Volvo - Parasitic Battery Drain

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Jun 24, 2019
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Cars are too computerized for their own good! :( I was dubious, but it really is a problem after all. I will keep buying my econo-cars that have limited electronic brains and need a real key to start them.
My pet peeve is indeed the key. New cars often have a key that operates when you get close, so you can't really tell if the car is locked. Oh, I know you ought to be able to look at the door, hear an audible sound, or see an alarm light. (Which drains power as well.) I like to actually try the door. A few years ago I had a rental from Budget where the automated locking mechanism was broken. You got the alarm light and audible confirmation, but the doors were not locked. And Budget knew it, but the car did not belong to that location, so they didn't want to try to fix it. Since Budget cabled together two fat fobs, the virtue of not needing a key left you with something you could not put in your pocket, which is supposed to be the real virtue of keyless entry.
 
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johnbaker

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@SoCalTraveler As long as you can still unlock your car with a key (so you can unlock the doors and pop the hood), you might try a battery disconnect switch. I found one on Amazon for less than $10. Sits between your battery cable and your battery. Used a lot on vehicles that sit. One note is that it will probably kill the bosses saved settings every time....
 
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weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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@SoCalTraveler As long as you can still unlock your car with a key (so you can unlock the doors and pop the hood), you might try a battery disconnect switch. I found one on Amazon for less than $10. Sits between your battery cable and your battery. Used a lot on vehicles that sit. One note is that it will probably kill the bosses saved settings every time....
Or, if your car is garaged, leave it unlocked with the driver's window open. Then you can access the hood release (or leave the hood down but not latched).
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Have you looked at the value of the car? Spending $2000 and now an additional $1400 may not be a good use of funds on a 10 yr old car.
Relying on these estimates is not always a good idea.

Back in 2007, I was involved in an accident in an 11 year old vehicle with 150,000 miles on it. The damage was cosmetic, but obviously the insurance company totaled the vehicle. Meanwhile, the frame and drive train were intact, it just had some dents. So, I opted to repair those the insurance covered, and left the others. That vehicle lasted to 2016 with an additional 100,000 miles... and in the extra eight years I saved enough to buy a replacement for cash.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Relying on these estimates is not always a good idea.

Back in 2007, I was involved in an accident in an 11 year old vehicle with 150,000 miles on it. The damage was cosmetic, but obviously the insurance company totaled the vehicle. Meanwhile, the frame and drive train were intact, it just had some dents. So, I opted to repair those the insurance covered, and left the others. That vehicle lasted to 2016 with an additional 100,000 miles... and in the extra eight years I saved enough to buy a replacement for cash.
As they say in the ads "your mileage may vary". Most 11 yr old cars with 150K miles are not worth spending $3400 on (unless it is a classic).
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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I received (finally) a response from Volvo. My practice was to e-mail and then to snail mail the same correspondence. The e-mails on this site do not work (I've reported that), although the letters, or at least some of them, got through. The response came from the same customer service rep whom I had previously spoke with some time back. The letter to which she refers of July 14 was sent to the general customer service e-mail and snail mail.

"I am responding on behalf of the executive office, Mr Gustaffsson received your letter; however I wanted to let you know Volvo never received your original letter dated July 14, 2019, we would have responded to you at that time.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience you have experienced due to the battery drain in your Volvo XC90. Volvo has reviewed your request for reimbursement in the amount of $1400.00 and as much as we truly desire to resolve all of our customer's requests to their satisfaction, it is not possible to meet every expectation. I regret your request for reimbursement has been denied.

We thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concern."

What is not said is that Volvo is currently defending a class action over the RDAR issue (filed in New Jersey in 2015), and from a review of the docket it appears that the case is currently in mediation.

This problem reflects the distinction between those customer service issues with are sample defects (like my airplane seat is broken, my luggage is lost, Amazon has closed my account) and those, like mine with the RDAR issue, are design defects covering many consumers over a period of years. The allegation is that this problem affects all Volvos sold since 2008. Of course, many problems in the first category are design defects as well as employees have neither been trained nor given the power to solve problems.

The fair market value of the car, without adjustment for the low mileage, is from $6,300 top $8,300. I might have thought twice about investing $3400 into a nine year old car but for the fact that the problems occurred at different times and we had assumed that we had done something wrong causing battery failure, as neither Volvo nor the dealer advised of the problem or simple fix.

Thanks to all who chimed in.
 

Neil Maley

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I received (finally) a response from Volvo. My practice was to e-mail and then to snail mail the same correspondence. The e-mails on this site do not work (I've reported that), although the letters, or at least some of them, got through. The response came from the same customer service rep whom I had previously spoke with some time back. The letter to which she refers of July 14 was sent to the general customer service e-mail and snail mail.

"I am responding on behalf of the executive office, Mr Gustaffsson received your letter; however I wanted to let you know Volvo never received your original letter dated July 14, 2019, we would have responded to you at that time.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience you have experienced due to the battery drain in your Volvo XC90. Volvo has reviewed your request for reimbursement in the amount of $1400.00 and as much as we truly desire to resolve all of our customer's requests to their satisfaction, it is not possible to meet every expectation. I regret your request for reimbursement has been denied.

We thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concern."

What is not said is that Volvo is currently defending a class action over the RDAR issue (filed in New Jersey in 2015), and from a review of the docket it appears that the case is currently in mediation.

This problem reflects the distinction between those customer service issues with are sample defects (like my airplane seat is broken, my luggage is lost, Amazon has closed my account) and those, like mine with the RDAR issue, are design defects covering many consumers over a period of years. The allegation is that this problem affects all Volvos sold since 2008. Of course, many problems in the first category are design defects as well as employees have neither been trained nor given the power to solve problems.

The fair market value of the car, without adjustment for the low mileage, is from $6,300 top $8,300. I might have thought twice about investing $3400 into a nine year old car but for the fact that the problems occurred at different times and we had assumed that we had done something wrong causing battery failure, as neither Volvo nor the dealer advised of the problem or simple fix.

Thanks to all who chimed in.
Have you considered contacting the law firm that is handling the class action suit to see if they can offer any guidance?
 
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Jun 24, 2019
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Have you considered contacting the law firm that is handling the class action suit to see if they can offer any guidance?
Yes. Found out pretty much what I found on the docket. While they won't discuss what is happening in mediation, (a) I have a fair amount of experience in this field and I can predict the outcome within a narrow range, and (b) I need to wait to see if the case settles and what the proposed settlement is. No class has been certified, so no opt-out notice has been sent.