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During panel removal for a wiring project in my 2010 Limited I removed the rear cover from the center console. Removal required disconnecting one connector by feel - a connector I could not imagine as to what it was connected. Once I got the panel off I found a little black box hidden behind and attached to the panel, just above (in my vehicle) the backside of the 120 AC outlet. Given the location, I thought maybe it might be related to the optional overhead DVD system (which I don't have) since I heard that system includes some additional control/ports/jacks in this approximate location. But I thought it odd that no other wires went to the box and nothing about it shows on the outside of the panel. I pulled the cover off the black box and found what appears to be metal bars inside. All I can come up with is a heat sink of some type (for the AC inverter?) or something somehow related to the airbag system (control box for which is just a couple inches below this under the center console armrest compartment floor). Any one know what this is? Think there would be any concerns if I were to relocate it a few inches, since I was thinking of using this area to cut in an additional USB jack for rear passengers (my 2010 doesn't have OEM USBs).
Thanks.
 

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Sorry... forgot the picture...

During panel removal for a wiring project in my 2010 Limited I removed the rear cover from the center console...
Here is the picture of the backside of the center console rear cover with the mystery box (box cover removed).
 

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During panel removal for a wiring project in my 2010 Limited I removed the rear cover from the center console. Removal required disconnecting one connector by feel - a connector I could not imagine as to what it was connected. Once I got the panel off I found a little black box hidden behind and attached to the panel, just above (in my vehicle) the backside of the 120 AC outlet. Given the location, I thought maybe it might be related to the optional overhead DVD system (which I don't have) since I heard that system includes some additional control/ports/jacks in this approximate location. But I thought it odd that no other wires went to the box and nothing about it shows on the outside of the panel. I pulled the cover off the black box and found what appears to be metal bars inside. All I can come up with is a heat sink of some type (for the AC inverter?) or something somehow related to the airbag system (control box for which is just a couple inches below this under the center console armrest compartment floor). Any one know what this is? Think there would be any concerns if I were to relocate it a few inches, since I was thinking of using this area to cut in an additional USB jack for rear passengers (my 2010 doesn't have OEM USBs).
Thanks.
Well this is a challenge. Do you have a Smartkey ( keyless start )? If you do try this. With the electric plug disconnected from this mystery part see if you RAV4 will start ( with the key in your pocket ). I was wondering if this was the sensor for the presence of the Smartkey inside the vehicle. I know there is one somewhere but never could figure out where.
 

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Mystery solved!

Well this is a challenge. Do you have a Smartkey ( keyless start )? If you do try this. With the electric plug disconnected from this mystery part see if you RAV4 will start ( with the key in your pocket ). I was wondering if this was the sensor for the presence of the Smartkey inside the vehicle. I know there is one somewhere but never could figure out where.
CRM, good call!. I do have the smart key entry system. I did an online search for 'RAV4 interior smart key antenna location' and found this diagram: http://www.trav4.net/images/books/1/1/1.htm102.jpg
The location shown in the diagram for one of the antennas lines up with the approximate location of the rear cover on the center console where the mystery box is located. I tried your suggestion and sure enough, when the component is not connected and the key fob is placed on top of the console armrest, the fob is not detected and the doors will lock with the smart key inside. Reconnect the component and the fob is detected and the doors will automatically unlock if you try to lock the fob inside. Mystery solved! Guess I will not try and relocate that component to install my USB ports.
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Great, we both learned something. I knew there was one inside but didn't know where and you found it. I see there's also one behind the rear seat in the luggage area.
 
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