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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • jbs05jbs05 Posts: 13
    I asked earlier in the text of my parargraph but it may have been missed.

    Does anyone know if the "NEW" transmissions are any better than the "old" transmissions? Is this just a bandaid?

    Even after the new transmission/axel work is completed, I still have shift problems at 1500 RPMs. Does anyone else have this issue?
  • ygantsygants Posts: 1
    Hi to all. I have just spent the last hour reading all these messages about this dreaded transmission. I never would have thought that a volvo, a brand that prides itself on durable vehicles would allow something like this. My wife is the proud owner of a 2004 T6 XC90 and the "Urgent-Service Transmission" light just came on about two days ago while she was picking up our children from school. It seems to drive fine one minute then sluggish the next. I called my Volvo dealer and have an appointment for a diagnostic test for Monday morning. I also spoke with their head mechanic and he confirmed that these transmissions are problematic. Aside from the axle issues that I ready about, the trans cooler in the radiator tends to leak into the transmission and the trans fluid becomes contaminated by the anti-freeze. He said that he would perform a glycol test to see if that is also the issue. I assume that is why some may of the radiators have been replaced as well. My vehicle just turned 72K and of course is out of warranty. This is out fifth Volvo and the third from this dealership and this vehicle has been serviced by them exclusively since new so I am hoping that they will take good care of me.

    Thanks for all your advice. I will use it all wisely and hope this issue gets resolved under their "Good Will" service. Then, I'll see what I can do to trade out of this thing since as you have all pointed out, it is not a matter of if this will happen again, but when!

    Wish me luck! :cry:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Good luck! Be sure to let us know how it all turns out. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Hello, I have the similiar experience. I bought my 2003 XC-90 T6 one month ago and yesterday it was showing "transmission service urgent" on the dash board while it stucks in 3rd gear. I believe that I am having the same experience of tranny problem as thousands of other T6 owners. I haven't towed my car to local volvo dealers (which is really far away) yet but I think what is most likely to happen, according to people's comments, is that I will be asked to replace the entire transimission system at a cost more than $7,000. I bought this car because I had strong belief in Volvo's reputation, "Safe and Sound". But I'm really disappointed about the broken transimission after only ONE MONTH of purchase.
  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    Mine apparently bought the farm today. I had (about 2 months ago) gotten the code, but reset it after adding some trans fluid. Today, the car hung in high gear and could barely take my wife across an intersection. Met up with her and we limped it home. Made the appointment to bring it to the dealer tomorrow. I will talk to them before contacting Volvo USA. 65K miles, 04 T6. I had already changed the filter and fluid at 50K. It didn't smell too good today :(
  • Gu_Gong keep us in the loop... I got the error message about 3 weeks ago and did the same as you - reset after top up with tranny fluid. I'm interested to know how the Volvo dealership treats you. I'm at 140K and will be on eggshells for the next 5 plus weeks wondering if the transmission is going to do the Volvo shuffle! good luck tomorrow.
  • Jeremy,

    I am sorry to hear that you have joined the club. Volvo has sworn over-and-over that the transmission problem was limited to the 2003 through 2005 models. They send they re-designed them and stopped getting them from GM in 2005. I guess not, now that the 2006's are getting up in years and mileage.

    Good luck with Volvo Cars of North America, we have one of the first 2003 XC90s and we are on our 5th transmission in under 90,000 miles. Our dealership (in Falls Church, VA) is the one that has gone to bat for us each time and Volvo has been useless, all talk and no action.

    Please keep us informed.
  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    Jmurray - It's dead. Brought it to the dealer this AM. Will let you know what turns up.
  • Well yesterday my wife got the Dreaded "Transmission service Urgent" message. Since I had just had my 2004 XC90 T6 68k miles in the Dealer for some minor work and Oil Change, I knew it had to be something very out of the ordinary. I read thru dozens of post here and elsewhere and was prepared for the worst.

    I called Volvo to see if they would open a case before I went to the dealer, they took the information looked up the VIN and told me the Dealer should be able to help me. They "didn't believe" I would have a problem. The car has been maintained at the same dealer I ordered it from new.

    My service rep who I have dealt with told me the whole sorry story, then advised me I would have to get the software update. Cost $160.00. After the update it confirmed that I had a bad 4th gear ratio (transmission going to die) and I would be back in ~ 2 months or so. Volvo would pick up the Tab for replacement. Very smooth and no real issues. Car drives fine no slipping, he said it would. Also said many customers have been less than nice. I feel his pain this dealer is in a pretty well to do area. Now I am pissed about the $160 for software update!
    I am sure Volvo has ran the numbers and even if someone gets KILLED because their Tranny slips and they get run over, the MILLIONS they would pay is still cheaper then many thousands of replaced Transmissions. Sad that companies do business this way. Being in the Aviation business I understand all of this and its just so common, so common.

