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NHTSA — Electrical System Problems

2001 Volvo V70 (Page 1 of 2)


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
49,927 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.

2001 Volvo V70 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Volvo V70 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #21

Apr 022014

V70 5-cyl

  • 128,000 miles


I noticed the tail light brake bulbs were burning out quickly. After getting a ticket I stopped driving it until I could determine the cause. Volvo lists a brake relay recall. Brake light fuses and relays are in 4 locations in the car. They are: 1. under the hood in the engine control unit ECU, 2.the passenger compartment a. central control unit ccu and B. fuse panel by drivers side door post 3. rear control unit in the cargo compartment. The problem was an electrical engineering design where a steel race that surrounds the taillight bulbs transfers the electrical current is designed to fail. As the bulb heats up it transfers the heat to the plate and plastic pins that hold it in place under pressure from the spring steel parts of the removable bulb socket unit. As the plastic pins weaken and move away under pressure and heat from the bulb socket spring steel keepers, and conductors of voltage and current, the current is throttled down to a pin point as the plate moves away from the bulb creating more heat and arcing to melt the steel race surround the bulbs that supply the current. The replaced bulbs seem to work for a short time as the connection is reestablished when the bulb socket is removed and replaced, and the connection is reestablished for a time, but it will soon over heat and fail from the weakened and melted plastic lens. Brake light failure results not from a failed part, relay, fuse or wire, but from an engineering design flaw that was recognized and eliminated in the 2005 models. Ford and Volvo never mention this. A recall could amount to six hundred to a thousand dollars per car for the 4 lenses with labor. The arcing in the wiring may also cause other computer failures as the transmission also has an electrical problem in the kickdown process that causes an abnormal delay in neutral gear and hard engagement of the lower gear.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

problem #20

Mar 012012

V70 5-cyl

  • miles
2001 Volvo V70. Consumer writes in regards to repairs under recall notice EA05021 the consumer stated the problem of the vehicle surging forward had been undiagnosed several times by mechanics. The consumer also stated at the time of purchasing the vehicle, the dealership did not disclose the recall and she never received a notice about the recall. The vehicle was also taken to the dealer due to a malfunction with the security system.

- Milton, DE, USA

problem #19

Sep 092005


  • 54,000 miles
Volvo V70 2001 hesitating to change gear, problem occurs more frequently during slow commute at aprox. 20-40 miles/hr. One day driving through I-285 in atlanta, ga car suddenly stopped. Thank god I was at an exit area and was able to slide car to a non traffic area. Car was able to start engine again aprox. Within 5-10 minutes. Car problem was reported to North point Volvo, alpharetta, ga. The car had a "sensor problem" and was "corrected", per the dealer.. today car is still having problems - hesitant to change gear. I am worried it will turn off again one day. Researching in the internet found a lot of people with same problems. Volvo company should be investigated.

- Kissimmee, FL, USA

problem #18

Jul 042006

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


While driving our car home from 4th of July vacation on interstate, car shut down by itself and could only do about 7 mph, with a near miss of traffic I was to pull the car over to the shoulder of the road. This same problem has happened 2 additional times until we decided to not drive the car at all due our concern for getting into a accident. The local dealership could not see us for 3 weeks we were told, the car was towed to the dealership and we are still waiting to find out what they will tell us.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #17

Mar 212006

V70 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
I recently began having problems with my 2001 Volvo V70 station wagon. It turns out that the PCV system had become clogged as a result of problems with the ETM. When they tested the vehicle at the dealership they did not find any computer codes related to the ETM so they are refusing to cover the damage done to the PCV by the faulty ETM under warranty. When they clean or replace the ETM they service the PCV as part of the repair they have indicated to me that until the ETM fails completely they are unwilling to cover the PCV problem under the extended warranty.

- Woodlands, TX, USA

problem #16

Apr 292005

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving the vehicle traveling 30- 40 mph the vehicle idles roughly. Also while stopped at stop signs the vehicle lurched forward. The vehicle started having different error codes illuminate in the vehicle. It has been taken to the dealership a total of three times. After diagnostics were ran on the vehicle the problem was the electronic throttle body module. All problems with the vehicle are due to the throttle body module failing. The dealership will clean the module but they will not replace it until it completely fails. The manufacturer has been alerted.

- Parker, CO, USA

problem #15

Dec 232005

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles


I have intermittent failure of the dipped beams in my 2001 Volvo V70 T5. I see an error report on the dash: Bulb failure. Dipped beams. But there is nothing wrong with my bulbs. There is an electrical problem that is totally unpredictable leading to loss of low beams. Volvo service managers say they don't know what causes the problem. Am I the only person to report this defect? it started about 2 years ago in the winter of 2003 but is now more regular but not always.

- Bronxville, NY, USA

problem #14

Dec 032005

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
Volvo, 2001 V70 - VIN [xxx] this specific vehicle is unreliable and unsafe. Since purchased new, car has had multiple system failures leading to various unsafe driving conditions including brake system failure and engine failure (including loss of braking and steering systems). Manufacturer has acknowledged unusual nature of this particular vehicle quality defects - concerned that car must be taken off road to avoid serious crash. Please advise. Updated 07/17/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Menlo Park, CA, USA

problem #13

May 252004

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 42,855 miles
The contact stated the electronic throttle module (ETM) failed. The engine idle dropped, and surged upon starting the vehicle. While driving the vehicle it surged and then lost power. The vehicle stalled while at a stop light and would not immediately start back. The vehicle started again after the fourth attempt. The ETM was replaced approximately a year ago, but now the vehicle experienced the same problems again. After the repairs the consumer continued to experience problems. Updated 01/04/06.

