5 Volvo Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

Volvo is a famous auto manufacturer based in Gothenburg, Sweden, while serving other markets worldwide. Founded back in 1927, Volvo manufactures different classes of vehicles, including SUVs, hatchbacks, sedans, station wagons, and compact executive sedans.

The brand now belongs to Geely, which explains why its largest markets are in China, the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, and Germany, and it has millions of sales to show for it. It also sells up to 700,000 units yearly, making it one of the most successful automobile brands from Europe and worldwide.

Volvo models, especially sedans and station wagons, are considered “safe but slightly stodgy.” The models also do not score very highly when it comes to reliability, but they aren’t at the bottom of the rung either.

According to NHTSA records, Volvo has issued no less than 560 recalls for its models, and this has been happening since 1977. Data from the ARFC.org suggests Volvo represents 1.6% of all recalls listed on NHTSA records and ranks #22 on the list of vehicles with the most recalls.

Below are the Volvo models with the most recalls:

1. Volvo S80

The Volvo S80 was classified as an executive car, and it was in production between 1998 and 2016 through two generations. Volvo discontinued the model in 2016, after which it replaced the S80 with an all-new S90.

Number of Recalls

While critics considered it a smooth and safe ride, the S80 has been plagued with several issues which have led to recalls. NHTSA records show that Volvo has recalled its S80 model 54 times.

According to ARFC.org, the S80 alone accounts for 9.6% of total recalls for Volvo models, making it the most-recalled Volvo model on record.

Of the 54 recalls, the 2008 S80 has had the most recalls with 6, and the 2001 S80 follows it at the 2nd spot with 5. Several S80 model years share the third position, including the 1999, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010 models, with 4 recalls each.

The 2015 and 2016 S80, which were the last two model years, have the fewest recalls in the lineup, with 1 each. The 2002, 2006, 2012, and 2013 models are at 2nd with just 2 recalls each.

Below are predominant issues common to recalled Volvo S80 models:

  • Equipment problems (possible overheating of batteries on the installed Garmin 760 Global Positioning System (GPS) units; absence of a second Isofix guide in some models)
  • Electrical system issues (possible blow-up of starter motor fuse especially when using the engine stop/start function; potential malfunction of central electronic module which will resultantly trigger wild performance of windshield wipers as well as high beams and headlight switch)
  • Engine cooling faults (hypersensitivity of the software calibration for the fuel cut-off in the engine control module; possible damage to engine cooling fan due to programming error in the fans control module)

2. Volvo V70

The Volvo V70 was an executive car produced and marketed by Volvo Motors between 1996 and 2016, spanning three generations. It had a wonderful run, and customers and critics deemed its models mostly satisfactory.

Its reliability was, however, slighted by some pundits owing to the number of issues the model developed after a few years.

Number of Recalls

Of the 560 worldwide recalls for Volvo models, the V70 alone has accrued 46, making it the second most-recalled Volvo model. In addition, ARFC.org estimates that recall figures for the V70 represent 8.2% for Volvo models.

The 2001 model year has 7 recalls, making it the V70 model with the highest recalls. Multiple models, including the 1998, 2000, and 2002 models hold the 2nd spot on this list with 5 recalls each.

With just 1 recall on record, the 2007 V70 is the least-recalled Volvo V70 model. The 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 models have 2 recalls each, which secures their #2 spot on the list.

Below are common issues with the Volvo V70 as gleaned from recall statements:

  • Equipment problems (possible overheating of batteries on the installed Garmin 760 Global Positioning System (GPS) units; absence of child restraint system warning labels in some models)
  • Engine cooling faults (hypersensitivity of the software calibration for the fuel cut-off in the engine control module; possible damage to engine cooling fan due to programming error in the fans control module)
  • Exterior lighting problems (improper contact between bulb and socket which could impact the functioning of front turn signal; inconsistent operation of headlight switch)

Related: 4 Jaguar Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

3. Volvo S60

Volvo classified the S60 as a compact executive car when it was first introduced in 2000. The model entered its third generation in 2019 and has sold several hundreds of thousands of units globally. It also boasts a dedicated customer base in the U.S., Canada, its home country, Sweden, amongst other countries.

