Then possibly several hundred more to
repair the unit.


Solution #1: Cold Reset
The reason it tells you to REMOVE AND REATTACH BATTERY is not that the
battery is bad, but that removing all sources of energy (battery and power
cord) causes a COLD RESET. When you use the unit's on/off switch, parts of
the camera are still receiving power and so you do not get the benefits of a
COLD RESET. Just like your car; turning the ignition off will still power
the clock and radio. You have to completely remove all power. If you are
lucky, the camera will reset itself and start working again.

Solution #2: Awareness of Humidity
It seems older units would issue the same SAFEGUARD MODE error message for
more than one problem. For example, older units do not tell you that they
are shutting down for an hour because they detected high condensation, or
moisture. So you play with the camera, remove the battery, reattach it,
remove the tape, reinsert it, stand on your head, pray to your god, go to
the bathroom, and voila! The camera is working again. It was nothing you
did, just that the humidity went down enough for the unit to start working
again. So consider high humidity as a possible source of the problem. If it
is a rainy day, or you are near the sea, you might never get it to work that
day in that location.

Solution #3: Head Cleaning
If you have never used a head-cleaning tape on your camcorder, you might
give that a try. Mine has come back to life a few times by doing just that.
Just don't do it too many times in a row because you can permanently damage
the head. Read the instructions.

So we have covered a few reasons why these errors come and go as if by
magic. They are intermittent and recurring. The camera will appear to work
at times, and the next minute it shuts down.

Solution #4 : Fake Solutions
Another reason why the problems come and go is that, as several technicians
have reported, the problem can be a loose connector inside. That is why some
people report that tapping the camera gently or rocking it side to side has
brought it back to life. Some have gone as far as putting cardboard between
the tape door and the tape mechanism in order to exert pressure and keep the
camera working. I can only warn you that these kinds of "repairs" are
temporary and likely to damage the unit further. Control your anger!

Solution #5: Compressed Air
On some models, there is no shield covering the many delicate electronic and
moving parts in the tape mechanism when you open it to replace the tape. A
piece of dirt, grain of sand, or other debris can get caught in the tiny
gears and stop movement or throw them off alignment. You can explore this
possibility by getting a can of compressed air at any computer shop and
blowing it into the inside of the camera. Follow the instructions, keeping
the air nozzle however many inches away from the target as they say.
Practice on some other object first, because if you tilt the can or hold it
too close to the target you can freeze the target and do more damage than
good. This applies to fingers too!

Solution #6: Tape Age, Brand, and Type

Have you tried using a brand new tape? Or only your really old ones? Try a
new tape.

Now for the controversial issue of what brand of tape to use. Controversial
because JVC's own Stacy Sample, Service Coordinator for JVC in Houston, TX
says that "TDK and Maxell tapes tend to be two brands that are very
problematic in our digital line wherein Panasonic, JVC and Fuji seem fine.
We just find that TDK has the most problems, Maxell is a close second and
Sony is 50% of the time. The others I mention rarely have a problem." Why
JVC does not make this information available when you purchase the unit or
visit their many websites is beyond me.

A different point of view I ran into is. Yes, there is an issue, but it has
nothing to do with the brand, but with the tape type. There are MP and ME
tapes. These two types use different particles, and different lubrication.
The two lubricating materials form some sort of goo when mixed together, if
you use both types of tape in the same unit. So as long as you don't mix
tapes of different types, they will work just fine in your camcorder. Some
refer to these types as "dry" and "wet", but I don't know which is which. In
any case, it is not known (to me) how accurate this point of view of not
mixing tape types is.

Solution #7: Do not store tape in unit
Because of the delicate nature of the miniDV mechanism, do not store the
unit with a tape inside. The theory is that a loaded tape will put pressure
on parts of the mechanism and increase the chance that parts will stick
together, making the tape harder to be pulled by the motor, causing the

Solution #8: Send in for Service
Let us say you have tried all of the above and your camera still will not
work. Now you have to decide whether to send the camera in for repair or
not. My JVC camcorder, model GR-DVM90, turns out to be the model that most
frequently suffers from these problems. For that reason, I am not having the
camera serviced and instead taking JVC to court in a class-action lawsuit,
which you are welcome to join free of charge and with no obligation.

If you find your model on the list I provided above, and there are a lot of
complaints, I would interpret that as meaning that the problem you have is
not with your individual unit but a design problem. Fixing it will probably
result in the problem coming back. But you will have to make up you own
mind. JVC will take your money over and over again to make the same repair
over and over. If you can afford to do that, great. I cannot, so we are
going to court.

Juan Carrera
11021 N Snapper Creek, Miami, FL 33173-2020
Best way to reach me:
email to
and also
Or at 305-815-2081 (cell)
Or at 305-279-8270 (home)

mtcrawford 07-05-2011 10:46 PM

what happened with solving this issue?
I just found this because my old JVC video camera is now giving me this same error. What happened? Is there a solution?

gm32801 02-13-2012 03:34 AM

juan, i need to join the suit,glenn

Cyberbear50 03-21-2012 06:58 AM

Juan, thanks for the post have had to take JVC GR-DVP3 back for servicing every time I have tried to use the unit!! Still charged service fee even under the 30day return period. Was not aware that the E01 was an inbuilt money making glitch. Would love the join the suit if not to late. Bobby

Dlhandy 10-03-2012 07:53 PM

I also have been having this issue but on a different model listed. My model is GR-SXM520U with constant error E03.

I would like to join as well if possible.

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