definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,288 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 S40 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2003 Volvo S40:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2003 Volvo S40 Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 022010


  • 69,650 miles


My 2003 Volvo S40 has been driven fewer than 70,000 miles. All Volvo recommended service has been performed by certified mechanics and is documented. My Volvo dealer determined that the transmission had to be replaced. It is not at all reasonable to have a catastrophic transmission failure at only 70, 000 miles. I feel Volvo should be responsible for at least the cost of the replacement transmission. In addition to the cost and inconvenience, this transmission failure presented a hazard that could have resulted in a serious accident. My Volvo was being driven on a frontage road with the intention of entering a freeway. When the transmission started to slip, a right turn was made from the frontage road to a 4-lane road in an attempt to avoid high speed traffic. The transmission went to neutral during the turn and the Volvo coasted to a stop just past the corner in the right lane of this busy road. Fortunately, a police car was just a hundred feet away, saw the Volvo stop in the traffic lane and pulled in behind the stopped Volvo with lights flashing to warn oncoming traffic. Only the proximity of the police car avoided being hit from the rear by vehicles traveling in the lane where the Volvo stopped. The police called for a tow truck. I have determined that this type of transmission failure has been reported many times between 2003 and the present and feel it should be considered for a safety recall.

- Grover Beach, CA, USA

problem #3

Dec 102004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Transmission slips between gears 2nd and 3rd

- Woburn, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 272003

S40 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles
I am currently driving a 2003 Volvo S40. It has been experiencing a transmission slip between 2nd and 3rd gears. I had taken the car back to the dealer for two times due to the above problem. The only thing they did was upgrading the program, which it did not help at all. The major problem is I almost got in a major accident on 6/27/2003 while I was making a left turn and the car lost power in the middle of the road. The on coming traffic barely missed running into my Volvo. This transmission slipping usually last for 2 to 3 secs and this lost of power can put me into major accident easily. I asked Volvo to take my car back, but they said they could not reproduce the problem while the car was in the shop, the turth is, the problem does not happen everyday. I am extremly mad that Volvo does not care about the lifes of their customers. In fact, this is a know problem even Volvo has a tech note for this. But I guess as long as they cannot reproduce the problem, they dont care even we are taking about potential major accidents here. Please help. Thanks.

- Dallas, TX, USA

problem #1

May 012003

S40 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
Transmission slips from 2nd to 3rd from time to time. Additionally, the car shifts harshly from 3rd to 2nd gear.

- Corinth, TX, USA

Not what you are looking for?