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Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission



  • sahughessahughes Posts: 5
    mine Volvo XC90 is a 2004 T6
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Keep complaining guys!!!! We've really found a way to make improvements and that's awesome! Volvo doesn't really have an online complaint form, but use the contact us as a complaint-don't forget your putting that in writing and that will get noticed! I towed mine T6 to the wholesaler that I purchased it from and they took it to the Volvo dealer. A Volvo dealer will have to do the replacement for it to be covered. We are all making huge progress though, so keep going, and keep complaining!!!

    Lisa Souza
  • mollywmmollywm Posts: 7

    Before we all get too gooey-eyed, here is my update.

    I recently came upon this board after my second transmission went out. I am very grateful for the support and advice and believe strongly our voices are stronger together than on our own.

    I have a 2003 T6. The first transmission was replaced at 72,000 miles. Volvo covered 50% of the total costs. My portion was $2,700. The second transmission went out on the NY Turnpike @ 65mph at 107,000, 10 hours from home with my daughter in the car. In addition to having the car towed, I had the added expense of a rental car to return home, an unplanned hotel stay and a plane ticket to return to pick up my car after the Volvo dealer puts in the 3rd transmission along with a new radiator and lines also due to a Volvo defect.

    I filed with the Ohio AG, NTSB, and another complaint board. Volvo is covering the parts; I am covering the labor and my travel costs. My preference is for Volvo to cover all current costs and to refund my costs for the first transmission. Afterall, Volvo acknowledged the problem and assumed responsibility by participating in the first replacement. That replacement provided me with only 35,000 miles. I am pursuing 100% coverage by the company and unfortunately will probably need to go to small claims, and should the opportunity arise to participate in a class-action, I will retain that right.

    At this point, this is a safety issue more than anything and I feel a responsibility to hold the company accountable. Volvo is fully aware of this problem and that there have been no reported deaths that I know of, is remarkable.

    I am glad to see that we are getting results but that will not solve the greater problem. Continue to make your voices heard and settle for no less than getting these cars off the road.

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Agreed! Just because we are getting Volvo to cover these doesn't mean these transmissions will last the life of the car-as they should. So, please keep us posted on how things go and if a Class Action is a route, please post on the board for those of us that would be interested in participating with you.
    Thanks so much for the info!

    Lisa Souza
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    No problem at all. It is a cranky situation for all of us-one which none of us should have to deal with.

    I've contacted the firm you referenced, so thank you for posting this for all of us!!!!!

  • luvmyvolvoluvmyvolvo Posts: 10
    If you can get the dealership to cover all the costs, then by all means take it to your local dealer. If not, then taking it to a reputable foreign shop might be cheaper or you can at least have them track down the source of the transmission failures. I'd compare the shop vs. dealer warranty since most of us are stuck with our lemons.It's really your call, but best of luck in whichever you choose!!!
  • mollywmmollywm Posts: 7
    Lisa and all,

    The monitor of this forum removed my earlier post regarding a law firm who has expressed interest in the xc90 transmission issue. It is against the rules of this forum to include names or addresses. I understand. For those who would like further information to explore legal recourse please see: where you will find the post I copied here yesterday. See a post on car survey dated Feb. 27, 09.

    Also, for anyone whose transmission has been replaced for the first time, be aware, you may experience the same failure in your replacement as I have after only 35,000 miles.

  • mollywmmollywm Posts: 7
    From my experience, I think Volvo is more likely to participate financially in the repair if the car is at a dealership. You might want to contact Volvo's customer service rep. and have that discussion before moving the car.
  • luvmyvolvoluvmyvolvo Posts: 10
    Here's the link to the attorney suggested: Scroll down to Feb. 27th, 2009 and the info is listed below. I haven't contacted an attorney, but hopefully someone can get the ball rolling. Good Luck!!!
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Thanks for the link. Let's hope none of us need to use it-but good to know it's there in the event we do.

