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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
87,468 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.

2005 Volvo XC90 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #18

May 182007


  • 105,000 miles


We was comming from Texas visitng our family back to Mississippi our tranmission starting slipping we was told that we had to have another tranmission this will make two transmisson we had to replace. In motion

- Hattiesburg, MS, USA

problem #17

Jul 102015


  • miles
4X4 AWD system is not working, car spinning with the front wheels, very dangerous in winter time.angle gear sleeve which is stripped out. Very common problem with XC90 2.5T. Parts and labor close to 1000.00.

- Worcester, MA, USA

problem #16

Sep 262011


  • 45 miles
This is a 2005 Volvo that has a history of transmission failure in all cars of this model and year. If one googles the model and make of this car one will find forum after forum of people who have had to replace these failed transmissions before or shortly after warranty is up. The dealers and services have largely put this item which should have been a recall issue on to the customer. My transmission failed when trying to accelerate on to a freeway. I was nearly in a likely fatal collision due to the transmission failing to go out of 2nd gear. There was a class action suit surrounding this issue in this model, but few Volvo owners were notified of it. Please help us and demand that Volvo recall these cars, repay for failed transmissions and lost value of the cannot even give them away no and these were 45K$ cars!!!!!!!!!!furious.

- Menlo Park , CA, USA

problem #15

Sep 012014

XC90 6-cyl

  • 155,000 miles


Transmission completely failed. This was the 2nd transmission, as the first one failed at 45000 miles. I had to replace the transmission at a cost of $6000. Rebuilding failed trans was slightly cheaper but not worth it. I understand there is a class action lawsuit, but was settled before my transmission failed.

- Colts Neck, NJ, USA

problem #14

Jul 312014


  • 165,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. While driving approximately 55 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The contact stated that the transmission failed and the instrument panel dimmed temporarily. The contact disconnected the battery cable to reset the vehicle and managed to restart the vehicle. The failure occurred multiple times. An independent mechanic stated that the central electric module malfunctioned which prevents the vehicle from draining water properly during rainy conditions. The vehicle was not repaired. The VIN was unavailable. The approximate failure mileage was 165,000.

- Biloxi, MS, USA

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problem #13

Dec 262013

XC90 5-cyl

  • 102,000 miles
Known transmission defect with this model has manifested itself in my vehicle. Car began lurching when accelerating and transitioning into the next gear while attempting to merge onto a busy interstate highway. Dealer diagnosed the problem and states that the transmission needs to be replaced. Apparently Volvo has acknowledged this defect with the power-train and in 2012 agreed to settle a class action lawsuit with regards to this problem. This fact however only impacts those who previously paid to have this problem fixed. Still no recall regarding this potentially hazardous issue for those currently impacted. All vehicles equipped with their original transmissions need to be recalled (2003, 2004 and 2005).

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #12

Sep 032013

XC90 6-cyl

  • 146,342 miles


While driving back from work the passenger low beam went out. I bought a new bulb and the light still did not work L then checked. The wiring going into the headlight and there was no power for the low beam how does this happen it was bad enough I had to replace the whole transmission just 3months ago and now this I also read nonlinear they had problems with the trannys.

- Green Bay, WI, USA

problem #11

Feb 142013

XC90 8-cyl

  • 111,000 miles
At 111,000 thousand miles the counter balance shaft bearing went inside the motor. I did a little research on line and found out that it is a design problem, that Volvo knows about. It could cost any where from $5000 to $15000. I believe that they should be forced to do a recall for this known problem, and help there customers with the repairs. Thank you for your help in this matter.

- Winchendon, MA, USA

problem #10

Oct 012009

XC90 6-cyl

  • 84,500 miles
The transmission failed at less than 85,000 miles. Then the second transmission's out-put shaft began leaking with less than 40,000 miles on it, because according to the dealer it is "out-of-round/true". the transmission needs to be replaced. This transmission fluid leak is also a fire hazard.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #9

Dec 202012

XC90 6-cyl

  • 85,812 miles
While driving on a gentle incline the transmission started slipping & shifting back & forth between gears. It lost power when trying to accelerate.

- Pacific Grove, CA, USA

problem #8

Nov 142012

XC90 8-cyl

  • 115,000 miles


Volvo knows the V8 engine on the 2005 XC90 is faulty. Specifically, the counterbalance shaft bearing failing due to water intrusion. Fortunately mine failed while at idle. Unfortunately the entire engine is now seized up and my otherwise clean car is a large and useless paperweight. If this were to happen while the car is moving at speed, it could cause a horrible accident. Unless Volvo actively finds the remaining engines in service and fixes this problem, it remains a risk regardless of the mileage. Appropriately, they should also reimburse anyone who was affected by this problem since they learned of it back in 2005.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #7

Sep 242012

XC90 6-cyl

  • 96,005 miles
My car was at traffic light, on green light, I tried to accelerate, I heard a big noise from somewhere in engine area. After that noise, a light come on with a message " transmission service urgent". the car has real hard time to accelerate. Even at 4000 RPM, it did not accelerate. Browse on internet for 3 hours and finally come to know that this particular model has transmission problem.

- Bryant, AR, USA

problem #6

Jul 112012


  • 64,000 miles
The transmission in this vehicle is slipping. Trying to pass a car on the highway and could not get the car into gear. Note: The VIN # [xxx] - but I can't validate it on this form but it is the correct number. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Monroe, WA, USA

problem #5

May 082012

XC90 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
I attempted to pass another car and the engine revved very high while the transmission was slipping and could not go into gear. This put my children and I in a very dangerous situation with oncoming traffic. Although I was able to swerve back into my own lane in time, it was a very scary 10 or 15 seconds. I have been afraid to drive it until I can get it into the repair shop, but have driven it on short trips around town. The transmission continues to slip some in normal driving. I'm taking it to Volvo service tomorrow but some quick research found that this is a very common issue with this SUV, and that Volvo is completely aware of it. In fact, the customer service person I spoke with from Volvo said "it's an epidemic", and the service writer for northpoint Volvo has seen it many, many times. It looks like I'm in for as much as $8500 for a transmission, and even more for possible damage to the axles as well as a new radiator, which seems to be the cause of the whole problem due to fluid contamination (glycol into the transmission fluid). I wasn't aware of the problem until now, but I had certainly wondered why my $48,000 vehicle had plummeted in value compared to other cars! this is not only a serious safety hazard but also a financial hardship on the many people who purchased this SUV based on an expectation of quality at least in line with minimum industry standards. Clearly this company is not standing behind their product and a recall is in order.

- Suwanee, GA, USA

problem #4

Mar 152012


  • 68,723 miles
Transmission service urgent light came out. Transmission was stuck in 3rd gear. Had hard up shifts.

- Florence, KY, USA

problem #3

Jan 172012

XC90 8-cyl

  • 66,000 miles
The trains has gone and it only has 66,000 miles on it cost to fix $ $5500.

- Masury, OH, USA

problem #2

Apr 102009


  • 90,000 miles
I have a 2005 Volvo XC90 T6. Bought this car brand new. Had so many problems including transmission out; the blinkers do not work. The quality and safety of this vehicle is misleading and this is a horrible safety issue since blinker don't work. Looking into it, seems like this is an ongoing issue with many owner of Volvo XC90 2005. They really need to recall this before it's too late and cause fatalities.

- Killeen, TX, USA

problem #1

Jan 202009


  • 53,000 miles
I have the ill fated XC90 clockwork at 53000 miles the dreaded transmission service urgent light comes I am supposed to fork over 7000 bucks for a completely defective transmission!

- Edmond, OK, USA

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