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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • It would help to know where you are. My car was serviced at NorthPoint Volvo, Roswell, GA. After my outrage at having to have the transmission replaced at under 60,000 miles (over $5,000), they called Volvo and Volvo picked up 75% of the cost of the new one. One big problem was that it took them nearly a month to get the new one, thus leaving me without a car. Volvo said that they would also pick up 75% of the cost of a rental but I was able to manage without it.

    The reports on what owners have had to pay out-of-pocket are all over the place, but this was my experience.

    Sad thing is that my 2004 XC90 has been my all-time favorite car! I've had several Volvo wagons, before, and have been a very loyal Volvo customer. I have loved driving the XC90 - that is, until the "Transmission Service Urgent" light came on. I was even toying with the idea of buying a new 2010 when that happened. And, now.....

    I'm spending the summer about 1,000 from home and just hope my drive back goes without inccident.
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 64

    What I did, six months ago, that was successful was to file a complaint on line with Volvo, the NTSB, your state's Consumer Protection, and your state's Attorney General. I would also let Volvo know your complaining to each of these agencies, as I believe, it will help. I agree with the other post, that I was without my Volvo for a month back in Feb 2009-but I had a spare car to drive-thank God. It took that long to get it fixed, but it was all done without a charge, so well worth it to me.

    I hope this helps. Keep your mantra, Complain, Complain, Complain. Volvo should be at the very least issuing recalls or not giving customers a hard time when this dreaded ck engine lite comes on.

    Let me know if you need more info, but this worked for me, and since I've posted what I did, it helped seven other people-that's my count so far....
    So best of luck, and keep persevering!

  • My '04 XC90 T6 failed at 45K and was out of warranty by a year. I did purchase an extended warranty when I bought the car new, but the dealer said they replaced the transmission, radiator, and various hoses under the "Volvo's Good Faith or Good Will" guideline.
    I have been servicing my car at the same dealership where I bought it and I've paid for every recommended service including the transmission flush that may have caused the transmission failure 2 days later. I didn't even have to argue, I simply towed the car there and told them I have an extended warranty. It sounds like some dealerships are footing the bill for customers loyal to the dealership. Maybe someone will be successful in an individual lawsuit and the bad press will change Volvo's business practices.
    I agree with previous posts about contacting your elected officials, Volvo Corp. and the NHTSA about the safety issues surrounding this vehicle.

    My family has owned 5 Volvo's and the XC90 has been a pleasure to drive, but the cost of repairs/maintenance is brutal. Good luck!!!
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,141
    but for me, it's a way out to dump this crappy car that I so regret purchasing just 8 months ago!

    Unless your XC90 has an unbelievable number of miles on it, it is worth more than the $3500-$4500 the government will give you for it via the C4C program.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • I also have a 2005 v8. Mine has about 52K on it now but my transmission has slipepd from 2nd to 3rd gear since I bought it with about 45K on it. I asked Volvo the first time and they did some software upgrade and said corporate suggests maybe doing a trans. fluid flush. I never did the flush but then asked the service dept. at around 49K miles to look again and they said they did see anythign wrong and to try the flush. They basically told me the computer doesnt show anythign wrong so you jsut have to deal with it. I am going to ask them to look again when I go in for 53K service. I have an aftermarket extended warranty but the slipping in constant, not jsut a couple time a month.
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 64
    Thank your lucky stars you have an after market warranty. And there are NOT supposed to be any transmission flushes needed. I did it and then that's when my tranny started really slipping badly-that is unless you want it to happen more frequently. I would let your dealer know you intend to complain to everyone in the State that you live in addition to Volvo, and the National Transportation Safety Board, and potentially claims against the dealership for their poor response. I'd love a video of their response to that one. If your talking to a Service Writer, I used to be one a long time ago, they should immediately get their general manager. Then deal with only that person going forward, forgo the middleman in other words. Good luck and don't feel bad about pushing. We shouldn't have to shell out thousands on top of car payments and insurance for a poor Volvo choice in transmissions.
    Keep me posted if you need anything else.

  • We have a 2003 XC90 T6. One of the first off the boat, December 2002, I believe it was the 2nd boat with XC90s (the 3rd sank in the English Channel).

    The first tranny went around 36K, slipping gears, slow shifts, etc. Replaced with a rebuilt, since that is all that is available, luckily under the Volvo warranty.

    The second tranny went this past March, at around 80K, in a spectacular fashion and ground the gears up. They could barely get it on to the roll-back truck. Replaced this time under a GEICO extended warranty, lucky again for the warranty coverage.

    I came home July 5th to find a lake (not a puddle) under the XC90 in our garage. They said that the pan bolts were stripped and that caused it. I screamed and they replaced tranny number 3 with tranny number 4 after a month's wait to get a "reliable" rebuilt. They said that they replaced the tranny and the radiator with with rebuilt equipment, again, since that is all that is available, but all is fixed.