- Beavercreek, OH, USA

problem #12

Oct 042005

V70 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles
The contact stated vehicle surged forward after placing it into gear. She tried to stop the vehicle by applying the brakes, but they would not work. She lost control of the vehicle and struck a pole. The vehicle has not been inspected to determine the cause of the problem. Updated 11/29/2005 - the few weeks prior to this accident the vehicle had a computer problem and the passenger door, window and turn signal were inoperative. These problems were fixed by the dealer.

- White Plains, NY, USA

problem #11

Oct 272005


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


The contact stated while driving at any speed the vehicle stalled. The computer showed reduced performance. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic, and they were unable to diagnose the problem.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Jun 102005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,823 miles
My 2001 Volvo V70 spontaneously lost power and died. I was stranded far from home with my daughter on a Friday night. After supposedly being repaired at the dealership, several months later on a road trip, again far from home, my car all of a sudden started coughing and losing power, on the highway at highway speed, putting me and my passengers at risk. I was able to cripple it on, and the dealership eventually replaced the throttle body and related computer module, but I understand that it could possible happen again. I live in a remote area and need to be able to depend on my car. I cannot be stranded on the open road at any hour and in any weather.

- Salida, CO, USA

problem #9

Jun 152004

V70 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles
Initially, I took my 2001 Volvo V70 station wagon to the dealer because the cruise control function was not working and the "check engine" light came on. They ran a diagnostic computer check and told me that everything came back fine -even though it was obvious that the cruise control was not working when we drove it around the lot. They said that if the computer did not detect an error they were not able to fix anything, although they suspected that the electronic throttle control might be causing the problem. They reset the computer so that the "check engine" light went off. A month later, I was pulling out into traffic from my driveway with my three-year old in the back seat and lost all power. The max speed I could go was about 10 mph. Fortunately, I was able to pull off to the side of the road. It is a very busy uncontrolled access - I was fortunate that there wasn't more traffic as an accident would have occurred. There was no warning lights or indication that this was going to occur - it just stopped. I had the car towed to the Volvo dealer who diagnosed a malfunctioning electronic throttle module. The car had 72,000 miles on it. I expressed my disappointment that a car with a reputation for safety would fail in such a way that could cause a terrible accident. I also lodged a complaint with Volvo customer service. Recently, I heard about the investigation on this same issue. I was directed to your website when I searched for additional information on the internet.

- Prior Lake, MN, USA

problem #8

Aug 152005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,400 miles
Warning lights had been coming on, but without symptoms. Now "performance reduced" light comes on, car will only go about 20-25 mph, non-responsive to gas pedal. Dealer diagnosis - ETM failure.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #7

Jul 272005


  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,600 miles
Recently, the message center in my vehicle indicated that the emissions systems experienced a failure. I took the car in and the dealer said that the ETM needed to be replaced. I own 2001 Volvo V70 T5 wagon.

- Lake Orion, MI, USA

problem #6

Aug 012005

V70 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
2001 Volvo V70 2.4 T 1. power loss under normal operational conditions. Several trips to dealership. Service light coming on and off. 2. died in traffic with my wife and or she and our children in the car on several occasions. Would sit, then be fine again. I thought bad gas or something. Researched symptoms/conditions on the web and found that what we were experiencing sounded like Prelude to catastrophic failure of ETM. We took it to an independent mechanic instead of the dealerships which found nothing wrong and asked them to check the ETM. Couldn't get codes of about it because it resets itself even after codes come on and clears the codes. Finally got right in when it happened and sure enough, ETM was failing 3. we had to replace it out of our own pocket for $800 to $900. We were told by the mechanics that it wasn't fixed forever, that it would likely start to fail again at some point because it's a design flaw. The incident date is not was several months ago when we got it fixed but I can't find the repair slip atm for exact date.

- Richmond, VA, USA

problem #5

Jan 122005

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,200 miles
ETM (ets) failure on my 2001 Volvo V70 T5. Sluggish running, not reliable, almost stalling and unsafe. Gave warnings that would clear when the ignition was turned off and then back on. Volvo dealer said throttle body was bad. After replacement at 92303 miles, car ran fine. [xxx]. updated 07/19/2012 information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Gastonia, NC, USA

problem #4

Apr 142005

V70 5-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 73,302 miles
Repeated skipping and hesitation of our V70 T5 sw along with a "reduced performance error" message resulted in our going to the danbury ct dealership, where they told us the throttle and software needed replacement. The cost was $899.17. We service our car regularly and have the documentation to prove it. We have had no accidents with the car prior to this engine problem. Because of widespread reports of the same problem occurring on other Volvo V70 station wagons, we believe the cause of the engine skipping to be an inherent structural flaw and we request reimbursement of our expenses. The dealer who made the $899.17 repair was Volvo of danbury, 203-743-4667.

- Redding, CT, USA

problem #3

Nov 122004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Driving on expressway at approx. 60 mph, car lost speed and power steering. Towed into Volvo dealership in Oklahoma city. Repairs costing approx. $1,200 were made to electronic throttle or transmission. I can provide the statement indicating the repairs.

- Edmond, OK, USA

problem #2

Feb 012002

V70 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 700 miles
The contact owned a 2001 Volvo V70. The NHTSA action number was PE05041. Vehicle stalled/lost power due to electrical problems.

- Fort Bliss, TX, USA

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