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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • My story is similar to everyone else's here. "Transmission Service Urgent" light came on a few days ago in my 2005 Volvo XC 90. Car has about 64,000 miles on it. Went to the dealer (in Minneapolis). Luckily they will fix at no charge. They are replacing the transmission and the radiator. Apparently the radiator causes the transmission failure. We got lucky this time, but who knows how long the new transmission will last.
  • One law firm is apparently considering a class action suit, take a look at
  • SSDD... Our story is eerily similar. We bought this car thinking we were buying a rock solid machine... This is our second Volvo and I'm terribly disappointed. We were on our way to the beach and the "Transmission Service Urgent" light came on. The transmission was stuck in third. It was a bad start to the vacation... We had the car towed to the dealer and took our other car to the beach. The Dealer didn't get the car on the lift until Tuesday. We got the same call that many others here have gotten, "You need a new transmission and Volvo is taking care of it." To be honest... After this is fixed, I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of it. My wife loves the car, but we're not going through this time and time again.
  • mplsawdmplsawd Posts: 1
    Kudos to Lisa (Laws65) and this forum......

    I have an '04 XC90 T6 with 135k in the shop needing it's THIRD transmission.
    Same saga as prior posts - Urgent Tran service light came on. But we did NOT get stranded.
    Quote was nearly $7k with the radiator(oil cooler), lines and trans.
    Great News - Volvo has agreed to pay for it less $130 diag/ and $250 deduct.

    THANKS and a big RAVE for Volvo for standing behind the XC90 and doing the right thing. Volvo Customer Care (Ann) 800-458-1552.
    There are a number of factors in my favor which likely led to this positive result, but anyway you slice it - it's pretty cool Volvo would step in to fix a 6 year old car with 135k miles.

    + the car was purchased at a dealership as a certified used car with about 40k.
    + majority of service has been done at dealership.
    + we were considering a trade at time of tranny problems.
    + DON'T BE SNARFY with the service techs and customer care reps.

    The first tranny started acting up at 84k. Volvo/Dealership paid for replacement (in 2008) less $130 diag fee. The did not replace the cooler/lines as I only had the "covered" work done at that time. They were not going to pay for replacement of the cooler/lines, so only the transmission was replaced.

    Since 2008, there have been a couple service bulletins posted to the dealers where it is now required to replace the lines and the trans cooler whenever the transmission is replaced. It helped to be aware of this because I asked the service manager why the cooler/lines were not replaced the first time - it was because it wasn't required at the time - only "recommended". Well if I knew it would have cause a second trans failure within two year - i would have followed the original recommendation. But since (in 2008) it was still under the 100k CPO warranty - I let Volvo do whatever was covered.

    So rant for having to deal with the transmission issues - but like I said - thankfully it didn't leave us stranded. We were able to get home and drive to the dealership.

    RAVE to Borton & Volvo for fixing again.
  • I am having the exact same problem. That horrible "transmission service urgent" message appeared while driving home. I have a 2003 XC90 with 109,000 miles. Prior to this issue, I have sunk $3,000 into the car in the last 3 months. That included the 105,000 service, where the timing belt needed replaced, the clogged sunroof had to be repaired & the brake pads & rotors were replaced. Next came the "breather box". Now my transmission. I'm looking at a $6,500 repair.
    Now, Volvo has agreed to pay for half of the cost. Since I found this website & starting reading the posts, my question is, "should I accept their offer or try to get the entire thing paid for?" My situation is the same as yours; the car was certified pre-owned by Volvo, purchased at a Volvo dealership and all maintainence & service has been done at the dealership.
    I have access to attorneys at no cost. Should I get a lawyer involved. Any advise would be greatly apprecieted.

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Good for you, and great job! If we all keep doing the same thing, maybe we will eventually get a recall. Don't give up, just keep going!

  • nick91nick91 Posts: 1
    We had exactly the same problem (though we live in the Middle East) at 45,000 miles and were quoted $8,000 + labour to replace the transmission. Volvo initially offered a 30% discount then 50% and now 95% after we approached group customer services in Sweden ( Total cost is now basically for labour and is about $1000. It is worth keeping on at them as we got a call from the dealer with good news within 12 hours of approaching Volvo directly. They know the car is a dud and hopefully will do the right thing.

