EPB Shift Interlock Function Activated” is a warning message that can pop up on your Toyota dashboard, leaving some drivers confused about what it means. This warning relates to the electronic parking brake system in your vehicle communicating with the transmission shifter, signifying an issue in allowing the vehicle to shift out of the park. In this guide, we’ll break down what causes this warning to appear and the steps you can take to diagnose and resolve the problem properly.



The EPB Shift Interlock Function in some Toyota vehicles might seem concerning at first glance, but it’s a standard feature related to the electronic parking system. When activated, this function enables the brake to engage and disengage automatically when shifting in and out of the Park.

To manually activate or deactivate this mode, pull up the parking brake button until a confirmation message appears on the screen. If this message pops up unexpectedly, there could be an underlying issue that needs further investigation.

Understanding how the EPB Shift Interlock Function operates can help demystify any alarms it may cause while driving your Toyota. By grasping that it’s part of the vehicle’s normal functionality for automatic brake engagement during shifting maneuvers, you can feel more confident about its purpose.

Should the message persist without manual intervention or occur randomly during your drives, seeking professional assessment is advisable to ensure everything is functioning as intended in your Toyota.


The electronic park brake (EPB) shift interlock function prevents the transmission from shifting out of Park unless the brake is applied. This safety function prevents accidental vehicle movement.

When Does This Message Appear?

The “EPB Shift Interlock Function Activated” message appears randomly when there is some electrical issue. It commonly appears when:

Battery Failure

The most common trigger is a failing car battery. As the battery loses power, it can cause glitches that activate the message.

Electrical Problems

Since it’s an electrical system, problems with connections and components can also cause the message to appear randomly. Issues include:

  • Faulty wiring connections
  • Malfunctioning gear shift selector switch
  • Defective parking brake cable
  • Failing parking brake motor

Getting the Issue Diagnosed

Diagnosing a failing battery is straightforward. But for other electrical issues, you likely need a mechanic’s help troubleshooting and testing components to find the root cause. Getting the problem properly diagnosed is key to fixing the issue.



When warning lights illuminate your dashboard, it’s essential to understand the nature of the issue at hand. While some messages may not require immediate action, others demand prompt attention to avoid potential risks. For instance, if the parking brake light is activated erroneously, a diagnostic assessment is crucial to ensure no underlying problems exist. In such cases, driving cautiously may be permissible, but seeking professional advice remains imperative.

If your battery shows signs of failure, it’s wise not to underestimate its impact. A dying battery can result in unforeseen breakdowns and jeopardize your ability to restart the engine when needed. To avoid being stranded unexpectedly and facing potential safety hazards, timely intervention by a qualified technician is recommended.

Remember that even seemingly minor issues like electronic parking brake malfunctions should never be overlooked; prioritizing vehicle inspections can prevent more serious repercussions down the road.


When the EPB Shift Interlock Function Activated message appears during normal operations, no additional steps are required. However, if the message shows up unexpectedly due to a system fault, follow these tips for a quick resolution.

Battery Check

Begin by having the battery tested to determine if it is causing the issue. If you need help with how to do this yourself using a multimeter, many local auto parts stores offer free battery checks for assistance.

Battery Replacement

If the battery is found to be dead or faulty, it’s crucial to have it replaced promptly to prevent further complications with the vehicle’s electrical systems. You have to check the battery warranty.

Professional Diagnostic Testing

If replacing the battery doesn’t resolve the problem, seek assistance from a professional mechanic or visit a Toyota dealership for comprehensive diagnostic testing and troubleshooting.

Seek Professional Support

It is recommended only to attempt fixing electrical system issues on your own if you have significant mechanical experience. The complexities involved can pose safety risks and require specialized equipment for accurate diagnosis and repairs. 


Seeing the EPB Shift Interlock Function Activated message on your RAV4 dashboard may be alarming, but there is no need to panic. It is important, however, to address this issue promptly by seeking the expertise of a local mechanic.

By taking proactive steps to investigate and resolve the message, you can ensure the continued smooth operation of your vehicle. Take your RAV4 checked out by a professional to maintain its safety and reliability on the road. Your peace of mind and vehicle longevity are worth the effort.


What is EPB activation?

 EPB activation refers to the process where the electronic parking brake is engaged to secure the vehicle when it is in Park mode. This function is automatically activated when the driver shifts into Park, ensuring that the brake pads are securely applied to the rear wheels for added safety and stability.

Where is the EPB switch located?

The EPB switch is typically located to the left of the gear shifter in most Toyota models. Look for a P symbol to indicate Park.

What is EBP shift interlock?

The EBP shift interlock is a safety feature in vehicles that prevents the shifter from being moved out of Park unless the vehicle is in a safe condition. It activates when the shifter is in the Park position, ensuring that the vehicle is stationary before allowing the shift to be changed.