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For years already, Volvo have treated me as if I'd willfully caused harm to Volvo -- which I've never done!

But recently, after I contacted some Volvo officials who do not normally deal directly with customers, Volvo tried to harm me, by filing a defamatory false report against me with NJ law enforcement officials! IOW, Volvo began telling lies about me!!

Believe it or not, I still do not wish for any harm to come to Volvo. My response -- this web site -- is to begin telling some serious truths about Volvo...



A revealing comparison:
Ideal Car CompanyVolvo Cars of North America
A good responsible professional organization responds promptly to well-written letters. I wrote a letter to VCNA, mostly about the horribly abusive misbehaviors of the caR's fancy "4C" computerized suspension system, and also about the local Volvo dealer's repeated dishonesty and incompetence.

VCNA NEVER RESPONDED; it merely forwarded to Sweden the letter I'd sent to VCNA. As of March 2014, it's been 47 months, and counting, with no reply at all...
4-month phone msg:

8-month phone msg:

National "Customer Satisfaction Manager" Mike Assainte, however, abusively calls customers at home before 6:30 a.m.!  (rt-click to download)

Keeps dealers in line, does not play games with customers.Very tolerant of dealer misbehaviors (including failure to return calls from VCNA!), encourages dealers to jerk customers around ("unable to duplicate"..., plus dealers get paid less by Volvo for warranty work than what they charge customers, incentivizing dealers to deal with warranty problems at customers' expense) in order to minimize warranty costs
Grateful/nice to customersBS/lying, playing dumb, and other forms of customer abuse is S.O.P.
Handles mail-in rebates promptly and fairlyOutsources rebates to some entity in Tennessee which commonly rejects valid submissions, and sometimes issues VOLVO checks for less than the full fair amount -- though this does seem to be something that Bill Casey (x1934) is very good at taking care of (he's done it for me twice already).
The owner can change vehicle configuration settings without needing to a$k the dealer for help.The only Volvo stealership in town, Bob Penkhus -- which annually ranks among the worst dealers in the nation -- could not even tell me how much it would cost to PURCHASE ADDITIONAL SOFTWARE FROM VOLVO in order to have all the doors unlock with a single keypress of the remote; they wanted to charge me more than $100 just to connect my car to their clunky proprietary Volvo diagnostics computer system, and only THEN would they tell me a price...
Reasonable appeals process, District Service Manager available to help resolve any tricky technical issues.Mythical higher-ups; you'll never get to see or meet or speak with any -- you can only have faith that such technocratic entities actually even exist.

Back in the 1990s, I got to meet the DSM (a real jerk...) and a since-retired Factory Field Engineer (a real prince, who graciously and generously and caringly corrected so many problems, and really helped make the car reach its potential, which was so great that I kept the 850 for more than 14 years).

This century, Volvo does not care much how close to their advertised potential or promise its vehicles behave in the real world.

Doesn't try to rip off parts from customers' vehiclesVolvo habitually filches parts from cars as they roll down the assembly line!

My first Volvo, a 1995 850 Turbo, was built to my order. As MY car was going down the assembly line, Volvo left out the passenger seat's lumbar support adjustment knob! VCNA's response to my inquiry regarding this omission (theft!) was that "if it's not on the Monroney [window sticker], we are not legally obligated to include that part or feature"!!!

For my 2nd/current/last Volvo, a 2007 S60R, as it went down the assembly line, Volvo substituted overweight steel control arms instead of the lighter-weight aluminum ones the caR deserves/demands (and REQUIRES in order for its fancy computerized suspension system to function anywhere near correctly)! Since being asked about this, Volvo has yet again behaved extra dishonorably, including yet more lies, including the providing of incorrect (false) pseudo-technical bogus assurances, delivered by a non-technical decision-maker (whose strength is her ignorance), that the extra unsprung mass could not make any difference.

Even though the steel and aluminum control arms cost about the same, it will, thanks to Volvo's parts-filching and ineptitude/mendacity/obstinance, cost me $2600 if I wish to fix my car's congenital birth defect by having the correct parts (including the corresponding ball joints and also steering knuckles) installed at the nearest trustworthy Volvo dealer -- yikes!

Admit to any/all mistakesLike any good professional criminal when caught in the act, Volvo admits nothing, denies everything, and makes false counter-accusations!
Own up to and correct any/all technical deficienciesWhine, lie, change the subject, and -- rather than make the vehicle work properly -- possibly offer to buy back the vehicle (with strict non-negotiable terms and conditions that are unfavorable to the owner/victim).

