Currently reading: Volvo recalls more than 500,000 cars due to fire risk
Four-cylinder diesel engine's plastic manifold is prone to melting; 69,616 cars are affected in the UK

Volvo has recalled 507,000 cars globally, including 69,616 in the UK, over concerns that a faulty engine component could cause a fire.

The recall was prompted by a number of reported incidents concerning the firm’s four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engines fitted in cars between 2014 and 2019. An investigation identified a plastic engine intake manifold that could melt and ignite a fire in the engine bay. No other powertrains are affected. 

The issue relates to certain Volvo S60, S60 Cross Country, S80Volvo S90V40, V40 Cross Country, Volvo V60V60 Cross Country, V70Volvo V90V90 Cross Country, Volvo XC60, XC70 and Volvo XC90 models. 

The Swedish car maker is currently in the process of contacting all owners and advising them of potential warning signs. 

Customers are warned that an early symptom of the problem is an abnormal smell, which Volvo says “is an odour which is not usually present whilst driving your car”. Other symptoms include engine interruption, loss of power and illumination of the engine warning light. The company says there have been instances of the problem occurring in the UK but hasn't specified how many. 

Drivers who are concerned their vehicle could catch fire are instructed to pull over and call Volvo’s On-Call recovery service for recovery to a local dealership for repair. A fix will be carried out free of charge if the problem is found to be related to the vulnerable intake manifold. 

Despite the fire risk, Volvo advised owners: “Provided your car is not showing any of the symptoms outlined in the letter, it is safe to continue to use your car.”

The nature of the necessary repair has not yet been determined. Volvo says “the complete solution is still under development at this time and is an urgent priority”. 

A company statement said: “The safety and continued satisfaction of our customers are very important to us. We take this situation very seriously and are working to finalise a fix for the cars.

“In the meantime, it is important we make customers aware of this potential issue so they are able to react accordingly should any symptoms indicating an issue occur.”

The news comes as Volvo celebrates record sales in the first half of 2019, with 340,286 cars sold between January and June. The brand's range of SUVs was largely responsible for the success, accounting for 60.7% of all sales. 

In 2016, Volvo was forced to recall 79,000 cars in the US over concerns about a fault in the seatbelt mechanisms of some of its models. 

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Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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russ13b 22 July 2019


... you're driving along, minding your own business, and you start to think "something smells hot!", you've got to pull over. All the fire recalls we've had over the last few years... have of you bought an extinguisher?! Volvo has plastic manifolds catching fire, vauxhall (and others) have heater fans doing it, ferrari have engine bay sound insulation doing it, and somehow it's only Lotus you appear to dig at for quality and problems?

cambuster 22 July 2019

There was a point in time

when cars became (entirely) mechanically reliable, and stopped rusting - it felt like the 1990s/early 2000s. Since which time brands which thrived from this base have truly let down car buyers. Too many to mention, and now Volvo. Guys, engineering (and manufacturing) is only good if the vehicle is durable and reliable.

xxxx 22 July 2019

inlet manifold

True but can't be far away from the fuel lines. Be interesting the know the part involved, the fix and cost. Even if the dealer gets paid by  Volvo a £100 that's £50 million. Small fry in the car world  I suppose