    I was going to sell the car, I'll wait until it gets a new transmission and take to CARMAX. I went thru issues with Land Rover so I won't keep any car past ~80k. Other than this my 2004 XC90 has been a great vehicle.

    I'll update you all in a few months when the Tranny dies.
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Sorry to hear of your transmission troubles-most of us have been there. I agree, unfortunately, if Volvo won't issue a recall-as that would admit a failure-it's easier for companies to deal with the onsie twosie's as they come up. Part of my plan was involving the NTSB-who will record the numbers and could actually have some leverage to get Volvo to do something. I can only hope and pray that a life isn't lost to this issue. I haven't heard of any thus far, thankfully!
    Glad you had no issues dealing with Volvo. I refused to do the transmission upgrade-it sounded silly, and having worked at a dealer in my younger days gave my reasoning, and kept driving it until it got worse. The dealer didn't know how I drove it that way-but the replacement was free. My concern and many of ours is trade in as these are known for transmission failures and what that will do.
    I was hoping the replacement tranny would be the end of the issues, as I've loved mine until this. I even feel issues with the replacement tranny and debate taking it back in, just to have it documented that I complained of trouble under the new wrty-but you know how that can go.
    Best of luck to you!

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    I didn't want to be the bearer of bad news, however, I'm seeing and being told that the replacement tranny's are no better than the originals. Many on this blog are on third and fourth transmissions to no avail!
    I don't think any of us can say with certainty that the replacement will last either-a really unfortunate situation for all of us XC 90 owners....
    Sorry I couldn't give you better news.

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Yes, good luck and please keep us posted on how things turn out! There is more power and voice in sheer numbers! I'll hope the best for you!

  • For those of you looking for some recourse regarding the dysfunctional transmissions recurrently put in the 2003-2005 Volvo XC90s - see this website to join the class action lawsuit.
    Volvo knew the problem existed very early and continued to replace transmissions with rebuilt and faulty transmissions that had to be replaced again -
    If you are like us, we have spent thousands and tons of time while receiving horrible service. I know we are not alone - I have found hundreds of blogs and complaints -
    Our car is sitting idle, undrivable now and the dealer is stating we need to put the 3rd tranny in for a mere $6400.00 - not. :mad: :lemon:
  • jbs05jbs05 Posts: 13
    After having the transmission replaced two weeks ago, I am taking mine back again to volvo on Monday. As stated previously, the new transmission is not shifting to the right gear at 1500 RPMs. This is now at other speeds such as 45 and 60. I have the feeling they are again going to give it back to me and say that there is nothing that they can do, the computer is pre-set by the manufacturer. I don't buy this at all and feel that I should not have to gun the engine to get the RPMs up so that the engine does not sound like a truck in the wrong gear.
  • thanks for the link to the firm leading the class action lawsuit - I joined
  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    Still waiting to hear from the dealer. I think they are swamped.
  • Correction, the Volvo XC90 is a 2005. Outstanding news. Volvo had the case opened for 5 days in which they worked with the local Volvo Dealership. Volvo called back on Tuesday and stated they would pay 50% of parts and labor with me picking up the remaining 50%. I called back and stated I was aware of the ongoing issue and asked how they reached the decision to only pay 50% when others had been paid at 100%. The case was re-opened for review. On Thursday (10/22) I received a call from Tracy at Volvo. Volvo is now picking up the entire cost of the transmission and all related items that must be replaced. I could tell from the beginning that the Customer Service rep seemed to be on my side. From my experience, Volvo was very easy to work with but apparently everyone has not been this lucky. Best of luck to everyone experiencing this.
  • dznjdznj Posts: 7
    Got the car back today. Replaced trans, radiator, lines, axle. Didn't charge me a penny. I thank Volvo and my dealer immensely. I didn't have to do a thing!

    I think Volvo is owning up to the issue, and taking responsibility. I respect that.

    Wife drove the car for the rest of the day, uneventfully.

    :shades: :)
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Good to hear things went so well!!!! Hopefully some of the info has been helpful to you!

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    Glad things worked out for you as well! It helps to work in numbers! Did they give you an explanation on the axel at all by chance?

  • morning fellas I'm new to the tranny boat. However I bought my volvo used for 13000 in PA, 45 days now later and tranmission service urgent light ruined my day. Do you think volvo would cover my defect tranny as third party owner of [non-permissible content removed] tranny syndrome. I believe I will try to jump aboard for class action suit but now my car isnt working. So ? is what is critea for getting volvo to cover tranny and labor I'm broke after i bought dream car. how does one open a case with volvo/ srry mad questions.

    :sick: :sick: :mad:
  • Hello All,

    There is no reason to join a class action law suit for 2003 - 2005 XC90 T6 Transmissions. Volvo will cover these 100% up to 100,000 miles! This is more than generous! What more can Volvo do? They have admitted to the problem and they will stand behind their product! Stop thinking that Volvo owns your vehicle forever! It's time to take possession of your vehicle. Your retailer is empowered to make this decision on the behalf of Volvo. There is no Extended Warranty, No Recall, just pain good old GOODWILL! So take it for what it is, enjoy the free transmission and stop complaining!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    just p[l]ain good old GOODWILL!

