Volvo recalls 27,457 new vehicles over a brake-by-wire issue

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Eight Volvos from the 2023 model year have been drawn into a recall over software in their brake-by-wire systems. The models at issue are everything Volvo sells — the C40, XC40, S60, XC60, V60, V60 Cross Country, V90 Cross Country, and XC90. The combined recall population numbers 27,457 cars. The problem is that an in-vehicle diagnostic test to check the grounding of the system can trigger a fault in the vehicle’s Brake Control Module 2. The fault doesn’t always occur, but when it does, the vehicle reverts to its hydraulic system so the car can still stop. However, without the brake-by-wire system, the driver doesn’t get the benefit of software-defined safety systems like ABS, ESC, Traction Control as well as convenience features like Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise control and one-pedal driving. Drivers might be alerted to the situation with a warning message and malfunction lamp in the gauge cluster, or a stiff brake pedal.

The automaker says it has had no reports of accidents, injuries or fatalities because of the problem. If the car is turned off and able to enter what Volvo calls “deep sleep,” the electronics will clear the fault.

To fix the issue, Volvo will send an over-the-air update with logic that’s a better fit for the Brake Control Module 2 hardware. The automaker says the new code “will be implemented on February 20” of this year, but in another example of the digital world outpacing regulatory processes, Volvo will begin notifying owners on March 15.

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