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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
113,825 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #1

Apr 252009


  • 113,825 miles


While driving in heavy traffic on April 25, 2009, my 2004 Volvo XC90 began jerking and then there was a sudden loss of power, the instrument panel swooped to the far right and then back to left with no other movement, the radio shut off, the windshield wipers began wiping, and the door locks and windows would not work. Shortly thereafter, the message box displayed "brake failure-stop safely", and then changed to "SRS airbag _service urgent". once we stopped, the vehicle would not start again. I disconnected the battery in hopes of resetting the computer. Once this was done the car started again. Messages are still displayed. We contacted Volvo corporate and have an appointment with a local dealership tomorrow. This is a serious safety issue and it is not the first time I have submitted a complaint for this same type problem. I have been a faithful, repeat Volvo customer, and would like to continue to support Volvo. My loyalty is slowly fading, especially after reading several complaints of the same nature. Volvo please don't let a death occur before you take action.

- Decatur, GA, USA

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