For example, my S60R's 6-speed automatic transmission works perfectly at sea level, but here in Colorado (ie, at thousands of feet above sea level) it 'forgets' when it is supposed to shift gears! It remains in too-low a gear for far too long (ignoring the fact that the strong turbocharged engine can make good torque at low RPMs), thus wasting fuel, wasting my money, making excess noise, causing excess wear and tear on the engine, and excessively harming the environment.

When I brought this to the attention of Erica Kirsch (x1994), executive secretary to the president of VCNA, her response was every bit as bizarre as was Volvo's reply regarding the missing lumbar support knob 17 years earlier: she said that I should have noticed the way the transmission worked when I test-drove the vehicle, and if I did not like how it worked then I should not have expected it to ever have been corrected under the new-vehicle warranty (even though my older, relatively primitive 5-cylinder turbocharged Volvo had no such problem) but I instead should simply have not bought the car in the first place! So I explained to her that I'd test-driven and bought the car in New Jersey, where the problem does not rear its ugly head, and I then suggested that she might want to call the very experienced Volvo tech an hour away (and 1000' lower) in Denver who'd driven my caR, and ask him what he thought about it. Well, according to Erica, he told her that if it was his car, it would drive him crazy!

So, even though this bad Volvo technological failure affects all 1st-generation S60s equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, executive secretary Erica decided that the way for Volvo to 'solve' Volvo's error was for Volvo to offer to buy my caR from me (and let it try to drive someone else crazy)!

I did try looking at alternative vehicles, but Erica insisted that the offer was only good through August, when the only new cars available are model year leftovers. Besides, by then I had removed some restrictions in the engine's induction system and, once I'd done that, I no longer needed to do manual gearchanges in order to cause upshifts to occur at correct speeds, because I could then cause it to upshift at less-excessive speeds without taking my hand off the wheel -- by briefly engaging the cruise control!

    Apparently the transmission control module [TCM] maintains multiple, inequally incorrect shift maps, and decides which map to use depending upon whether or not the CC is engaged -- too bad the CC is always disabled each time the caR is started.

Volvo did not see Volvo's technological failure as the problem, Volvo saw its customer, a victim of the failure who dared complain about it, as the problem!!! In other words, Volvo does not care at all if its vehicles misbehave and underperform and waste fuel and pollute excessively and even torture people a little bit, provided enough other potential customers remain unaware of Volvo's many serious blunders and abuses...

There are other technological failures inherent in this vehicle, too. The fancy expensive computerized suspension system ("4C"), with fancy expensive variable dampers (struts and shock amplifiers, er, absorbers) is an abject failure in terms of both comfort and safety (it will float like a butterfly but sting like a bee -- and sometimes side-hop wickedly -- as it stupidly solidly counter-punches even minor pavement breaks...). The finicky caR loves to find faults within itself, such as miniscule induction (not vacuum) leaks, with resulting reduced engine and suspension and braking performance, without any warning or other indications!

Behave honorably and professionally at all timesVolvo apparently cannot afford to behave honorably!

Erica Kirsch whined to me about how many dollars Volvo had already spent on warranty repairs to my car, as if I was some kind of trouble-maker or thief! Or as if it was my fault or I somehow benefited when the caR was out of service -- suddenly in total "statue mode" without any warning whatsoever -- for 11 days when the ignition lock cylinder failed while the car was still under warranty, or I enjoyed being without transportation for 3 days -- Volvo paid for a rental car for 8 of the 11 days.

Or as if it was my fault that the HU-850 radio became confused over which of the 1-6 buttons was which:




Or it was my fault or I somehow benefited when the remanufactured Volvo replacement radio also turned out to be defective -- and it cost me hours and hours, including fighting with McDonald Volvo's prissy arrogant service manager Tim Dyke, and also having to demonstrate and prove the subtle but annoying Dolby Pro Logic II rear channel sonic defect (because otherwise the Volvo dealer was afraid that VCNA would stick the dealer with an $800 bill!), just to get a car radio that worked properly and sounded OK.

The one thing that I suppose was, to Volvo's way of 'thinking', my "fault", and supposedly (...Volvo does not pay retail prices for Volvo parts!) caused Volvo's warranty and bad design coupled with poor quality control to cost Volvo more than $500, is that I happened to have a camera handy when I noticed that the solid-state digital compass in the rearview mirror was once again "stuck" -- a problem that the dealer had previously dismissed with a "could not duplicate" 'diagnosis' -- and once I had video of the compass malfunctioning...


