hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,802 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.

2005 Volvo XC90 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2005 Volvo XC90 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #38

Aug 122006


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Volvo XC90. While driving approximately 65 mph, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealer where the technicians stated that the transmission had to be replaced. After the replacement, the failure recurred approximately 40,000 miles after the transmission was replaced. The vehicle was not further repaired. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 60,000.

- Brookfield, CT, USA

problem #37

Jun 132011


  • 124,000 miles
Transmission problem on 2005 XC90 T6. Slipping and shifting problems. Found metal chunks in transmission oil pan. Reported to Volvo na for "goodwill" repair or replacement. Denied because vehicle has over 100K miles. Vehicle is only used on weekends an long trips. Not being driven hard. Volvo not living up to expectations or reputation.

- Vallejo, CA, USA

problem #36

May 202011

XC90 8-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
Transmission complete failure at 92,000 miles. Appears to be a material manufacturing defect. Volvo tech spec describes defective part, yet Volvo dealership requiring complete replacement of transmission.

- Fort Mitchell, KY, USA

problem #35

Apr 272011

XC90 6-cyl

  • 53,000 miles


I have an 2005 Volvo XC90 with only 53,000 miles and the transmission has already gone out leaving my family stranded on the side of the freeway.

- Aliso Viejo, CA, USA

problem #34

Mar 132011


  • 72,000 miles
I purchased a 2005 XC90 V8 AWD with 65000, after a month or so I noticed hard shifting, yesterday we took a trip up the mountain and I actually lost my transmission for a min, it slipped out of place while passing a vehichle, RPM shot up to 5-6K, it kicked back in again once we slowed and we pulled to the side to make sure it would stay in gear before going again. Now it has gone back to hard shifting occasionally. I feel very unsafe and found lots of reports of similar incidents. Contacting Volvo has not been helpful at all they want 7K for a new crappy built transmission. New veh 45K and new transmission every 50K mi, what a deal this car is. I dont want to wait till me or my family is hurt or killed to report it.

- Phoenix, AZ, USA

problem #33

Nov 012010


  • 60,000 miles
60,000 miles on a 1995 Volvo XC90 and the transmission just failed for the fourth time. The transmission was already replaced three times. Failure results in car stopping without warning. Anytime, anyplace, it just loses power.

- Palmdale , CA, USA

problem #32

Sep 282010


  • 42,000 miles


2005 Volvo xc 90 T6 transmission failure and turn signal not operating.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #31

Sep 132010


  • 102,201 miles
Me and my wife just bought our first Volvo 4 days ago!!! and my wife was on the high way with our 7 month old son when the transmission failed on her and they almost got into a car accident. Thank god she was able to pull over on the side of the high way and call aaa and we had the car towed to the Volvo dealer were we bought it from because they gave us a 3 month/ 3000 mile warranty. And now it's been 3 days and we have no car and the dealer is saying that they are trying to reprogram the transmission. I wish that I would have read some of these reviews on this model car. Because they all seem to have transmission problems and they should have recalled that problem. What should we do? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Erie, PA, USA

problem #30

Sep 032010


  • 63,000 miles
I own a 2005 Volvo xc 90 model T6 with about 60,000 miles on it. Recently, the car failed and I got the "urgent transmission service" warning. Volvo initially wanted to charge me nearly $7000 to replace the transmission but finally agreed to cover the cost (minus a $160 "diagnosis plus my towing costs). After some internet research I saw that this has been a common problem in model year 2003-2005 T6 models; all catastrophic transmission failures with low mileage, in some cases multiple transmissions involved. See attached link: townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.F18A651 talking to the service representative, they claimed it was because they used a GM transmission that was not able to handle the power of the engine (or perhaps the weight of the car). They installed a "remanufactured" transmission, they claim with "beefed up" clutch parts. There have been service bulletins since 2008 about leaks from the radiator contaminating the transmission fluid (leading to failures as well). It is my understanding that there have been hundreds of these failures. There is also a class action lawsuit underway as well. In my case, I was on a major highway, and it was a very dangerous situation. I don't understand why the government is not doing anything about this, as I was able to find a great deal of information after just a few simple internet searches. I would like to request an investigation, and if warranted, a recall and compensation (the used car value for this car have dropped because of the lack of reliability of the transmissions). I believe Volvo is trying to deal with this on a case by case basis to cover it up and minimize their costs.

- San Rafael, CA, USA

problem #29

Jul 232010


  • 64,000 miles
2005 Volvo XC90 T6, transmission failed after 64K miles. Transmission failed at highway speeds nearly causing an accident as the vehicle slowed unexpectedly on I95 in heavy traffic. Transmission failed after a program upgrade 3 weeks earlier. Transmission was slipping and transmission service light appeared causing the vehicle to be towed to the dealer. Dealer unable to find any fault codes but upgraded the software, "hoping this fixes it..." after complete failure, vehicle taken on flatbed to don beyer Volvo who diagnosed failure as a "transmission failure" the dealership offered to replace transmission and several other parts at no cost.

- Fort Belvoir, VA, USA

problem #28

May 272010


  • miles


My 2005 Volvo XC90's transmission unexpectedly failed during acceleration while I was turning left across traffic causing a significant decrease in power which in turn required several cars to have to "slam" on their brakes to avoid hitting me. Their "slamming" on the brakes caused the cars behind them to have to brake hard to avoid rear-ending them. After taking the SUV to the dealership for diagnostic check and learning that our transmission needed to be replaced, I did a search on our car make and model and found that I was no where near the first person to experience a terrifying event like this due to Volvo's transmission failures. I found page after page of accounts where peoples cars suddenly would not accelerate as usual due to transmission failure. This is a major safety issue that I think the ntsb needs to investigate due to Volvo's refusal to either acknowledge or correct the problem. Please don't wait until an entire family is hurt or killed before taking action. Please do not repeat the Toyota mistakes.

