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:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
41,366 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

Jul 112010


  • 60,731 miles


At about 60,000 miles while the vehicle, a 2004 Volvo xc 90 T6 was in operation at 55 mph the power to the dash and all accessories went dead. The horn, the blinkers, the speedometer (radio, power windows etc.) all failed to work even as the car was in operation and was being driven on the highway. Later upon restart there was an error code in the dash, in the icm I believe they call it (infotainment control module), saying urgent SRS (supplemental support system- aka side airbags) service urgent ?or something to that effect. The dealer used their proprietary reader to decipher the error codes and we were told that the dim, or driver information module for the SRS system had gone bad, it had a short. They said if we did not replace it they said that the short could override communication of the other modules and electronics on that same circuit and we might lose other controls including possibly an unexpected engine shutdown or other operational abilities. $ $1532 later, and less than two days after we had the SUV repaired, we had a repeat of the complete dash power failure. This time we were too worried to turn the car off and instead drove directly to the dealer without a speedometer, horn, gas gauge or turn signals. We checked and the wipers remained operational. Upon restart at the dealership the same error message appears- SRS service urgent. But this time the dealer reads the diagnostic error codes and tells us that it is likely a cem, or central electronic module- (about $1200 + tax) but they add it might be the dem or differential electronic module. It seems ludicrous that necessary electronic controls would not have protection from cross failures, and that a bad dim or cem would place the operators and passengers at risk by knocking out other controls. Of course I am wondering how to determine if the dealer is right this time and even more concerned about experiencing another blackout.

- Ny, NY, USA

problem #1

Mar 252005

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
March 25, 2005 had wreck, hit rear driver's side door; air bags on drivers side door and driver side rear door did not deploy. Volvo will not cooperate with car owner to fix problem with air bags. They said air bags did deploy. Owner would like further research on side curtin air bags.

- Franklin, TN, USA

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