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Mack Trucks Recalls Over 20,000 Models Over Driveshaft Defect

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On February 25, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a safety recall affecting more than 20,000 Mack trucks. According to the alert, the recall has been implemented to replace a faulty cap nut on the driveshaft that may loosen prematurely, increasing risk of vehicle accidents on the road.

No crashes or injuries related to this defect have been reported yet. Drivers are warned to be aware of vibrations and noises that may indicate loosening and to address the issue immediately.

Mack Truck Driveshaft May Disconnect

According to the safety alert Mack sent to the NHTSA, the defect involves the “cap nut that retains the interaxle driveshaft yoke to the rear axle shaft.” If this nut comes off, “the yoke can separate from the axle input shaft and cause the drive shaft to disconnect. A disconnected drive shaft can disable the truck and result in debris on the roadway, which increases the risk of a vehicle crash.”

Affected models include certain model year 2012-15:

• Granite (GU)
• Pinnacle (CHU, CXU)
• TerraPro (LEU, MRU)
• Titan (TD)

The recall also covers model year 2015 LR trucks manufactured September 1, 2011, through April 30, 2014.

On top of the 20,000+ vehicles affected in the U.S., an additional over 1,000 are affected in Canada, over 400 in Mexico, and nearly 3,000 in other countries.

Mack Truck Second Recall Affects Steering Shaft

Mack first became aware of the driveshaft issue back in October 2015, after a customer reported a failed driveshaft. The company conducted a four-month investigation and found that the shaft had been defectively designed.

Mack plans to issue repair instructions for replacing the defective cap nut to dealerships no later than April 15, 2016. Owner notices will be mailed on or before that date. Repairs will be made for free. In addition to replacing the part, technicians will also inspect the input shaft threads and replace those that show damage. Customers can call Mack customer service for more information, with recall number SC0399: (610)-709-2131. Consumers can also call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (safercar.gov).

Mack is also recalling certain 2016 and 2017 Granite and TerraPro models for a steering shaft problem. This affects just over 1,300 vehicles, in which the roll pin may be missing at the junction block on the Willli Elbe brand two-piece steering shaft. The missing part can cause the steering shaft to separate, which would result in an inability to steer. This issue also previously affected nearly 16,000 Volvo trucks that were recently recalled.

Repairs for this issue will include an inspection of the steering shaft and a replacement of the roll pin if necessary.

Driveshaft Drops on Highway, Leads to Explosion

Losing a driveshaft can create serious risks on the road. In 2011, for example, a semi truck lost its drive shaft just north of the junction with Interstate 205 in Washington. The truck driver pulled over, but soon afterward a minivan hit the shaft, sustained a flat tire, and pulled over. A second minivan hit it as well, and pulled over. Seconds later, that vehicle was engulfed in flames, possibly from a pierced gas tank. The driver was rushed to the hospital.