2016 Volvo XC90 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, electrical system, and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Volvo cars have always been known for safety. But reliability? Not so much. The automaker’s latest midsize SUV, the T8 hybrid, has been particularly troublesome. The advanced vehicle uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to power the front wheels, and an electric motor to turn the rear. While the design sounds good in theory, the electrified SUV has proven to be a real headache for owners. According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, the main problem areas are the electrical system, engine, and service brakes.

Click on other model year to view more problems:  2018

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2016 Volvo XC90 Electrical System

Imagine driving down the highway when – all of a sudden – the entire dashboardinstrument panel goes blank. This unnerving scenario has played out for manyXC90 owners.

On vehiclehistory.com, one XC90 driver complains, “During driving on a local road at approx. 45 mph, the electronic dashboard disappeared (so you have no visibility of speed, fuel, warnings).”

Another, on carcomplaints.com states, “Dashboard went black and computer rebooted three times while driving. Engine was not affected. No speedometer and gauges, as they are all part of the electronic dashboard.”

Although the cause of the concern is undetermined,bad programming in one or more of the SUV’s computers is suspected. So far, there has been no communication from Volvo regarding the erratic instrument cluster operation.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Volvo XC90 Electrical Problems

TODAY, I WAS DRIVING WITH MY YOUNG CHILDREN IN OUR 2016 VOLVO XC90 WHEN SUDDENLY THE INSTRUMENTATION PANEL WENT BLANK AND THE CAR SLOWED DOWN DRAMATICALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC. THE CAR STARTED TO CRAWL AT APPROXIMATELY 5-10 MPH. WE PULLED OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD, POWERED OFF THE CAR, RESTARTED IT AND THE PROBLEM STILL PERSISTED. WHILE DEPRESSING THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL FROM A STOP, THE VEHICLE FAILED TO RESPOND AND THE VEHICLE STALLED WITHOUT WARNING. EACH TIME WE ATTEMPTED TO ACCELERATE, THE CAR FAILED TO RESPOND AND SEEMED AS IF IT WERE GOING TO LOSE TOTAL POWER.

DASHBOARD WENT BLACK AND COMPUTER REBOOTED THREE TIMES WHILE DRIVING. ENGINE WAS NOT AFFECTED. NO SPEEDOMETER AND GAUGES, AS THEY ARE ALL PART OF THE ELECTRONIC DASHBOARD.

WHEN WE WERE DRIVING ON STREET, THE DASH BOARD BLACK OUT AND THE CAR COMPLETELY STOP. CAN’T TELL WHAT SPEED,AND ALL OTHER WARNING SIGNAL. RE-STARTED THE CAR BUT ONLY CAN GO MILES/HR THE DASHBOARD STILL BLACK OUT. GET TOWED TO THE VOLVO DEALER . THEY STILL CAN’T FIND OUT WHAT IS PROBLEM. SEARCH INTERNET AND MORE THAN 10 PEOPLE HAS SIMILAR ISSUE.

Engine

Another problem is that of the engine unexpectedly powering down. According to XC90 owners, this issue is often accompanied by a “Shut down engine” warning message. In other cases, the instrument cluster goes blank at the same time the vehicle dies, indicating the problem may be related to the previously mentioned dashboard concern.

On Edmunds.com, an XC90 owner complains, “My wife was driving it down the highway with the kids in the car when it suddenly lost all power. Thankfully she was able to get it to the curb safely. She called the dealer who’s advice was to “turn the car off and then turn it back on”. She did so and it worked – but the whole situation did not engender confidence in the car. Not been a great experience thus far and we’re only a year into it!”

On the NHTSA website, a XC90 driver from Chicago IL, wrote in, “I was driving with my young children in our 2016 Volvo XC90, when suddenly, the instrumentation panel went blank and the car slowed down dramatically in the middle of rush hour traffic. The car started to crawl at approximately 5-10 mph. We pulled over to the side of the road, powered off the car, restarted it and the problem still persisted. When depressing the accelerator pedal from a stop, the vehicle failed to respond and stalled without warning.”