  • lindsaynlindsayn Posts: 1
    Hi-I am new to the board as well. I purchased a 2005 T6 a month ago. Yesterday the "Transmission Service-Urgent" message appeared. I had it towed to a dealer. He told me that there is a round ball in the left front axle that has disintegrated and that axle fluid is leaking into the transmission. At this point, he is uncertain whether or not the entire transmission needs to be repaired. He is starting with the front axle and flushing the transmission fluid. He contacted a regional Volvo contact who agreed to pay for the parts ($850). We are stuck with the labor (also $850). He also told me that this may not fix the problem and that the transmission might still need to be replaced. He said that this is tied to the larger T6 transmission issues. Has anyone had luck getting Volvo to pay for labor on a repair like this? If so, what did you do? Thanks very much. It has been very discouraging to have just purchased this car and then to be stuck with all of these problems.
  • verot6verot6 Posts: 21
    Well I towed it to the dealership yesterday. I was told by both Volvo North America & the dealership that there ould be no way they would do anything$$$ until it was diagnosed by them ($240.00 to find out what we all, already know). I will have an answer in a couple of days.

    Thanks to all for the continued support we are giving each other. I will also be contacting the law firm who may be putting togehter the class action.....

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69
    Feel free to use any of the techniques that I used as well. If the dealership starts pushing on you, push right back and let them know you who you are complaining to and that you won't let up. You shouldn't have to pay for this, not even the diagnosis!

  • MilosantaMilosanta Posts: 8
    The XC 90 is a great car, but heed the advise of buy a 206 or later model. I posted on here back in November of 2008, when I had to put my second tranny in the car. The first one went our at 61000, and at that time I was told by the mechanic that is was a design flaw in the car. The T6 (which is the turbo) engine puts to much torque on the tranny, which is a GM product and only a 4 speed. At the 67,000 mark I had to put in the second tranny. Now I was luck b/c my car was still under warranty. This time I was told that the first tranny, which was put in by a Volvo dealership, was done incorrectly. When they put the new tranny in they are suppose to change out the radiator coolant hose also, b/c metal shavings can get in there and the tranny is cooled by this. The service I got at both locations was exceptional, but the car is flawed and there is really nothing that can be done to fix it except keep putting in trannys. I also wrote to Volvo corporate who contacted me but gave me no satisfaction. I also lodged a complaint with the NTSB. So bottom line don't buy a XC90 T6 and you will be ok. Good luck.

  • verot6verot6 Posts: 21
    Lisa, looks like they (the dealership) that I will need to pay an additional $560 to drop the transmission pan & cut the filter to see whats happening inside. That makes $800 in less than 24 hrs. for "diagnostics" which Volvo N.A. Rep told the dealer that is my responsibility to pay for & find out what is wrong - we all know what is wrong...

    The rep also said that since I was not a "Volvo Customer" (bought the car used from third party) had not ever been in a dealership for service (I am not the original owner & it appears to me that at first reason since I bought the car that I have had, I am "in for service" right now).

    That I was probably not a good candidate for any "Good Will" from Volvo. The service manager told me himself that this is what Volvo Rep told him, the service manager do say on his own that he felt 90% sure that they would help in some way but I would need to commit to paying for the additional diagnostics. I refused.

    He explained that i really had only two choices, pay or pick up my car & have someone else repair it with no chance of any Volvo $upport!

    So hypothetically at the end of the day $800 spent & I still would'nt know if they would help me. My fear is I agree to the extra $$, they break it down & say "yep your going to need a transmission" & "that will cost $6,000 but Volvo will split it with you".

    Now I would be out close to $4,000 & have another "factory transmission" . . . . . .

    My local Sweedish mechanic has a newly rebuilt - improved trany in a crate at his shop with 2yr. unlimited mile warranty waiting to put it in for $5,000 he will also take care of the rear main seal while he's got it out (says around 100k miles it needs to be done anyway)

    I am now close to three weeks with out a car & not close to having a warm fuzzy about Volvo's help. How loud do I need to get & in whose direction to I need to be yelling? The dealer is just in the middle but Volvo N.A. says nothing happening unless I play their game.

