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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
73,000 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 seat belts / air bags problems

seat belts / air bags problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #2

Dec 162010

XC90 5-cyl

  • 93,000 miles


My husband had a 55mph crash in my 2004 Volvo XC90 on the freeway. He rear ended another driver at top speed, was spun around several times on the freeway and ended up facing traffic. The passenger side airbag deployed, but the driver's side did not. The inspector from my insurance company said there was not reason the driver's side airbag did not deploy at that speed, other than a defect, as far as he was concerned. I contacted Volvo and was basically given the run around about how the airbag should not have deployed and that this was perfectly okay. I would like an investigation especially since my cem system was not operating properly prior to the accident. I had airbag warning, brake failure, etc., and the dealer told me a year ago the cem system was not working properly and needed to be repaired at $1300, which I was not willing to pay.

- Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA

problem #1

Sep 152010

(reported on)

XC90 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles
2004 Volvo XC90. Consumer states problem with transmission the consumer stated the vehicle was jumping into gear or lunging when he applied the accelerator pedal. The consumer stated the original transmission was replaced at 53,000 miles in 2008. The dealer performed a diagnostic check and determined that the front axle had lost a plug and that the transmission had become contaminated and that was the cause of the jumping in the transmission. The repair of the front axle and transmission flush was approved at Volvo's cost. However, diagnostics also revealed the passenger side air bag was defective and needed to be replaced.

- Medina, OH, USA

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