2019 Volvo XC40 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, brakes, seats, and forward collision avoidance issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from Volvo owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is a luxury SUV that’s hailed for its opulent design and style. The automaker even claims that it is made “on your terms.” However, most customers wouldn’t opt for a faulty electrical system, dangerous seats, malfunctioning service brakes or a glitchy forward collision avoidance system, but that’s what they got.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2020   2021   2022   2023

Problems with the Steering

Luxury vehicles are held to a higher standard, but this Volvo XC40 simply fails. Customers continue to complain about trouble with the electrical system.

One Edmunds review states, “Within a week, I received a notification the airbag system had failed. They replaced the sensor, same problem came back two weeks later. They had my car for almost a month trying to fix it. Now, a month later, same sensor has failed, I get notifications about the brake system failing, one tire pressure sensor is faulty, and various interior panels keep popping off. Working with Volvo right now to get them to buy my car back as part of Michigan’s lemon law, so disappointing. I will never buy a Volvo again.”

It turns out that the electrical system malfunctions run deep enough to put people in danger. In fact, NHTSA Campaign Number 18V800000 states that some models have faulty Vehicle Connectivity Module software that prevents GPS location from being used for emergency help after an accident. Driving this Volvo XC40 is like playing hide and go seek with emergency personnel.

2019 Volvo XC40 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Service Brakes
Air Bags
Seat Belts
Electrical System
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Air Bags:sensor:occupant Classification:front Passenger
Electronic Stability Control
Forward Collision Avoidance

Problems with the Brakes

What would cause an accident that requires roadside support? A crash could occur if the brakes don’t work right, but what are the chances of that? Pretty likely, it turns out. 

Another Edmunds user says, “My issue is with ABS and Electronic Stability control- both go off and on every time it is driven. Each time I take it to the dealership they fix the problem, 2 weeks later it pops up again.”

However, it’s clear that the problems go deeper once again. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V554000 says that some models are equipped with brake pedals that weren’t properly riveted, meaning they can move out of their position and hinder braking performance. If a driver can’t brake, an accident is inevitable. This condition is so serious that Volvo told customers not to drive their vehicles at all, but to have it towed to the shop instead. How is this all done “on your terms?” Who would choose this?

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Problems with the Forward Collision Avoidance

One of the advanced safety features on some vehicles is the forward collision avoidance systems. It is designed to help prevent accidents, but Volvo XC40 owners find it causing more trouble.

An NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2019 Volvo XC40. The contact stated that the Forward Collision Avoidance feature failed to operate properly. While slowing the vehicle down to 20 mph, the vehicle would begin accelerating independently. All the warning indicators started to illuminate, a beeping noise occurred, and the steering wheel would redirect independently. The failure recurred numerous times. The contact took the vehicle to [dealership] to be diagnosed, but no failure codes were found. The technician informed the contact that there must be a glitch and the service manager stated that there was no failure with the vehicle. The technician updated the software. The vehicle was not repaired and the failure recurred. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and provided a case number. The failure mileage was approximately 2,000.”

This is another system that is facing a recall, this time affecting more than 120,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V144000 has a software and hardware incompatibility that causes the AEB system to miss obstacles that should cause the system to engage. If the system doesn’t engage, drivers could easily run into an obstacle, causing an accident. Apparently, Volvo XC40 owners have requested to drive an overpriced luxury SUV that’s also dangerous, because that’s the only reason the automaker would claim it was created on the customer’s terms.

Problems with the Seats

Many people don’t factor in the importance of the seats in a vehicle, but comfort should be paramount. However, seats can be more than just uncomfortable, but also deadly.

Here’s an example based on an NHTSA review. “I was at the Denver Car Show and looked at this model. With the rear hatch up, the rear seats can be folded down via a button/latch when reaching in to the back. The rep demonstrated this maneuver and the seats released so forcefully with a slam that it could (and eventually will) injure or kill a child or pet severely. I was shocked at the snap-like force and loud bang onto the seat once released. When standing on the ground and reaching in the back of the vehicle, one also cannot see what is in the back seat before pushing the button, making matters worse.”

One last recall talks about further trouble with the seats. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V535000 illustrates how some models were constructed without rear seat back lock strikers, allowing the seat to move freely when braking hard. If this occurs during an accident, the occupant could be injured. It seems as though Volvo thinks customers want to spend all their time at the shop having recall repairs because issuing these safety recalls is about all it is doing right.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case 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.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones

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