International, Kenworth listed among recalls

| 11/6/2001

Some Internationals with brake light problems and Kenworths with brake "sprag" problems are among the August recalls announced last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

More than 40,000 International 5000i and 9000i models built from 1998-2001 have an air-pressure actuated brake light switch mounted outside the cab on the front cowl that may not activate during light to normal braking in below freezing operating conditions. If the brake light fails to illuminate, there will be no lights to indicate to trailing vehicles that the affected vehicle is decelerating, which could result in a crash.

NHTSA says dealers will replace all air brake stop light switches. Owner notification was scheduled to begin last month. Owners who do not receive the free remedy with in a reasonable time should contact International at 1-800-448-7825.

Three thousand Kenworth T300s built from March 1996 to August 2001 are being recalled for a brake problem. On certain trucks equipped with 10,000- or 12,000-pound Dana front axles, a condition called brake sprag, which is characterized by a noise at the end of an applied stop, can develop in the brake system.

The noise is the result of a pulsation of the brake lining with the brake drum during brake application. These noise vibrations occur at the resonant frequency of the front axle cross-tube assembly and cause unusually high strain forces in the threaded portion of the tie rod ends that are connected to the cross-tube. Failure of the tie rod end can cause loss of steering control and possibly result in a vehicle crash.

NHTSA says dealers will replace the brake lining on the front axle of each vehicle with a lining made of a different composition. In addition, the tie rod ends will be replaced. The manufacturer reported that owner notification begin in September. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Kenworth at (425) 828-7356.