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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2006 Volvo S40 (Page 1 of 2)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,615 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.

2006 Volvo S40 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2006 Volvo S40 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #22

Jan 042016


  • 114,000 miles


While driving down the road at approximately 50 mph I noticed my dim ( driver information module) had completely stopped working. I was unable to read my speedometer, RPM, fuel level, and engine temperature while the car was still running. After researching this online, it appears that this seems to be a common problem.

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #21

Oct 022015


  • 65,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volvo S40. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the vehicle stalled and failed to restart. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic, who diagnosed that the sun roof drainage system was clogged and water entered into the vehicle which caused damage to the electrical system. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 65,000.

- Somerville, MA, USA

problem #20

Sep 162015


  • 156,185 miles
Prior to this incident, my car idled down and pressing the gas did not prevent it from coming to a complete stop. The check engine light illuminated and all of the lights came on to include, warning lights, airbag, stability control, and others including ABS. Fortunately we had just exited the highway to purchase fuel and was in no immediate danger. Because of the vehicles age it was recommended we have the starter, oxygen sensor, spark plugs, 1 coil pack, and battery replaced; and the fuses, fuel pump, fuel filter, alternator and wiring examined, but they did not need to be replaced. After reading other complaints about the electrical problems of this vehicle, I am seriously wondering if this car is safe. I don't want to spend more money and still have to be concerned about my family and I being involved in a collision because the replacement of parts won't fix an underlying problem that may be much more serious.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #19

Mar 232015


  • miles


This is the 3rd time that my car has completely stopped and gone idle when I have children in my car. Since March of 2015 my car stops in the middle of the busy highways in houston. It starts shaking and also won't let me accelerate when I press on the gas and it is so scary for me and my kids. I have had the throttle body repaired at first and and just last week I had it completely replaced. I have paid over 1,000 dollars within the last month on this electronic throttle body issue and I would like for it to be known that this car isn't safe. It has put my life at risk and my kids as well! we were almost killed tonight because our car idled again in the middle of highway 45 and the people who almost ran into us swerved into another lane and missed us literally by mere inches and we caused a collision between two other vehicles. I am tired of dishing out money and I have receipts to show for it. It hasn't even been a week since the throttle body was replaced. Something needs to be done about this! I have children and this car is not safe! I was told that this was a safe car and the car fax was clean. I want to know why I am having so many problems and why my money is going to waste. I see where this ETM issue isn't uncommon in Volvo's and that there was a recall a few years ago. I have receipts from all of these repairs I've had done and I would appreciate if someone would reach out to me and let me know what can be done. I have to get to work and I also have to get my kids from point a to B safely. I can't afford a brand new car and I can't afford to lose my life or my kid's either. So an explanation would be nice.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #18

Apr 132015

S40 5-cyl

  • 151,284 miles
We had been experiencing rain showers on the way to work the Volvo twice had all the lights on the dash board light up but the car did not stall. I was afraid the air bag might deploy. As soon as I got home I had my husband check to see if he could locate the problem. He found was that the carpet was soaked on the drivers side.and the. Wiring running under the carpet was also wet. We have not moved the car and are trying to dry everything. It has also continued to rain off and on. My husband has found some information on the internet which could be related to this problem and will try to see if this might be the solution to our problem.

- Floresville, TX, USA

problem #17

Dec 012014


  • 90,000 miles
Water leaked into my vehicle through the sunroof, destroyed the computer and air airbag system. The carpets are soaked with standing water sitting in the body of the front passenger side of the vehicle. I took my vehicle to the dealership and was told the sunroof drainage tubes where clogged. I was then quoted a price for repairs which totaled in excess of $2000.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

problem #16

Jun 012012

S40 4-cyl

  • 125,000 miles


Vehicle passenger rear floor flooding continuously. One day the windshield wipers wouldn't turn off and none of the interior electrical equipment would work, no power windows or locks. Drove to Volvo, they stated clogged sunroof drain and that floormat had affected the ECM under the steering column. They cleared drain and cleaned floor for $1K. A year later the front drivers seat floor started flooding. Experienced many electrical problems since. Including an instance entering the highway when the power steering seemed to go out and the car stalled. The screen told me to pull over safely. Very scary.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #15

Aug 122013


  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volvo S40. The contact stated that the vehicle failed to accelerate more than 20 mph and several warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician stated that the computer needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 70,000.