...it was clear that I'd been telling the truth (...see, to help hold down warranty costs, Volvo presumes that its customers are compulsive liars, and it is therefore the customer's burden to prove that he or she is not lying each time a warranty claim is made). Still, it clearly is Volvo's fault that the compass is not itself serviceable, and therefore the entire auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass assembly, for which Volvo charges customers $500 just for the part, required replacing.

To summarize, the worse a customer's ownership experience is, the worse that customer will be treated by Volvo, and Corporate will feel justified in doing so!   That means that there is no appeal, no recourse...

Continuous improvement. Besides a cassette deck or possibly an 8-track, you will probably not miss (m)any features from your older vehicle when you buy a new one from the same manufacturerHere is a partial list of features and amenities that my 1995 Volvo 850 had but my (2004-)2007 Volvo S60R "halo car" lacks:

  • fresh air vent bypass
  • radio mute + CD/tape pause
  • boost gauge
  • cruise control on/off was retained
  • transmission sport mode was retained
  • transmission knew when to shift, even at altitude
  • fuel door had a hook from which to securely hang the gas cap
  • door edge red lights (safety feature when stopped on side of road)
  • coin holder
Recalls injurious/safety defectsNo! Volvo rarely admits mistakes or accepts responsibility unless it has no choice. So instead of issuing recalls for well-known defects (like the failure-prone lock cylinders which can be replaced in an hour or two before they fail but will keep a car out of service for more than a week once it fails unexpectedly) and even failures that have repeatedly injured people (see this common serious heated seat issue, which, like the lock cylinder, is far more expensive to repair after it's failed), Volvo tries to get away with "secret warranties" -- IOW, if Volvo likes you, or thinks that a failure to behave responsibly might prevent you from buying another Volvo, they might choose to treat you decently, but otherwise, they can and often do admit nothing, deny everything, make false counter-allegations, and thus figuratively give you the finger!






An honest appraisal of Volvo's top-of-the-line
4C computerized suspension system in Volvo's
ultra-fancy R cars, from The Car Connection:
"Even with chassis set to comfort mode
and the active dampers at their least aggressive setting,
the V70R crashes into potholes and thumps its way
along the highway, making plenty of noise and upsetting
its occupants in the process. It's not that it's firm
-- firm I can deal with just fine. It's
sloppy and crashy and it sometimes sounds like
it's about to lose an axle."
!!!


Via three buttons in the center of the dash, the
dampers can be set to Comfort, Sport, or Advanced,
the last suitable for racetracks or twisty roads
only ... if they're ultra-smooth. It could also have
been labeled aquavit, because it's about as stiff.
As long as the roads are buttery, the Advanced
mode is tolerable ... Comfort is the option of
choice on the interstate, but that's the only place
we'd recommend using it. It may be a comfortable
selection for the highway, but it's not comforting
on curvy roads, especially if they're rough
or
grooved. On our 10Best handling loop, we
experienced a lot of body movement, with
the tail hopping around and wiggling
like an excited pit bull.
Spooky.



Another negative review of Volvo's 4C suspension system

An owner of multiple Rs tells it like it is (to VCNA)!

Yet another trusting consumer gets stung by Volvo...

Some people will try almost anything to make 4C work!

4C is far less cruel when it can NOT feel the road!


VOLVO STILL LACKING IN ENGINE TECHNOLOGY:
still NO direct-injected gasoline engines
(or hybrids or diesels...) available!


Some info regarding real-world Volvo woes...

More info regarding real-world Volvo woes...

Volvo Problems web site

Volvo Car Complaints

Volvo Complaints and Reviews

Freya Svensson's Volvo Woes

Volvo Problems & Recalls

PLEASE DO File a Complaint with NHTSA



Volvo Systems Failures Demonstration

When Volvo proudly introduced the "City Safe" obstacle/pedestrian avoidance system
in the new S60 in Spring 2010 to the world's gathered media at a press conference,
it made at least doubly sure that the vehicle was "all systems go"! The car indicated
it was ready. They lined it up and let it go. Here is what happened:

Having proved to the world that Volvo's most advanced vehicles can triple-check
themselves and remain unaware of vital system failures, still when a customer
brings in a car under warranty and complains of and describes an evident failure
with resulting damage
, it remains customary for the authorized Volvo dealer to use
its computer to connect to the vehicle's computer in order to 'assure' the customer
that there was no failure.





EARTH TO VOLVO:
Straighten up, already!
Behave responsibly.
Stop harming people...
Compensate your victims!
Recall your defective products,
and stop producing more!