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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,392 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #13

Dec 152015

XC90

  • 230,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Driving the XC90 and suddenly there is a huge thump and clicking from the dashboard. All the dials around the spedometer stop working.. if we keep driving there are more thumps and we quickly lose engine power - it is extremely scary when it happens.. all the lights come on (inside the car), dashboard goes dead etc etc. It is extremely dangerous.. it happened to use a number of times with 3 children in the car. It has occurred when we were driving on the highway, 2-3 times, it has occurred on short trips - it happens at seemingly random times, usually after driving for over 30 minutes, but then yesterday it happened on a trip just down to the park, not 5 minutes down the road.. on this occasion the car had been sitting in the sun for a while (maybe heat related?). it has happened in hot weather, cold weather.. we are in constant fear when driving the car. I have contacted Volvo australia about the issue but they said they have no responsibility, that there is no recall for the problem and didn't want to help at all!! I see a lot of people have this same problem, is Volvo not going to fix it until someone is killed"?? what will it take!?!?!"! it is a joke ! we bought a Volvo to have something safer than normal but its more dangerous! I cannot even sell the car because I don't know what's wrong with it and I don't want another family / person to be injured.. no resale value, no safety! come on Volvo, this is crazy!

- Birkdale, DE, USA

problem #12

May 222005

XC90

  • miles
Vehicle drains water on to front passenger floor, and ocassional driver side after it rains. It is a know problem that a class action suit was won in New Jersey, including 5 other states. The water is from clogged drain tubes in sunroof and sometimes shrinkiage of drain tube that dislodges. Vehicle now has a musty smell from the frequent water in the vehicle. Not sure if high moisture inside has caused my cd player to malfunction. Also have a short in electrical system that cause me to replace 3 batteries in the vehicle. Also the sunroof motor shorted out making it difficult to replace the drainage tubes that would help correct the water issues. Hope someone can help.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #11

Jul 072013

XC90 5-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
I was not aware of the design defect in sun roof & the water damages that result in electrical issues. I had always parked my vehicle in covered parking until moving this year in January. I had taken my car in to have a tune up in Nov 2012 at which time I was given an estimate of repairs needed in my car. My car remained parked for most of 2013 due to having moved I wasn't able to afford repairs. The repairs where inner&outer tie rods, ball joints, mounts, arm bushings, rotors & break pads. The above aforementioned where made. Following repairs I washed my car and drove out of town 4th July weekend from los angeles to jamestown California. Once I arrived my car remained parked until returning home July 7th. Shortly after starting my car the dash gauges started to flash on/off and eventually went out. At the time I had my portable gps, A/C was working & I had use of windows (rolling up & down). I knew I had a full tank of gas cause I had fueled up prior to arriving at destination. Being I was in the middle of know where without cell phone service I drove as far as I could before I thought I may need gas. When I stopped to get fuel I was not able to open the door to refuel with gas. I broke the clips on the door allowing me to access and fuel tank and refill with gas. It was Sunday after a major holiday and there was a lot of traffic, the only Volvo dealership I passed was closed and I just wanted to get home. So I continued to drive and was just getting onto the grapevine and traffic really backed up. There was a fire that had been burning on the mountain to the right and helicopters where dumping water on this ongoing fire. Around this time I noticed the A/C had quit working and was blowing hot air. I tried to roll my windows down and they where inoperable. Traffic was at a crawl and there was no place to pull over. Worst nightmare ever.

- Lake Balboa, CA, USA

problem #10

May 252005

XC90

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

My XC90 Volvo is very disappointing the dash board on the car completely fails no nothing no gas, speedometer every things goes out. In the night time its very scary its completely dark I don't know how fast I'm going how much gas I have its scary. Now the fuel pump is gone and the navigation system burned out I cut the car on heard a pop then I smelled something burning the navigation system hasn't worked since.

