really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
43,929 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 S40 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2001 Volvo S40 Owner Comments

problem #7

Feb 202012

S40 4-cyl

  • miles


I purchased a Volvo for their reputation on safety. So why does our Volvo have an acceleration problem" I could be at a stop light and the car revs up to 2000 RPM's and starts to go with my foot on the brake with me almost hitting the car in front of me then when we first start up the car the brakes don't work" the car still rolls. What's going on with Volvo their making me think their just as bad as Toyota!

- Walnut, CA, USA

problem #6

May 242011


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owned a 2001 Volvo S40. The contact stated that the driver was traveling approximately 35 mph when the brakes were applied but the vehicle would not stop until crashing into another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy and the seat belt failed to retain the driver. A police report was filed and the driver suffered serious injuries. The vehicle was destroyed and towed to an independent repair shop, but the cause of failure was not diagnosed. The failure and current mileage was 114,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Jeffersonville, IN, USA

problem #5

Dec 282009


  • 73,000 miles
I bought a 2001 Volvo S40 in June 2009. I noticed right away that the brakes didn't seem to work properly, as the stopping distance was far too long. They assured me the brakes were brand new. After driving it a few weeks, I became very nervous about the brakes because I had come close to rear ending several people. I brought it back to the dealer where I purchased it and asked them to double check the brakes. They did so and stated that they were fine. So, I drove extra cautiously from then on. Unfortunately, they never gave me any documentation and I never asked for it. They just checked the brakes and sent me on my way, reassuring me there was not a problem. However, on December 28th, 2009, the brakes failed when coming to an intersection. I was just beginning to slow down (not even trying to stop yet) and the brake would not go down further. I took my foot off the brake, and it did not release. I again tried to push down the pedal, and it did not go down. I rear ended the car in front of me. I looked online and found that several people with my same year and model had the same problems, both with the stopping distance and the brake failure. The next morning, I took my car to the Volvo dealer in indianapolis. They inspected the brakes and found nothing wrong. They also verified that the recalled vacuum pump had already been replaced. From there I took my car to the body shop for an estimate of the damage from the accident, which was $2,2604.96. Upon leaving the body shop, I braked at a yellow light, and once again, my brakes would not go down and I went through the intersection. I had my car towed back to the Volvo dealer. I made a claim with Volvo company, who had someone look at it and said the vacuum pump and pressure valve needed to be replaced, which would cost approximately $750. I asked for an estimated trade-in value after the car was completely fixed. They stated that they.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #4

Nov 142007


  • 88,000 miles


The contact owns a 2001 Volvo S40. Whenever the vehicle was parked longer than 2 hours the contact noticed that the brakes failed to operate. The vehicle has not been diagnosed by the dealer and there were no prior warnings. The current mileage was 112,131 and the failure mileage was at 88000.

- Tupello, MS, USA

problem #3

Aug 262003


  • miles
When braking at various speeds brakes would intermittently work, resulting in extended stopping distance.

- Narragansett, RI, USA

problem #2

Jun 172003

S40 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,500 miles
I had the brakes serviced on my 2001 Volvo S40 at the Volvo dealer. At only 21,500 miles the rear brakes were grinding loudly. I complained to Volvo consumer services from their web page. They were not only not surprised at the rear brake failure at 21,500 miles, but said that they usually go out between 10K and 20K miles. The rear brakes on that vehicle are poorly designed, creating a potential accident hazard because of consumers' ignorance of their under-engineering. An american car would likely get as much as 80K miles out of the rear brakes, being replaced only the third time the front brakes are service. An american car company that is as obviously aware of a failure of this nature would likely have done a redesign and recall. The rear brake pads on the Volvo S40 are no bigger than those of a motorcycle. This is an unsafe vehicle and Volvo should be forced to recall them.

- Fridley, MN, USA

problem #1

Jun 112003


  • 11,000 miles
Brake power assist failed. Dealer notified. The brakes were soft upon cold starts and was disfunctional until the vehicle had warmed up. The brake was depressed multiple times. The dealer attempted on five occasions to correct the problem and replaced the vacuum hose twice. A representative of Volvo recommended new wiring and it seemed to have remedied the problem.

- Gaithersburg, MD, USA

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