Volvo trucks that were subject to a recall two weeks ago are now in worse shape—the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration declared today that they are so unsafe that they must be taken off the road immediately.
Volvo is recalling nearly 20,000 trucks due to a defect with the steering. The recall affects 2016-2017 VNL, VNX and VNM trucks. According to the FMCSA, some of the affected trucks may be missing a roll pin that can disconnect the lower steering shaft from the junction block.
Also, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened, the agency added. Either condition can lead to separation of the steering shaft without warning, resulting in a complete loss of steering, which may lead to a crash.
“We recently learned of four cases in which the steering failed on vehicles equipped with a certain two-piece steering shaft,” John Mies of Volvo North America Corporate Communications told TheTrucker.com. “Based on our inquiry into these incidents, we are proactively contacting the owners of the affected vehicles and directing them to take the vehicles out of service as soon as possible, and we have issued a safety recall. We have also stopped delivery of any vehicles equipped with the component. We will replace all the two-piece shafts with a one-piece shaft as soon as the parts are available.”
The FMCSA is ordering commercial vehicle operators that vehicles that are not repaired “be subject to an immediate out of service order.”
Violating a federal out-of-service order may result in civil penalties as well as criminal prosecution, the FMCSA reports.
Dow Jones Business News is reporting that more than 13,000 trucks in the U.S. and Canada have already been taken out of service and 6,300 of those repaired. The company sent instructions to drivers’ dashboard displays today telling them to contact Volvo.
Michael Jay Leizerman is the managing partner at EJ Leizerman & Associates, LLC, Toledo, OH. He is a frequent lecturer who teaches other attorneys how to handle truck accident cases across the country.