    Keep it polite and I am sure you will get a good response.
  • tb92625tb92625 Posts: 1
    i got the dreaded "Transmission Service Urgent" light @ 85K miles. I took it to the local Volvo dealership in So Cal, and they gave me an estimate of $7,100 to replace the transmission, radiator, and lines. I found this forum and mentioned these comments to the dealer and told them I was looking for help from Volvo Corp.

    Within one day, they told me that Volvo Corp approved the repair at basically no cost to me.

    Thanks for all the help and feedback. If I had not found these posts, i would have never thought to ask for then cover the costs to replace the tranny.

    I am happy to see that Volvo is standing behind their product.
  • Just bought a 2003 XC90 T6 with 118k miles, no warranty, no CPO of course, and was wondering if anyone has had theirs successfully replaced and covered at little or no charge with no warranty. Is volvo considering this a "recall" or "defective" product and taking care of the problem. Also I have put less than 100 miles on this one myself, sold as is......

    A little more history:

    1. After doing a few things to it I noticed that the display on the left had been covered with electrical tape so who knows how long it has been showing the "Service Transmission Urgent".

    2. I noticed some fluid coming from the left front CV axel and pulled it apart hoping to replace the seal and fix the problem. I was wrong, It was the actual CV axel which was shattered and I am in the middle of replacing it with OEM parts I will have in Monday.

    3. Only once has it slipped. When it did this the battery was almost dead and the AC, windows and radio all stopped working at the same time. The transmission has not slipped at all after the new battery, which has only been about 10 miles.

    Please Please Please reply back or PM me if you have any helpful info.
  • I was just wondering how many miles you had on your at the time of the service and if you had any warranty?
  • oldjim3oldjim3 Posts: 13
    To: tb92625
    I'm also in SoCal and facing $7,900 repair. Would appreciate direct contact by email.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Let's keep the discussion here so everyone will benefit. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • My "service transmission urgent" light finally came on about 2 weeks ago. I had 89,000 miles on my 05 T6 at the time. I was able to drive the car to the dealership with little difficulty and Volvo replaced the transmission and all cooling lines and radiator at no cost to me. I had opened my complaint in August of last year and so they already had a file with Volvo of North America. My car was ready in 4 days but I had them replace the timing belt and one motor mount ($1300) in addition. The new transmission only comes with a 1 year warranty so a little concern there but overall I am very happy that Volvo did the right thing and replaced the defective transmission.
  • I will have my new CV axel, transmission pan gasket and filter in today. Hopefully once I get it all together and take it to autozone to clear the codes it will be good to go, but I doubt it. I will keep yall posted on the progress and if I have to take it to the dealership I will let everyone know what they say about replacing the transmission with high miles.
  • kmart5kmart5 Posts: 11

    I think I'm in that situation right now. ('04 XC90 T6 - about 88k). "Transmission Service Urgent" light just came on Friday. My wife had the car towed 90 miles to our dealership (Volvo Santa Ana in SoCal). I'll get the verdict today. Which dealership did you take your car to? I'd like to know since it sounds like its nearby.

  • Alright guys, here I join the boat. When I purchased my Volvo XC90 (64K miles - now 75K), I did not have a warranty so I was worried about the transmission problem. In the back of my mind, it was a thing that was going to happen eventually. So, about three weeks ago, I got the "Transmission Service Urgent" message displayed as I felt loss in power and could not go over 40 miles per hour. I knew it immediately. Took my Volvo to Manhattan Volvo in NYC (closest to where I live), left it there and prayed that I would not have to pay $7,000 (according to some posts here) for a replacement. This is the way I approached it:

    1. Called Volvo USA directly and explained what happened, explained that I am aware that the transmission problem is a well-documented problem. They told me to take it to a Volvo dealer and after the dealer would determine what caused the problem (as there might be external causes/works that lead to transmission failure) and take it from there.

    2. Took my Volvo to Manhattan Volvo and was quoted about $9,000. Well, I should not say quoted, but was told that it would cost that much. Explained that I am aware about the transmission failure rate in T6's is off the chart and that rarely these cars make 100K miles.

