72,500 Freightliners Recalled After Headlamp Defect Leads to Incidents of ‘Total Vehicle Loss’
Portland, OR – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has issued a recall of over 72,000 Freightliner Cascadias for headlight issues that may cause a fire and possibly result in “total vehicle loss.”
According to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DTNA indicated it is recalling certain 2017-2022 Freightliner Cascadias equipped with halogen headlight assemblies.
DTNA said the halogen headlight bulb may dislodge during replacement and contact other vehicle components, possibly causing them to melt and cause fire.
In total, 72,508 units are affected.
DTNA indicated it was first alerted to the problem in mid-June 2018 when it received a field report of a melted headlamp socket with a replacement headlamp.
While the incident did not result in a fire, it prompted DTNA to open an investigation.
Four incidents were reported in 2018, which DTNA attributed to aftermarket installation errors.
The investigation was officially closed in late January 2019, “reasonably concluding defect that presented an unreasonable risk to safety, with all issues arising from improper after first sale owner installation of replacement bulbs,” DTNA reported to NHTSA.
The following month, DTNA updated its Workshop Manual and published a Service Bulletin, cautioning installers to ensure “proper installation with bulb firmly seated in headlamp housing,” warning improper installation may result in “melting or fire damage” to the vehicle.
However, from January through July 2019, eight additional headlamp failure reports were received from the field, DTNA stated.
During a re-examination of the issue in January and February 2021, DTNA reported to NHTSA an additional 24 incidents that took place between August 2019 and November 2020.
DTNA reported “some” of the incidents resulted in “total vehicle loss,” though the company did not provide an exact number.
As a remedy, dealers will install a foam grommet on both sides of the truck, cut a 4-inch access hole into the inner fender, and add a warning label on both fenders, free of charge.
According to DTNA, affected units were manufactured between March 8, 2016 and May 5, 2021.
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Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed July 12, 2021.
Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1 (800) 547-0712.
DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-887.