- Harwich, MA, USA

problem #14

Mar 072014


  • 74,000 miles
A design flaw caused flooding within the cabin of this vehicle. The sunroof drainage system is faulty and over time leaks water into the floor pan of the car, sometimes enough where flooding occurs. My car flooded a few months back so badly up to 10 gallons of water was vacuumed out. The flooding caused damage to the electrical harness/connections under the driver's/passenger's seat. Currently the check engine light is on, the passenger seat air bag is deactivated and it is unsafe to sit in the passenger seat as the air bag could malfunction at any time, all due to this flooding and the root cause being the faulty drainage system that runs from the sunroof through the dash out of the bottom of the car. There is a class action law suit, no. 2:10-cv-04407-dmc-mf, against Volvo for this specific issue, I believe this issue is leading to more and more problems over time, my vehicle currently won't start and there are only $75K miles on it, I believe water damage is the root cause for all issues with the vehicle at this time, there should be a recall on all vehicles effected or compensation to keep drivers safe in this specific vehicle.

- Pittsfield, MA, USA

problem #13

Apr 102014

S40 5-cyl

  • 114,000 miles
The sunroof leaks and causes puddles in front driver side and driver side passenger side, rust and mill-dew smell also electrical issues in the vehicle why? even after short time of purchasing a car. Volvo shouldn't make customers pay for this expense cost since most of these issues seem to plague many Volvo customers.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 092013

S40 5-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


At least 5 times I have had the car in the Volvo dealership. The car without warning, powers down to 50%, the windshield wipers start up, all the gauges drop to zero position and ABS brake malfunction lights light up. If you pull over and stop, the car shuts down and you can not pull out the key. If I wait 15 minutes, the key can be turned off and you can restart the car. While the check engine light stays on, everything else is normal till the next time. It had done this 6 times in the last 6 months. Dealer can not figure it out other them a electrical malfunction from somewhere in the computer. If it happens going up a grade or hill, the power down slows the car in which is is sometimes impossible to power up over the hill. Every time we take it to the dealer, it then runs with no problem, but lasts 2 or 3 weeks before acting up again. They have changed the batter, alternator, unplugged and replugged the computer terminal. This car is unsafe and unreliable to take on long trips. Do you know of a recall to get this problem fixed ?

- Santa Rosa, CA, USA

problem #11

May 152010

S40 5-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
While driving at night without warning: "interior lights, wipers on ?all gauges went to zero ?all warning lights, airbag, stability ctrl, ABS, others-on ?no turn signals or hazard lights ?no door locks ?no window operation ?random messages such as trunk open "all problems continuing cannot drive car during previous incidents gauges started jumping, lights blinking, warnings flashing, car has completely shut down while driving.

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #10

Jul 182012


  • 55,000 miles
The contact owns a 2006 Volvo S40. The contact stated whenever the air conditioner was activated, hot air emitted throughout the vents. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis. The technician stated that the failure was contributed to the air compressor. The vehicle had not been repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 55,000.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #9

Mar 102012


  • miles
Driving in rain, brake failure message began flashing on dash, then airbag failure. Slowed to a stop and turned off car, turned back on and drove slowly home. Messages continued to flash. Drove to service center and messages were no longer flashing, mechanic said it would need to be active to find problem. Same scenario many times since and the problem has become worse, driving down highway and messages appear then all gauges on panel fail and go to zero, windows fail, blinkers, brake lights fail, entire instrument panel went dark. Back to mechanic, he drove it same thing happened then stopped before returning to shop so could not diagnose.extremely dangerous as several times driving in rain and in high traffic areas and on freeways with high speeds and then in construction zones bumper to bumper with no brake lights or ability to use turn signals. Has been out for five to thirty minutes at a time then appearing to work again before repeating the same failure problem. Never any warning, it just happens suddenly. To mechanic again, codes read and printed out pages of signal failures, none active at time so unable to determine problem. Check engine light has also appeared and when checked nothing active found at time other than pages of signal failures in system.