    NOW.... this morning... my wife picks up the completed car from the dealer and on the way home.... not 15 miles from the dealer.... the "Urgent, Transmission Service Required!" light comes on. What is with this?!?!?!?!

    Volvo keeps trying to say that it is the 2003 and 2004 GM transmissions that they used. Well, step up and take some responsibility for your design and equipment choices. This is the third Volvo we have had since 1992 and I would gladly take our old 960 wagon back which just passed 230K (my bother-in-law is still driving that one).

    The dealer is coming to pick this pile of metal up this afternoon and give us another Volvo loaner (negotiated when we purchased the car) and it is now their move. My "Irish" is up and they have 48 hours to solve this situation before I go totally corporate, governmental, and media on them. They won't like me when I'm mad and I have been VERY reasonable and patient with them up to this point.

    I have had previous run-ins with 3 other Fortune 1000 corporations over the past 10 years and those three corporations did not like the experience. Two of them use it as a consumer training exercise and example. You see, when I am this upset I look at it as a sport or a very expensive game that I now have nothing to loose and they have there entire reputation and corporate image to try to salvage and protect. (Don't get me wrong, we love our dealership, they are in the middle of this, but it is time for them to go to bat for us against Volvo and choose a side.)

    I will not be dealing with Volvo Consumer Relations from this point on, I go straight to the Executives (Chairman, SVPs, and VPs) and the Board of Directors. They really hate getting e-mails, calls, and registered letters from a long and valued customer. They are about to experience a new lesson in customer dis-satisfaction and how the media, government, and internet can be an asset or their worst nightmare. Stay tuned... I'm good at this and Yes, I can be bought into silence, if they make the right deal.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Unless your XC90 has an unbelievable number of miles on it, it is worth more than the $3500-$4500 the government will give you for it via the C4C program.

    Agreed, something doesn't add up here.
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 64
    And I thought I was a bulldog! Good for you and keep us all posted!!! Most of us are on our second, third, and some, such as yourself, fourth transmission. Any of us who have had Volvo kindly replace our tranny's worry horribly how long they will last. I would love to trade mine in, but I'm afraid it won't go far. I think your on the right track though and wonder if Volvo would make exceptions for those of us who have already had one or two tranny's replaced?

    Please, please keep us posted, and don't forget to register the complaint with NTSB-or their board b/c they can put pressure on Volvo as well..

  • I took my volvo in two days ago and expect to get my Volvo back in two days. took mine to a St. louis dealer with the dreaded transmission service light and they called Volvo and got the green light to replace the tranny, radiator, cooling lines and the software upgrade. the problem has been with the software and the timing of the shifting. the upgraded trannys from what the mechanic told me should alleviate this problem, however volvo is stepping up if you have 60K miles or so. they are picking up the entire cost. I got lucky. I did all teh factory mx on time. I also did some praying they would pick it up at no cost. for those that are in a similar position, have your dealer contact volvo US. They should be picking up the tab. A $45K plus vehicle should not have a tranny go out at 60K miles. I will most likely sell mine and get a nissan pathfinder. Good luck all.
  • yurkoyurko Posts: 24
    Good to hear your outcome. Maybe this is the start of a new policy on the part of Volvo.

    You state Volvo "is stepping up if you have 60K miles or so, they are picking up the entire cost."

    Did you have to go through the hassle and delays of formal complaints (as mentioned by others in this forum), or was this handled smoothly between your Volvo dealer and Volvo USA -- as it should have been?

    Did you get any feedback from your dealer or Volvo on whether Volvo is thinking of replacing tranny's on vehicles that haven't failed yet?

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 64

    I'm the one who started all these complaints, let my dealer where I purchased my car know I would make more of a stink if I had to. They then let the local Volvo dealer know and low and behold had it taken care of for free, after paying hundreds for a tranny flush that I shouldn't have had to had done. I've tried selling my car to no avail, and wonder if I have any chance to pay off my loan if I trade it in.....

  • Greeetings all, very thankful to have a forum like this one to share the pain. Purchased new 2004 xc90 in Dec2003. Loved the car. Had to replace the transmission under warranty at ~36k mi. Now has 73k & needs another one. A car shouldn't be needing a new tran, let alone now a 3rd. After some delay, Volvo agreed to replace the tran, but nothing else (cooling lines, etc.. as they found no radiator chemical or metal in the pan). I like the car, but the reliability and cost of ownership has me greatly concerned on whether to rid this lemon. I intended to at least keep it 10yrs, but at this rate don't think that's a possibility. The dealership has been good to work w/ and luckily is only a mile from my home. They have provided a loaner as well after waiting for a wk. It appears that these tranny's are on back-order and I'm looking at ~2wks. Thanks again for the posts.