- Manasass, VA, USA

problem #9

Mar 042010

XC90

  • 74,650 miles
Well while out driving locally on a cold winter day my dash board readings went off and came back on a couple times..then it happened again a few days later....it would do this once in a while then it started getting worse and worse to the point now it comes on only once and awhile...so I have no read outs for anything no gas, no speed no anything..and when it does come on it is only gas and speed none of the other readings or warnings oh and my engine light has stayed on the whole time all this was happening....guess what I found out it is a common issue with Volvo they know about it...yes when the dealer was contacted they said oh yes and its not a cheap repair...because they are the only ones that can fix it by the way so if you live a long way away from a dealer to bad...the part and only if you choose a redone/rebuilt/reconditioned one which is what I was told not brand new is $1100 and that does not include the servicing as they have to put it in and hook it up to their computers....so what will that be when they are done....I think Volvo being the car company it is suppose to be would consider this a major safety and consumer issue and recall it and suck up the cost....I wanted a Volvo for the safety and quality...but as with all things I have been disappointed along with the ball joint issue my vehicle had that I was not notified about..oh by the way I paid to have that fixed because I did not know it would have been free if I had driven 4 hrs to my nearest dealer..yes it would have been way cheaper to have driven.and the latest I was contacted about a transmission issue that has turned into a full blown legal case and I was sent a notice to join that a while ago.....

- Pipestone, MN, USA

problem #8

Jan 292013

XC90

  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that while driving 55 mph, the instrument panel lights stopped illuminating and all of the gauges failed. The vehicle was neither diagnosed nor repaired. The failure and current mileage was 145,000.

- Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #7

Jul 202012

XC90 6-cyl

  • 118,813 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving home from school the windshield wipers automatically came on and about the same time the battery light and electrical warning side came on. It also affected the power steering and air condition. Had to pull over on a busy street which was not easy. Had the battery tested and it was good, replaced it 15 months ago. Car is still sitting in the garage!

- South Jordan , UT, USA

problem #6

Feb 012011

XC90

  • 105,636 miles
My 2003 XC90 Volvo instrumental panel is failing. One day the SRS airbag light came on several weeks later the instrument panel began to fail. It works for the first 10 minutes then all gauges fail, needles are at zero and there is no light. Basically the entire instrument panel goes blank (off) no speed, no RPM's, no gas and the radio has stopped working as of a result of the instrument panel failure. After researching this issue there are countless XC90 Volvo owners having bad luck with the instrument panel failure. Costing owners over $1000 to repair and replace at Volvo dealerships.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #5

Nov 012010

XC90

  • 110,000 miles
My 2003 XC90 Volvo instrumental panel is failing. One day the SRS airbag light came on several weeks later the instrument panel began to fail. It works for the first 10 minutes then all gauges fail, needles are at zero and there is no light. Basically the entire instrument panel goes blank (off) no speed, no RPM's, no gas and the radio has stopped working as of a result of the instrument panel failure. After researching this issue there are countless XC90 Volvo owners having bad luck with the instrument panel failure. Costing owners over $1000 to repair and replace at Volvo dealerships.

- Ridgefield , WA, USA

problem #4

May 012010

XC90

  • 97,000 miles
The SRS light came on, which appears to be a common problem with my model. The dealer said they need to replace the entire SRS console for $1000. They cannot guarantee it, but it's possible my airbags will not deploy if they do not replace this.

- Southampton, NJ, USA

problem #3

Apr 102010

XC90

  • 71,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

2003 Volvo XC90 began displaying "SRS service urgent" message, took vehicle to dealer who knew right away what problem was, they cleaned the contacts of the instrument cluster (maybe the central electronic module)(cem) and error was removed. 3 weeks later same error returns. Sounds like a defect to me, according to Volvo forums on web many Volvo having same issue. Sounds defective to me.

- Tappan, NY, USA

problem #2

Oct 012004

XC90

  • 15,000 miles
Multiple failures; door lock, tires were worn to the cord. * bf the lug nuts were replaced because they were rusted when the vehicle was delivered, the doors did not fit properly, the radio failed, the key would not turn in the ignition, the left rear door could not be opened due to the problem with the seat molding and the tire displayed unusual wear and were worn smooth to the cord. The lug nuts that were installed rusted again. (tires/perrilli scorpian)

- Barrington, RI, USA

problem #1

Sep 152003

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles
Problems with vehicle's transmission, seat belts do not latch, driver's seat reclines by itself. The radio went out and the engine made a grinding noise

- Northport, NY, USA

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