    I am almost ready to throw in the towel :cry:
  • jld6jld6 Posts: 1
    Count me in. Just happened to me on mine. Was talking to my boss Friday who has the identical car and happened to him a week ago. Took his to the dealer, raised hell, pointed out all these posts and internet press on unacceptable transmission failures. He was able to get paid by local Volvo or someone so he faed no expense. The precedence is out there for local Volvo dealer or customer service to pay so they cannot use that excuse. I am starting process now. I will keep you all posted. I am in if there is a class action!!!
  • mancejmancej Posts: 1
    I'm in:
    2004 VOLVO XC90
    1. Since day 1, the transmission on my 2004 Volvo-XC90 has been acting weird, it doesn't engage trough gear as quickly as it should. On May 25th 2009, the transmission completely went out leaving me in the middle of the intersection with cars behind me traveling 35 miles and almost caused an accident. The car has been sitting since then.
    2. The transmission has never operated properly since I purchased the car in April of 2009.
    3. I do not have an extended warranty and so the car waiting now for repair.
    The shop and every other one I called knew exactly what the problem was.
    They said that the transmission in this model and year was a faulty GM transmission and have seen many in for this type of service.
    I did some research on the Internet and found that many owners have experienced the same problem, the exact problem.
    I bought my car with 112,000 miles on it and some of the complaints I found on the Internet reported were as low as 20,000 miles.
    I bought it from AutoWest Acura in San Jose, I ask them for help with that matter, (4 times) they were evasive and refused to help, or to get to any arrangement.
    The "transmission service urgent" light came on. Took the car to the dealer and they said I need a new transmission. There seems to be a large number of these same complaints for this same car from Volvo.
  • verot6verot6 Posts: 21
    Her is my e-mail that I sent yesterday to the attorney that is possibly interested in the "class action suit" against Volvo. Somebody who meets his criteria (I know there are many of you out there) get in touch with him & see if we can get this thing going.

    Good morning Mr. Green,

    "I understand you are possibly forming a case to file a suit against Volvo North America regarding the many defective transmissions in the XC90. T6.

    I'm currently battling with Volvo to repair/replace mine. My situation is exactly like that of all the others who have posted on the forum

    Would having my transmission fixed on my own preclude me from being eligible to participate in a class action suit should there be one?

    I have been documenting all things as I go along.

    Please advise & also tell me what the next steps would or could be from you in a law suit of this nature."

    Respectfully requesting your guidance,

    Dave Morby
    Vero Beach, FL

    "We would consider filing suit on behalf of someone whose transmission failed during warranty. I don't know if that includes your or not. In any event, paying for the repairs yourself would not preclude you from participating in a class action. You would want the shop to preserve any evidence, though."

    Robert Green
  • sahughessahughes Posts: 5
    Just found out that my dealer will not have the transmission in until July 10th -- I can't complain though, in addition to paying for the new transmission, Volvo is paying for a rental car -- which I will probably have for at least 5-6 weeks.
  • verot6verot6 Posts: 21
    sorry if your repeating this info but did you buy new, used from the dealer or third party.... whats been your history/relationship with your local Volvo dealership? is this your first transmission, what year is the car, who made the ultimate decision to pay for your transmission...Volvo North America, Volvo Area Rep or the dealership? any warranty on your car, how many miles......

    I'm very curious as the area rep, local service manager & Volvo N.A. say that until I have to prove (pay $$$ for all the diagnostics) that its a defective transmission before they will even consider if I qualify as a "good will" candidate. No offering of anything at this point.

    I'm starting to feel like a broken record, round & round & round again......

  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    I bought mine used from a wholesaler in March 2008 with 59k miles on it. From what my wholesaler told me there was no record of a transmission failure prior to them purchasing it at auction. They are the ones who took the car to the Volvo dealer for me, I wasn't involved. So, whether the good will was for them or me, I'm not sure. When the transmission went, I was out of my 60 day used car warranty and had like 71k miles on it at the time it was replaced. But I did file complaints with:
    1. Attorney General for the state
    2. Consumer Protection
    3. Volvo contact us on line
    4. NTSB

    And spoke to an attorney. The car was gone six weeks, but I didn't pay anything. But I did let my wholesale place know I was going to make a stink with Volvo, and I even worked at a volvo dealership locally when I was a teenager. I doubt that made a difference. My wholesaler had done a transmission fluid flush/change in December 2008, and within a month I had problems. They recommended I do a transmission upgrade which I told them was just plain bull -I know cars better than that. They said they would see what they could do with Gengras Volvo in CT and the rest is history......