    Goodwill is discretionary and probably wouldn't occur at all if people did not speak out. Also, it may not be provided as generously as you may believe.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Lookingtohelp....

    hmm you must work for Volvo.. sorry but the ordeal I have lived with Volvo has been more than enough. I DO accept resposibility for my vehicle but I have had mine LESS THAN ONE YEAR AND IT'S ON IT'S 2ND TRANSMISSION wait I lost count MAKE THAT IT'S 4TH TRANSMISSION since I was not informed that the car was on it's second transmission at the time of purchase.. so please, if you do not agree with the comments and frustrations from the folks that have been more than patient with Volvo like myself, then stay away from forums like these, it doesn't do nobody any good. Oh by the way, my dealership has been disgustingly unprofessional.. maybe you can send some of the good folks from your Volvo dealership over to train those near me.. thanks :lemon: :sick:
  • I purchased my T6 XC90 in 2004 for well north of $50k it gave me years of unreliable transportation and literally months where it sat in the dealers shop unusable to me (no they did not provide a loaner or pick up my rental car bill). When I had enough and went to trade it in--the value was zero...yes $0.00... unless the new transmission was put it in. Volvo did cover that minus a $300 deductible (?) I did not touch the car again delivered it to where I was purchasing my new vehicle and received $7,500 in trade in. I figured I am owed a min of $25,000 in lost value and another $10,000 in lost and unreliable use. And yes there should be punitive damages as well. I may be wrong but I don't believe Volvo ever admitted responsibility and issued a recall or corrective action. For the record I am by no means litigious and am card carrying capitalist. However,this was bad decisions by this company, it damaged me materially and I, like all the others so injured, should be compensated.
  • yurkoyurko Posts: 24
    Hi, mpmoore.

    I totally empathize with you on the hassles you've had. There's no excuse for that.

    As for being owed "$10,000 in lost and unreliable use", only you know the true value of that.

    However, your reasoning on the trade-in value escapes me. You say you paid "well north of $50K" for your 2004 XC90 T6. When you traded it in, you say you "received $7,500 in trade in. I figured I am owed a min of $25,000 in lost value..." That implies you think your trade-in should have been worth at least $32,500 in total. We're in the 2010 model year now. Regardless of the mileage or make/model, with the possible exception of some "exotic" or extremely limited vehicle, no 6 year old vehicle retains 60-65% of its original price. Not even close.
  • No I do not work for Volvo! I do own a 2004 XC90 from day1. I did need a transmission out of warranty and Volvo took care of it 100%. Volvo takes care of owners who buy new and service at their retailers. Why should Volvo help a customer who buys a used car from and Independent and does not service at it's retailers.. Goodwill is meant for loyal customers. Also, you need to remember the T6 XC90 has a GM transmission not a Volvo transmission! Yes, Volvo should have known better than to put a GM transmission in it's SUV but they are not 100% responsible for these problems. GM should take ownership for their faulty design. Check out the GM blogs. GM owner are also complaining about these transmission! I can guarantee you GM is not covering there Transmission under GOODWILL till 100,000 miles?? You also can't blame Volvo for the problems at your dealership! Volvo does not own its retailer's they are all independently owned!
    Blame the ownership for the poor service!!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    but they are not 100% responsible for these problems

    Of course they are. They chose to put those transmissions in and they sold it under their own name.

    You also can't blame Volvo for the problems at your dealership!

    Then by the same token you cannot give credit to Volvo for goodwill at the dealerships. You cannot have it both ways.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I bought my 2004 XC90 from my son. It has 70,000 miles on it. Volvo put in a new transmission on 03/31/08. That transmission has less than 20,000 miles on it. It is now toast. I called Volvo and they estimate the cost at "at least" $6700, thank you very much. I also own a 2007 C70 Volvo convertible which has had some problems. It has fewer than 20,000 miles on it. I bought these cars based on Volvos reputation. I feel like an idiot. Why in the world would I invest $6700 in a new transmission in a car that has proven to be so unreliable? Did I hear somebody say "Class Action?"
  • Do some research. Volvo gave GM the specs for the Transmission they wanted built. GM put a gear in the transmission that could not hold up to the torque Volvo required. Yes i agree they chose the GM transmission and the reason they did is because GM makes the smallest transversely mounted transmission in the industry. This is the only transmission that would fit in the XC90 T6.

    Volvo can only recommend to their retailer's how to treat their customer's Volvo does not pay it's retailer for CSI. Once again, Volvo does not own it's retailers.
    But they do provide Goodwill to the retailers customers. The goodwill for the T6 transmission is not coming out of the retailers pocket, it comes from Volvo.

    Please get your facts right. You can have it both ways!!
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