Like many other problems with the XC90, it’s very likely that this issue is caused by faulty software inside one or more of the onboard computers. But there has been no direct correspondence from Volvo to confirm this.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2017 2016 Volvo XC90 Engine Problems

THE CONTACT OWNS A 2016 VOLVO XC90. WHILE DEPRESSING THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL FROM A STOP, THE VEHICLE FAILED TO RESPOND. IN ADDITION, THE VEHICLE STALLED WITHOUT WARNING. THE VEHICLE WAS ABLE TO BE RESTARTED. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 3,000.

2016 XC90, ENGINE IS DECELERATING ON STREET ROAD GOING FROM 40-45 MILES PER HOUR, TO 10 MILES PER HOUR SUDDENLY AND QUICKLY. WITH CLOSURE OF BACK DOOR WHERE THERE IS NO LOCK BUTTON TO HIT BY ACCIDENT, CAR IS LOCKING ALL DOORS BY ITSELF WHEN CLOSING THE PASSENGER DOOR. I AM AWARE OF BABIES BEING LOCKED IN THE CARS DUE TO THIS FAULT IN SYSTEM AND MY PET WAS LOCKED IN DUE TO THE LOCKS LOCKING ON THEIR OWN WHEN I CLOSED PASSENGER DOOR WHICH DOES NOT HAVE A LOCK BUTTON I COULD HAVE HIT BY ACCIDENT

THE SUV HAS HAD LOTS OF PROBLEMS WITH THE ENGINE. THE ENGINE HAS STOPPED WITHOUT WARNING NUMEROUS TIMES WHILE IN MOTION. IT EVEN STOPPED ONE TIME ON THE HIGHWAY. THE VEHICLE LOSES POWER IN AN INSTANCE AND FEW TIMES WE HAVE HAD TO TOW THE VEHICLE TO OUR HOUSE AND TO THE DEALERSHIP FOR REPAIR. EVEN THOUGH THIS PROBLEM HAS OCCURED OVER AND OVER (WHICH THE DEALERSHIP HAS ATTRIBUTED TO THE PISTONS MISFIRING), THE DEALERSHIP CAN NOT SEEM TO REPAIR THE ISSUE. WE HAVE ASKED DEALERSHIP/VOLVO TO BUY BACK THE VEHICLE AS IT IS NOT DRIVEABLE AT ALL. EVERYTIME WE GET THE VEHICLE RETURNED AFTER THE REPAIR FROM THE DEALERSHIP, BETWEEN 100-300 MILES THE ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON AGAIN AND MAKES THE SUV NOT DRIVEABLE. WE HAVE COMPLAINED NUMEROUS TIMES TO THE DEALERSHIP TO NO AVAIL. THE SERVICE MANAGER HAS CONFIDED IN US THAT THIS ISSUE HAS OCCURED ON ALMOST ALL THE VOLVO XC90 FROM 2016 AND ONWARDS.

Service brakes

Many new cars, including the XC90, have automatic emergency braking. Sensors mounted in the front of the vehicle scan the road ahead and inform an onboard computer when a collision is likely. The computer then instructs the car to automatically apply the brakes. No driver input is needed.
Automatic emergency braking is great – when it’s operating properly. Unfortunately, there are many instances where it doesn’t work correctly on the XC90. It may either turn on without warning, or not operate at all.
“At least three times now, the automatic braking system has applied without any object or vehicle in the front. Once, I was on the I95 at 65 mph going under a bridge, the brake suddenly applied, causing the car to dip,” writes one owner from Bernardsville, NJ, on the NHTSA website.

Like most of the problems with the XC90 SUV, the emergency braking issue is probably caused by bad computer software. So far, Volvo has not issued a recall for this, or any of the other previously mentioned concerns. Instead,the automaker continues to let faulty electronics determine the fate of its customers.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2016 Volvo XC90 Braking Problems

