Notes: The 2nd generation XC70 has a transmission issue and the 2003 model year seems to be the worst of it. These are still solidly built and comfortable cars, but if you're looking at buying used you might be better off avoiding the 2003 unless it has already had its transmission replaced.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
81,333 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 XC70 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Volvo XC70 Owner Comments

problem #3

Feb 152012

XC70 5-cyl

  • 116,000 miles


I was driving my 2003 Volvo XC70 at the posted speed limit (55mph) when the dashboard suddenly went black and all of the gauges, including speedometer, tachometer, gas gauge, and clock stopped working. Every warning light lit up. The Volvo dealer admitted they had seen this issue before. The cost to replace the dim was over $1400 and I had no choice but to pay it since I was not going to drive my car with no speedometer or gas gauge. The dim replacement is now only warranted for two years, so I may find myself in the exact same boat in the future if the new dim also fails. Researching this issue online, I found that this was a known problem, particularly for 2003 Volvo models. After finding the NHTSA website, I also found that someone else had recently reported the exact same problem and also noted that the dim failure could impact the proper operation of the airbag system. Clearly, this is a safety issue that is affecting more than just a few isolated Volvo owners. Volvo should assume responsibility for this problem, issue a recall and pay for these repairs. The dim module is a computer part and its failure is obviously not the result of expected "wear and tear." Instead, it appears to be a defective part that the manufacturer should replace to prevent accidents that can be caused by the sudden loss of the dashboard system and possible negative effect on the operation of the airbags. Please do what you can to have Volvo address this problem. Thank you.

- Dublin, NH, USA

problem #2

Apr 152011

XC70 5-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
The driver information module (dim) on my 2003 Volvo XC70 began intermittently going out. During this time, I took the vehicle to a Volvo dealer for diagnostics. The dealer informed me that the dim was bad and would need to be re-manufactured as it is a "car specific" part. The cost of the job was going to be around $1,400. I could not afford the repair. Awhile later, the dim went completely out leaving without the ability to see how fast I'm driving, how much gas I have, warning lights, etc. When the dim went completely out, I began doing a great deal of research ob this problem to see if I could have the dim repaired/replaced cheaper than I was quoted by the dealer. Upon research, I found that a great number of 2003 Volvo XC70 owners were experiencing the same problem. Many Volvo mechanics and owners, refer to this problem as not being unusual. In addition, not having a dim poses many, obvious safety hazards, such as speeding, car breaking down on the road, etc. Also, I was told by the Volvo mechanic that driving the vehicle without a functioning dim could prevent my airbags from deploying. Finally, I noticed that many owners were replacing the dim's which is leading to a number of cars that do not show correct mileage for the vehicle. Apparently, one can replace the dim with a used dim, much cheaper, but because the dim is a "car specific" part, once the dim is replaced the dim will note the mileage of the vehicle that the dim came out of. In my non-expert, humble opinion, if this problem has become "normal, " the problem should be covered by Volvo; it seems that the production was faulty. In addition, Volvo should be responsible considering the faulty dim is a safety hazard.

- Ardmore, TN, USA

problem #1

Sep 102010


  • 0 miles
Shortly after buying my 2003 Volvo 70xc I read that black cars have a troubling higher rate of accidents. I had unfortunately purchased a black Volvo. I noticed that there is no chrome anywhere on the body, including the rear. There are no side lights, no door lights (my 1993 has door lights when the door opens to alert other drivers that there is a door open), nothing to help with safety issues, yet they advertise as being such a safe car. Having outside indicators on a black car is safety 101. I think that Volvo should be made to add outside safety features to this model.

- Malden On Hudson, NY, USA

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