Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
57,698 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.

2003 Volvo XC90 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #6

Apr 102014


  • 114,687 miles


When this vehicle was purchased it started within 4 days to have problems with the transmission, after the transmission the transfer case began to have problems, so the vehicle was placed in the shop before the thirty days tags could expire and both parts were rebuilt by an outside company which was added to the original price tag of the vehicle. Then a year later the vehicle was placed in the shop for the turbo's had gone out on the vehicle on April 11, 2015 until current date. They are now saying the vehicle has a blown head gasket and it is still in the shop.

- Ahoskie, NC, USA

problem #5

Jan 272015

XC90 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Transmission failed without warning. Here's the story, my XC90 was dealer serviced a week ago (pm), took on a short road trip over weekend, fortunately made it home before it broke down. Went to work upon returning from trip and while I was parking the transmission failed to engage in any gear. Very unsafe! no warning lights illuminated and there was no 'limp mode.' The rpms rose as if it were in neutral. Could hear a metallic rattling noise coming from transmission. Had to have it towed from work to aamco. Aamco stated the damage was inside of transmission and they would need to remove and tear down to see what issue is, but more than likely it was a complete failure. I just bought this car in November and luckily bought an aftermarket warranty that 'should' cover everything. Issue is the warranty company will more than likely just replace it with a used trans that will fail in a short time and I will have to go through this again. This is a major design flaw on the part of Volvo and they should own up to it. The engine produces too much power and the vehicle is too heavy for the transmission to take it. This is a T6 btw, with the 6 cylinder and twin turbo. Volvo should have a recall on this transmission. I have scoured the web and see this is an ongoing frequent issue with the XC90 and Volvo is losing what were once loyal customers. Search this issue on the web and you'll wonder if there are any XC90's that do not have transmission problems.

- North Beach, MD, USA

problem #4

Aug 092007


  • 500 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that the vehicle would jerk abnormally and without warning. In addition, the shift gear lever was defective and both the power steering fluid and transmission fluids were leaking. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who advised the contact that the vehicle age had exceeded the time frame in which they were willing to offer any assistance. The manufacturer was notified of the failure and advised the contact that the vehicle was no longer under warranty and offered no additional assistance. The failure mileage was 500 and the current mileage was 65,000.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #3

Dec 122011


  • miles


I had the transmission service engine light come on. I took it to the mechanic and he said the coolant has leaked into to the transmission causing the transmission to give out. They said it needs replaced at a cost of 6000. This would be the 3 rd transmission in this car alone. Their are multiple people with the same problem. This is volvox fault and it needs replaced on their dime.

- Columbus , OH, USA

problem #2

Aug 292010


  • 85,000 miles
Leaving a parking lot and heard loud sound car wouldn't move. Volvo says the following is broken: Lower control arm, cv axle, rotor and damaged rim. We had been parked and were attempting to leaving parking lot(.barely moving) could have been killed if this happened at higher speed. We have constantly spent money on this vehicle and I feel it is unsafe and that when the recalls were made there could have already been a fracture. This car is only driven to work and home on a regular basis. No rough roads. We have not caused any damage. This website does not allow proper selection under Volvo and make to allow selection of the suspension/control arm / rotors / axle / tire rims / ball joint, all of which were damaged in this 4 mph accident. Had this happened at 65 mph I have no doubt me and my family would not have survived.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

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problem #1

Jul 192008


  • 54,000 miles
Volvo XC90 taken into dealership for axle replacement on 07/09/08 contacted that the transmission will be replaced then when question given vague statement no will be a transmission flush. Car returned on 07/16/08 advised given new transmission. Driving car on 07/19/08 come to a stop to cross 4 lane parkway when hit gas pedal car does not respond receive message reduce engine performance. After much research this is a known problem with the Volvo transmission in this model manufacturer refuses to acknowledge.

- Orlando, FL, USA

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