Notes: The XC90 took its “freshman 15” of transmission complaints and turned it into a “sophomore 45.” The 2004 XC90 saw 3X as many complaints about the transmission failing as it did in its inaugural North American model year! By the following year, transmission complaints fell back in line with the 2003. That sharp spike in complaints means we recommend avoiding the 2004.

On top of transmission complaints, the 2004 XC90 also has problems with a sudden loss of power. The lucky ones are met with a “reduced engine performance” message, while others are left stranded on the side of the road waiting for a tow.


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
44,506 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.

2004 Volvo XC90 body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #7

Jan 152015


  • 113,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volvo XC90. While driving at any speed, the vehicle jerked and lost power. The contact also heard water running on the right passenger side door and underneath the dashboard. The air bag warning light illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 113,00. The VIN was not provided.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #6

Mar 052013


  • miles
Last year(2013) I noticed when it rain, my driver side floor will be occasionally damped. It was random and didn't happen everytime it rained, so I blew it off. As spring of 2014 approaches & the rain becomes more frequent in Illinois, my driver floor becomes more & more wet, not damped but soaking wet. Puddle of water that is. Im not sure what it is, but as I research the problem I find several complaints of the issue being a sunroof drain issue. My issue is increasing & if someone can provide more information on this it would be greatly appreciated, because my carpet is ruined & smelly.

- Westmont, IL, USA

problem #5

Apr 182012


  • 90,000 miles
The sunroof drain has a design flaw that can cause water to enter the passenger compartment and/or electrical systems. This can present simply as water on the floor boards. But it can also present in more subtle ways with water coming in contact with electrical systems and being drawn throughout the car through copper wires acting as conduit (this effects speaker quality, radio function, cruise control function etc). Most importantly, water can accumulate in the compartment under the front passenger seat that houses the dynamic stability traction control system putting safety at risk. We have experienced this with our XC90 but see many complaints regarding other Volvo models. This is a significant safety concern but most concerning because of its subtle nature, slow progression, and prohibitive costs to repair. Many people are driving around with compromised systems and are not yet aware, unable to recognize the cause, or unable to fund the repair.

- Spokane, WA, USA

problem #4

Jan 152011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 108,540 miles


Liquid (probably water) inside the frame of Volvo XC90 causing electrical issues.

- Niskayuna, NY, USA

problem #3

May 102009


  • miles
Discoloring of hood notice the hood paint is cracking and peeling. Taken it to and body shop and it was a Volvo special stated the car was hood was repainted before purchase now its peeling and discoloring which it will spread.

- Smyrna De, DE, USA

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problem #2

Apr 012009


  • miles
My Volvo XC90 2004, driver's side gets flooded during heavy rain. During light rain, the interior will get damp. When I start the car, I hear a water slushing sound, coming somewhere from the car. My mechanic said this is due to a Volvo design flaw. The sunroof drains are narrow, and it gets clogged and redirects the water inside the panels of the car. Also the windshield drains have the same problem. I cannot believe a luxury car can have such a major flaw. I need the flaw fixed, since it is the manufacturer's fault. I am tired of driving with water up to my ankles-it is dangerous!

- Marietta, GA, USA

problem #1

Sep 282008


  • miles
A rain storm caused flooding into my 2004 Volvo XC90 destroying the interior. The water damage came into the car from the sun roof I was told by a Volvo service advisor that the drain in the sun roof was clogged which caused the interior flood. The problem is that during routine Volvo maintenance this so called drained was not cleaned. I was never told that there was a drain in the sun roof. This problem cost $1900 and lost of my car for four days. I did nothing wrong and feel this is manufacture defect I would like to be reimbursed to avoid the additional cost of small claims cost your prompt attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated.

- Brooklyn, NY, USA

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