WASHINGTON — A major recall by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ subsidiary R.H. Sheppard on a steering part that could lead to a loss of steering ability has been issued, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSB).
The recall affects more than 105,000 vehicles at 29 companies, including most heavy-duty truck manufacturers.
“A small number of steering gears were assembled without the required number of recirculating balls,” according to the NTSB filing. “The recall population was determined by identifying the oldest production lot associated with a gear failure, and including all production from that lot to the date in February 2022 when the improvements in the assembly process were instituted.
Sheppard revealed that it knows of two cases in 2021 where the heavy-duty steering gear failed, though there were no injuries or crashes as a result.
The NTSB recall alert notes that drivers may feel a strain in the steering because the steering gear can bind when loads are applied.
And, in some cases, “the balls could align on the same side of the gear’s worm shaft,” the notice states.
No visible or audible warnings are present, according to Sheppard.
Volvo reported it had 1,632 certain 2022-2023 VN tractor trailers involved in the recall.
Daimler reported to NHTSA that it had 6,492 involved vehicles, including certain 2021-22 Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC) MT45, 2022-2023 Western Star 4900 and Freightliner Cascadia vehicles.
Certain Kenworth, Peterbilt and Navistar models are also affected.
Sheppard halted production for a day in February and made an assembly process change while checking inventory for defects.
Rework processes and inspections did not detect the missing recirculating balls. The supplier is working on a field remedy and will notify owners of the recall in July.
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