Jim Johnston, president of OOIDA, said the petition was filed because numerous attempts to communicate with Volvo regarding the problems failed to yield results. He said OOIDA has received 185 written complaints involving 260 Volvo trucks.
"These reports of serious problems with Volvo trucks more than form a sufficient basis for the initiation of a NHTSA safety defect investigation," Johnston said. "The hazardous situations reported to OOIDA by Volvo owners demonstrate a serious risk of injury and death to not only truck drivers, but to anyone walking, riding or driving on the highway."
Volvo officials said its legal department is reviewing the matter.
The petition sets forth evidence that Volvo heavy-duty trucks manufactured between 1989 and 2000 may contain defects that pose the potential for loss of life and serious injury.
The vast majority of complaints concerned the front end of the truck. Sixty-seven complaints reported the incidence of severe vibration, shaking and noise centered in the front of the truck. Seventeen complaints reported trouble steering and controlling the truck. Several Volvo owners have discovered that their truck is overweight on the steering axle, even when not hitched to a loaded trailer.
Volvo did recall 1,577 heavy-duty trucks built between November 1997 and August 1999 yesterday because they were shipped with inaccurate front axle weight ratings. The recall stemmed from incorrect tire rating information used to calculate the weight ratings.