    3. I was told that by the dealer that they will open a case with Volvo USA and they'd let me know what they say but was asked to be patient with them. (I told them keep my car for six months as long as I don't have to pay for the repairs).

    4. Dealer called me said that the transmission has been replaced, radiator, hoses, lines, anti-freeze, coolant and a bunch of stuff and was asked for a permission to drive it 100 miles to make sure the car runs properly. I told them drive it around the globe for all I care, as long as I don't have to pay for it.

    5. Got an email from them the next day saying the car runs like NEW. I am like, wait a second, so I don't have to pay for anything since the parts were ordered and work was done without my consent, right? They said not a penny. Volvo is paying for everything.

    6. Went picked up my car, thanked them a million times and true, the car runs like new. I was going to sell it before transmission failed but now I am keeping it for another year or two.

    So, to all of you fellows who are worried - Do not worry a bit as Volvo truly stood behind their product with me and I am sure they will take care of your cars as well. But remember, when you approach this thing, BE NICE and BE PATIENT as it will take weeks for a case to open and everything get approved. Don't tell the dealer " You have to do it" because they do not have to do it when you don't have a warranty.

    Hope this post will help you as your posts helped me as well. By reading some of your posts, I knew what to do and how to approach this problem, so I thank you all of you who took your time to post.

    Cheers all,

  • Thanks for the info Nick. The third trans just failed on my 03 XC90 T6. Volvo paid for the first one at 13.7K miles, they paid 50% for the second one when it failed at 87K miles and now they agreed to pay 50% again for the third time at 130K miles. I'm asking Volvo to pay for the entire thing. I do not want to pay any more for the same issue that they have not fixed. The know it's a crappy GM trans and they keep pushing the cost to the customer until these vehicles get off the road.
  • That's even better. Did you deal with anyone in specific with Volvo other than customer service?

  • Yes at Manhattan Volvo. Her name is Kathy. She's great.
  • I used to love Volvo, but now I don't know. My 2004 with 82000 mile had had nothing but problems. Brakes, tyrods, struts and now my transmission is gone. I called Volvo and the guy said because i bought it used, I didn't buy it at a volvo dealer and because I didn't do my maintnence at a volvo dealer, he pretty much said I was on my own. I also got an estimated of 5-6 thousand to replace it, and I am still making car payments on it. Like times are not hard enough. If anyone had the same problem please let me know of the out come with volvo. I will keep fighting.
  • Well, I didn't buy mine at a Volvo dealer, I bought it at a Toyota dealer. I had no warranty and I never did any maintenance at a Volvo dealer because they're too damn expensive. However, Volvo agreed to pay for mine - not sure why wouldn't agree to pay for yours. If I were you, I would fight it and not pay for it. Keep calling Volvo. Tell them that there are thousands of complaints online that this is a well-documented problem and Volvo should stand behind their product. Print out all these complaints at volvo forums and send them a letter directly to volvo (that's what I was planning to do if they did not agree to pay for it). I think it may depend on the dealer too. My dealer, although I didn't use them for anything before (besides a fuel hatch door repair which was nothing), they fought for me and I ended up paying nothing. FIGHT for it. Keep calling them. They will pay for it. But don't forget to be nice and polite every time you call.
  • Yes the same happened to me. I did have the service done at the Volvo dealer and yes you are right they are really expensive. I declined one service and then the transmission urgent light came on. I was told that it would be 4300.00 to have it fixed. we already had a case with volvo of america so they said take it to the dealer and they would get back to us. The manger at the dealer was on the phone foe 5 minutes then said that Volvo would not fix the problem that we had to fix it. We later found out that because the car had 100 thousand miles on it volvo was not going to fix it, even when they know that the transmission is crap. We sent about 5-6 letters to Volvo of america asking them for help because we to still owe money on a car that we could not drive. They sent us a letter about a month ago asking us not to send anymore letters because they would be ignored and that there was know way that they would fix the transmission. So you can worry, Volvo will not stand behind that car.
  • I recenlty had my transmission replaced on my 2005 XC90. Shortly affter getting my truck back, I got an error message that the coolant was low. I took it back to the dealer and they told me that it needed a sensor and charged me almost $400. A few weeks later I got the same message and my "check engine" light came on. I took it back to the dealer and now they're telling me that coolant is leaking in my engine and I need my head gasket replaced and it's going to cost me about $4,400. They are saying that this is unrelated to the transmission. Has anyone else had this issue?
  • Nick

