SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

I wanted to inform the community of an issue and lack of response from VOLVO regarding a major mechanical flaw in their car design. As an enthusiast I am thoroughly disappointed at the lack of response from Volvo. My girlfriend and I recently purchased a 2012 C70 and drove it home to Chicago from Cohasset, Ma. The car was truly a pleasure to drive but we drove top down for 50% of the drive. The car had brand new Michelin tires at all 4 corners with over 8/10ths.

We noticed some issues with car while we drove it home and made an appointment with the dealer, one of which was what I thought was a rear hub noise. Upon arriving at the dealer he informed me the cars rear tires were feathered, what essentially looks like bad strut wear on the rear Michelin Pilot $215 a piece tires.

He said this is common in the C70/V50/S40 and C30... So I proceeded to follow up with Volvo on how they will handle the issue, I know the P1 chassis has an aftermarket upper control arm that will fix the issue but then the OEM warranty is voided. So I wrote the email below to understand what Volvo's position is and have not gotten a repsonse! Any advice will be much appreciated.


To Whom it May Concern:

I reached out to the Volvo Corporate Facebook page about a recent issue we have encountered with our 2012 C70 Volvo, I wrote the following to Volvo through Facebook message:

I don't want to make a public scene yet, but I am concerned about a new addition to our Volvo family. We purchased a 2012 C70 with horrible negative camber when the top is down. it has caused the rear tires to wear in a wavy fashion on both rear tires.

I initially thought this was a hub problem but it is not. The dealer did not notify me of the Control ARM issues with this car and instead advised me buy new tires? If I did buy new tires the issue would return and nothing would be solved. So why would he suggest this? What if my significant other were in an accident because the rear tires lost traction due to uneven surfaces? Am I suppose to check the tires every 500 miles?

We have owned 7 different Volvos over the last 24 years of which we still have 6 of them. We buy Volvo cars for the dedication to safety, but if Volvo is aware of this issue why isnt the dealer helping us to fix it? A car that has uneven tread on a wet or snowy road is accident prone, how could I let my significant other drive this car knowing the tires wear incorrectly and the dealer wont fix it? If she spins out and loses control does Volvo want to be responsible?

All I am asking is for the dealer to fix the issue but I am getting a lot of push back. How does this make sense, the 4 tires are not properly touching the road for a OEM setup and I am responsible for Volvo checking and ensuring the safety of my significant other. Please help me as I would like to just have the rear control arms replaced so I can be certain my family is safe in this car. (Retailer Technical Journal RTJ15309-2009-12-16)

As requested attached you will find the service invoice for the 2012 C70, I would like to take a moment and give more color to this situation, the car is registered to Mrs XXX (Who is also included in this email)

1. In the invoice it shows Sirius Updating 0% - We have owned many cars with SIRIUS radio, in order to activate the radio the screen must be functional to give the Sirius ESN number that is assigned to the brain unit in the car, I told this to the service adviser and they did not fix the issue but stated we need to call Sirius to have it activated, I told him we need the ESN but apparently this service adviser doesn't realize how knowledgeable about Volvo and cars in general I am. So this is unresolved and we now need to make a second appointment to address this AGAIN! What do we have to do to be able to listen to the SIRIUS radio built into the car?

2. My bigger concern is the tire wear issue, the current Michelin tires on the rear of the car have 7/10th tread-wear left and are essentially shot but are a new tire (And cost $220 a piece). The road noise for this $51k luxury convertible is worse than a Chevy Aveo. When arriving to the dealer I mentioned to the service adviser Steven that we have this issue, he responds this is common on all C30 and C70 and you will need to replace the tires. He didn't mention there was a TSB on this issue, but my biggest concern is why isn't Volvo fixing this problem and why is the service adviser telling me to buy brand new tires for a car with BRAND NEW TIRES, that is not fixing the problem! This issue with the rear tires will cause hydroplaning on wet pavement as well as sliding on snow if it is not addressed. After reading on the several Volvo forums I am a member of, there is a fix. Since the P1 platform is shared with the Mazda 3 and Ford Focus, there is a $99 aftermarket adjustable Upper control arm I can buy ($99 x 2) and install that will correct the tire wear -Negative Camber issue and make the car safe and road worthy again. Putting an aftermarket part on a car under OEM warranty will cause it to fall out of warranty, how do we handle this? Also why should we have to be responsible to fix a car while it is still under warranty?

