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Volvo XC transmission nightmare

Dear Tom and Ray,

I own a 2001 Volvo XC which I purchased new. At 90,000 miles the transmission had to be replaced to the tune of $4600. Fifteen months later, the transmission went out again. Since it was only guaranteed for 12 months (do you believe it?), Volvo at first refused to help out. I finally got them to pay for the parts, but I had to pay for labor ($800). Now, 6 weeks later, the transmission is beginning to fail again. It is clunking between first and second gears. I had already planned on selling the car before this new development. Now I need Volvo to replace the transmission again before I can sell the car. They want me to trade it in, but I do not want another Volvo. Question #1: Can I demand that Volvo replace the transmission (again) before it completely fails? Question #2: Can I demand that Volvo buy the car back from me for $7,000? It has 122,000 miles and is in good condition (other than the lousey tranny!) What are my rights as the owner? I know I can’t invoke the lemon law as the problem did not occur early enough. Do I have any recourse? Is there an Ombudsman that I can contact?

Thank you!

Jane Broshears

San Luis Obispo, CA

You can demand nothing, you have an over 7 year old vehicle. The transmission should be replaced fully under the 1yr/12k warranty you have on the recent transmission.

You won’t get T and R on this forum and you have no rights other than what was given to you originally.

There’s a lot of the story missing here and I have no idea what it is.
The transmission was not really replaced and you were BSed, there’s an outside factor at work ruining the transmission such as linkage adjustment, aggressive driving, etc, etc, etc.

Not changing the trans fluid could have contributed to the original failure if this was not done.

It would help if you define “Volvo” here. Volvo as in the dealer, Volvo as in the parent corporate company, etc. They are not one and the same.

Thanks for your response. Not sure what T and R is…I believe that the transmission was replaced as the car had to be towed into the dealer–it was not driveable. My thought when the second transmission went bad after 15 months was that something else must have caused the problem. I will mention the linkage adjustment to the Volvo dealer when I take it in. Thanks for that information. The owner of the dealership told me that 2001 XC’s have a problem with transmissions and that it was corrected in 2002 or 2003, but apparently not enough cars had problems to warrant a recall. The parent company did give me a new (maybe not new!) transmission at no cost as I have been a loyal Volvo purchaser for 35 years. But they would not pay for labor. My dealership installed the transmission for their internal labor cost. Are there any other suggestions I can make to Volvo to check besides the linkage adjustment?

T and R is nothing more than Tom and Ray who never frequent this site. The advice you get here is from a number of real world people including those in the auto repair field.

As I stated, there’s a lot of the story not known to me but if the transmission was legitimately changed out it should not have failed again so soon. Some reasons for an early failure could be:
Possibility a remanufactured/used transmission of dubious quailty was installed.
Debris contamination from the previous transmission failure, depending on the failure. This debris would be in the fluid cooler lines and fluid cooler.
Improperly adjusted linkage. This affects fluid pressure and if the fluid pressure is not correct this can damage the transmission.