January 2, 2014 11:00 AM, EST
Truck Makers Issue Recall for Defective Seat Belts

Several truck makers have recalled thousands of heavy-duty trucks because of possible seat belt defects that may make the devices difficult to unlatch.

The recall notices, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, affect more than 26,000 trucks made by Daimler Trucks North America, more than 5,000 made by Volvo Trucks and 39 Mack units.

All were 2014 model year units and were manufactured from August through November. DTNA’s recalled trucks include Freightliner and Western Star models.

The seat belts were L9 models manufactured by Westfield, Ind.-based IMMI, NHTSA said.

The manufacturer estimated that less than 1% of its recalled belts exhibited a potential partial engagement, making it harder to unbuckle, said James Johnson, IMMI’s vice president of sales and business development.

“We’ll work with the [truck makers] to provide replacement parts free of charge,” he told Transport Topics.

“The suspect component is supplied to DTNA with a defect resulting from the supplier’s manufacturing process, and the supplier has recalled a population of seat belt buckles affecting certain DTNA vehicles,” Daimler said in a statement. “There have been no accidents or injuries relating to the issue addressed in this recall.”

Mack said it will contact the owners of the affected vehicles and inspect and replace, if required, the seat belt buckle according to instructions provided by the supplier. Mack’s sister company, Volvo, said it initiated a voluntary owner notification and recall of the affected units.