Volvo recalls plug-in hybrids over power loss

Ridgeville, SC – November 7, 2022 – Volvo (OTCMKTS:VLVLY) has issued a recall for 15,674 plug-in hybrid vehicles whose combustion engines could fail to engage once the battery is depleted. This would cause the vehicle to lose power while driving and increase the risk of a crash. The problem is the result of a Volvo software issue.

The recall covers the following models: 

  • 2022 – 2023 Volvo S60
  • 2022 – 2023 Volvo S90
  • 2022 – 2023 Volvo V60
  • 2022 – 2023 Volvo XC60
  • 2022 – 2023 Volvo XC90

Recall summary

Plug-in hybrid vehicles have an electric motor with a high-voltage battery and a combustion engine that takes over in certain circumstances to give the vehicle more range. The electrical drive has a cooling system to prevent it from becoming too hot. This system is managed by a computer called the electronic control module (ECM), which instructs it to increase cooling flow as temperatures rise.

In the affected vehicles, a software error can cause the Volvo ECM to incorrectly set the cooling flow to zero when maximum cooling is needed. If this happens, the system would “tell” the combustion engine not to start.

If this occurs when the vehicle is moving, the vehicle will not be able to switch from electric to combustion and the car will stall when the high-voltage battery runs out.

Recall risks

Read more about the risks of this defect in our recent article about a similar recall by Nissan. 

Warning signs

Drivers may notice a dim “Propulsion System Service Required” message on the instrument panel upon starting the car; while this message is displayed the vehicle can run on electric power. Before the vehicle is set to switch over to the combustion engine, a second warning in the form of a turtle icon will appear, and the vehicle’s speed will be limited to about 47 miles per hour.  If the two messages are ignored, a “Stop Safely” message will appear as the battery runs out and the vehicle will lose propulsion.

Other Volvo recalls

In May 2022, Volvo issued a recall for 5,351 hybrid SUVs over malfunctioning accelerator pedals. These could result in the vehicle unintentionally accelerating or decelerating, presenting an increased risk of a crash, injury and property damage.

In November 2021, Volvo recalled 194,546 cars over exploding driver’s side airbags that could release shrapnel toward the vehicle’s occupants, increasing the risk of injury. 

The repair

Dealers will update the ECM software on the affected vehicles free of charge. 

Affected owners will be notified on or around December 8, 2022.

Is your vehicle part of this recall?

More than 15,000 vehicles are affected by this plug-in hybrid recall. To check for Volvo XC90 recalls and more, run a Volvo recall check using MotorSafety’s free vehicle lookup tool.

Joseph EstabilloVolvo recalls plug-in hybrids over power loss