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:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,177 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 fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #30

Jan 032015

XC90 6-cyl

  • miles


2004 Volvo XC90. Consumer writes in regards to a broken fuel pump and leaking gas. The consumer noticed a strong gas smell in the garage. The consumer discovered recall # 09V483000. However, he was never informed.

- San Marcos, CA, USA

problem #29

Dec 052014

XC90 5-cyl

  • 109,581 miles
Smelled gasoline, took it to a shop, they found fuel pump cracked, replaced fuel pump. Then we found out the was a recall in southern states for this problem specifically. We live in the new england area and was told it would not be considered under the recall. I feel completely wronged in this situation. The recall was specific to heat cycling. No were in the us is this more apparent than new england.

- Pembroke, MA, USA

problem #28

Jun 202014

XC90 5-cyl

  • 152,105 miles
Upon leaving out for the day vehicle hesitated somewhat when I would accelerate on gas pedal. After driving for only 5 mls. Vehicle started sputtering, I thought maybe I should stop and get gas that would solve the problem but no the problem continued and got worse, as long as I was just coasting it was ok, but upon accelerating is when it felt like it was about to stall and there was also fuel smell when accelerating. The sputtering & shaking and rough sound worsen as well. I spoke with an auto repairman and he informed me of the vehicles recalls on fuel system and that it was most definitely what my situation was with my Volvo.

- Youngstown, OH, USA

problem #27

Apr 072012


  • 189,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that fuel fumes were emitting from the vehicle intermittently. The contact notified the dealer of the safety concern and was informed that the vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign id number: 09V483000 (fuel system, gasoline). The vehicle was to be inspected by an authorized dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 189,000.

- Kaufman, TX, USA

problem #26

Jun 302013

XC90 5-cyl

  • miles
For about 2 months now I have been smelling loud odors of gas/fuel inside the car coming from the left side of my 2004 Volvo XC90. The smell is becoming unbearable causing headaches. I had my husband look under my car to see if there was an obvious leak. He noticed that the side of the fuel tank was wet, he wiped the tank off making it dry drove the car around a couple blocks parked it & checked under the car again, the tank was wet on the side of the fuel tank again with fuel leaking from somewhere. Again no obvious spot or location of the leak was seen & its not a bad leak whereas you can see it dripping, but it is leaking from somewhere. My car is also experiencing a slow sluggish start in my opinion due to the fuel issue. I've done some research & found out this is a common problem with certain Volvo's (01-05 S80, 01-04 V70/S60/XC70, 03-05 XC90) when exposed to certain environmental condition for example hot climates & temperatures. When Volvo vehicles are exposed to these conditions in combination with fuel quality there's a higher/greater chance that the fuel pump can develop/become cracked, damaged, or pinched in the fuel pump flange of which causes an air leak in the fuel vapor system. Also 2004 XC90 models has the most overall complaints. I need more info on how & where Volvo can fix this issue because again upon researching this Volvo has done a major recall for a faulty fuel pump of which includes my car based off info I have found. Hopefully I will be contacted immediately because from what I understand this issue will only become worse & in some cases upon starting the ignition can strike or cause a fire. Thanks.

- Westmont, IL, USA

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problem #25

Sep 162012

XC90 6-cyl

  • 110,000 miles
Back in September of 2012 my car started stalling off and on. It can happen several times a day or once a week or once a month. I have put thousands of dollars into trying to remedy the problem with no success. I finally took my car to the Volvo dealership where I purchased my car in 2003. They informed me that the problem is related to a defective fuel pump that Volvo was required by the NHTSA to notify owners of my same vehicle, (as well as many other model Volvo), that the warranty was extended to 10 years/150,000 miles. I never received that notice from Volvo. I have had the same address since I purchased the car so there is no excuse why I should not have received it. If I had known that this problem existed I would have considered having the fuel pump checked out and saved myself thousands of dollars. The stalling issue has been very dangerous, and almost cost me and my family our lives. At times it has stalled in the middle of intersections and I've come close to being rear ended and hit on the passenger or driver side door. Most recently it stalled after I stopped at a T in a hwy and was trying to turn left. It left me in the middle of a two lane hwy, on a blind curve, that people coming either direction could not see my car. I could have been hit by a car coming at least 55 mph and it could have turned into a very nasty accident. Angels where watching over me and my family that day. I hope that the NHTSA looks into why Volvo did not follow through on their agreement to notify all owners of vehicles involved in the extended warranty. I purchased a Volvo mainly because they have a reputation of being a safe car but lately it hasn't been.

- Eugene, OR, USA

problem #24

Dec 092011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 132,100 miles


Last summer we purchase a 2004 Volvo xc 90 and after review of carfax notice we saw a recall on the fuel pump. We took it in for the recall and Volvo of new bern, nc change out the part. I have noticed a strong smell of gas and the Volvo is leaking out fuel from where the fuel tank is located under the passenger seat on the driver side. We have notified both Volvo home office aswell as Volvo of new bern with no luck. We were told it should not be leaking. And on top of that the front passenger door while driving just pop open and we have to keep slamming it to get it to stay closed, and well as the passenger door on the right side will not open from the inside.

- Jacksonville, NC, USA

problem #23

Oct 052011


  • 86,000 miles
Fuel lines from the tank to the engine component started to leak and a fuel smell got the attention of a passerby which made me aware of the problem and made me turn off my vehicle.

