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Volvo Announces Its Worst Recall Ever for a Big Safety Issue

On Wednesday, Volvo Cars announced their biggest recall ever. Volvo said that over 2.1 million vehicles are affected. The recall is spread amongst multiple models. Volvo Cars says the recall was announced as preventative in nature.

A black Volvo XC60 is parked in a lot overlooking the ocean.
2018 Volvo XC60 | Volvo

Wear on the seat belt wire

According to reports on Reuter’s and the Associated Press, a steel wire that is attached to the front seat belts can experience unusual wear. As stated in the press release,

“The issue is related to a steel cable connected to the front seat belts. The cable may, under certain rare circumstances and user behaviours, over time, suffer from fatigue. This could eventually cause damage to the cable, resulting in reduced seat belt restraint function.”

Volvo models included in the recall

The recall is for several models in the Swedish automaker’s portfolio. It includes the S60, S60L, S60CC, V60, V60CC, XC60, V70, XC70, S80, and S80L models. The Volvo models subject to the recall were manufactured between 2006 and 2019. This does not affect current 2020 model year vehicles. 

What action is Volvo taking?

Owners of those vehicles that are affected will receive communication from Volvo this month. Additionally, owners can also contact their local Volvo dealership to schedule the free repair. In the meantime, no reports of injuries or accidents have arisen. However, Volvo is issuing the recall as a preventative precaution for any future concerns. 

According to Automotive News Europe, the largest affected owner group of recalled vehicles are those from Sweden, where 412,000 vehicles are affected. The United States is the next largest. That ownership group affected by the recall affects 308,000 vehicles.  

A blue 2019 Volvo S60 sits on display at a car show.
2019 Volvo S60 is on display at the 111th Annual Chicago Auto Show | Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

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Volvo sales

Volvo sales are off slightly this year. This is certainly related to the global COVID-19 pandemic situation. Sales last year totaled 40,186 units. This year the sales are at 32,870 for the same period, a drop of approximately 18 percent. 

Ownership history

Volvo Cars is an offspring off of a ball bearing company. In fact, the name itself comes from the Latin, “volvere”, meaning I roll. Their first vehicles rolled off the assembly line in 1927.

Like any automotive manufacturer, the Volvo brand has seen its ups and downs. During their history, the company has considered mergers and collaborations with Saab, Renault, Mitsubishi, and Ford. Ford did buy the company in 1999. Under Ford, they would be organized under the Premier Automotive Group banner with Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover. 

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Volvo Cars is a brand that is currently undergoing revitalization efforts through its newest ownership. The Swedish manufacturer was purchased by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010 from Premier Automotive Group. Since then, Volvo has spun off a new electric car company, called Polestar.

A seat belt not restraining a person in the manner it was intended to is a big concern. Although no reports have come in for injuries related to the worn steel wire issue, it is a good heads up move by Volvo to catch this problem and deal with it quickly. Consumers count on seat belts to keep them safe in the event of an accident. They do not need to be worrying if it will work correctly when needed most.