Volvo Trucks North America is recalling 77,000 VN Series trucks sold in North America between 2001 and 2006 for a potential problem with corrosion in the steering gear.
The recall of approximately 64,000 VNs sold in the U.S. was ordered last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, citing a problem with TRW sealed drag links “which if left untreated may result in a ball socket separation” that can “result in complete loss of steering.” VTNA has voluntarily added 10,000 trucks sold in Canada and 3,000 sold in Mexico to the recall, according to a spokesperson for the company.
The problem involves a rubber sealing boot on the drag link that, if damaged, can allow water and road debris to enter the ball socket, leading to corrosion and accelerated wear, according to the VTNA spokesperson. If left untreated, the wear could lead to ball socket separation, but “it takes a prolonged period – in some cases years – for corrosion to reach the point where steering is affected,” he said in an email to Fleet Owner.
To date, “A loss of steering has occurred only in a small fraction of one percent of the total vehicle population,” he said.
VTNA will contact owners of all affected VN trucks by mail no later than Aug. 15, according to the company. Inspection and replacement of the component “should take less than an hour,” the spokesperson said. NHTSA says owners can also call VTNA at 1-800-528-6586 for more information about the U.S. recall.