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Hello heather...the 02-04 Volvos had a large number of documented electrical problems, from brake lights to cluster lights ---look under the dash for a wire running near the top of the brake pedal stalk. Look reall close
at it, some switches are adjustable to control how far the pedal must move
away from the switch before the plunger extends which turns on the light. It's
possible the switch has shifted or it may be broken/cracked...or it's stuck causing the lights to stay on. Here is a link for the image of the brake switch. I hope this helps.
While I can't say for certain a replacment module is or is not in need of relacing, the fact that the brake light stays on would make it difficult for you to sell the car and in most states would fail inspection. Ask whomever told you to ignore the light to put that in writting. If your brakes fail in the near future you can point to that written statement. If the repairer refuses to put anything in writing, I'd assume your being lied to.
I'm not sure about your model, but some Volvos come with a little screwdriver hole adjacent to the headlight switch that you can turn to shut the DRL off. I believe the slot needs to be horizontal to be in the off position.