2022 Volvo XC90 Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Engine and Structural issues are among the top complaints from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

It’s difficult to find an SUV with all of the equipment, power and class that’s desired these days. However, the 2022 Volvo XC90 sets itself up as the leader, with the automaker claiming it’s meant “for life.” Sadly, the defective engine and shoddily-built structure cause it to be one that certainly won’t make it that long, no matter what the claims are.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2022 Volvo XC90

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Fuel/propulsion System
Electrical System
Child Seat:harness Retainer/chest Clip
Vehicle Speed Control
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
Unknown Or Other

Problems with the Engine

For the price of an 2022 Volvo XC90, one would expect an engine that runs well and creates a superior ride. What auto publications have found instead is that the engine lacks any enjoyment.

Among the long list of complaints from Car and Driver, these points are noted, “Gas engines make uncouth noises, uneven roads produce a bumpy ride [and] rival plug-in hybrids are more efficient.”

How can any consumer expect Volvo to build an SUV that excites? The company can’t even seem to figure out how to include the top features, such as satellite radio. Service Bulletin #TJ3606511 directs technicians on how to talk to customers that are complaining SiriusXM satellite radio is missing from their new XC90. Why would any feature be missing from a new car? It’s ridiculous to expect drivers to be okay with this. It’s like getting married “for life” and then finding out that the spouse is someone entirely different. Maybe it’s time to divorce the XC90.

Problems with Vehicle Structure

If customers wanted a jalopy, they wouldn’t spend near as much as they do on the XC90. However, people driving this Volvo model are expecting the best.

Yet, the best isn’t what they get. Just look at this Edmunds review. “For my wife and I, it came down to the T8 or a Mercedes GLE450, and Mercedes won. We didn’t need the XC90’s third row and didn’t like the cargo space floor with the seats down, but we could have lived with that. [We found] the Mercedes more powerful but could have lived with the T8’s power. We liked Mercedes’ interactive tech better, but could have lived with Volvo’s. The real killer? The sun visor!! Volvo’s is cheap, small, and doesn’t telescope, and that we could not live with.”

It appears that Volvo didn’t take a lot of time designing the SUV at all. The automaker isn’t even trying to hide issues; just look at Service Bulletin #TJ 35507 6 0. Volvo is okay with admitting that after drivers reverse, the outer rearview mirror glass could be in the wrong position. These seem like issues that should be repaired before leaving the assembly line. How do these problems go overlooked? It appears that it’s time to hire new Quality Control Technicians. Otherwise, customers are going to choose new brands “for life.”

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work on 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

CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateFeb 07, 2023
The vehicle went into "turtle mode" on the freeway, abruptly started vibrating, reduced speed to a crawl, and then shut down. My family and I were trapped in the vehicle on the center divider of the freeway.
CategoryElectrical System
DateJan 27, 2023
Electric charging connector frozen. Electronic release inoperable, and no alternate way provided to disconnect charger from vehicle. As a result, vehicle is completely stuck in very cold weather.
CategoryChild Seat:harness Retainer/chest Clip
DateNov 30, 2022
The contact owns a britax safety seat, model number: e1c387t, model type: one4life clicktight, manufacture date: september 2020. The contact stated that while the safety seat was being utilized in a 2022 volvo xc90, she noticed that the safety harness was loose and was not restraining her daughter properly. The contact stated that the safety harness continually loosened whenever pulled. The child was in the safety seat at the time of the failure. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The safety seat was not replaced.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System
DateSep 27, 2022
I was driving up hill at night with my kids in the car and my vehicle had a propulsion error and my car shut off on a blind corner. I couldn't even put it in neutral and push it to the side. I was stranded without any way to move my vehicle. Multiple cars were inches away from hitting me. This is a known issue with 2022 xc90 recharges. Volvo said they did a software update and this should fix my vehicle but unfortunately that does not seem promising as many others are still experiencing issues. Scared for my life driving my vehicle again.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateSep 20, 2022
While on my commute to work I received an “engine propulsion system” error message. While traveling on a busy interstate with a speed limit of 70 mph I received a second error stating “reduced engine performance, max speed reduced” I was unable to accelerate above 45 mph which seems incredibly unsafe.
CategoryElectrical System, Engine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateAug 24, 2022
Propulsion service required message one week after we picked up our new car. Three weeks later----check engine light. Soon after another propulsion service required. Each time, our dealership reset the computer. Three months into ownership, on I-84, traveling 75 mph in the far left lane: turtle mode light, loss of power, no propulsion, able to just get off the freeway on the left. Two hour wait for assistance on side of freeway in 98 degree heat. Dealership kept car for 40 days: replaced bdu, ac compressor, igm. Similar accounts of turtle mode and power failure from other 2022 volvo owners on speedswede. Com. We are not driving our car. Someone is going to get run over by another vehicle if volvo doesn't address the problem.
CategoryFuel/propulsion System, Vehicle Speed Control
DateAug 19, 2022
On august 17th 2022 I received the reduced performance and acceleration reduced sign with an icon of a turtle. Besides getting this light on my dash my evening ended in fear and distress as I received a call from my family that the new car purchased was acting up and all that they were afraid for their life. This occurred to my spouse in the middle of driving home on the freeway (as she had our two kids in the backseat). She had to drive in a very low and dangerous speed on the highway and take the first exit possible as the car started acting up. A strong smell of something burning started to permeate the car coming from under the hood of the engine. My family was beyond terrified of this. The threat and fear for their life was due to the safety failures of this vehicle. The amount of stress and anxiety this suv caused my spouse and underage children is beyond horrific. I was forced to drive across town (in severe distress and panic, as I did not know how this will all end and if my family was ok) and exchange cars with my frightened and petrified family. As I drove the car, I was frightened for my life as I understood the possibility of the car catching on fire (as the burned smell permitted the car). I was not able to drive more than 15mph. This is the third instance of the serious safety and hybrid system malfunction of car itself within the last 90 days post purchase. First time dropped the vehicle at sacramento volvo on may 4, 2022 due to check engine came on / acceleration reduced. Second time dropped the vehicle at sacramento volvo on aug 9, 2022, check engine light came on, hybrid propulsion fault is on, vehicle struggles to accelerate. This dangerous safety issues that I have experienced within the short time owning this suv can have severe consequences on the lives of my family. I opened a case with volvo usa, so here is the case 220818-000954.
CategoryLane Departure: Blind Spot Detection, Unknown Or Other
DateJul 11, 2022
Volvo's blind spot information system (blis) lends itself to unsafe conditions. This is true for the many drivers who are used to driving cars that are smilarly equipped. For nearly 15 years I have been driving cars that were similarly equipped and when activating the turn signal in the direction where the system indicated another vehicle in the "blind spot" an audible warning sounded until the trun signal was extinguished or the danger passed. Volvo fails to provide the audible signal and thus, if there is a failed led in the mirror, there is no indication of a vehicle in the blind spot and no redundancy. Further, habits are hard to break and after driving cars with the audible warning, and relying on it, it is difficult to get used to not having it. In addition, all the cars that I personally drove with hud (head up dispay), vehicles in the blind spots were displayed on the hud. Volvo cars are equipped in terms of hardware to enable these functions (audible warning & hud display) with simple software patches. One additionl point, the lights on the mirrors can be practically invisible during the day with sunlight behind the car and at night with bright lights illuminating the mirrors from behind. I feel it is imperative that volvo is compelled to incorporate the proposed changes as those would certainly mitigate potenial accidents.

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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.

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  • Jessica M

    I have bought a 2022 Volvo XC90 at the end of October 2021. At the 4 month mark, the car went haywire. Windows were rolling down on their own, car was unlocking on its own, the car started twice on its own, it does not recognize the key fob, and now, my car is locked, it won’t recognize the key fob, nor can I unlock the doors with the app. I have not found where this is a common issue. I have been traveling for work. When it started, the closest dealership was 2.5 hours away and they had no loaners. I am now in the Miami area for work, and will be having it towed to the dealership. One dealer said it sounds like water intrusion, the other said it sounds like a lightning strike. What are my options? In either case, electrical issues will keep cropping up, and it’s hard for me to be with out a vehicle while traveling.

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