    Thank you so much for your detailed post. I own a 2004 XC90 T6 with 60K miles and had a complete transmission failure this weekend. I will begin addressing first thing monday morning. If not for my search on the internet and this forum in particular I would not have known about the transmissions issues on the XC90. I will post my progress.
  • After reading hundreds of posts on various sites about the XC90 and transmission failures, I decided to share our experiences with our XC90.
    We purchased a 2004 XC90 T-6 AWD used from a dealer in 2005. Thankfully we decided to spend the extra money and purchase an extended warranty to cover all maintenance up to 110,000 miles. We have had 2 axles, motor mounts, fuel pump, sun roof leaks and as of this past Saturday, the transmission failed on this vehicle. Like I said, we have the warranty and all of these repairs have been covered in full with exception of a small deductible. The transmission has been slipping for about 3 months now and the Volvo dealer has kept telling us that they cannot find anything wrong with it. Saturday on the way back from the beach, it started slipping real bad and slipping out of gear. About the time we arrrived home the "Transmission Service Urgent" light came on and it would not make it up our driveway. I had it towed to Volvo of Tampa on Sunday and by the time I arrived in the service department on Monday morning, they had it back in the shop, handed me the keys to a new 2010 XC90 and said to drive it until they found the problem. My service advisor called around noon that day to let me know the transmission had to be replaced and it was covered by my warranty. That extended warranty was expensive however we are way ahead now with this transmission problem. I would recommend anyone who has the XC90 to purchase an extended warranty. If you are in the Tampa area, they have the best service department I have ever dealt with. I also think that having a professional service advisor working with you can make all the difference in the world.
  • Party Punter - which Minneapolis dealer?

    We bought ours at Borton Volvo, it was under warranty, the transmission first died at 40000 miles in 2008 and it was under warranty.

    Warranty is now expired and it appears transmission has failed again - we couldn't even get it up the driveway. So we are back where we started years ago, but with no warranty.

    Any hints?
  • Can anyone tell me if you've succeeded in any class action or recall there in the USA. I'm in Australia and we are experiencing the same issues with failed transmissions, and Volvo shirking responsibility based on the fact that the 3 year warranty period is over. I'd like to hear what your solutions have been, what authorities have been interested in doing something about it, and where you're at with it. And just so you all know, Volvo state that 'they are unable to comment on what has been written on public forums, as these online forums are not a reliable source of mechanical/technical information'. How's that for listening to their customers! They are choosing to ignore the fact that they created a lemon, which coincidentally was discontinued after 2 years.
  • Post your experiences of failed transmissions on the Volvo page on Facebook. And have a look through Discussions. This is set up for Volvo customer comments and they should be made aware of how many of us have had this problem and are out of pocket with what should have been a recall.
  • HI,

    I bought mine used and ran out of warranty as well. Here is what I did and what I've posted previously and has helped many others on the Forum as well.

    1. File a written complaint to your State Attorney General
    2. File an on line complaint to the NTSB
    3. File an on line complaint to Volvo
    4. File a complaint to your State's Dept of Consumer Protection

    Let Volvo know or make one letter and cc in all parties. Let Volvo know you learned of this in this Forum-as they are aware of it-and keep pushing. This shouldn't be happening to these cars over and over again, period. Good luck and report back on the Forum how you made out, but deal with your local Volvo dealer. Some people have had luck with aftermarket transmissions, but I didn't go that route and was fortunate to have a new transmission, oil lines, cooling lines, and a brand new radiator from Volvo.

    Wishing you well!

  • Hey Alex, can you give me more detail on this class action you're talking about having begun? I'd like to find out more and get a firm in Australia on to the same thing. If Volvo won't reimburse me for my tranny, I'm sure as hell not going away quietly. They don't call me Erin Brockovitch for nothing.
    I'm in Sydney, Australia. Look forward to hearing from you, or any other readers with any class action info.
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