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.


fairly significant
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
9,799 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 steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #3

Aug 162006

(reported on)


  • miles


2004 Volvo XC90 front right tire became disconnected from the axle and collapsed under the vehicle. Upon inspection mechanic determined that the tie rod snapped in half. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and the technician found out that there had been a recall on the tie rod (recall 06V155000). The tire rods were replaced on both side under the recall.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #2

May 242006

XC90 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,398 miles
The front end tie rod broke suddenly on our 2004 Volvo XC90 bringing the car to a complete halt just after my son had pulled on to the exit ramp after driving 35 miles on a major 6 lane highway in New Jersey. We were soooo lucky. Volvo replaced both front end tie rods with what they claim to be a new and improved tie rod. We still question the safety of the car at this point and will not allow our teenagers to drive it on the highway. Volvo usa has been antagonistic with us about taking back the car but our local dealer is willing to trade it for another Volvo.

- Ridgewood, NJ, USA

problem #1

Oct 012004

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,000 miles
I have had numerous failures with my 1990 Volvo: I am on my third set of tires, and I have 30,000 miles. I have had several shock absorbers replaced, a tie rod break, and many electrical problems.

- Roscoe , NY, USA

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