  • sahughessahughes Posts: 5
    I bought mine used 4 months ago from a non-volvo dealer. It had slightly over 50K miles. Now it has 55K when the transmission went out last week, It was towed to our local Volvo dealer -- I had never been there before. They diagnosed the transmission and after 2 phone calls to me (I informed them I was aware of the transmission issue from info. I receievd on this blog) the service rep called me and said Volvo would pay 100%. I will have to pay nothing -- and Volvo is paying my rental car.
  • As I was watching the Stanley cup playoff's last night my phone rang. On the other end was my beautiful wife. In a concerned voice I heard, "Honey, what does a Transmission Urgent light mean?" After a couple google hits and an hour or so reading I do believe I can be part of the club.

    We purchased an 05' xc90, used-with warranty, from a dealer in CO. Currently has 63k miles. We now are in Northern ND, 16 hrs away from the dealership we purchased it from, 8 hrs from the closest dealership in Minneapolis. This should be fun. ~sigh~

    I will follow some of the advice here and let you know how things progress.

  • Dave,

    Do you have any contact info for Mr. Green?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Incidentally, contact information should be shared by email rather than by posting in the Forums. Thought you'd like to know. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • My wife had her '03 T6 transmission replaced 4 mos. ago at 73k miles by Volvo (at their cost after major correspondance with corporate). She now says the car has less power then before, especially climbing hills. I checked with the dealer to see ifthey did something to reprogram the transmission to put less pressure (upshift earler?) on it, and they told me "the automatic transmission computer learns from your driving, and sets the shifting based on this. We do reset the computer when we replace teh transmission but it should have re-learned by now and have some power." Anyone else having similar problems or know more about this issue?

  • bigfred2bigfred2 Posts: 2
    My 04 T6 tranny just failed. At 60 K it began slipping when cold, only for about 50' then grabbed and drove fine. 3k later, I got the dreaded "SERVICE TRANSMISSION URGENT" and the tranny would lock up in 4th gear (limp home mode). When I took it in to a reputable Volvo dealer, I explained to them I was aware of the T6 Tranny issue. After their standard diagnosis, it was indeed bad. Volvo replaced it 100% free of charge!!...BUT... you must push a bit!! Here's what you need to do for this to happen.....
    If you get a bad tranny diagnosis, inform the service manager that you are aware of the problems with this tranny and that you want him to call Volvo and ask for help.
    ALSO...tell them how much you love the car and other than the POS GM crappy tranny, you would get another. Also say this if the Volvo rep calls you...rare but they do on occasion.
    Contrary to what they may say, Volvo IS aware of the problem and they will replace the radiator and cooling lines also to get the metal shavings out of the system. This is why there were faster failures with the first replacements.
    There are TWO major failure being the tranny just bites it, the other is the cooler leaks radiator fluid (glycol) into the tranny and kills it.

    You may want to consider NOT touching the tranny!! Volvo recommends NOT doing anything to that tranny whatsoever! If you take it in for a bad tranny, and they find you have had the fluid changed or flushed, they may not help you out! There have been cases where trannys failed shortly after a "flush". A flush will stirr up all the crud from the bottom of the pan and it will get into the parts and fail faster! (their theory) Mine had NEVER been touched!

    If changing the fluid helps, or running synthetic in it, I would think Volvo would have caught on by now so they don't have to keep changing them for free! These tranny's are not failing due to normal wear and tear, they are CRAP and just go all at once! When mine gets back in the garage, I will keep it for a year or two and trade it in on a new V8 XC90! More power, no turbos, no GM CRAP parts!
    T6....Car good.....tranny CRAP!
    The service mgr also told me that aftermarket service companies that sell extended warranty's will NOT use Volvo's replacement units, but their own rebuilds with unlimited lifetime warranty!! Unfortunately, they will not pay to have the cooling system replaced, so all the crud gets siphoned back into the new tranny! Their loss! I also read somewhere that a major tranny rebuilding company has changed some rebuild paramaters on these that supposedly fixes the problem.
    I'm wondering....what GM car uses this tranny and does it have a high failure rate also? Some blame the T6's power on the failure, but the T6 doesn't have that much torque, so I don't buy that. Could be I'm just used to my other two cars, both pushing 400hp and close to 500 ftlb of torque!! That will break stuff!
  • laws65laws65 Posts: 69

    It's that the low torque for the engine being a turbo, that this GM tranny can't hold up against it. I heard these tranny's were used in thousand of GM cars and rarely had failures, but none of them were turbo's -that I heard from my shop. Then again, some of the stuff they are telling all of us could be b.s.-we don't really know. We have to take their word on some things until they tell us or we find out other ways.

