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:
70,841 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2004 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments (Page 2 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #82

Jun 232010


  • 70,000 miles


Vehicle has already had the transmission replaced at least once by previous owner. It went out again on us at about 70,000 miles. Had transmission replaced with "new high class Volvo parts" transmission. Now the engine is 3 times louder than before and we're in some serious money for our car. We're very disappointed.

- Ogden, UT, USA

problem #81

Jun 242010


  • 85,000 miles
2004 Volvo XC90 T6 transmission failure while driving. Lost power difficult to drive car to safe parking space.

- Safety Harbor, FL, USA

problem #80

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 #79

Jun 102010


  • 112,000 miles


Purchased a 2005 Volvo SC90. One owner been to Volvo dealer every time it has been serviced. Seemed like a good deal. This is a weekend vehicle. And well the transmission went out at 112000 miles. Only 4500 to fix. I really thought Volvo was a reliable vehicle. What a joke something is really wrong with this.

- Manchester, TN, USA

problem #78

Jun 062010


  • 57,100 miles
Purchased an '04 Volvo XC90 T6 on May 1st from a private seller. Did research on the vehicle through msn reliability, Volvo, etc. Only issue highlighted was engine concerns, not transmission. It wasn't until the transmission went out on June 6th that I found numerous consumer complaints about the transmission going out at around 60K miles. Mine went out at approx. 57K miles. I've contacted Volvo and asked about recalls, etc. And was told I should've driven my car, or had it towed 40+ miles to the dealership to have it diagnosed to then have it repaired at the dealership so that I might get a reimbursed. About two weeks prior to the "transmission service urgent" message on the dash I received a "coolant low stop engine." I've taken my Volvo to a certified Volvo repair service where the cost is going to be $5,335. The transmission went out after getting off the interstate and coming to a stop at a red light. When I tried to accelerate the car just wound.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #77

Jun 082004


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volvo XC90. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph the transmission failed. The engine was still on, but the vehicle did not accelerate when the accelerator pedal was engaged. The service transmission light was illuminated. The vehicle had not been inspected when the complaint was filed. The failure and current mileages were 120,000.

- Jonesboro, GA, USA

problem #76

May 292010


  • 60,000 miles


Transmission not working properly only have 60,000 miles on car.

- Yonkers, NY, USA

problem #75

May 242010


  • 47,000 miles
Transmission slips, 47,000 easy miles on Volvo xc 90 T6.

- Orangevale, CA, USA

problem #74

Apr 262000


  • 92,000 miles
1. I was driving my vehicle when the transmission did not shift from 2nd gear up on the highway. The check engine light came on, coolant low and urgent service of transmission. 2. the transmission issue was constant. 3. we took our vehicle to the Volvo dealership garage. It was determined that we needed a transmission replacement as well as coolant and other engine parts replaced. We were told that the faulty transmission damaged these other parts. We spoke to Volvo customer service and they originally acknowledged a problem with the T6 transmissions and said that Volvo would pay for the parts but not labor. We found out the labor would be $2000 or more. We called Volvo back and spoke to a debbie that threatened us if we pushed for Volvo to pay for labor, she might take back the original offer of paying for parts and told us she might have been willing to pay for labor if we had used a Volvo dealership for all of the inspection or other service saying "money in and money out of Volvo".

- Seneca Falls, NY, USA

problem #73

Apr 132010


  • 65,000 miles
At 65,000 the transmission on my Volvo XC90 began slipping and causing stuttering after doing research online found that there is an abundance of people with the same problem. This defect is known to Volvo and they still over charge to replace the transmission.

- Portsmouth, VA, USA

problem #72

Mar 272010


  • 57,000 miles


2004 Volvo XC90, lost power during normal city driving. The transmission will not engage the car will not move forward. The transmission engages in other gears. After about 1 hr, the service transmission light came on. The vehicle only has 57,000 miles on it. The car had to be towed in for service. Judging from the number of complaints on the interenet, this appears to be a common problem with this model Volvo.

- Washington, DC, USA

problem #71

Mar 102010


  • 104,000 miles
Purchased a 2004 Volvo T6 XC90 used with 98,000 miles. At 104000 the trasnmission failed. They need $6500 to repair it. If it had gone at 99,999 they would pay for the repair as it is a known issue and are paying for 100% if under 100,000. for addtional testimony. Thank you

- Spencer, MA, USA

problem #70

Oct 162009


  • 42,000 miles
In August of 2009 I began noticing that my Volvo XC90 T6 was slow to switch gears or would chug before switching. It would not happen all of the time and when I mentioned it to my husband he said he had not noticed it. I figured it was no big deal or that it was related to a cold engine. During the middle of October 2009, I was coming home from work and merging onto a two lane bridge when my Volvo refused to switch gears and would not go over 20 miles per hour. The transmission light went on. Thankfully no other cars were around and my lack of speed did not cause an accident. After about 10 minutes I was able to speed up and made it back home. The car is in need of a new transmission. It has sat in my driveway for 5 months because I can not afford it. I've gotten online only to find out that I am now a member of a rapidly growing club of frustrated Volvo owners. It frustrates me that this is a common problem with this year/make of Volvo's. my car has 40,000 miles on it. The transmission problem in these cars needs to be formally addressed. It is a huge safety hazard when a car all of a sudden jerks around and won't accelerate to safely merge into fast moving traffic.

