Rear shocks and struts replaced at 40,000 miles; this also required replacing a complete set of Michelin tires that had only 12,000 miles on them. Strut and shock failure rendered two rear tires unsafe. Cost (including new tires: over $2,000.00)
Electrical problems cause side mirrors (especially passenger side) to 'reset' by pointing 100% up and 100% out... no matter how often this is re set and 'saved'. Techs unable to diagnose or repair.
Ignition Key Tumbler was defective. Would recognize and allow insertion of key, but would not reliably 'turn' and would then cause ignition tumbler to freeze up. Required new tumbler assembly and re-keying (including software downloads). Cost: $500.
Electronic Throttle System malfunctioned. Part itself is culprit. Volvo refused to replace part, opting to 'upgrade software' because, in their words, "It hasn't failed, YET. When it fails and 'codes', then we'll replace it." Nice to know, seeing as though the part's failure causes dangerous loss of power... potentially while merging onto highway or passing on a two-lane. Cost: Nothing, YET. But, potentially the lives of those in the car when it does fail.
Transmission failure. Transmission failed leaving us stalled on a wide stretch of railroad tracks. Ever try to push an XC70 that's loaded with travel gear? Was given option the 'replace solenoids' for $1,900 now (but advised against this as this was not guaranteed to 'fix' the problem) or replace entire transmission with a "Volvo Certified Reconditioned Transmission" for $3,400.
Volvo Corporate refused to contribute ANYTHING, even though car was only 900 miles past its 50,000 mile warranty.
At 52,000 miles, the "Volvo Certified Reconditioned" Transmission is clunking loudly on every downshift, and it's leaking transmission fluid like a sieve, staining our garage floor a lovely shade of pink.
In 25,000 miles of driving the car has cost over $6,000 in repairs and caused us to rent a car for over three weeks while it was in the shop awaiting parts. It took them 15 days to replace the transmission because Volvo North America kept losing track of the shipment... and this was to one of their self-acknowledged 'Top Ten Dealers in The US" (in Maine, when Volvos are constantly in need of service...)
No one actually owns a Volvo. You just pay rent to their Parts & Service Departments.
It's a very comfortable car to drive and ride. It has great safety features, though other makes have caught up in this regard.
People who own them want to like them... desperately want to like them... but eventually, like us, go back to buying a Subaru and compromising some comfort for rock solid reliability. Our '99 Forrester has 187.000 miles on it and we've only had to have some brake work done, a clutch replaced, and replace tires and a muffler.