Volvo Recalls Every Model Assembled Since the Start of 2019

volvo recalls every model assembled since the start of 2019

Volvo is recalling every vehicle sold in the United States from the 2020 and 2019 model year. It turns out the automaker with the reputation for placing extra emphasis on safety has some bunk safety equipment. During tests late last year, the Federation of Danish Motorists noticed the automatic emergency braking (AEB) system in a Volvo XC60 consistently failed to operate as intended — smacking itself into numerous test dummies and automobiles.

After an internal investigation, Volvo Cars issued a global recall encompassing roughly 736,000 units on March 13th. Since the manufacturer has made the feature standard equipment on all vehicles, every single model produced by the automaker since January 21st, 2019 needs to be recalled.

While that’s clearly a massive oversight on the part of Volvo, it’s hard to get too upset with the brand. Advanced driving aids have a habit of underperforming. Last fall we published a study from AAA that showed emergency braking systems on some modern cars were only slightly more effective than shutting your eyes and hoping a pedestrian jumps out of the way before they’re killed. While our own testing has been less rigorous, this author can attest to countless instances of advanced driving aids misbehaving or simply deactivating in inclement weather.

For Volvo, the good news is that this doesn’t necessarily pose any additional safety risks (unless you’re relying on AEB as your first line of defense). Volvo products still drive like a normal car, just one without the ability to prevent a collision on its own — though we’d argue no car is actually capable of such a feat with any consistency.

The bad news is that this a giant stain on Volvo’s safety record and makes the brand look inept. Remember the fatal incident from 2018 involving an autonomous XC90 owned by Uber? Volvo said the woman that was killed may still be alive had the firm not tampered with the automatic emergency braking system all XC90s come equipped with. Granted, that vehicle was built before the recall but the company placed the onus entirely on Uber, saying it would never allow such a failure within its own safety systems.

The recall covers 121,605 vehicles in the United States. If you purchased any Volvo model from the 2019 or 2020 model year, your vehicle is affected and requires a software update. Volvo plans to issue notices to customers starting in May.

[Image: Volvo]

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  • Thelaine Thelaine on Mar 22, 2020

    My work associate likes them because of the design. He bought one for his wife two years ago. It has been in the shop damn near as often as it has been on the road. The warranty has been honored, but he is done. He is selling it and heading to the Toyota dealer.

    • See 4 previous
    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 23, 2020

      @jkross22 Yeah but you get the opportunity to test drive latest BMW models for days and often.

  • Johnnyz Johnnyz on Mar 22, 2020

    Long-term liability. No wonder so many automakers are getting out of the cheap car business. They're barely used to ever be recalls, now they go back to and in some cases 5+ years. Takata goes bankrupt and the manufacturer ends up holding the bag for a new expensive bag. Lawsuits liability litigation inflation and bailouts. Welcome to the new millenia.

  • NormSV650 I knew GM could save Acura and keep them afloat!
  • Dukeisduke Only a half day? Wow! It's definitely changed. For the better? I don't know.
  • Ajla Are the sausage platter catering companies going to survive?
  • Chris P Bacon I have driven a few Alfa Stelvios, and they are fun on twisty roads. I love the looks, and that there just aren't a lot of them on the road. There was a time where they were leasing very very well, and I considered pulling the trigger on one. But then my local dealer closed, and is turning the building into a Mazda showroom. So my closest dealers are between 85-100 miles away. I've heard Alfa got their quality act together after 2019, and it's mostly common Stellantis parts these days. But since I don't have a local Alfa store to do the repairs, it's been a no go. I like the tonale, and since the Dodge is mostly Tonale, with access to a Dodge dealer for warranty work, I thought I might be interested. Sizewize, this thing falls right between the Compass and Cherokee, so it's not a penalty box. But I think at $30k, Dodge really stole Alfa's price point. It's literally the same car, Alfa could make money at $30k if Dodge can. Alfa might actually be able to attract some new customers if the Tonale was priced here. but at $37k to start for the Tonale, it's gonna sit on Alfa lots looking for a home. The Dodge really should be called the Fugazzi, not the Hornet.
  • Chris Tonn @maintenancecosts stay tuned. An XC90 Recharge arrived this week.