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:
60,469 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 #8

May 282016


  • 125,000 miles


Car moved to right when applying brakes. Car clunks when making turns. Car very noisy when going over bumps/ potholes.

- Garfield, NJ, USA

problem #7

Dec 272014


  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that while driving approximately 15 mph, the front end of the vehicle independently traveled out of lane. In addition, the anti skid warning light illuminated. The failure recurred continuously. The vehicle had not been diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 98,000. Kmj

- Groton, CT, USA

problem #6

Jun 172010


  • 90,000 miles
2004 Volvo xc 90 and transmission is failing, as well as motor mounts, wheel bearing boots, etc. Dealer knows about these recurring issues with others of same year, but claims it is only my issue. Purchase price was ~$55K and with only 90K miles I should not now have to spend ~$5K for a new tranny. Rip-off

- Moraga, CA, USA

problem #5

Dec 172008


  • 15,000 miles


Transmission replaced two times, at approx. 38,000 and at about 48,000 miles. Units start slipping when shifting to second gear and leave you right where you are until they decide to rengage. Ball joints and all four hubs replaced by 50,000 miles. Axles (front) need replacing now at 70,000 miles. Sway bar ends replaced at 55,000 miles. This is the neediest vehicle I have ever owned. Front bearings on drive shaft replaced last month, worn since abut fifteen thousand miles, finally got so loud that we could shake the drive shaft and get a quarter of play at the bearing set.

- Augusta, GA, USA

problem #4

Jun 032008


  • 76,000 miles
Transmission replaced June 08 front control arms and bushings and coolant reservoir replaced Sept. 08 thermostat & housing & temp sensor replaced Jan. 08 brake vacuum pump replaced for 2nd time Jan. 08 brake vacuum pump replaced Sept. 07 gasket, O-ring, hose clamp recall Sept. 07 power steering pump and brake vacuum pump installed July 07 steering rack solenoid replaced July 07 - (recall May 3, 08?) new Bridgestone tires May 07 upper engine torques mount replaced March 07 recall wiper arm 156, ball joint 157 Oct. 06 brake pad & rotors replaced Oct 06 upgrade software a & C July 05 ABS brakes warranty fix May 06 front pads & rear pads & rotors replaced Dec. 05 exhaust rubbing on driveline, install kit to hold exhaust off driveline Dec. 05 left rear wheel bearing & hub, rear pads & rotors replaced June 05 4 new tires June 05 turbo control valve replaced March 05 front pads and rotors replaced Oct. 04.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

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problem #3

Jun 302006

XC90 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,750 miles
Unsafe front suspension repaired 4 times by Volvo involving district factory technical supervisor and technicians on 3 of four occasions and the vehicle still has serious safety and handling concerns - no one in the family will drive the car. It has also had serious performance related safety issues regarding vehicle electronics virtually shutting the vehicle down in the middle of an interstate. Anti skid problems on multiple occasions. Drivers seat belt anchor was improperly attached and would not have held in an accident. The steering wheel came dangerously loose while driving and the dealership stated that it had never been properly affixed. (I have owned 300 cars in my life and never has a steering wheel come loose)! tires were abnormally badly and quickly due to significant suspension problems and were not warranty by the manufacture.. electrical problems caused several fuses to blow in the dark effectively turning all rear marker and tail lights off. It was necessary to drive with the hazard lights on to avoid being hit by another driver.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #2

Jun 152007

XC90 4WD 5-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volvo XC90. The contact heard a noise while driving 25-30 mph. There were no warning indicators. The rear bearing axle was replaced. The tumbler ignition lock failed and the key could not be removed. The vehicle was towed and the ignition lock was replaced. The VIN, purchase date, and engine size were unknown. The current mileage is 74,000 and failure mileage was 70,000. Updated 02-01-08 updated 02/01/08

- Barnegat, NJ, USA

problem #1

Jan 052004

XC90 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
When applying the brakes at normal conditions brakes locked up. Also, while driving at any speed left wheel pulled to the left. Dealer inspected vehicle several times, but could not duplicate or correct the problems.

- Brooklyn, MI, USA

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