2018 Volvo XC90 Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Fuel system, brake and electrical issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

The newest tagline for the luxury Volvo XC90 is “the no-compromise SUV.” As many people that own the 2018 Volvo XC90 can share, this vehicle is far from luxurious. In fact, it seems that the automaker made plenty of compromises while building this model. From the malfunctioning electrical system to the defective service brakes, drivers face many complaints and difficulties.

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Electrical System

The first thing many people think about with the electrical system is the battery and alternator, but there is so much more that needs to run correctly, especially in a luxury vehicle. Owners demand the latest electronics and driver-assist technology, all of which rely on the electrical system. When these comforts don’t work properly, it just aggravates and disappoints.

One Edmunds review illustrates the anger perfectly, “In our 48 plus years of marriage, this has been our worst vehicle purchase, hands down….!!  HORRIBLE navigation & voice response.    Ask for navigation & the response is “who do you want to call?” (Just an example of one common response). Air conditioner went out yesterday in Houston 100 plus heat .Gas pump today…. kept kicking nozzle out …..one previous gas fill up ….. “spit” gasoline back out, soaking my shirt. Try to change blower speed on AC (when it works) & it refuses to change speed…. too many problems to mention all, but stay away from this suv …..We wanted safety & ease of use, but it has been the perpetual nightmare….. been in the shop 4 times in 7 months.”

While all of these might seem like minor inconveniences to some, there are many dangers that these situations pose. The gasoline-soaked shirt alone is something no one wants to face. The automaker also released an electrical-related recall. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V800000 discusses how the GPS installed on this SUV can malfunction, resulting in an error when emergency personnel attempt to find the vehicle in case of a crash. While this causes plenty of worry, so does attempting to drive a vehicle without air conditioning in 100-degree temperatures. After all, these owners didn’t buy a $1,000 clunker – they invested in a high-dollar luxury vehicle. The least it should offer is air conditioning.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Volvo XC90 Electrical Problems

IN OCTOBER 2018, FINALLY, TOOK THE 2018 XC90 TO THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT BECAUSE (1) THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON; AND (2) THE ELECTRONIC SAFETY SYSTEMS, SUCH AS THE AUTO BRAKING, HAD AUTOMATICALLY ENGAGED WITHOUT ANY CARS AROUND THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS ALSO DRIVING AND HANDLING IN A STRANGE MANNER. FUEL EFFICIENCY WAS AGAIN A CONCERN.

WHEN THE CAR IS PARKED, I UNLOCK THE DRIVER’S DOOR, THE TAILGATE OPENS ON IT’S OWN (POSSIBLY INTO TRAFFIC) THEN AFTERWARDS, EVERY TIME WHEN STARTING THE CAR, A “12V BATTERY CHARGING FAULT STOP SAFELY” ERROR OCCURS TWICE. IT SEEMS TO BE OK TO DRIVE, BUT IT IS NOT CLEAR AS TO WHETHER THE FAULT CAN CAUSE A SAFETY ISSUE, AS THE MESSAGE IMPLIES. SO MANY OF THE SYSTEMS IN THE CAR ARE ELECTRIC. THIS IS A REOCCURRING PROBLEM THAT HAS HAPPENED 4 TIMES NOW, AND VOLVO HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIX IT.

Service Brakes

There’s no reason to struggle to stop this type of vehicle. The brakes should be constructed of premium materials, especially considering the price that drivers pay to get behind the wheel.

In this Edmunds review, you see how fast it goes through brakes, along with other complaints. “Leased the XC 90 because it was a beautiful suv, and came with a lot of guarantees of technology, good gas mileage, autonomous driving. First, it is nice to drive when it works, but honestly it feels like Volvo just threw this out here and didn’t really test it. It’s been in the shop every 3 months for electrical problems, or driving issues, I go through breaks and tires like I own a Lamborghini, and I don’t drive it that much. Not to mention the manufacturer promised me an extra warranty when I purchased due to my former ownership with VW but that’s my personal beef and nothing to do with the actual car.   Gas mileage is horrible, accelerating is weak, something is popping up as a malfunction every month, I wouldn’t take the risk unless you want to pay to be a test dummy for Volvo.”

Among the multiple service bulletins provided by the company, there are plenty of issues to fix when it comes to the braking system. They discuss brake noises and how to repair them as well as a vibration caused by lockable wheel screws. It seems this automaker can’t figure out how to get the brakes under control for customers. Instead, they continue to pump out SUVs that pose a danger on the road or eat through brakes at unprecedented rates. While no one expects this SUV to brake like an Audi S4 Quattro Tiptronic, it shouldn’t cause problems like those talked about. It also shouldn’t fly through brakes unless they are a cheap quality. No one wants to spend more on brakes over the years than the SUV costs itself, but that’s what it feels like every time brake maintenance is required once again.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Volvo XC90 Brake Problems

