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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
25,786 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Volvo S40 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Volvo S40 Owner Comments

problem #7

Aug 312016


  • miles


My vehicle doors lock up and can't be unlocked due to faulty locks. No way to get door or doors to unlock. Which can cause death if involved in a roll over, submerged, or any major accidents. It can be any door on the vehicle. On mine it's my rear passenger door which my child sits next too in her car seat. I've read many other Volvo have this issue and very costly to repair. Volvo should be responsible as I have been told by a Volvo dealer mechanic that these S40 are very known to have this issue. For my experience of this happening is just driving home and parking. Tried to get my daughter out and it would not unlock. The key faubourg, the power lock switch and tried pulling on handle and nothing unlocks this door. I read that the lock actuators are the cause or its the wiring harness. I also have this problem in the trunk. Only the kid napped cord works to get the trunk to open. Please get Volvo to fix all there actuators before kids or adults get trapped and killed cause of their negligence

- Castle Rock, WA, USA

problem #6

Feb 072010


  • 29,500 miles
When driving my car, he start going faster without pressing a gas pedal when I press the brake the car turn off, I put the gear changing on park and start the car again, the RPM start going crazy, the car have only 30000 miles.

- Opole, 00, USA

problem #5

Dec 242008


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volvo S40. While driving 30 mph, the vehicle rapidly accelerated automatically. The vehicle would not slow down when the brake pedal was depressed. The contact had a difficult time pulling the vehicle over to the side of the road. The vehicle behind her notified her that the vehicle was on fire. Flames appeared while attempting to pull over the vehicle. The police department was notified. The vehicle was towed to her residence and then to the Volvo dealer. The tires and other equipment were damaged by the flames. The vehicle is currently being diagnosed by the dealer. The failure and current mileages were 65,000.

- Winchester, VA, USA

problem #4

Dec 292006


  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles


Dashboard went crazy, fading in and out. All panels were unreadable, speedometer, radio, temperature gauge. Car accelerated on its own, without my foot on the pedal. Cd was shot into the backseat landing in my child safety seat. All of this occurred while driving on the highway. In all 3 instances the message indicator stated to not drive the car. I had the car towed to 2 different dealers. The first time they said it was the software and reinstalled. The second time, they replaced the alternator and the car was in the shop for over a week, the third time, the replace the cem module and radio. The the fourth time the car wouldn't read the key and had to be towed and they replaced the steering module. This car has been in the shop 3 times in less than 6 months for 3 electrical related issues the car only has 42,000 mile.

- Hudson, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 272006

S40 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,000 miles
I was driving home at night when all of the gauges in my car went out completely. I had no speedometer, no gas reading, no engine heat meter, the message center was out, no turn signals. This is a 2 year old vehicle that was purchased brand new from Volvo in 2004. I had to drive home 60 miles on an extreme;Y dark road with no safety gauges- I couldn't call for roadside as I was alone and am a woman- I wasn't going to stop on the side of the road to wait for roadside. I was told by Volvo that it was the ddm module and the wiring harness- my electrical /computer system went bad. How is that possible in a brand new car" furthermore, I was 1,000 miles over the manufacturer's warranty of 50,000 miles- thus Volvo charged me $1,645. Within in minutes of driving the car after it was repaired- the service engine light came on. I was told that my software had to be upgraded and my throttle cleaned" I believe that the electrical/computer systems in these cars are no good.

- Glassboro, NJ, USA

problem #2

Aug 102006

S40 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles
The vehicle has the following intermittent electrical problems. Dashboard, radio, climate controls turn-off by themselves. Wipers activate by themselves. SRS warnings are displayed. Fuel door button does not activate. Ignition will not active so car will not start.

- Elmwood Park, IL, USA

problem #1

Mar 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Consumer complained about electrical problems. The windshield wipers suddenly cut on and off at times; the power windows and doors did not work, and gas gauge always showed that vehicle had no fuel. Also, airbag light came on. Finally, the trunk did not open.

- Nogales, AZ, USA

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