Number of Recalls

With 42 recalls on record for the Volvo S60, it occupies the 3rd spot on the list of Volvo models with the most recalls. According to ARFC.org, it accounts for 7.5% of all Volvo recalls since 1977.

Of the 42 recalls for the Volvo S60, the 2001, 2002, and 2012 models have the joint most-recalls with 6 each. The second spot on the list is shared by the 2003, 2004, and 2011 models, with 4 recalls each.

On the other side of things, the 2007 and 2008 V60 models share the top crown on the list of least-recalled V60 models. The 2nd spot on the list is also shared by the 2005, 2006, and 2009 models of the Volvo S60.

Below is a list of common issues with the Volvo S60, as seen from recall statements:

  • Equipment problems (incorrect manufacture year on the product identification labels; incorrect information for models with optional accessory spare tire and wheel kit; possible overheating of batteries on the installed Garmin 760 Global Positioning System (GPS) units)
  • Fuel system issues (reduced functionality in fuel pump often symptomized by fuel odor and cracks in the fuel pump)
  • Engine cooling issues (failure of vehicle to alert the driver of low oil pressure situation; hypersensitivity of the software calibration for the fuel cut-off in the engine control module)

Related: 5 Mazda Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

4. Volvo XC70

The Volvo XC70 is a boxy wagon based on the earlier-mentioned S80 sedan platform. It was launched back in 1996 and is known for its mild off-road ability, amongst other qualities. It has, however, been criticized for its overall dullness, and Volvo eventually dropped it and replaced it with the more suave V90 wagon.

Number of Recalls

The Volvo XC70 has been recalled 36 times according to the NHTSA. This makes it the fourth most-recalled Volvo model, and according to ARFC.org, its 36 recalls represent 6.4% of the total tally for Volvo models.

Of the 36 total recalls, the 2008 Volvo XC70 alone has 7 recalls making it the most-recalled XC70 model year on record. This figure shows multiple issues with the model, and so it’s advisable to pump your brakes and run some checks before buying.

It is followed by the 2001, 2009 and 2010 models with 4 recall each, which puts them all at the second spot on the list.

The 2005, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 models of the XC70 have the joint fewest recalls amongst all the models with 1 each. They are joined on the list by the 2004 and 2011 models with just 2 recalls each.

Issues common with recalled Volvo XC70 models include:

  • Equipment issues (incorrect information about the maximum permissible inflation pressure in the owner’s manual; possible overheating of batteries on the installed Garmin 760 Global Positioning System (GPS) units)
  • Electrical system faults (potential malfunction of central electronic module which will resultantly trigger wild performance of windshield wipers as well as high beams and headlight switch)
  • Fuel system issues (possibility of cracks in the fuel pump, which may happen over time or in certain environmental conditions)

Related: 4 Jeep Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

5. Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size crossover SUV marketed by Volvo since 2002. Now in its second generation, the Volvo XC90 has acquired a stellar reputation across the board. It was named SUV of the Year by MotorTrend twice, in 2003 and 2016.

The XC90 was also named North American Car/Truck of the Year in 2016 and sells an average of up to 25,000 units yearly in the U.S. alone.

Number of Recalls

Of the 560 total recalls for Volvo models, the Volvo XC90 has been recalled 32 times. An estimation by ARFC.org shows it holds 5.7% of all Volvo recalls since 1977.

The 2004 and 2005 models of the Volvo XC90 have the joint most recalls with 6 each. They are accompanied by the 2003 model, which is second on the list with 5 recalls. It is interesting to note that these three models alone account for more than half of the total recalls for Volvo XC90 models.

On the flip side, we have the 2009 and 2011 XC90 models with 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled model years on record. The 2007 and 2016 models of the Volvo XC90 occupy the second spot on the list, with 2 recalls each.

Below are common issues with recalled Volvo XC90 models:

  • Equipment issues (possible overheating of batteries on the installed Garmin 760 Global Positioning System (GPS) units)
  • Steering faults (leakage of power steering fluid from the oil pipe connection at the steering gear valve housing; possible damage of outer tie rod ball joint and resultant loss of clamping force and loosening of nuts)
  • Visibility issues (unavailability of climate control functions after the climate control module randomly receives “shut-down” signal from the electronic control module)
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