I am expecting Volvo to fix this Serious Safety issue with negative rear camber and tire wear, as well as cover the cost of replacing the rear tires or at least cover a majority of the cost to replace them, as this issue stems from a defect in the OEM upper control arm setup, and exacerbated when the car is driven with the top down for a period of time (I understand the top is heavy but our Mercedes SL cars don't have this problem).

We are a true Volvo enthusiast family and have swayed many friends and colleagues to buy Volvo cars, I am hoping Volvo will step-up and handle this issue like the top automotive manufacturer it is as this is a huge Safety concern for me and my family. As for the other Volvo's we own (We love them, they are some of the most reliable cars we have owned):

1991 Volvo 740 GL (Non - Turbo)
1995 Volvo 850 (Non - Turbo)
1998 Volvo V70 (Non - Turbo)
2007 Volvo XC90 V8 Sport
2010 Volvo V50 T5 AWD R-Design

Looking forward to hearing from you and how we can move forward together and solve this issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,256 Posts
GREAT letter. no flipping out, concise, well thought out. kudos. i am interested to hear/see the reply/outcome of this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
658 Posts
This demonstrates how apathetic some Volvo service centers are. I had a recent experience where I waited for 3 hours at a highly popular and "professional" dealer here in Portland...only to find out they couldn't do the requested checks because they had other customers who were angry and needed their issue fixed. I guess they were more angry than I was. And I guess I couldn't have been told earlier than the 3 hours while I was finding things to do around the area.

What is this upper control arm or where can I read more about it? And would it have something to do with my steering being just a tad off? My front end is not aligned and a few shops are suggesting adj camber arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,186 Posts
I applaud and enjoy your letter, but good luck! Volvo updated their "acceptable" camber range and effectively included all ranges to avoid having to fix this issue. I was at -2.x on both sides and tried to resolve this way back through the dealer AND Volvo NA to no avail.

If you get anywhere, let us know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,934 Posts
^thats lame, 'yeah, lets just change the specs'
also, i thought there was a new(er) factory piece that makes the neg camber around .5degree or 1 degree closer to 0.?

@Red_Zone: depending on what you mean by 'steering a tad off', maybe? but i doubt it. The rear wheels (to the best of my knowledge) are set up with negative camber to help eliminate understeer...and improve handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
Red Zone - we are talking rear camber here.

Brown - yes, there is a factory replacement (longer) upper control arm that will move the camber ~ +0.7 degrees from where it currently lies.

The correct factory spec is -1.52 +/- 1.0 (yes a full degree). Allowable difference side to side is 1.0 also.

XC90_B8444S - so, to get warranty action your rear camber needs to exceed -2.52 or exceed the 1.0 StS difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Red Zone - we are talking rear camber here.

Brown - yes, there is a factory replacement (longer) upper control arm that will move the camber ~ +0.7 degrees from where it currently lies.

The correct factory spec is -1.52 +/- 1.0 (yes a full degree). Allowable difference side to side is 1.0 also.

XC90_B8444S - so, to get warranty action your rear camber needs to exceed -2.52 or exceed the 1.0 StS difference.
The rear camber with top up measured 2.37!!! Which means with top down it is definitely exceeding this, but for some reason the dealer wants to measure camber with the top up and no weight over the rear wheels and I told them this is wrong as you should measure it with the most possible weight in the rear, IE top down.

Still Patiently waiting for a response from Bill Casey who is the head of the Claims/Warranty division. It has now been over 24hrs since I emailed Volvo at his attention after the 2 weeks with no response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
Good luck to you. Many many people have tried to get this covered on this forum with no success so I would jump for joy if you get it done.

;) One other thing, I forgot we were dealing with a C70. Volvo has thoughtfully made the spec -1.72 for you (They do the same for sport suspension). Now you will need to be in excess of -2.72 to be out of "official" spec.

