Right in my backyard, Denver TV station KMGH claims to have
exposed a serious safety problem in late
model Volvos, a problem that the company seems to have been aware of for at least seven years.
According to Don Wilson, a retired Colorado engineer who started VexedVolvo.org to publicize his research into the issue, the problem apparently lies in a failure of the throttle position sensors in the car's fly-by-wire electronic throttle system. When the accelerator is fully depressed (pulling out to pass, for example), the throttle flaw can cause a complete stall without warning, sudden loss of power, or erratic acceleration. Since starting its investigation, KMGH has received complaints from Volvo drivers in at least 24 states and 12 countries. The U.S. NHTSA has received more than 130 similar complaints.
Follow the jump to learn more about what the Denver station uncovered and let us know if you own a Volvo that could be affected and whether or not you've experienced any issues.
Recently, KMGH obtained internal Volvo documents in which Volvo clearly indicates the company was aware of the
problem as early as May, 1998.
In California, a class-action lawsuit has been launched against Volvo, citing an internal Volvo document that predicted a 94 percent failure rate of the electronic throttle modules in some models at or before 100,000 miles.
The electronic throttle module in question is on all gasoline-powered 60-, 70-, and 80-series Volvos from 1999 to 2001. Full technical info can be found here.