Volvo Trucks North America has issued a safety recall for vehicles equipped with a greaseable two-piece steering shaft manufactured by Willi Elbe, and the company is directing owners of the vehicles to take them out of service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), issuing its own Urgent Inspection Bulletin, calls this a “critical safety defect that could severely affect the safe operation of these vehicles due to a faulty two-piece steering shaft.
This condition can lead to separation of the steering shaft without warning and an immediate loss of steering ability and control which may lead to a vehicle crash.” Volvo Trucks says affected models include certain 2016 and 2017 Volvo VNL, VNM, and VNX (VNX is under review and may be affected) model trucks, and certain 2016 and 2017 Mack Titan model trucks. The company says it intends to replace all two piece steering shafts with a one piece steering shaft, and it expects to have an interim solution the week of March 28, which will allow for safe operation of the vehicle until a one piece shaft has been installed. “We will supply the repair instruction as soon as possible,” Volvo Trucks says.
The company is also proactively contacting all of the owners of the affected vehicles, and has established a customer service line: 877-800-4945 opt #1. The FMCSA’s statement includes a graphic on how to identify a truck’s model, model year, and build date. The FMCSA says affected vehicles have an “M,” “N,” or “X” as the fourth character in the VIN.