1999 Volvo S80

2 Defect Investigations from the NHTSA

NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1999 Volvo S80

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1999 Volvo S80, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA05021

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control

    Summary: On November 14, 2006 Volvo submitted a defect information report to NHTSA concerning ETM failures in model year (MY) 1999 through 2001 Volvo models (not including the S40 and V40), MY 2002 S60 and V70 with naturally aspirated engines and MY 2002 V70S.according to Volvo, ża combination of throttle positioning sensor irregularities, a dirty throttle housing and/or inefficient software calibration may cause a warning lamp to light and the subsequent onset of limp home modes."Volvo further stated that, "this resulted in a high number of these vehicles going into limp home mode without need.żVolvo indicated that this was the most severe consequence of an ETM fault in the subject vehicles.the recall remedy is a software upgrade introduced by Volvo on March 16, 2006 in a customer satisfaction program.at the time of the notification 161,202 vehicles of the population of 331,301 had already had the software uploaded and were therefore not included in the population count of the recall. ODI's analysis of complaints to ODI and Volvo, Volvo field reports and warranty data found that ETM failure could result in (1) engine stall; (2) mechanical limp mode; (3) lunging forward during low-speed driving maneuvers; and (4) faltering during high speed merges or when crossing traffic.ODI identified 12 crashes related to ETM failure, with 6 caused by lunging incidents, 3 caused by stalling incidents, 2 caused by mechanical limp mode and 1 from the faltering condition.ODI's analysis of complaint data and information obtained from consumer interviews identified 1,289 incidents with safety related consequences (389.1 per 100,000 vehicles), including 479 involving engine stall (144.6 per 100,000 vehicles) and 729 involving mechanical limp mode (220.0 per 100,000 vehicles).ODI's analysis of warranty claim narrative text shows at least 14,965 warranty claims with codes indicating an ETM fault resulting in vehicle operation in mechanical limp mode (4.5% of the subject vehicles). Volvo's recall addresses ODI's safety concerns with ETM failures.ODI will continue to monitor the subject vehicles to determine if additional action is required.this engineering analysis is closed.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE05041

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: July 26, 2005
    • Date Closed: December 07, 2005
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Vehicle Speed Control

    Summary: PE05-041 was opened on July, 26, 2005, based on 136 consumer complaints to ODI alleging throttle control malfunctions in the subject vehicles.ODI has now received 591 complaints of ETM failures which allege symptoms with potential safety related consequences.these include allegations of engine stall, vehicle surging forward without accelerator input, vehicle hesitation upon acceleration and sudden and unexpected transition into reduced performance operation (limp mode).Volvo submitted over 2,900 complaints concerning the ETM in the subject vehicles during PE05-041.ODI's preliminary analysis of a sample the Volvo complaints identified approximately 55 percent with one or more of the symptoms described above.ODI is continuing its assessment of the information contained in the Volvo complaints. In November 2005, to resolve an investigation by the California air resources board, Volvo announced that it would extend the warranty coverage to 10 years / 200,000 miles for the ETM in approximately 356,000 model year 1999 through 2002 passenger cars sold in the United States and Canada.under Volvo's policy, vehicles that experience ETM failures will receive a variety of repairs including ETM cleaning, reprogramming the engine control module and/or replacement of the ETM. This investigation has been upgraded to an engineering analysis (EA05-021) to continue to assess the safety consequences of ETM failures in the subject vehicles.

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