    Interesting comment about the tranny flush. I have an 05 T6 had the fluid replaced in December 08, tranny started letting go late Jan 09 and then finally in Feb 09-But I worked at a Volvo dealer in my late teens/early twenties and that is routine service for the 60k-so why they are telling you not too is a mystery.

    Great info...lets keep each other in the loop!!!!

  • verot6verot6 Posts: 21
    Yes I do & I have contacted Mr. Green via e-mail already. I think someone who has experienced this problem while the car was still under a "factory warranty" is where Mr. Green wants to start to build the case. At least that was the impression I received. where you will find a post on car survey dated Feb. 27, 09. that has Mr. Green's info.

    I now have my car at the local shop getting my new transmission installed. I have seen the new tranny & the casing is stamped "Volvo" so I have faith its the real McCoy. The aftermarket rebuild company has identified the weakness & corrected them (hopefully).

    I decided to pull my car from the dealership for several reasons. The service manager was playing dumb about the T6 problem & insisted I would have to pay for all diagnostics to prove the tranny was bad (they already new it was bad from the first diagnostics- $240 but wanted to proceed with a secondary test - pulling the pan & cutting the filter - $560)

    I actually spoke with the Volvo Regional Manager ("the decision maker" according to Volvo corporate) who pushed the same about the diagnostics. He would not commit to anything until I was willing to come out of pocket $800 total (which I understand the dealer collects because they put out for the labor costs & corporate has'nt got anything to say about that)

    The Service Manager & the Regional Rep. also had their stories crossed - The SM told the Reg. Rep that they wanted to "Flush & replace the filter" & added that they were going to charge me $25 a qt. for the new fluid & that was why the cost was so high....

    Also the Reg. Rep went on to BS me that they have had cases like this where they flushed, replaced the filter & a solinoid or two & the transmission worked fine.

    Bottom line for me was that it seemed no matter how hard I pushed (I filed all the complaints with all the right people) It was still going to cost me $800 up front. I had already paid $101 for diagnosis from another shop, gotten a second opinion for free from yet another shop (the one where my car is now) & then a third from a Volvo dealership plus many hours of my time. All confirming the same. But Volvo corporate was still in no way giving me any signs of hope.

    It appears that the regional reps. try to be very subjective to your Volvo Commitment & base their decision on that (your allegiance to Volvo) & then & only then will you find out if you are one of the lucky ones to receive what they deem as "good will" towards a new transmission.

    I am fed up with Volvo period. I hope there are many others out there that feel the same. I would like to know how many of us out there were TURNED AWAY by Volvo? How many "out of warranty" were replaced by Volvo @ No Charge? How many have taken it to their own shop for repairs? How many are willing to contact Mr. Green (class action attorney)

    Enough is enough. Volvo should send out a mass recall of all XC90 T6's transmissions. Those of us who did'nt get a "Free" transmission & have out of pocket expenses should be reimbursed.

  • shlimpshlimp Posts: 1
    AT 77,000 miles our check transmission light came on. We took it to our normal mechanic since we do not have a Volvo Dealer in Corpus Christi, TX. He Said the transmission is bad. I took it home and found this web discussion. I contacted Laws65 ( Lisa) and she told me the process to get it fixed. I wrote to the Volvo corporate on line and they said it has to be diagnosed by a Volvo Dealer. I have three choices Austin, San Antonio, or McAllen, TX. I chose to drive it 150 miles with a bad transmission to McAllen. (I had alot of people on ready for my call when the car broke down) I made it to MCAllen. It took them a day to diagnose the problem. BAD TRANSMISSION. I told them that I did not have $7,000 dollars to pay. So, I drove it back to Corpus to sit in the garage for a long time. Then I wrote corporate again. They talked to McAllen Volvo and they said that they they would fix it 100% no charge. Bring it in they said. So I did It took them 2 weeks to get the transmission and fix the car. We got it back on monday and it is running fine so far.

    The process is have your car checked by a volvo dealer and then write corporate they will contact your dealer and then call you back. The whole process took 4 weeks to have a new transmission with a 1 year warranty.


    By the way thanks Lisa it worked out good for me!!!!!
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