In any case you need to get it repaired. You can go aftermarket adjustable or use the factory 31201356 arm. Make sure you get it aligned after the arm replacement & that the rear toe is set correctly. 0.3 total toe-in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,063 Posts
I am most interested in the response from Volvo as well. My S40 chews through summer tires like a mad dog. In the 7 years I've had her, I've gone through 3 sets of summer tires. I run winters for 5-6 months per year. For some strange reason my winters are lasting much longer. I'm probably putting 15,000km on my summers per year. Averaging 30,000km per set of tires. Not good.
After about 10,000km, the humming begins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,186 Posts
Make sure you get it aligned after the arm replacement & that the rear toe is set correctly. 0.3 total toe-in.
I'm getting my V50 aligned Friday after new LCAs and springs in the rear and new struts/springs in the front. I have always had inner edge sawtoothing like crazy despite previous alignments being "within spec."

I'm going to request that both front and rear toe be set to 0.0 - any reason why I shouldn't? It seems like this is the only way to avoid it...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Guys with stock suspension complaining about some negative camber :D

i lowered my V50 and have 3,51° negative camber on the rear :)
Just flip the tires after 1 year ;) :)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
I'm getting my V50 aligned Friday after new LCAs and springs in the rear and new struts/springs in the front. I have always had inner edge sawtoothing like crazy despite previous alignments being "within spec."

I'm going to request that both front and rear toe be set to 0.0 - any reason why I shouldn't? It seems like this is the only way to avoid it...
YES, zero toe will make the problem worse. Front 0.2 total, Rear 0.3 total, No less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,186 Posts
YES, zero toe will make the problem worse. Front 0.2 total, Rear 0.3 total, No less.
Really? Arg, this is so frustrating because my last alignment put me right at those specs, but the wear continued...

And sorry, OP, I don't mean to threadjack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,366 Posts
There are many things at play here. Understand that with the rubber bushings in the suspension & the force of the tires either pulling/accelerating or pushing/braking or cornering that the toe setting in the shop is not the true toe setting while driving. If everything was solid zero camber & toe would be perfect.

With the suspension in stage 0 condition the factory specs should give excellent, even tire wear. Worn bushings or bad tie rods will throw things way off. Toe is actually more critical to tire wear than camber. Generally speaking: Inner tire wear - increase the toe in/add more positive camber. Outer tire wear - increase the toe out/add more negative camber. Tires will also make a difference, certain models are way more susceptible than others to wear on the shoulders. Some will wear both shoulders even when inflated properly or higher. Take your driving style in consideration also. Grandma - more toe. Race - less toe. Allowable spec is +/- 0.2 so the acceptable range in front is +0.4 to 0.0 Experiment within the range to find your personal sweet spot.

A great investment is a pair of Longacre toe plates so you can make changes at home. They actually give very accurate & repeatable readings.

Remember, you've been rocking the broken springs...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
203 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
With my head hanging low, it appears you guys were right that Volvo is not interested in standing behind its safety credo. We will be escalating this to a legal issue (maybe Lemon Law) and possibly class action, I am officially breaking up with Volvo over this matter. It was a good brand but the fact they will knowingly put unsafe cars on the road and will not fix them for $1000 their cost (While under warranty) is all I need to walk away from a once favorite brand. Sad day for me, I hope Volvo will get it right sooner or later. If you have had or do have negative camber issues with your Volvo C70 C30 V50 S40 please PM. I would love to hear about it.

Currently paying to have the camber checked with the top down to prove that is what caused the feathering of the rear tires....... TO be continued


Thanks,
KC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,414 Posts
I always found this interesting. Since day one I have never had an issue with camber. My tires always wear out evenly. Even after I lowered the car, the guy I had put the spring on the first time looked it up and pulled those numbers. Obviously for the most part I'm running the middle of the road numbers. Overall I don't mind the negative camber it is for as long as my tires keep wearing the way they do...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,414 Posts
PS to the OP. Top down or not will have no effect on your camber. Your driving habits will do most of the damage.
These cars are a bit heavy and the C70 definitely more so with the extra top load. if you corner relatively quickly it will tend to wear out components a lot faster as the car body roll.

I'm not saying you have no justification here :)
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top