In response to an earlier recall by the manufacturer of the now discontinued Fontaine Ultra LT fifth wheel, all U.S. truck manufacturers recently said they have recalled their trucks with the product over issues with the device’s connector.
Initially, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in a September report there were 6,800 trucks, potentially, with the part the Fontaine Fifth Wheel Co., manufactured from July 29, 2009, to May 27, 2013. But in a series of recalls, truck makers announced in October the count rose to 10,984.
Daimler Trucks North America, whose brands include Freightliner Trucks and the niche brand Western Star Trucks, recalled 5,801 units — the largest number of potentially affected trucks. Its recall is expected to begin Nov. 28.
Navistar International Corp. was the next-highest with 3,776 trucks. Its recall was expected to begin in October.
The other truck makers recalled far fewer vehicles.
NHTSA in a report described the issue as: “Over time, improper coupling techniques may result in cumulative damage to the fifth wheel and its locking mechanism, which in turn may result in the locking mechanism failing to operate or to properly engage.
“If the fifth wheel and locking mechanism are sufficiently damaged, the locking mechanism may fail to operate as intended and the trailer may unexpectedly detach from the tractor, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Fontaine Fifth Wheel will replace at no charge all Ultra LT fifth wheels in the field with Ultra NT model fifth wheels.
DTNA is recalling 5,801 model year 2011-2014 Cascadia, Business Class M2, Coronado, and Columbia Glider vehicles manufactured April 5, 2010, to June 15, 2013.
Navistar Inc. is recalling 3,776 model year 2011-2014 International ProStar trucks manufactured May 18, 2010, to April 5, 2013; 2012-2014 International LoneStar trucks manufactured Sept. 7, 2011, to March 25, 2013; and 2011-2013 International TranStar trucks manufactured Oct. 18, 2010, to Feb. 20, 2013.
Volvo Trucks North America is recalling 669 model year 2011-2013 VNL and VNM trucks manufactured June 21, 2010, to Dec. 14, 2012. The recall is expected to begin Nov. 2.
Mack Trucks Inc. is recalling 448 model year 2011-2014 Pinnacle (CHU and CXU) trucks manufactured Sept. 10, 2010, to June 17, 2013. The recall is expected to begin Nov. 2.
Paccar Inc.is recalling 290 model year 2012-2013 Peterbilt 579 and 587 trucks manufactured Feb. 14, 2011, to Dec. 5, 2012, and 2011 Kenworth T700 trucks manufactured Sept. 21, 2010, to Oct. 1, 2010. Paccar has not yet provided a notification schedule, NHTSA said.