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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #1

Aug 262004


  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


On August, 26, 2004 there was a major malfunction in our Volvo XC90 (2004). While driving with 2 small children in car seats and 2 adults on a major highway; suddendly, there was no acceleration in the gas pedal and the stearing wheel did not function. We managed to slowly move to the side of the road from what momentum was left in the car, and avoid an accident. We were obviously very shaken up, and find this car completely unsafe. It has been 3 weeks now getting the run around with the cherry hill, New Jersey Volvo dealer. They said "there's nothing wrong with the car". the car is unsafe for our family, and presents a danger for others on the road. We are afraid it will stop dead again on a major highway with death or injuries occuring to either ourselves or others. The dealer asked us what we wanted "we finally said, (after they said they'd get us a new SUV and did not) that we want our money back ($3,000 deposit) and we don't want this car they sold us. Today, they made us take this car back and they are refusing our request to refund our money. Also, the car was towed on a flat bed truck in to the dealer on July 13th, 2004 as the car did not start.. "relays were loose in the icm and cem etc.," [we have the service order] on this day, the message on the car said something to the effect "urgent malfunction in SUV air bags..." and we unloaded the family and it was towed to the Volvo dealership. And the car's 2 side mirrors work one day and not the next. Tomorrow I take matthew to his first day at pre-school, and I'm half thinking what if something happens to the car when we're driving. It's amazing to me that Volvo can let me leave their parking lot with this car this evening, and the aren't taking safety seriously at all. So, at 11:00 pm I am up letting the NHTSA know what's going on. We are willing to help in anyway we can. Sincerely, the lawrence family.

- Medford, NJ, USA

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