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.
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.
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