Volvo makes some of the safest cars on the planet, but it isn’t immune to safety recalls. As standard, every Volvo is equipped with automatic emergency braking to help prevent accidents, but the technology is redundant if it fails to detect an obstacle. Unfortunately, this is a problem that has potentially affected hundreds of thousands of Volvo cars worldwide.
Last year, when testing the automatic driving systems installed in a Volvo XC60, Danish motoring body FDM discovered that the automatic emergency brake consistently failed as the car didn’t automatically apply the brakes when approaching an obstacle that would normally activate the system.
The defective XC60 was recovered by Volvo and tested at the company’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, where it was discovered that every model produced by the automaker since January 21, 2019 could have the same fault. As a result, Volvo is recalling nearly 750,000 vehicles worldwide, 121,605 of which are in the US. The recall affects every 2019 and 2020 model in Volvo’s current lineup, including the V90, S90, V60, XC60, XC40 and XC90.
According to Volvo, the defect is related to a software issue with the AEB sensor inside the windshield. As a result, the automatic emergency brake system “may not detect obstacles and engage as intended,” increasing the risk of an accident.
Fortunately, Volvo hasn’t received any reports of accidents or injuries relating to the issue and the regular braking system is unaffected by the AEB issue.
Volvo has already developed a fix for the AEB system and will update affected cars with new software free of charge. Recalls for the affected Volvo cars are expected to start on May 1 and owners will be notified by mail to arrange an appointment with their local dealership to install the new software.