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July 13, 2020 3:00 PM, EDT

DTNA, Navistar Announce Voluntary Safety Recalls

Freightliner CascadiaDaimler Trucks North America

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported it administered almost 900 safety recalls in 2019, affecting more than 38 million vehicles. Two recent voluntary safety recalls illustrate the kinds of issues truck makers are adjusting to and how the agency is overseeing those efforts.

Daimler Trucks North America and Navistar Inc. recently issued voluntary safety recalls.

“Typically the dealer is reimbursed [for replacing the component] and maintains the paper trail necessary for regulatory compliance,” said Jack Legler, technical director of American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council.

DTNA notified NHTSA it is recalling potentially 164,317 of its best-selling Freightliner Cascadia 2017 to 2021 models due to an automatic braking issue.

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The recall is expected to begin Aug. 30.

The truck maker said the trucks’ single brake modulator valve, supplied by Wabco USA, may be affected by chemical corrosion that can slow down the release timing. ZF Friedrichshafen AG acquired Wabco in May.

DTNA said it was reacting out of “an abundance of caution” to eight claims of failure in the field since May 2019 and that the issue “appeared to be” more systemic. Additional valves remained under review as of July 2.

“A slow release of the brake on one side during an active brake request (i.e. automatic braking events) could lead to a brake pull resulting in a sudden change in vehicle direction due to uneven braking on the front axle increasing the risk of a motor vehicle crash,” according to Portland, Ore.-based DTNA, whose Freightliner brand is the leader in U.S. Class 8 retail sales.

DTNA listed electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking as features that could be affected. The manufacturer will notify owners, and dealers will perform repairs free of charge. As of July 8, it had not yet provided the repair procedures, according to NHTSA.

RCAK-20V390-6065 by Transport Topics on Scribd

For more information, owners may telephone DTNA customer service at (800) 547-0712. The recall number is FL-855.

Meanwhile, Navistar began a safety recall July 8 over concerns the wrist pin bushing of the engine connecting rod may fail in certain 2018-20 International LT and 2019-20 International RH trucks with its A26 engines.

Navistar on Sept. 13 received an initial field report describing an issue with a fleet having five A26 engine connecting rod failures over two months. A company investigation into the potential issue found connecting rod failure may result in an unexpected engine shutdown, increasing the risk of a crash. The number of potential trucks affected is 4,499, the truck maker reported to NHTSA.

“[The repair involves] programming the ECM [engine control module]. This new engine calibration will provide an electronic detection system that will alert the driver if the engine is starting to have a connecting rod failure. The driver will be alerted by the illumination of the red stop lamp in the cluster and a fault code will be displayed,” according to Navistar’s related service-procedure sheet.

RCAK-20V255-4190 by Transport Topics on Scribd

“For the fleets, they just want to avoid having the downtime,” Steve Gilligan, Navistar vice president of product marketing, told Transport Topics. “So they want to know when we pull them off the road, especially if it is not a mission-disabling failure, that they will get in and out really quick.”

Owners may contact Navistar customer service at 1-800-448-7825. Navistar’s number for this recall is 20504.

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