2021 Volvo XC40 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical and brake issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

The first model Volvo XC40 was introduced in 2019 a couple of years after its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

An early 2017 press release says, “The XC40 sets a new benchmark for safety, design, and connectivity in the compact SUV segment.” It’s also the smallest SUV Volvo makes.

Lemberg Law highlights some of the problems new 2019 Volvo XC40 owners were complaining about. Our article is titled, 2019 Volvo XC40 Problems and Top Complaints.

Click on other model years to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022   2023

That first model has 12 very varied complaints on file with the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The second 2020 model shows improvement, with only 1 complaint that relates primarily to seat belts.

There are 4 recalls on file for the 2019 model and just 1 for the 2020 model.

But it’s not looking as good for the 2021 Volvo XC40, which already has 3 recalls and 15 complaints on record with the NHTSA.

Most Common Problems

We know that people complain about their cars on many different platforms. But we are limiting this article to NHTSA complaints.

Even though there are only 15 individual complaints, these cover a total of 24 common problems. The most prevalent issues are electrical system problems (5). Many of these also highlight powertrain and fuel/propulsion system issues, which record 3 problems each. There are 3 visibility/wiper problems too.

There are a couple of engine problems, but they also link to electrical system issues.

Other problems, each of which has a single complaint, relate to:

  • Back-over prevention
  • Exterior lighting
  • Forward-collision avoidance
  • Lane departure
  • Seat belts
  • Service brakes
  • Vehicle speed control
  • Wheels

We have identified three of the most common problems and cover them below.

2021 Volvo XC40 Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Electrical System
Fuel/propulsion System
Unknown Or Other
Power Train
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
Service Brakes
Back Over Prevention: Rearview System Braking
Lane Departure: Warning

Electrical System Issues

There are 5 complaints that are categorized as electrical system failures. Complaints are varied but in all cases the issue is that the system fails. Also, despite a recall that is supposed to fix “drive power loss,” car owners who know about the recall say dealers aren’t able to fix the problem.

Two complaints report a complete power failure that hasn’t (cannot) been fixed. Another describes “a catastrophic failure of the power system.” Again, there is no solution in terms of the recall. Another complaint relates to a demo car that “stopped unexpectedly while driving, nearly causing an accident.”

Probably the most stressful account relates to the Volvo XC40 owner’s wife and daughter being stuck in the middle of a road without any power. He says that clearly, it was “an electrical problem that Volvo had an idea or knowledge of (knew or should have known) that was or maybe similar to the problem they had already issued a recall for on the XC 40 recharge.”

What this illustrates is that even when the manufacturer issues a recall, problems aren’t necessarily fixed. If the car is a lemon, and a recall can’t fix it, that’s an immeasurable problem.

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.

Visibility Problems

There are 3 visibility problems listed on the NHTSA website, 1 of which is listed under the category Unknown or Other. This complaint relates to a windshield that cracked when the dealership was washing it before the owner took delivery of the new Volvo XC40. Here’s the story:

“The salesperson asked if we would like to have it fixed or if we would like to purchase a different car, same model. We’re buying a new car so we don’t want a car that’s been fixed. We opted for a different car, but it didn’t have the same options as the first car. Yet, we were still happy to buy a new Volvo because Volvo has a great reputation for safety.”

But, less than two months later, the replaced windshield cracked in what they describe as “normal driving conditions.”

At this point, the owner identified a defect. “But Volvo will not cover the cost of the windshield. This is most certainly a safety issue. What if the windshield cracks further while we’re driving and injures us or anyone else in the vicinity? It could’ve cracked more severely. We’re very disappointed with Volvo and don’t believe in their safety claims anymore.”

One of the other complaints also relates to a cracked windshield, on a 4-month-old car.

“I checked the XV40 forum and there were other people having the same problem and some even had the problem several times.”

The third complaint was that the rearview mirror came loose twice. “When the mirror comes loose, it is unusable and obstructs forward visibility.”

Problems with the Brake

Any braking problem on a car impacts safety. There is only 1 complaint in the Service Brakes category. The other is listed in Back Over Prevention. So, there are 2 complaints that relate to the braking system.

In the first complaint, the new owner discovered immediately that the automatic emergency braking system sensor wasn’t working properly. The local dealer didn’t offer any assistance, and at the time of the complaint, Volvo hadn’t responded. There were only 7 (SEVEN) miles on the clock!

The other complaint is that if the brakes get wet, “there is a rough clunk and even at times grinding.” This has happened three times while the owner was parking the car. The complaint was made after the pads/rotors had been replaced twice and were due to be replaced a third time.

This is clearly a safety issue. “Each time brake pad material broke off. This compromises the braking capability of the vehicle if the pads have pieces missing.”

What to do if your 2021 Volvo XC40 is a lemon? Your Lemon Rights

If your Volvo XC40 has issues and you think it might be a lemon, please reach out to Lemberg Law so that we can assess your case. It’s not going to cost you anything, because if you do have a lemon, Volvo will have to pay your legal bills. That’s what the law says.

Call our Helpline today and we’ll let you know whether you can claim your money back, ask for a new vehicle, or get a trade-in vehicle.

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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