Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Volvo S90 saloon?
An S90 will likely have been used on motorways as well as on school runs, so check the bodywork for stone chips and parking scuffs, as well as for any damage to the alloy wheels.
So far, reported problems with the S90’s mechanical bits are few. There have been issues raised with non-engine electrics, but these have usually been fixed under warranty and within a week.
What are the most common problems with a used Volvo S90 saloon?
Potential engine fire
Volvo is presently in the process of recalling around 70,000 cars in the UK fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, over potential engine fires for S90s made before 25 April 2018. Read our news story on this for further information or contact Volvo directly on 01628 854 210.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
The AEB system, which is supposed to apply the brakes when the forward collision sensors detect an imminent collision, might not actually do so. A software update is all that is required to sort the issue, and it applies to V60, S90, V90, XC40, XC60 and XC90 models built between 14 January 2019 and 22 January 2020. The fix can be completed by any Volvo dealer, and owners should have been contacted regarding this. You can also speak with your local dealer for further information.
A problem was found with the vehicle connectivity module (VCM) that sends location information to the emergency services after a collision. It applies to cars constructed between 16 May 2016 and 1 November 2018. Any Volvo dealer should be able to perform a software update to fix the issue for you.
Airbags that might not deploy correctly in an accident
There have been two recalls for airbags that might not deploy correctly during a collision. This first is due to airbags that don't meet the required specification and were fitted to models produced between 22 August 2016 and 5 September 2016. The second is for the retaining bolt on the curtain airbag; it could break and reduce the level of protection the airbag can provide. This recall affects certain S90s built between 21 November 2016 and 1 April 2017.
Seatbelt may separate from buckle
A small number of cars made between 11 May 2016 and 19 August 2016 had a problem with front seatbelt buckles that may not have been punched correctly during production. This could result in the buckle and seatbelt bracket separating during a collision.
Both the driver and front passenger seats rails might have been assembled incorrectly and will need to be inspected and then repaired by a Volvo dealer. This applies to examples manufactured from 18 October 2017 and 4 December 2018.
Is a used Volvo S90 saloon reliable?
Volvo as a brand has improved according to our most recent reliability survey, finishing in 16th place out of 31 manufacturers. Data on the S90 shows it came in eight place out of 10 cars in the luxury car class, albeit with quite a high rating of 90.7%.
Reliability rating 90.7%
Electrical issues were rife on the V90 and S90, accounting for nearly a quarter of all faults on the 30% of cars that went wrong. Other problem areas included the bodywork, brakes, engine and fuel system. Half of the faults were rectified in a day or less and all the affected cars remained driveable. Nine out of 10 problems were sorted out under warranty and no repair bills topped £500
If you would like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.
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