I just noticed this thread - as the proud owner of $1500 worth of parking brake replacement (including complete hub assy, cables and alignment) due to complete rear parking brake de-lamination, I will have to throw in my 2c. Sorry for the somewhat long post.
First is the safety issue with having the rear end lock up while on the road - definitely disconcerting and down-right dangerous. The second part of the problem is Volvo's refusal to warranty the problem and to further deny there IS a problem. Yes, brake shoes are a wear item, but replacement due to de-lamination is NOT A WEAR ISSUE. It is either design, manufacturing, or material flaws and should be covered under warranty with a part that has been corrected.
The second problem I have with brakes is the main power braking system. I have had the car in three times - and told that there is no problem with the system. Yet, when my engine is off, all of the vacuum bleeds off the power brake system in about 5 seconds. When I turn the key on, I can hear the vacuum pump that assists the system turn on, then it cycles every 5-6 seconds until I start the engine.
The issue here is a safety one - if there is a catastrophic power loss while driving - you lose all power assist on the brakes immediately. I can tell you that without power assist, it is very difficult to stop the car - and I am 200+ and 6'. In the past, a tenet of Volvo's power brake design has always been to have a reserve of several full brake applications after a total loss of power. On all of the previous Volvos I have owned (about 20+), the brakes ALL worked this way. I even had an 86 740 turbo that had sat in a junkyard for a year - had plenty of vacuum in the booster when I opened it up!
Next on my list is another vote on the headlight issues - poor design, not enough light at the right place on the road, etc. I understand the US spec issues, however, would be nice to see some options here from Volvo.
Suspension - neat idea that didn't work well. rear side-hop is the issue for me. Tried lots of stuff, but it should have been Volvo that figured this one out and fixed it. There is no excuse for building a performance car with this kind of issue and then not taking care of it. And changing the software to soften up the suspension so that it is not noticeable is not the right answer on this car.
Now - here area a couple of things I will mention for Volvo's benefit - not R problems. Car was a 2000 V70XC. The bolts that mount the front hubs to the suspension backed out. This was MAJOR safety issue because on the left side, when they backed out (all 4 of them), they jam against the rotating CV joint housing. The direection of rotation of the housing causes the bolts to try to back out further and they lock up the left front wheel. Luckily this happened on a local side street with no traffic, however, the result is a hard left turn toward whatever is coming the other way. To me, the customer, Volvo towed the car and repaired it, but claimed this had never happened and that there was no problem with the parts. I learned later from my sources within Volvo that they were, in fact, on their third generation of design for these bolts due to exactly this problem. It should have been a safety recall due to risk of major accident.
On this same car, it was in the shop nearly every 3 weeks - mostly for throttle body replacement - again for a problem that Volvo claimed did not exist. At least all this was covered under warranty - and Volvo did finally acknowledge a problem with throttle bodies and fix it.
Annoying, but at least the car kept getting fixed and we had 3 large dealerships within 15 miles. When we got ready to move to Maine with closest dealer 70 miles, we traded the Volvo in on a realiable Toyota Tundra. Absolutely zero problems in 5 years.
So Volvo - as one off the original founders of the Volvo Club of America, I have gone from my normal 3-5 Volvos in the drive at any one time to the one V70R - the first and last new Volvo I ever bought. I think that your survival will depend on being able to deliver the kind of reliability and customer support that you were once known for.
I keep the car because it IS fun to drive and I do not have to depend on it for transportation. However, I suspect that if I have a major failure (e.g., angle gear) that Volvo does not cover under warranty, it will get replaced with a non-Volvo product and then I will have none. My movement away from Volvo after owning and driving Volvos exclusively for over 40 years is not due to any one issue - but rather a continuing list of items that I see as solvable, but which Volvo has refused to take responsibility for. The result is a car that is at times unsafe to drive and which is unreliable. I put over 400,000 miles on a 79 242 GT with an 83 I/C turbo drive train. Loads of fun to drive, incredibly safe, reasonably fast, and the ONLY time that it stranded me on the road was with a broken timing belt (my failure not to replace in the specified mileage) that a dealer fixed on a Friday afternoon in 1 hour. I am still sorry that I sold my 1990 M/T 740 turbo wagon - should have kept it to have a reliable Volvo to drive.
Again, sorry for the bit of rant and a bit off topic as this one goes more toward what I percieve as the major problem at Volvo rather than specific tech issues. If Volvo could turn it around, I would be tempted to come back.