Overview: Volvo Recalls Plug-in Hybrids for Power Loss Issues

volvo power loss recall
The National Highway Traffic Safety announced earlier this month that Volvo plans to recall its new longer-range plug-in hybrid models due to a software error that can keep the engines of affected vehicles from starting.

The defective software in the control module sets the cooling flow to zero when the system demands maximum cooling of the electrical drive unit. This prevents the inverter module from producing any torque, which subsequently prevents the engine from starting. Loss of propulsion can also occur, greatly increasing the risk of a crash.

Volvo has confirmed 39 reports related to the software issue this past summer. Some drivers say their vehicles failed to start properly, other Volvo drivers have reported warning advisories on their dashboards indicating reduced performance or charging problems. Drivers of affected vehicles may see a “Propulsion System Service Required.”

A second warning can appear with a turtle icon and the speed of the vehicle may be limited to approximately 47 mph. If a driver ignores these warnings and continues driving, a “stop safely” message can appear, and the car may lose electric propulsion.

What causes the Power Loss issue?

The software glitch can result in incorrect commands being sent to the electric drive’s cooling system, preventing the combustion engine from starting, which causes the power loss problem. The defective software often instructs the control module to set the cooling flow to zero, causing the Volvo starting problem.

Volvo Software update 2022

A software update was issued by Volvo on October 17, 2022, to address the issue. Owners and lessees must take their Volvo vehicles to a certified dealer to receive the software update. Volvo will begin sending letters regarding the 2022 Volvo xc60 software update via mail beginning on December 8. For more information regarding recalls that your car may be included in, you can visit Volvo’s recall website.

Are power loss issues covered under warranty?

2022-2023 plug-in hybrid Volvo models are currently covered under warranty. Repairs to fix power loss issues may be covered by warranty, however, some drivers have had issues repairing their cars quickly. In some cases, Volvo may not cover the entire repair. Currently, the automaker’s only fix is a software update, which they will send notifications for via mail by December 2022.

What makes and models have power loss issues?

This software problem affects approximately 15,674 Volvo cars introduced this year. New Rechard T8 AWD hybrid models were installed with longer-range battery packs of 18.8 kwh, with an approximate range of 35-41 miles. The following new 2022-2023 plug-in hybrid models may be affected by the software issue:

  • S60
  • V60
  • S90L
  • XC60
  • XC90

Affected Volvo models are from the 60 and 90 series. Volvo vehicles made before 2022 may also have engine issues that you should look out for, such as stalling or engine misfire.  If you notice engine failure or a reduced engine performance message on your dashboard, your Volvo vehicle may be affected. Drivers with defective Volvos often notice warning advisories on their dashboards right before experiencing power loss in their vehicles.

Can you file a lawsuit?

There are currently no Volvo recalls regarding the software defect, however you may have other options if you are having serious engine problems with your plug-in hybrid Volvo. You may qualify for an individual lemon law claim if you are experiencing power loss or other engine issues.

The California Lemon Law is among the most consumer-friendly in the nation and offers a variety of solutions for financial compensation if you own or lease a vehicle that has been repeatedly repaired for the same or similar issue during the warranty. Any car problem that affects the value, use, or safety of your vehicle can qualify for lemon law compensation.

Lemon law problems typically affect major systems of your vehicle, such as its engine, transmission, or electrical system. The following are some common car issues that can qualify for lemon law compensation:

  • Defective engine sensors
  • Engine coolant loss
  • Engine failure
  • Failing oil pump
  • Failure to start
  • Fluid leak
  • Overheating
  • Premature wear
  • Sudden loss of power
  • Software defects
  • Stalling
  • Strange engine noises (knocking, ticking, etc.)
  • Sudden acceleration/deceleration

If you are experiencing engine problems with your vehicle, you should take it in for repairs to an authorized manufacturer service department as soon as possible.

Make sure to get a copy of your repair receipts and that the repair orders accurately reflect the issues you have experienced with your vehicle. A vehicle with a defective engine can leave you stranded or in other potentially dangerous situations such as an auto collision.  It is important that you get the issues addressed promptly.

person driving in volvo

Warnings Signs Your Volvo is a Lemon

There are some warning signs that your vehicle may be a lemon. If you have taken it in for multiple repairs for the same or similar issue or if your vehicle has spent more than 30 days out of service due to repairs, it is likely that you have purchased or leased a lemon.

The lemon law legal presumption in California states that if your car’s problems cannot be fixed within a “reasonable number of repair attempts,” then your car is presumed to be a lemon. Under the presumption, a “reasonable number of repair attempts” is generally 4 times for a repeat defect and two times for a substantial safety defect that can result in serious bodily injury or death.

Remember, however, that the facts of a case do not need to meet the presumption in order to be valid.  Most valid lemon law cases do not fit within the California Lemon Law presumption. As long as you can demonstrate repeat repairs for the same or similar problem during the warranty, you have a good chance at qualifying for lemon law relief.

What are my options?

If you live in California and are having engine problems with your Volvo hybrid plug-in or any other vehicle, you should speak with a qualified lemon law attorney to see if you qualify for financial compensation. Under state and federal lemon laws, you could qualify for cash, a replacement car, or a lemon law refund.

If you receive cash compensation for your lemon car, you will receive a sum to reimburse you for the diminished value of your vehicle. If you receive a replacement vehicle, it will generally be of a similar model or type to the lemon.

The best and most common legal remedy available is the lemon law refund or lemon law buyback. A lemon law refund would reimburse you for all expenses associated with your lemon car such as any down payments, monthly payments, taxes, registration, towing fees, legal fees, and more.

Note that the manufacturer is permitted by law to subtract what’s called a “usage fee” from your settlement for the number of miles your lemon car was working properly. A highly skilled lemon law attorney can review your options and help you maximize what you could receive in a lemon law refund.

Whether you are ready to file an individual claim or have questions about your car’s warranty, we can help you. The Lemon Law Experts have served as California’s premier lemon law firm. Our attorneys have assisted thousands of drivers across the state of California recover millions for their lemon law claims. Our team is dedicated to helping California consumers get the compensation and justice that they deserve as swiftly as possible.

We are more than happy to review the details of your case, at no cost to you, to help you determine what you could qualify for in recovery. The Lemon Law Experts have both the expertise and experience to maximize your settlement and help you get rid of that lemon. To begin, call us at 877-885-5366 or fill out an online case evaluation on our website.