- Ridgewood , NY, USA

problem #22

Nov 162010


  • 63,500 miles
My vehicle was recalled for a fuel pump issue by the NHTSA. In a letter dated 9/13/2010, Volvo cars of North America outlined the reason for the recall and specifically advised: Please schedule an appointment at your local authorized Volvo retailer as soon as possible to have this important safety recall performed at no charge. I contacted my Volvo retailer and was specifically advised to bring my car in with as little fuel as possible because the technicians would have to drain the tanks to conduct the repair. I followed this order to the letter and dropped my vehicle off for the "no charge" recall repair. At drop off, I had also specifically requested the service department to contact me with an estimate for a repair to the third row seat and right turn signal before correcting. The service department did call with the estimate for the seat repair and I agreed to the $100 charge. In the afternoon when my husband picked up my Volvo, I had been charged $53.72 for fuel that I never authorized. When I called to complain, I was told the vehicle had to be fueled in order to check the repair. If that was the case, then why was I told to bring it in empty and never told that Volvo would take the Liberty to fill it up without my approval? $54 dollars is not the issue--the issue is that Volvo wanted to make an easy repair with a car they did not have to drain gas from the tank and store. I could have brought my car in with a full tank and it was Volvo's responsibility to repair my car "at no charge". instead, Volvo shifted their burden to me and then made me pay to make it easier for their repair technicians.

- Santa Clara , CA, USA

problem #21

Jul 262010


  • 71,779 miles
Appointment set with Volvo dealer on 07/26/2010 for fuel pump recall. After the service I experienced even more stronger gasoline odor while driving. Felt nausea I had to have all windows down. Called the dealer's service department in the same day afternoon, I was told that the odor should dissipate within 2 weeks. Is it normal" how can I verify"

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #20

Jan 282010


  • 32,400 miles


Driving on 210-West, my car lost power without warning. The fuel pump had been replaced on Jan. 26, 2010, to correct the strong smell of gasoline inside and outside of the car. Other problems have been replacing the brake pads twice, replacing the ABS, faulty gps and cd player, front passenger door automatic lock needs motor replaced, sloshing sound of water heard inside the car after rain.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #19

Sep 012009


  • 75,000 miles
I own a 2004 Volvo xc 90 SUV. I began smelling strong gasoline fumes/odors inside the vehicle and outside the vehicle. This smell is getting stronger and is starting to cause headaches and eye and nose irritation to me and passengers. It appears to be a huge problem with this model because many people have expressed the same complaint and are also concerned about the other potential safety/health issue being a possible fire or explosion from these gasoline fumes.

- Boynton Beach, FL, USA

problem #18

Sep 012009


  • 75,000 miles
I own a 2004 Volvo XC90 AWD T6. There always is a strong odor of fuel outside the car and sometimes inside the car. This smell began in September 2009. I live in the tampa area of Florida.

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #17

Nov 012009


  • 85,000 miles
2004 Volvo XC90-strong odor of gasoline in garage and inside of vehicle. The smell becomes stronger after driving and filling up.

- Newnan, GA, USA

problem #16

Nov 022009


  • 84,239 miles
I have had my 2004 Volvo XC90 for 2 years, no issue until 3 weeks ago started smelling fuel odor. 1 week ago, started having slow sluggish engine starts. I checked under vehicle near gas tank and noticed tank was saturated with fuel. No repairs to vehicle at this time, waiting for recall. This appears to be an issue with a large number of same year and model with issue.

- Keystone Heights, FL, USA

problem #15

Nov 162009


  • 86,603 miles
My 2004 Volvo xc-90 began to emit a strong fuel odor when parked in my garage. I did not notice any fuel leakage (I.e. stains on the ground under the car). I began parking my car outside as the gas water heater is located in the garage. The fuel odor is noticeable both in the car when driving and when parked. I took the vehicle to the dealer to diagnose and repair. The dealer replaced the fuel pump and because I mentioned similar complaints logged from this website, I was only charged for the labor ($784). After the vehicle was returned to me, I washed the undercarriage well and parked outside for several days to "air" it out. I began parking in the garage again and the fuel odor was still present (the garage does not have a fuel odor when the vehicle is not parked in it.). I bought and replaced the gas cap as I noticed that the rubber gasket was cracked. That did not help. I have since taken it back to the dealer for more diagnosis and repair. This is a major safety concern! I find it hard to believe that there has not been a voluntary recall. I am curious as to the result of NHTSA's preliminary evaluation (PE09-039) of similar complaints, of which the number of complaints seems to be increasing everytime I look at this website. Please help!

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #14

Oct 012009


  • miles
I have a 2004 XC90 that has a fuel pump damage. There is some sort of a leak where the gas odor comes in the cabin. I brought it out to the dealer and it would cost me close to a $1000 to fix it. I've heard of people with similar problem and I believe it to be bigger problem than what Volvo said to me. They said it was wear and tear but I have friends that drive different cars and I've never heard of fuel pump problem. Can you let me know if this is an isolated problem or a company-wide issue? thanks.

- Sugar Land, TX, USA

problem #13

Sep 012009


  • 68,000 miles
Persistent strong gas smell in/out of car. Upon investigation, gas leak on/around fuel pump with residue visible on bottom of gas tank.

- Macungie, PA, USA

problem #12

Oct 202009


  • 69,500 miles
My 2004 Volvo XC90 had to have the fuel pump replaced because it was leaking fuel and there was a strong odor of fuel in the car and when it was stopped.

- Ashland, OR, USA

problem #11

Aug 102009


  • 53,000 miles
2004 Volvo xc 90 fuel pump leak. Strong odor emits from vehicle. Spoke with Volvo na hq, has no documents on this. However, other gov and vehicle reporting agencies have documents supporting evidence of complaints on same vehicle. At this time no recall issued. If recall is issued, consumer is "entitled to reimbursement". lisa @ na hq 10/29/09.

- Scottsdale, AZ, USA

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