Volvo Trucks North America recommended last week that over 15,000 of its trucks with possible steering problems should not be driven until repaired. Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation has gone a step further by announcing today that the trucks should be taken immediately out of service.
“Today’s announced declaration is not intended to provide a basis for further enforcement action, but seeks only the immediate cessation of the unrepaired, unsafe trucks,” the DOT says in a Reuters report.
Concerns over a potentially dangerous steering problem led Volvo to recall certain model year 2016-2017 VNL, VNX, and VNM trucks manufactured from May 11, 2015, through March 8, 2016.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) the trucks may have been manufactured without a roll pin on the steering shafts. If the roll pin is missing, the lower steering shaft may disconnect from the junction block.
Also, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened. Either condition can lead to separation of the steering shaft which will result in a loss of steering and a possible crash.
Volvo reports that 15,835 trucks are potentially affected. Prior to today’s announcement from the DOT, Volvo strongly recommended that vehicles affected by the recall not be driven until a final repair is available. Volvo is developing an interim fix that it expects to make available shortly while it develops a final remedy. Both remedies are free of charge.
Owners may contact Volvo customer service at 1-877-800-4945 opt #1. Volvo’s recall numbers for this campaign are RVXX1602 and RVXX1603. This recall supersedes safety recall 15V-786.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 16V097000.
Another recall issued recently by Volvo Trucks North America affects certain model year 2009 to 2010 VT trucks manufactured from April 9, 2008, through September 24, 2009, and certain 2016 model VNL and VNM trucks manufactured from January 2, 2015, through to November 6, 2015.
There are potentially 2,053 affected vehicles equipped with USK non-greasable drag links that may experience corrosion of the ball joints due to the seals being compromised, possibly resulting in accelerated wear and failure of the ball joint.
Failure of the ball joint may cause separation of the socket and a complete loss of steering, increasing the risk of a crash.
Volvo will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drag links, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 15, 2016. Owners may contact Volvo customer service at 1-800-528-6586. Volvo’s number for this recall is RVXX1601. Note: This recall is an expansion of a previous recall 15V-651.
Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA campaign number for this recall is 16V095000.