- Durham, NC, USA

problem #8

Jun 142011


  • 86,000 miles
Whilst driving, the instruments on the instrument cluster dropped to zero and the warning lights started flashing. After shutting down the car, and then restarting, the fault cleared. Ever since, the electric windows and door locks have worked only intermittently. Volvo diagnosed the problem to the A-pillar connectors, which they said were old, and newer ones had been made. Volvo will not pay for the replacement since the car's warranty has expired. After doing some research, I found out that Volvo had issued a service bulletin addressing the A-pillar connectors, and I also found quite a few Volvo owners that experienced the same problem.Volvo knows they have defective A-pillar connectors in some of their cars, why has a recall not been issued?

- Oak Park, IL, USA

problem #7

Feb 092012

S40 5-cyl

  • miles
Flooded car. Caused extensive damage that ins. Says is a mold problem. Well without water there would be no mold.

- Lebanon, OR, USA

problem #6

Feb 272011

S40 5-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
2006 Volvo S40, fwd T5: My wife was driving on the interstate around midnight going approx. 75-80 mph when all of a sudden her car shut off. When I say shut off I mean the headlights, dome lights, engine....anything that was electrical completely shut off. This would include the steering wheel locking up. So imagine driving in the middle of the night at 80 mph with traffic around you and you're lights going out, steering wheel locking and having no way to control the vehicle. To me this sounds like a 80 mph invisible torpedo that could have killed a few people including my wife. I had the vehicle towed to the nearest dealership which was a Ford dealership and the next morning they diagnosed it as a dead battery, which they were correct. Now I'm no rocket surgeon by any means but to me this sounds like a flaw in the safety dept. Somewhere. Something as trivial as a dead battery would cause a catastrophic failure like that? I think it's something that needs to be brought to the attention of the manufacturer and some sort of quality control as well.

- Enterprise, AL, USA

problem #5

Dec 062010


  • 71,000 miles
My 2006 Volvo S40 has had numerous and intermittent electrical issues including gauges that go haywire, false airbag failure or brake failure messages, locks that don't engage or disengage and traction control that seems to stick or malfunction. On a few occasions the speedometer and RPM readout go completely dead while I'm going 70 miles per hour on the highway. These issues are intermittent but they tend to be more pertinent during the winter months, and on December 6, 2010 all these false readouts were happening one after another, followed by a "reduced power" reading and the engine briefly decelerated. Volvo dealers have been unable to diagnose or fix the issues in the past and I'm hesitant to spend hundreds more only to be told that "no codes were found."

- New Baltimore, MI, USA

problem #4

Aug 122010


  • 80,444 miles
All gauges and readings go to zero. Four warning appear on the message board. After stopping and turning off ignition the car will restart with intermittent warnings, or no warnings at all. Upon hitting a bump the error messages changes and the gauges work or don't work. The car has been in for computer "fixes" three times since late 2005.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #3

May 312009


  • 59,121 miles
Several times I took my Volvo S40 to the dealership before my warranty expired on the problem with starting my car. When inserting the key in the ignition nothing worked. Now the warranty is expired (59,000 miles) and no one at the Volvo dealership "recalls" our many conversations! after trying to start it several times and calling a tow truck for a jump, still nothing. It displayed the message "brake failure stop car safely", "anti-skid system failure", "reduced engine performance", "power steering failure", sbs airbag failure". the car stopped, I could not restart the engine and the messages kept repeating in random order. The car will be towed to Volvo and they will see what's going on! I have read this same complaint in many different Volvo forums. You would thing there would be a recall on whatever this problem is. I found out that Ford made this particular year!

- Modesto, CA, USA

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