Freightliner and Western Star Trucks Recalled Due to Risk of ‘Unintended Engine Shut Down’
Portland, OR – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has issued yet another recall, this time for an issue involving the electrical system of affected Freightliner and Western Star semis.
DTNA submitted the recall to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 25, 2021.
According to DTNA, the recall potentially affects 122,056 Freightliner and Western Star units equipped with aluminum battery cables.
“On certain vehicles, the battery cable terminal at the frame connecting point may break, resulting in a loss of electrical power and unintended engine shut down without warning,” DTNA stated in recall documents.
The unintended vehicle shut down may result in the vehicle being stalled on the roadway, which increases the risk of crash.
DTNA was first alerted to the issue in January 2021, when the company said it received a single field report of unintended vehicle shutdown while in motion due to a broken battery cable.
Then, in March 2021, DTNA received another field report of positive battery cable separation at the 90 degree frame terminal.
The company said it “promptly” began an investigation.
The following month, DTNA received a failed part analysis report from the supplier.
The aluminum battery cables were all manufactured by Auto Kabel de Mexico SA de CV, DTNA stated.
Subsequent tests revealed the use of two incompatible galvanic materials — in this case, aluminum and brass — and not sealing them appropriately increases the likelihood of debris intrusion, which in turn may cause progressive damage to the weld joint area, documents reveal.
Makes and models affected in the recall are 2019-2022 Freightliner Cascadia P4, 2021 Western Star WH126, 2020 Western Star WJ121, and 2021-2022 Western Star 49X vehicles.
DTNA said it estimates the specific issue will affect “significantly below 1%” of the vehicles recalled.
Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed August 23, 2021.
As a remedy, the subject aluminum battery cables on affected vehicles will be inspected for corrosion and/or damaged and will be repaired or replaced with copper cables accordingly, free of charge.
Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1 (800) 547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-893.
You can read more about the recall on NHTSA’s website HERE.
This is DTNA’s sixth recall since March 2021.