- Vancouver, WA, USA

problem #69

Mar 062010


  • 89,000 miles
2004 XC90 has a huge problem with transmission problems. For a brand new 2004 xc 90, every two years expect to change the transmission. Otherwise you will stuck in the freeway especially you are planning to travel, do not use that car if it's close to two years.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #68

Feb 172010


  • 122,450 miles
Failure of the Volvo-modified GM 4T65ev/GT transmission in 2003-2005 Volvo XC90 T6 SUV. Known to Volvo worldwide (and well documented in many internet chat forums) is a design flaw in the Volvo modification of the valve body in the GM 4T65ev/GT transmission causing sudden and often catastrophic failure of the transmission. The transmission may go into "limp home" mode leaving only 3rd gear available, or may seize completely. Many owners have reported sudden inability to accelerate from a stop creating traffic collision hazard. Many owners report pressing accelerator with no forward motion, only increasing engine RPM, then sudden engagement of transmission causing lurching and potential loss of control. I personally own a 2004 Volvo XC90 T6 SUV with this transmission. The vehicle now has over 122,500 miles. It had its first transmission replacement at 72K miles at a cost of over $4700 usd to me. Now, 50K later at 122K, the transmission has failed again. Volvo cars of North America has denied requests for reimbursement of my initial transmission replacement. They offered 50% on parts and labor "when the next transmission is needed". this occurred last week; my dealership asked Volvo cars of North America to reconsider paying the full amount and they did. I want the first replacement transmission cost reimbursed to me and every other owner that has had to pay for an engineering problem that Volvo has admitted to. I also seek a definitive repair so I may utilize this vehicle for what it was designed for; towing, light off-roading, carrying my 6 daughters and wife safely.

- Gurnee, IL, USA

problem #67

Jul 232007


  • 54,000 miles
Transmission failure twice and fuel pump replaced and still leaking in our Volvo XC90 2004 T6 truck. Volvo replaced the transmission twice, but we still had repair costs both times. Fuel pump replaced and still leaking causing large amounts of gas fumes in vehicle. Taking into Volvo to fix fuel pump again today that is covered under the recall but just got it back from 2nd transmission repair where I had to pay for the internal engine leaks that could not be detected that in turn contaminated the 2nd transmission. I do not believe I should have paid $1600 in repairs when it has been serviced and cannot detect these internal oil leaks from the engine. This make and model year has been costly and dangerous. Truck has stopped in the middle of left turn, almost resulting in head on collision. This truck seems to fall under lemon law. We have had problems with this truck since has had 2 transmission replacements and now 2 fuel pumps, both Volvo pumps. I should incur zero costs other than oil changes and general maintenance. These are major equipment failures in this Volvo XC90 T6 2004 and the entire vehicle should be recalled. I will be submitting my repair costs to Volvo North America. Thank you for your review of this in advance.

- Saint Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #66

Jan 022009


  • 126,000 miles
On the way bringing our daughter home from hospital, third gear went out of the transmission. After saving enough money to replace the transmission, not five thousand miles later the reverse goes out of the transmission that we replaced, leaving my six month old daughter and I stranded. The vehicle is now sitting at the transmission shop, and has been for seven months, waiting to get fixed. However, I am now a single mother trying to go to school and live off of financial aid, so what I am saying; there is obviously something wrong with these transmissions. Please investigate further.

- Athens , OH, USA

problem #65

Jan 282010


  • 32,400 miles
Driving on 210-West, my car lost power without warning. The fuel pump had been replaced on Jan. 26, 2010, to correct the strong smell of gasoline inside and outside of the car. Other problems have been replacing the brake pads twice, replacing the ABS, faulty gps and cd player, front passenger door automatic lock needs motor replaced, sloshing sound of water heard inside the car after rain.

- Alta Loma, CA, USA

problem #64

Sep 062009


  • 50,000 miles
I own a 2004 Volvo XC90 SUV. In September 2009, during an out of town trip, the transmission emergency indicator light came on reading "urgent transmission service required". the Volvo was taken to a Volvo dealer in MA. And the software was reprogrammed and the vehicle checked. The light went out and I drove home to in. On Jan. 11, 2010, the transmission light came on again and my Volvo was taken to the dealer checked and software reprogrammed. In addition, the Volvo was slow to excellerate and a noise was evident in the rear end of the vehicle, on Jan. 13, 2010, the transmission light came on a third time and the Volvo is now parked at the dealer awaiting a new transmission. I thought a transmission is suppossed to last for ten years. Is this not true" they will give me a new transmission with only a one year guarantee. Is this fair? was there a defect in this particular make / model / year of Volvo"

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #63

Jan 182010


  • 75,580 miles
My 2004 Volvo XC90 T6 with 75000 miles on it that I bought brand new, out of the blue with no warning had total transmission failure on the tri-state tollway. Had regular servicing and maintenance performed never had loss of fluids or any signs or warning lights. Estimated over $6000 to repair. I can't believe this.

- Norridge, IL, USA

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