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:
80,000 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 electrical problems

electrical problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #1

Nov 282011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 80,000 miles


I purchased my 04' xc 90 six months ago from a private party (original owner) who kept the car in immaculate condition. The reason I purchased a Volvo was that I wanted a dependable and safe car for myself and my young children. Recently, I was left stranded with my children and no cell service because my key would not turn past position one to turn on the car. There were no signs that the car had anything wrong with it prior to this happening. After finding our way to a telephone and having the car towed to a mechanic I was told that it needed a new ignition switch. I did some research to find that this is a very common problem with Volvo. I read stories on multiple forums that were very similar to mine. My children and I were put into a potentially life threatening situation that easily could have been avoided had there been a recall on the ignition switch. This part is obviously faulty on multiple Volvo models and it seems like it should be something that they should fix.

- Gridley, CA, USA

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