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.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
58,565 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments

problem #7

Mar 152008

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


Approximately 10 months ago my 2004 Volvo xc-90 AWD had a complete failure of my right rear wheel bearing at 68,000 miles. The dealer recommended repairing both wheel bearings since "it is a common failure on Volvo vehicles" with that in mind, I had them both replaced at a significant financial cost to me. Now, I have been told the angle gear (which drives AWD and is directly tied to the rear wheels) has "burnt out" and is (according to my service advisor) "tied to the previous wheel bearing issue" I had just 19, 000 miles ago. The cost for this repair is $2900 ($1875 just for the part) all at another huge cost to me. All in all, I've spent over $4100 dollars on the rear wheel/angle gears - nothing you should ever have to do before the vehicle is even 4 years old! upon doing research and talking to other Volvo owners, it is very well documented that there is a defect in Volvo's design and performance of their wheel bearings and AWD system, yet no one is doing anything about it. Volvo just provides lip service and doesn't seem to want to admit there is a problem, regardless of the repetitive complaints they have received on these very concerns. I have rigorously maintained this vehicle according to Volvo's recommendations and know these issues aren't caused by any neglect on my behalf. Volvo is playing with peoples lives and money by not taking prescriptive steps to correct these issues - all at a tremendous financial cost to their customers. There needs to be a recall before any serious injuries or deaths occur from failure of these critical vehicle parts, if not, it's only a matter of time before something bad happens.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #6

Jan 282008

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles
Rear hub (bearings) on passenger side failed. This is the third time a rear hub failed. The first time in 2005 the vehicle had 28,000 miles. This time the rear wheel was held on by the brake caliper according to the Volvo dealer that rebuilt it. The second was the driver side rear hub failed in 2007 with 72,000 miles. The third was the passenger side rear hub that failed about a week ago. The vehicle mileage was 84,000. This vehicle is maintained according to the manufacturer's schedule. It is quite dangerous (refer to the first incident). There needs to be a recall would seem to be the correct outcome. Though there is an extended warranty after the 50,000 mile period there has been a cost to us.

- Saint Louis, AR, USA

problem #5

Oct 032007

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,015 miles
I have now experienced the failure of the second rear wheel bearing on my 2004 Volvo xc-90 AWD, with the second failure resulting in the partial separation of the wheel from the vehicle at highway speeds. There is a defect in the design of the wheel bearing, and these bearings should be replaced in the field before ther is a fatality or serious injury. Although Volvo has replaced both bearings under warranty, a brief internet search indicates this is a very common failure on this model. Damage on the second failure resulted in $1800 damage to the vehicle.

- Monroe, MI, USA

problem #4

May 012007

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,500 miles


I have my 2004 XC90 T6. At about 34K miles a noticeable 'thrum' began somewhere in the drivetrain. Original diagnosis was worn tires. After replacing tires, the noise has become worse. Now at 35K miles is very loud. New diagnosis is failing wheel bearing. A bit of research indicates I am not the only XC90 owner with a wheel bearing failure. Wheel bearing failures at 35K miles this should be declares a defect and recalled. Please research this problem.

- Westborough, MA, USA

problem #3

Sep 182006

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles
I have a 2004 Volvo XC90 with roughly 40,000 miles. I just had the rear wheel bearing replaced for the second time. The first time was at roughly 10,000 miles. I am very concerned that they have failed twice. I understand that if the condition of the bearings is bad enough, the wheel can fall off. I feel Volvo should extend the warranty on this beyond 4 years or 50,000 miles.

- Lynnfield, MA, USA

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problem #2

Jul 282006

XC90 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,439 miles
: the contact stated there was a continuous humming noise that became louder as the vehicle speed increased; the humming was present at all speeds. The dealers service mechanic determined the problem was the hub and bearing assembly in the left rear wheel. The part was replaced and the manufacturer was notified. Updated 09/05/06.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #1

Jan 192006

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving at 20mph, the right rear wheel detached from the vehicle. The right rear wheel bearing had fractured and was identified as the root of the problem. The vehicle was towed to the local dealer for inspection; however no repairs were made.

- Troy, NY, USA

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