  • fay55fay55 Posts: 1
    I am reading this forum today. I am to pick up my Volvo XC90. First time, a service and diagnostic ($450) but told them I was having problem with it not going in gear after a stop. After picking it up, the red ! light kept continued coming on when I got it back. When I would go to pass or pull out, it would not "go" and it was stuck in gear. then it would roar forward. This presented a driving danger so I called the service manager and told him I was afraid to drive back to the dealership (50 miles away.) I had to rent a car for 9 days as I was going on vacation. After picking up again, it did it again. I asked them to tow the car in. They called and said it was the transmission. That Volvo was going to pay for it since 2003 with only 65,000 miles. I just thought this was grand! It has been 3 weeks. It is ready but I told him that the blower motor on the AC/ Heat has made a roaring noise since I had the car. He said it would be $1400 and to just wait for it to go out. I also, notice an extremely hot dashboard since I had it. Just thought it might be the radio. I have now heard of many stories of people with this same car, having the same issues. One told me he had to have 4 transmissions put in his XC90! Please advise as I will be seeing the serviceman this week.
  • Hello recall5. Count me in on the no cost recall transmission fix. I too have a 2004, XC90 T6 AWD. Bought it used 1 yr ago at 94K. Now it's at 126K and what a lot of trips to the dealer and a local mechanic who knows and works with Volvo cars,suvs etc. Recently my daughter called me from 1 hr. away and said the "transmission in need of urgent service" message came on. Towed to the dealer(a big$ one) and got the tragic, but apparently, all too common news: need a complete tranny replacement for the estimated cost of $7950.00 (Cdn) !!Arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!! There are too many other problems to mention in detail:
    *constant battery drain, and subsequent issues related,
    *costly tows to dealer and local mechanic,
    *replaced key ignition cartridge (it actually began seizing up...wear and tear?! joking?
    *replace tie rods as a result of too many tows,
    *transmission slippage
    *now apparently needing a full transmission replacement!!

    I drove a lowly 1993 Camry LE problem-free for 16 blissful years prior to purchasing my, "Volvo for life" upgrade :sick: I finally laid it to rest after the tranny failed at 400,000 kms. :P I never knew I had it so good; and you won't either until you buy a Volvo :lemon: I'm presently waiting on Volvo Canada to address my latest tranny issue. Please keep me posted. Have you addressed Sweden Volvo directly about your problems? Maybe there's some hope there.
    Please keep me posted
  • baudelbaudel Posts: 1
    Hi, am in Monterrey Mexico, I I bought a XC90 15 days ago, with 62k km, (40k miles) already appeared to me mensage to check urgent trasmision, that I must make to make the claim to Volvo?
    Tks in advacne
  • ;) I run an independent service center and have seen many of these xc90's in need of transmissions. I have referred the owners back to the local volvo dealer seeking assistance.
    The results have been beyond their expectations. Volvo has replaced the transmission, radiator, oil cooler and lines in all cases at no charge.
    The only issue has been the wait since there was a problem with inventory.
  • Does there seem to be anything that can be done with these Transmissons that will help get a little longer life out of them. From all the posts that I have read it looks like a Trans flush is a big No No.
    Also do the failures seem to occur with a particular engine, or is it happening with all the differant engines sizes.
  • Just wanted to let forum folks know that Wasagabeach's tranny is in the shop at 126k and is being replaced (with improvements) locally for a 1/3 the price quoted by Volvo dealership in Toronto GTA . They quoted approx. $7950.00 and a local quote is approx. $2800.00. Volvo Cda said, "they couldn't do anything for me" basically because I didn't have a history with a local Volvo dealership. Same comment came from the dealership in Thornhill, On. Cda. The place where it's being repaired says they see this same GM transmission in their shop atleast 1/week. I hope the improvements mean they won't see me for a long time!
  • So I came ot this website desperatley looking for some answers to my problem. And I found it shocking how many people had the same problem. I sat up for an hour reading everyones posts and how they have been going about solving the problem. I contacted laws65, and she was very helpful with tips on how to get volvo to pay for the whole thing. So here is what you do, and what worked for me about 2 days ago.

    1. Go to a dealer and get them to give you a diagnosis and estimate on how much the full thing is going to cost.
    2. Go to and send them and email explaining what the problem is and how you read up on the problem, and know that they do a so called "good will" service, for free.
    3. Volvo should call you back in a few hours. They called me 2 hours after getting my email, and the next day to tell me they have approved the whole $8500 fix for free. So now Im just waiting for the dealer to get the parts and fix the problem free of charge.

    My car was purchased used at 45K , and now is at 69K, and they know this is a problem apparently because they were VERY willing to do this free of charge. So the lesson is, research, call, complain, and you will get your problem fixed, as it should be. I do have to say even though I am probably going to end up trading in the car of fear of this happening again, I am super satisfied that Volvo is standing by their product and is admitting that they made a inferior product. Good job them as far as that goes. GOOD LUCK!!
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