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Volvo Safety Recall Alert: Steering Shaft

Volvo Trucks North America recently learned of four cases in which the steering failed on vehicles equipped with a greaseable two-piece steering shaft manufactured by Willi Elbe. Based on our inquiry into these incidents, we are proactively contacting all of the owners of the affected vehicles and directing them to take the vehicles out of service as soon as possible. We have also stopped delivery of all vehicles equipped with the component, and will issue a safety recall.

We are exploring every option to limit customer downtime. Our intention is to replace all two piece steering shafts with a one piece steering shaft. As it may take some time to acquire all the parts, we are working diligently on an interim solution. Trucks that receive an interim solution will ultimately receive a one piece replacement steering shaft.

We expect to have an interim solution next week, which will allow for safe operation of the vehicle until a one piece shaft has been installed. We will supply the repair instruction as soon as possible.

Volvo is working with the suppliers of the one piece shaft to expedite delivery of parts to support the recall. We expect to start receiving some one piece shafts within the next four weeks. However, it will take some time to acquire all the parts required.

A customer support line has been established and a customer care representative is available to answer our customers’ questions. The phone number for the customer support line is (877-800-4945 opt #1)

We ask that you please contact any local customers with vehicles equipped with this component to inform them of this issue.

I have provided some information below that can be used so that we provide an accurate and consistent message to our customers.

We appreciate your support.

Best Regards,
Tim LaFon
Vice President Regulatory Affairs,
Volvo Group North America LLC.

Please send any questions to the Regulatory Affairs mailbox, vtna.regulatoryaffairs@volvo.com

Dealer’s Responsibility:
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires dealers to ensure that all new and used vehicles are free of safety defects and comply with all relevant safety standards at the time of delivery to the consumer.

Dealers should make their personnel aware of the safety recall. In the event that a dealer has a vehicle included in the safety recall in their inventory to be sold, the condition must be corrected before releasing it to a customer.

Release Schedule:
• Vehicle list will be posted on the Trucks Dealer Portal March 11, 2016.
• Repair Instructions are tentatively scheduled for release early next week at the latest
• Owner Notices are scheduled to be mailed on or before March 14, 2016.

Q&A:

  1. What is the issue?
    - The upper steering shaft may separate without warning. A complete loss of steering will result if the upper steering shaft separates.
  2. What models and model years are affected?
    - Certain 2016 and 2017 Volvo VNL, VNM, and VNX ( VNX is under review and may be affected ) model trucks
    - Certain 2016 and 2017 Mack Titan model trucks
  3. When were the trucks manufactured?
    - May 11, 2015 through March 8, 2016
  4. How many vehicles are affected?
    - Volvo: 19,863 in total
    i.   U.S. – 17,008
    ii.  Canada – 2,847
    iii. Mexico – 8
    - Mack: 56 in total
    i. U.S. - 52
    ii. Canada – 4
  5. Is it a vendor issue or a Volvo issue?
    - This is yet to be determined
  6. Is this the same steering shaft that I received notification on back in November/December 2015?
    - Yes
  7. Is it the same issue?
    - No
    - Volvo has identified other issues; the bolt connecting the upper steering shaft to the lower steering shaft at the junction may not properly secure the upper steering shaft, and on some steering shafts, the pin that attaches the lower steering shaft to the junction block may have not been installed by the supplier.
  8. Is there a fix?
    - Yes,
    - We will replace all two-piece steering shafts with a one piece steering shaft. We are working to secure parts to support this activity.
    - An interim (temporary) solution, which will allow for safe operation of the vehicle until a one piece shaft has been installed, will be available.
  9. When will this be available?
    - The interim solution will be available next week, the week of March 14, and will be used to repair trucks so that they can be placed back in service.
    - We expect to start receiving one piece shafts within the next 4 weeks. It will take some time to acquire enough one-piece shafts to address all trucks in service.
  10. What should I do?
    - Volvo is recommending that the trucks be placed out of service as quickly as possible. Volvo believes that this action is necessary considering the severity of the matter and that the separation can occur without warning.
  11. How do I meet my commitments to my customer?
    - Volvo expects the interim solution will be available next week, week of March 14. This solution will allow the vehicle to be repaired to eliminate the risk of separation/ loss of steering so that the vehicles can be placed back in service.
    - Where there is an immediate need, Volvo will support the owner to secure rental trucks
  12. Who do I contact to make an appointment?
    - You should contact your local Volvo dealer or Volvo Authorized Service Center
    - Please contact the dedicated customer support line. The number is 1-877-800-4945 opt #1
  13. Will Volvo cover towing?
    - Yes, where needed. The customer support line will support with any towing needs
  14. Will the truck have to be repaired again?
    - Yes, the interim solution is a temporary measure
    - Once one piece steering shafts are available, we will notify the owners.
  15. What should a dealer do if they have trucks in their inventory to be addressed?
    - The vehicles must be addressed before they are sold/ delivered according to Federal Law
  16. What should I do if I have a vehicle in my dealership service center that is affected by the recall?
    - You should inform the owner of the recall and that the potential consequence is complete loss of steering
    - You should inform the owner that Volvo strongly recommends that the vehicle remain out of service until repairs are made
    - You should inform that an interim solution will be available next week (week of March 14).
    - You should administer the interim solution (when available)
  17. What if the owner refuses to place the vehicle out of service? Should I not let the owner take the vehicle?
    - The owner has the right to take the vehicle.
    - You should document in Argus and or ASIST that the driver/owner refused to take the truck out of service.
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