Archive for November, 2009

A Tribute to my Volvo XC70 Heater Hoses

Dear Volvo XC70 Heater Hoses. I just wanted to say Thank You. You were apparently a pair of perfectly working Volvo XC70 heater hoses, despite the service manager at Rusnak Volvo telling us you were worthless and leaking. Thank you for being such hard-working Volvo XC70 heater hoses, and I am so sorry I had Independent yank you out and replaced. Rusnak said you were causing the coolant leak in my car, but they were wrong. You are now gone <sigh>, but the leak is still here. I miss you! Because you deserve a better ending than just being tossed in the trash, I decided to immortalize you and make you into a shiny piece of Golden Art.

With Love, Freya.

Breaking News: Update from Volvo

I had a long and fruitful conversation with Bill Casey at Volvo Customer Care this morning. (He called yesterday as well, but of course I was at soccer practice with my kids.) Here is what came out of it:

1. Regarding Repair of my Volvo: Volvo Corporate is sending a specialized Volvo Engineer to Pasadena on December 9th. His/her mission is to spend a couple of days (at Rusnak) examining my car & my service records with a fine tooth comb, to get to the bottom of all my issues. Volvo recognizes it’s an issue that I have so many problems with my car, despite following recommended service schedules and Dealer suggested repairs, over the years. I’ll keep you posted on what they find.

2. Regarding Volvo Customer Care: In reviewing my case, Bill realized some of my conversations with different levels of Volvo Corporate (like the conversation I had with the President’s office) did not come up when he reviewed my file on his computer. Apparently, some conversations were logged under my name, others under my husband’s name. This is an issue, since Volvo is committed to resolving repeat complaints with due diligence. Bill suggested there may be a need to review Volvo’s internal systems for capturing customer issues. He is looking into streamlining his department. Update to follow.

3. Regarding Rusnak/Dealer Customer Care: The Dealer is really the customer service connection between the Customer and Volvo. If a Customer has an issue with their car, the Dealer’s role is to mediate between the Customer and Volvo to find a resolution. My argument (and apparently many of you out there) is that Rusnak (my Dealer) did not mediate on my behalf as I would expect. I had to try to get my voice heard at Volvo without their help. Therefore, my argument is that Rusnak failed to live up to it’s customer service promises. Volvo does have a responsibility to forward any feedback they receive on individual Dealers directly to them, and if they add up, Volvo will take measures to review how the Dealer is representing it’s brand, both on quality of work performed and level of customer service. But apparently, there is an agreement of confidentiality between Volvo and it’s Dealers, so unless the Dealer is doing such a poor job that Volvo decides to close it down, it may be hard for us individual customers to know what measures have been taken to ensure tougher standards. Therefore, it will be up to Rusnak/the Dealer to issue a statement on how they plan to enhance their level of Customer Service and Quality of Work. I have let Volvo and Rusnak know that I am waiting for Rusnak to issue an Office Statement to it’s Customer Base on these points.

4.  My issues are being addressed. How about yours?: As Bill and I spoke, I told him there were many others out there that feel they are in a similar situation as I am — loyal customers, following service schedules, performing repairs as recommended by the Dealer. However, once they have a serious problem, they don’t feel they are getting the level of support expected. Here is what Bill suggest you do:

If you have a serious mechanical issue you feel needs to be addressed by Volvo, and you are not getting the support from your Dealer:

a) Contact 1-800-458-1552 or email Volvo Customer Care. In your message, mention Bill Casey’s name, and that will be a flag for him to review your case.

b) Send me an email with a summary of your case, and your contact information, and I will personally forward your case to Bill Casey’s direct email address, and he will contact you directly to discuss your issues.

If you have issues with the level of Customer Service or Quality of Work performed at Rusnak, or any other Volvo Dealer:

a) Email your issues and with what Dealer to Volvo Customer Care. You should expect a confirmation email or follow up phone call within 24 hrs, so that you know your voice is being heard. All feedback is being compiled and forwarded to the Dealers. And if one dealer is hitting critical mass, Volvo will review them.

b) Send me an email with the same information, that way I know what Dealer gets what feedback, and I can contact them on your behalf, to ask them to issue an official statement.

More to come.

“Rusna, Freya & Volvie”

In this episode, I express my deepest heartfelt feelings through the art of adult puppeteering. What better way to tell my riveting story?

Freya Top Story on The Consumerist

I just noticed my traffic jump drastically this morning, and noticed The Consumerist picked up my story. Thanks Ben Popken.

Is there a pattern? — I need Volvo facts!

I am starting to feel uneasy about all the similar stories I hear from you. People are coming from all sides telling me they have had similar or repeating problems at local dealers, that seem out of the ordinary. Is there something larger here than just a series of lemons breaking down at random? Is there a pattern in this? I’ve decided (after suggestions from an Auditor friend of mine) to go all Erin Brockovich on y’all and start compiling facts and figures in a spreadsheet, to see if I can find patterns in breakdowns, repairs, and warranty covers. I need facts starting with all you Volvo owners. Facts you can back up with service records (easily obtained from the dealer) or receipts.
Send me:
1. Year
2. Make
3. Model
4. Where you bought your Volvo
5. What major mechanical issues you have had
6. What mechanic found it (dealer or independent)
7. At what date & milage
8. What action was taken
9. If you were covered under warranty
10. Where you had the car repaired

If you had repeated problems, I definitely want to hear about it.

Freya on Freshly Pressed

One of the friends in Freya’s Army informed me that RusmackedVolvo made it to the Freshly Pressed Page this afternoon. Thank you WordPress! Much appreciated.

Update: Call from Volvo Corporate Office

I just want to let you all know that I received a very pleasant call today from Bill Casey, the Manager of Customer Care at Volvo North America in New Jersey. He let me know that Volvo is committed to working with me, getting to the bottom of the problems with my car, and finding a happy solution. Kudos to Volvo for stepping up to the plate. I look forward to the follow-up call next week. I’ll keep you posted. (P.S. He said he liked the hat.)

Freya on AOL’s Autoblog

Posted today on Autoblog

My story was just picked up by Autoblog this morning — Thanks Chris Shunk! We are finally getting the traction this issue deserves. Go Freya’s Army! If you are not yet, follow me on and connect to me on Facebook/Freya Svensson and Freya’s Channel on YouTube.

Enlist now! Get your Freya’s Army Tshirt

Order your “Freya’s Army” Tshirt now for $20. Hand screen printed on 100% Fine Jersey cotton T-shirt available in Black or Army. Send me an email with Size, Color and Mens/Womens model. Makes a great Holiday Gift!

Freya's Army Tshirt

Letter to Volvo

The contact form on Volvo's website

My friend Tad just posted this letter on Volvo North America’s Website. I highly encourage you to do the same:


I’ve been following Freya Svensson’s saga with her Volvo:

I know this person and know her character to be of a very high ethical standard. Her credibility is quite high. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that a respected company like Volvo would not stand behind its products.

Volvo and its local dealer in Pasadena, CA (Rusnak) is getting quite a black eye over this. Freya’s following is growing. Do the math. The costs you’re saving by not standing behind your product is now being outweighed by the loss of potential customers. I didn’t have anything against Volvo cars before this, but now, I wouldn’t go near a Volvo.

In the days of social media, if a company doesn’t provide quality service and stand behind its products, people find out about it. I would encourage Volvo of North America to step up and do the right thing. Take care of Freya’s Volvo problem and reverse the tide of your bad image in the Los Angeles area. It can only get worse by ignoring it and treating customers poorly.

Thanks for listening.


Thank YOU, Tad!