WE HAVE OWNED OUR XC90 SINCE NOVEMBER 11, 2017. THE BRAKES WERE SQUEALING WHEN BRAKING IN NORMAL CONDITION(S), NO RAIN ON ROAD OR WATER ON BRAKES WHETHER WE WERE DRIVING ON CITY STREETS, HIGHWAYS OR FREEWAYS. VOLVO SERVICE TECHNICIANS HAD TO REPLACE ALL 4 ROTORS AND BRAKE PADS ON 30 MARCH 2018, JUST A LITTLE OVER 4 MONTHS OF OWNING THE VEHICLE. FOUR MONTHS LATER 8 AUGUST 2018, VOLVO SERVICE TECHNICIANS HAD TO REPLACE ALL 4 ROTORS AGAIN, BUT NOT THE BRAKE PADS. THERE IS NEARLY 25,000 MILES ON THIS CAR, WHICH NORMALLY ROTORS AREN’T TYPICALLY REPLACED UP TO 70,000 MILES. I UNDERSTAND THIS VARIES BASED ON DRIVING BUT TWICE IN 8 MONTHS FOR ALL 4 ROTORS IS INSANE. THEY ALSO FOUND ALL FOUR ROTORS EACH TIME WERE WARPED. WE OWNED A 2012 VOLVO XC60 FOR 5 YEARS AND NEVER HAD THE BRAKES OR ROTORS REPLACED DURING THAT ENTIRE TIME. SECONDLY A GRINDING SOUND IS COMING FROM THE SUNSHADE WHEN IT IS BEING OPENED OR CLOSED. OUR VEHICLE HAS BEEN IN THE SHOP SINCE 14 AUGUST 2018 WHERE THEY REPLACED THE SUNSHADE, ONLY TO HAVE TO REPLACE IT AGAIN 21 AUGUST 2018. WE WENT TO PICK UP THE VEHICLE AND THE GRINDING SOUND IS BACK AGAIN, WHICH NOW VOLVO WILL HAVE TO REPLACE THE SUNSHADE FOR A THIRD TIME. I AM A VOLVO CUSTOMER FOR LIFE, BUT THESE ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AND FIXED FOR FUTURE MODELS. I AM THANKFUL FOR THE COURTESY VEHICLE DURING THIS TIME, BUT I REALLY WANT MY VEHICLE BACK. I ASSUME MY NEXT COURSE OF ACTION IF WE GET THE VEHICLE BACK A THIRD TIME WITH A DEFECTIVE SUNSHADE OR BRAKES IS LEMON LAW.

BRAKES CONTINUOUSLY SQUEAK. THE DEALER HAS INSPECTED THE BREAK SYSTEM TWICE AND MADE ONE ATTEMPTED REPAIR. ONE WEEK LATER THE BRAKES ARE BACKING TO SQUEAKING. I HAVE OWNED THE VEHICLE LESS THAN 90 DAYS, I’VE HAD ISSUES WITH THE BRAKES FOR MORE THAN HALF THAT TIME. THE CENTER DISPLAY COMPUTER SCREENS FREEZES CONSTANTLY, BUT RECENTLY FREEZES AND WILL NOT RESTART UNTIL AFTER THE CAR IS STOPPED AND RESTARTED.

Fuel/Propulsion System

The 2018 Volvo XC90 is available as a gasoline or hybrid model, but both have their own share of complaints. It seems that whichever option is chosen, there’s nothing reliable about the fuel system.

Just look at what this NHTSA review says, “Check Engine Light came on. Dealership inspected and determined the fuel filler pipe had a leak which was replaced under warranty (23k miles). I was informed this is a common issue with the XC90 and they too were surprised a recall has not been issued.”

The automaker is clearly aware of fuel system problems. Just look at Service Bulletin #TJ 34215.1.0. It discusses how the filler pipe can freeze, making it difficult to refuel. To fix it, the company must replace the fuel door latch that features an upgraded sealing apparatus. Until this issue was repaired, we wonder how many people showed up at the fuel pump only to find out they couldn’t fill the tank. Can’t get fuel into the vehicle – what a great new excuse for missing work.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Volvo XC90 Fuel System Problems

SERVICE DEPARTMENT HAD THE VEHICLE FOR APPROX. TWO-AND-A-HALF WEEKS. THEY, ULTIMATELY, DETERMINED THE FUEL PARTS, WERE DEFECTIVE. THEY REPLACED THESE PARTS AND NOTED IT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL PRIOR FUEL ISSUES. HOWEVER, THEY ALSO STATED A RECALL WAS ISSUED, BUT MY VEHICLE WAS NOT ON THE LIST. NO RECALL NOTICE EXISTS WITH THE NHTSA.

CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON. FUEL FILLER PIPE HAD TO BE REPLACED. THIS HAS HAPPENED THREE TIMES AND HAS BEEN REPLACED THREE TIMES. THE CAR ONLY HAD 13K MILES FOR THE THIRD REPLACEMENT.

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.

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