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

By Brian Jones | Updated on

By Brian Jones | Updated on

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    2021

Don’t be stuck with a lemon. You have legal rights to cash, return or buyback.

The law makes Volvo pay legal fees.

We've fixed thousands of lemon problems. Message or call 877-795-3666 today.

NHTSA Complaints for the 2019 Volvo XC40

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
5
Engine
3
Air Bags
2
Electrical System
2
Service Brakes
1
Power Train
1
Structure:body
1
Forward Collision Avoidance
1
Lane Departure: Lane Keep: Automatic Steering
1
Electronic Stability Control
1

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.

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?

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.

Complaint Data

CategoryAir Bags
DateJul 28, 2022
StateCO
Description
Driver was stuck on ice pulling into a driveway, car got traction and driver thought they were on the brake but was on the gas. The vehicle ran into the garage going 9. 9 mph (we have the edr) and the steering wheel airbag and knee airbags deployed. The knee airbag caused a significant compound fracture of the lower tibia and fibula. Accident happened on 1/20 and orthopedics tried to repair using bone grafts, rods and screws. She has been non weight bearing since then and now on 7/27 it has been recommended to amputate the lower leg.
CategoryService Brakes
DateSep 02, 2020
StateRI
Description
I was backing out of my driveway and my backup alarm failed to sound as well as my backup breaking system. The result was me backing up into a parked vehicle. The failure of the system was reported to the volvo dealership and they denied that the system was not working properly. Several months later we received a letter in the mail stating that there was a recall for my vehicle and that the back up system was not alarming or breaking correctly and failed to alarm or break intermittently. Volvo denied that the problems were related, however the recall clearly stated exactly the problem I had reported earlier.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJun 16, 2020
StateCA
Description
Volvo's pilot assist system disengages without any warning or alarm. This happens whenever lane markings are not visible or if the camera system is blocked by sunshine. However, in any scenario, the pilot assist system must alert driver if it's disengaging. The system disengaged multiple times without warning when I was driving on highway with pilot assist on and till now volvo hasn't taken any action to fix this problem. *tr
CategoryEngine, Power Train, Structure:body
DateOct 27, 2019
StateOH
Description
Vehicle shut down and showed 'safety mode see owners manual' after sustaining minor front end damage in a collision with a deer. Unable to move vehicle to a safe stopping location on a rural interstate for approximately 2 minutes until 'safety mode' eventually reset and allowed limp-home power. This feature is quite unsafe and placed my family and I at significant risk.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance
DateOct 23, 2019
StateMN
Description
Tl* 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 kline nissan (3090 hwy 61 n, maplewood, mn 55109, (877) 284-5230) 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.
CategoryEngine, Unknown Or Other
DateSep 02, 2019
StateNJ
Description
My car has less than three thousand miles on it and was purchased in late may 2019. I was at a stop light when suddenly, I heard a loud buzz and the car stopped and started completely on its own. It happened again at the next traffic light, only this time, it kept shutting off and restarting. The dealer's service department doesn't seem to believe me, and the manufacturer has denied my request for repurchase, despite the serious safety risk this presents.
CategoryEngine
DateAug 19, 2019
StateMA
Description
Check engine emissions light keeps coming on; have had 3 service visits to dealer (resulting in same part being replaced twice, one or more software updates, one complete software reload) and now am getting light on again which will require yet a fourth service visit. (nb visit 1 was in summer '18 when car was new; visits 2-4 are all in summer 2019, commencing almost exactly one year later in summer weather conditions (hot humid rainy)
CategoryElectrical System, Unknown Or Other
DateApr 25, 2019
StateCA
Description
The volvo intellisafe system automatically applied the brakes when there was nothing in front of the vehicle to brake for. It has done this 8 times, 3 times after I had the car in to repair this problem. It also thought there was a rear collision eminent and tightened the seat belt so much it injured my chest and side. I was in a left turn lane and a car passed quite safely to the right of me. This intellisafe system seems to be not functioning properly. The dealer does not believe me and has not fixed it. 1st time auto braking - sept 14 2018 while driving about 45 mph on el camino blvd, it braked hard for no reason, no traffic in front of me. 2nd time auto braking - october 3, 2018 on la jolla shores road going about 35 and no traffic in front, it hit brakes hard. 3rd time nov. 6 2018 on el camino real going about 45 mph, no car in front and it hit brakes hard. 4th time,jan. 19, 2019 I was approaching stoplight. While slowing it suddenly hit brakes hard for no reason. 5th time, march 4, 2019, it happened twice while driving on la jolla shores rd. Going about 35 mph it hit brakes hard almost causing the car behind me to collide with me. Had car serviced march 14, 2019 and they uploaded new software to fix problem. 7th time march 16 going 50 mph did auto braking hard and no traffic while on coast hwy. 8 time on april 22 did it two times in oceanside going 45 mph on coast hwy. Lastly, on april 23 it had rear collision alarm and tightened seat belt so hard it injured by chest and side (still hurts two days later). I was in left turn lane and car passed safely on right. Dealer service person seemed not to believe me and said to wait for regular service.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 27, 2019
