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 6 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #2

May 152004

XC90 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50 miles


My car makes a throbbing humming noise causing the gas peddle to vibrate while accelerating at a slow speed. The car was brought back to the dealership for review and they said it was normal. I brought it to another dealership for a second opinion. The shop foreman reviewed it and concluded that it was not a normal feature of the car. They had a field technician from the manufacture to look at the car and they do not know what's causing the noise. Coincidently, they had another car owned by Volvo just like mind that made the same noise and vibration. They changed several components in the drive train for that vehicle but the problem was still there. The dealership have no other speculations or suggestions of what to do next. I feel unsafe with my car since Volvo doesn't even know the source of the problem. I contacted customer care center at the very beginning and they did not help much. I contacted the president & CEO of Volvo North America a couple of months ago. I have not heard from them.

- San Francisco, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 202004

XC90 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60 miles
The vehicle have a problem with severe rollback on a slight incline or a steep hill. The vehicle is an automatic transmission, but responds like a manual transmission vehicle when on any type of incline. The dealer and the manufacturer claims that the vehicle is designed to do that.

- Studio City, CA, USA

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