Volvo's European EX30 launch plagued by software issues, refunds

Are we ready to include crippling software problems in electric vehicles part of “the new normal?” If so, we’d think little of it. We’re most surprised by Volvo being the reason for asking the question. The Swedes had to postpone production of their flagship 2025 EX90 due to software issues. Then, after crowing about starting production, we find out the automaker’s informed buyers that their EX90’s might not be complete upon delivery, waiting for over-the-air updates to restore functionality that buyers of an $80,000 would expect to come with their vehicle. Overseas, the EX30 appears to be in even more trouble, its software reminding us of the problems Volkswagen had with its ID.3 and Chevy had with its Blazer EV on launch. Autocar reports that the glitches “range from screens going black and steering-wheel buttons not responding to cars not charging and even emergency braking systems randomly activating,” as well as “bricked infotainment touchscreens, incorrect information displayed (such as time and range), profiles reverting back to factory settings and driver aids failing.”

Some customers are reportedly returning their cars to Volvo for full refunds.

The automaker told Autocar the EX30 remains on sale, but in the UK, Volvo’s pushed online shoppers to the 2025 model; the 2025 EX30 launches July 8, Volvo said. The configurator at Volvo’s UK site advisers visitors, “EX30 Model Year 2024 is no longer available for new configurations. However you are welcome to browse our stock cars.” At the time of writing, we did not find any similar notice on the Volvo sites for France, Germany, or Sweden. A poster on a UK forum for EX30 owners wrote to another member that ordering’s been disabled on the UK site for three months.

And it’s a popular model. Volvo has more than 35,000 units in Europe through the end of May, making it the third-best-selling selling EV there after the Tesla Model Y and Model 3.

Every new car comes with its share of hiccups. Based on checking forums, owners seem thoroughly pleased with the EX30’s build quality. The hiccups here and in general with EVs is that their primary issues trace back to software (on top of the usual mechanical issues all vehicles face). On that UK forum for EX30 owners, the Recent Topics tab is peppered with threads about problems with the hatchback, the Faults & Technical section contains 85 individual topics (some of which are undoubtedly duplicates or misplaced). However, even reading threads that weren’t created to discuss a problem soon turns up posts with members saying things like, “That’s great, now if Volvo would just fix….” It’s the same on a French forum for EX30 owners, the thread for talking about the ownership experience the most popular one by response, starting with a long tale of charging mishaps.

The automaker delayed EX30 production to deal with software issues, same as with the EX90. It recalled every EX30 at the beginning of last month over a fault that sent the speedometer into test mode on startup, but the problem could be fixed with an OTA update, so customers didn’t need to visit dealers. Sounds like Volvo wants to fix everything on the go, without having to issue a stop-sale. Now that the problems have broken containment, we’ll see if Volvo’s programmers can catch them all before drastic action is required.

We’re not getting the EX30 until 2025 at the earliest while Volvo sorts out a manufacturing solution that will allow it to avoid tariffs here.

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