StateMA
Description
I have a new volvo xc40 with the semi-autonomous driver assist package that can steer and control the car. The system can shut off while driving on the highway (active mode) for 2 reason: 1. Driver takes hands off the steering wheel for more than 15-20 seconds 2. System cameras can not adequately capture the road lane because the lines disappear or become faint. In situation 1, after 15 seconds of no hands on the wheel, there is a dashboard warning, followed by a vibration of the steering wheel and finally as the system de-activates it gives an audible loud warning tone- very adequate precautions. In situation #2, where the system de-activates because of a failure to find the lane markers, there is no warning, tone or vibration as it shuts off. The only indication that semi-autonomous driving has ended is a dash light turning grey from green. It is extremely dangerous to have the system de-activate with no warning or tone. Even driving with hands passively on the wheel while the car is driving, it is very easy to veer off the road without knowing the system has shut itself off. I am baffled if there has not been a serious accident because of this lack of warning. All volvo needs to do is activate the warning tone whenever they system goes from on to off, regardless of the reason. I registered a complaint in the past with volvo, and was told it is the drivers responsibility to always have their hands on the wheel. Having your hands on the wheel as it suddenly veers off the road is not a safe situation! If going around a curve, it takes less than 1 second to be off the road and into a tree, guardrail or ditch. In the latest software update, my dealer thought this problem was addressed. However, it has not been fixed.
CategoryLane Departure: Lane Keep: Automatic Steering, Unknown Or Other
DateFeb 05, 2019
StateIL
Description
Pilot assist function disengages suddenly without warning. This is different from the expected operation where the system's steering assistance will go into standby upon losing lane marking inputs. While the system does occasionally enter normal 'standby' indicated by the green steering wheel icon turning grey, it also occasionally turns off entirely without warning (including auto throttle control), which is indicated only by an unexpected deceleration and by the steering wheel icon and following distance indicators both suddenly disappearing from the indicator panel. Immediately attempting to reactivate pilot assist will usually result in an 'unavailable' indication; however, waiting about 10 seconds will usually result in being able to reactivate full pilot assist function. This happens both city and highway driving.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJan 11, 2019
StateFL
Description
Tl* the contact owns a 2019 volvo xc40. While driving various speeds with the pilot assist feature activated, the vehicle drifted into the opposite lane and would erroneously change lanes. The vehicle was taken to volvo of tampa (6008 north dale mabray hwy, tampa, fl) to be diagnosed, but the cause of the failure could not be determined. The contact was informed that the manufacturer was aware of the failure, but no remedy was available. The failure mileage was 1,450.
CategoryAir Bags, Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Speed Control
DateMay 16, 2018
StateCT
Description
After less than 2 months air bag system failed at only 2400 mile mark. Suggest entire brand be recalled since it is a new model it was not tested properly. I am in danger and afraid to drive the car
CategorySeats
DateApr 06, 2018
StateCO
Description
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 manever 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 can not see what is in the back seat before pushing the button making matters worse.

Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm

Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of bad manufacturing and run-arounds from auto companies. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. Call our Helpline today!  There is no charge unless we win.

Share your story

Does this ring a bell? Have you had a bad experience too? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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
BE THE FIRST TO COMMENT

Leave a Reply or Comment

Write a comment below to share online. Or, instead you can to our legal team.

Please select your star rating.

Briefly describe your experience Briefly describe your experience

What’s your name? What’s your name?

What’s your phone number? Please enter a valid phone number

Want to know if you could sue? Get a free legal evaluation Lemberg Law?

Get Your No-Obligation
Case Evaluation

Send a secure message to our legal team.

What’s your name? What’s your name?
What’s your email address? What’s your email address?
What’s your phone number? What’s your phone number?
Briefly describe the problem Briefly describe the problem
Confidentiality Guarantee: We keep your information completely confidential and will not send you spam or sell your information.