2002, Grain Valley, MO - The National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) has begun an investigation of several reported
defects in Volvo trucks. These investigations come in response
to a petition submitted by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association (OOIDA) and supported by complaints about mechanical
problems with more than 500 Volvo trucks. The new investigations
focus on steering problems, front u-bolt problems and sleeper
berth fires. These investigations join an ongoing NHTSA inquiry
of rear u-bolt problems in Volvo trucks.
Volvo owners reported with u-bolts include the unusual loosening,
stretching, twisting and complete sheering off of u-bolts. The
causes of steering problems reported include front-end shaking
and shuddering and steering column lock-up. Volvo owners attributed
reports of sleeper berth fires most often to problems with the
such as the one OOIDA submitted, has the power of requiring NHTSA
to examine the available evidence of a defect and make a decision
on whether or not to open an investigation. If through an investigation
NHTSA believes a vehicle defect exists, it has the power to pursue
a vehicle recall and/or the manufacturer's remedy of that defect.
There are no specific rules that require NHTSA to open a vehicle
defect investigation. It is merely required to review the available
evidence and then determine if the potential harm to public safety
merits the expenditure of its limited resources.
represents the interests of the nation's professional truck drivers,
became aware of the problem with Volvo trucks and was able to
gather from its members and readers of its monthly publication,
Land Line, a sufficient number of Volvo owner complaints to get
NHTSA's attention. OOIDA continues to help Volvo truck owners
provide NHTSA with useful information for its investigations.
The length of these investigations will depend on the complexity
of the problems and the cooperation of the manufacturer. There
are no statutory deadlines for the completion of an investigation.
Jim Johnston reacted to the announcement of the NHTSA investigation
saying, "Volvo owners are anxious for an immediate resolution
to their problems and OOIDA is encouraged that NHTSA has elected
to open the investigations. The association is confident NHTSA
will devote the time and resources necessary to identify the defect
and provide an adequate resolution for Volvo owners."
1973, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA),
is comprised of more than 73,000 owner-operators, professional
drivers, and small business truckers from all 50 states and Canada.
OOIDA represents the interest of this nation's more than 350,000
small business trucking professionals in the legislative and regulatory
processes at both federal and state levels.