I PURCHASED A 2016 XC90 IN JULY15. SHORTLY AFTER THE PURCHASE, I STARTED TO NOTICE ISSUES WITH THE BRAKES AND VARIOUS OTHER ISSUES. I HAVE TAKEN THE CAR INTO SERVICE 14 TIMES SINCE PURCHASE WITH ON A FEW FOR REGULAR MAINTENANCE. BRAKE PADS AND BOTH FRONT AND REAR ROTERS HAVE BEEN REPLACED, BUT THE BRAKE ISSUE HAS NOT BEEN RESOLVED. I STILL FREQUENTLY BUT RANDOMLY HEAR CLICKING SOUNDS NEAR TO THE BRAKE PADDLE. I AM MOSTLY CONCERNED THAT IT HAPPENS WHEN I AM DRIVING HIGH SPEED WHILE TRYING TO SLOW DOWN. IF ROOT CAUSE CANNOT BE IDENTIFIED AFTER SO MANY ATTEMPTS OF FIXING, I WORRY THAT ONE DAY THIS CAR WILL KILL SOMEONE. I HAVE ATTACHED SERVICE RECORDS AND A RECORDING OF THE CLICKING. IN ADDITION TO THE BRAKE, I ALSO HAVE MANY OTHER ISSUES WHICH CAN BE FOUND ON THE SERVICE RECORD, MOSTLY RECENTLY, THE CAR WAS ON BIG SMOKE WHILE I WAS DRIVING AND FIRE TRUCK HAD TO COME FOR ASSISTANCE. I AM SEEKING YOUR HELP TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. AS I HAD SO MANY ISSUES WITH THIS CAR AND ONE STILL HAVEN’T BEEN FIXED, I HAVE NO CONFIDENCE TO CONTINUE TO DRIVE THE CAR

VOLVO XC90 2016 HYBRID -SAFETY ISSUES AND TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE. I STARTED THE CAR AND MY BRAKES SUDDENLY MADE THIS WEIRD NOISE AND I COULD FEEL A SHIFT IN THE BRAKE PEDAL. UP POPPED A NOTICE ON THE SCREEN BY THE ODOMETER SAYING “BRAKE PEDAL CHARACTERISTICS CHANGED SERVICE REQUIRED.” I STARTED TO DRIVE MY KIDS HOME, THINKING IT WAS JUST A SERVICE NOTICE AND NOT A TOW SITUATION. AS I DROVE ON TOWN ROADS (NOT HWY), THE BRAKE MADE A GRINDING SOUND (COULD ALSO FEEL IT IN THE PEDAL) WHEN LIGHTLY DEPRESSED AND WHEN I FULLY PRESSED THE BRAKE TO SLOW OR STOP, IT WOULDN’T DO ANYTHING AT FIRST AND THEN IT WOULD SUDDENLY ENGAGE IN A JOLTING AND JERKY STOP MOTION IT WAS VERY SCARY TO DRIVE THE CAR LIKE THIS. I WASN’T SURE IF THE BRAKES WERE GOING TO WORK WELL ENOUGH TO GET ME AND MY TWO CHILDREN HOME. FORTUNATELY, WE DID MAKE IT HOME BUT THE CAR IS NOT SAFE TO DRIVE LIKE THIS. VOLVO TOWED THE CAR OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY THIS AM. THE WESTPORT SERVICE DEPT CLAIMED THEY HAVE “NEVER HEARD OF THE ISSUE,” DESPITE MY FINDING OF COUNTLESS SIMILAR COMPLAINTS ONLINE AND A NOTATION ABOUT IT IN THE MANUAL. I’VE ONLY HAD THIS VEHICLE FOR 6MO. IT WAS NEW OFF THE LOT.

BRAKES/GRINDING NOISE HAPPENED AUTOMATICALLY WITHOUT ANY REASON OR OBJECT NEAR. CAR WAS TRAVELING 50MPH AND I HAD TO PULL OVER TO THE SHOULDER. RESTARTING THE CAR, IT WAS ABLE TO DRIVE AWAY. DEFINITELY NOT SAFE TO HAVE THE BRAKES COME ON LIKE THAT.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Volvo pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Lemberg Law are Lemon Law experts and can help you get Lemon Justice – absolutely free! Fill out our form on this page for a no-obligation case evaluation, or call toll free 877-795-3666

1 COMMENT
  • Ken K

    Purchased a 2016 xc 90- March 2018 with 5,200 miles on it, yes 5,200. Local dealership and VOLVO have tried to address a vibration issue in the steering column. They have replace motor mounts, transmission mounts, steering wheel oscillator, power steering pump, as well as re-programing the software two times . It is now 11-2018 and no results. I now have 16,500 miles on it It has been back to the dealership six times. Volvo USA/Sweden have been involved with their techs but still can’t resolve. This is quite frustrating. Safety concerns. Paid 33,00.00 K. Felt like a deal at the time. Any options? Thank you.

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