Thousands of Volvo trucks recalled, owners face FMCSA penalties for driving

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Monday, March 21, 2016

Volvo is recalling nearly 20,000 trucks because of a substantial defect with the steering. The defect is so significant that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is urging owners to take affected vehicles out of service as soon as possible or face possible penalties, including being placed out of service.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents, the recall affects 2016-2017 VNL, VNX and VNM trucks. Some trucks may be missing a roll pin on the steering shafts, potentially disconnecting the lower steering shaft from the junction block. Additionally, the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft may not have been properly tightened. Both situations can cause the steering shaft to separate.

The recall also affects certain 2016-2017 Mack Titan trucks, according to an FMCSA safety recall alert.

Volvo and FMCSA are strongly recommending that owners refrain from driving affected vehicles until the final remedy – replacing the two-piece steering shaft with a one-piece shaft – is available. Initial notices were sent out to vehicle owners on March 14. Owners should expect a second notice when the final remedy is available.

In an “urgent inspection bulletin,” FMCSA noted that driving an affected truck could be considered a violation of FMCSA safety regulation 49 C.F.R. §396.7, which prohibits operation of a vehicle in a condition likely to cause an accident or a breakdown. Motor carriers that violate applicable regulations may face enforcement action including, but not limited to, civil penalties and a finding that the defect constitutes an out-of-service condition.

Volvo is working to secure rental vehicles for drivers. According to an FMCSA recall alert, Volvo will also cover towing where needed. A temporary solution allowing drivers to operate their trucks was made available on the week of March 14.

Owners can call Volvo at 877-800-4945 and choose option No. 1. Volvo's recall numbers for this campaign are RVXX1602 and RVXX1603. This recall supersedes safety recall 15V-786.

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