- Toccoa, GA, USA

problem #27

May 152010


  • 67,680 miles
I have a 2005 Volvo XC90 T6. The transmission failed on the highway today, and I was nearly rear ended with two small children in the truck. The light came on now that said transmission service urgent. I complained to the Volvo dealer 7 months ago. They did a software upgrade and said all was fine.Volvo is well aware of this problem with many many 2005 xc 90 T6 vehicles.

- Menasha, WI, USA

problem #26

Apr 142010


  • 88,000 miles
My 2005 Volvo XC90 with only 88000 miles is having transmission problems just this morning a message reads urgent transmission problem and I research and notice that many customers have had this same problem with the same vehicle model and year yet Volvo has not done a recall on it.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #25

Mar 312010


  • 58,000 miles
I own a Volvo 2005 XC90 and only 58,000 miles need to replace the transmission. I search in the internet for Volvo XC90 transmission and it seems alot of people having the same problem with this model.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #24

Mar 262010


  • 95,000 miles
My 2005 Volvo XC90 T6 transmission has failed for a second time at 95,000 miles. This is the second defective transmission for the vehicle, which was originally replaced at 35,000 miles. While driving on the interstate and attempting to accelerate into traffic, the vehicle suddenly went into high rpms as if in "neutral", failed to properly accelerate, and the "service transmission warning" light came on. This dealer says the transmission must be replaced a second time. Volvo is aware of the chronic problem with the 2003-2005 T6 version of the XC90 but thus far has not issued a recall. It is not unheard of for the vehicles to require 2 or three transmissions by 100,000 miles. There are hundreds if not thousands of similar reports available on internet websites. This is a dangerous situation because the vehicle suddenly stalls without warning while the driver is attempting to accelerate, such as when merging into interstate traffic.

- Hoover, AL, USA

problem #23

Feb 142010


  • 95,000 miles
We have a 2005 Volvo XC90 T6 we had complained to Volvo of a slipping transmission. They said it had no problems. Now the transmission failed. We almost had an accident with our 3 small children. These cars need to be investigated. Many have experienced problems and Volvo is just replacing them with the same defective units.

- West Creek, NJ, USA

problem #22

Jan 132010


  • 79,000 miles
I am the owner of a 2005 XC90 Volvo with 79,000 miles on it and the transmission has failed and needs to be replaced. My car broke down on a busy interstate and I barely evaded a catastrophic accident when the trans failed and my vehicle came to an abrupt stop (endangering the life of my family of 7 traveling in the car). This common problem in the 2005 XC90's automatic transmissions are well documented throughout the internet by Volvo owners. Additionally, shredded metal reached the radiator and other coolant departments that also now need to be replaced. The total cost of repairing the damage caused is $6,700. I bought this car to provide my family a secure vehicle while I am deployed. I expected the vehicle to last at least to 100,000 miles. The car is only 4 years old and already needs the transmission replaced.. I contacted Volvo and it is taking them a long time to get back to me. My car is sitting at a repair shop while I wait for a phone call to see if they will help cover the costs or not. A Volvo technical support representative admitted to me that they are aware that this is a common problem with the 2005 model but are not saying that they would cover the expenses or initiate a recall, rather she said that they would "see" if they could assist me in some way. Again, I have not heard from them and continue to call but have not made any progress with them. After doing some research it is obvious that many Volvo owners of the XC90 2005 are having the same problem and this needs to be addressed by the NHTSA so that Volvo is held accountable for a faulty product that has been clearly documented. There are thousands of posts on various forums detailing similar experiences. Volvo has done nothing to address this irrefutable problem. What is the NHTSA doing to force Volvo to initiate a recall?

- Ewa Beach, HI, USA

problem #21

Jan 012010


  • 59,700 miles
We have recently had transmission failure on 2005 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD at 59,700 miles. We are 2nd owner and bought 12/31/09 with 59,074 and carfax check was stellar. The vehicle is just 9,700 miles out of warranty. We have contacted Volvo usa concerning ┐goodwill policy┐ and vehicle is at tulsa dealer who are also working from their end.

- Tulsa, OK, USA

problem #20

Dec 152009


  • 54,000 miles
We own a 2005 Volvo XC90 and it has 54K miles on it. We heard a whining sound from the rear and took it to the dealer and they said the rear hub bearings need to be changed. We were not convinced and took it to our auto mechanic who works on our avalon, he looked at it and after spending 5hrs on it came to the conclusion that it was the rear differential. We went back to the Volvo dealer and asked him to check again and said it may be the transmission. They came back and said yes it is the rear differential and it needs to be replaced. The price tag was for $5200. This seems to be the problem with all the XC90's. we are afraid to drive this car on the highway never knowing when our transmission will give way.

- Mineola, NY, USA

problem #19

Dec 082009


  • 84,400 miles
Yesterday, our 2005 Volvo XC90 stalled completely at around 84,000 miles and was towed for service. A diagnosis determined that the radiator leaked into the transmission causing a mechanical failure. This will likely require the replacement of the transmission and possibly the radiator. Our extended warranty will cover the cost of major components such as the transmission and radiator but will not cover the new hoses and other required accessories. The NHTSA needs to act on this soon. As a brief search of the internet will show, these problems are far too common to be considered "normal wear and tear." Most failures are occurring at around 4 years of age and between 50,000-88,000 miles. The frequency of failures in this make and model at the same age/mileage are clearly a result of a design and/or manufacturing defect. A mandatory safety recall seems to be the only logical resolution to this defect and would protect the safety of tens of thousands of us drivers who have yet to experience a transmission failure in this make and model.

- Valrico, FL, USA

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