Do Semi-Trucks and Other Big Trucks Ever Get Recalled?
Recalls have become common enough in the United States that most people are at least familiar with the basic concept. We hear news reports or receive literature in the mail telling us that certain foods, products, or cars, just to name a few, have been determined to be potentially unsafe, and should be discarded, repaired, or returned, depending on the specific circumstances. While recalls represent an action designed to address the important issue of safety, there are times that innocent people have already been harmed before the problem has been diagnosed and addressed.
Reports of recalls seem especially common for automobiles, including specific parts in the vehicles, such as steering mechanisms, airbags, and engine parts. But what about semi-trucks? Are they ever recalled?
Obviously, one can only imagine the harm that could be inflicted by a defective tractor-trailer truck in operation on the roadways. In fact, semi-trucks and other large trucks are sometimes recalled for safety issues, just like other motor vehicles. In this article, we’ll look at a few important statistics and provide some examples of circumstances under which big trucks have been recalled.
The Need for Recalls and the Authority to Require Them
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 35,000 deaths occurred on American highways in 2015, highlighting the need for improved motor vehicle safety. One aspect of meeting this need is removing unsafe vehicles from the road.
To help address this need, federal law provides NHTSA with the authority to develop and issue safety standards for motor vehicles. The NHTSA can also require motor vehicle manufacturers to initiate recalls if their products do not meet applicable safety standards. The Department of Transportation reports that since 1966, NHTSA has recalled more than 390 million motor vehicles, as well as millions of tires, parts, and car seats.
Examples of Truck Recalls
Truck recalls occur far more frequently than most people realize. To be fair, many recalls are initiated by manufacturers before the law mandates a recall. In other instances, the government requires the recall. Below are only a few examples of very recent recalls.
- In 2017, it was reported that Paccar, a truck manufacturer, would recall almost 18,000 Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks as the result of a potential steer axle problem. The NHTSA found that the issue might cause a reduction in steering control, thereby leading to an increased risk of a crash.
- In 2018, Fabform Industries, Inc. recalled certain 2017-2018 Fabform Power Tilt dump trailers because certain hinges could fracture, allowing the dump box to fall. Such an unexpected fall of the dump box could increase the chances of injury or death.
- In October 2018, Trucks.com reported that Navistar, Inc. is recalling more than 26,000 trucks that have certain Cummins engines. It was determined that under certain circumstances the fuel lines could burst, resulting in a possible fuel spill and engine stall.
- In 2018, Daimler Trucks North America recalled certain Freightliner trucks, stating that brake caliper mounting bolts had not been properly tightened during assembly, thereby increasing the possibility of a crash.
Call Nelson MacNeil Rayfield with Questions
If you’ve been injured in a crash with a semi-truck, the investigation and analysis of the causes of the accident can be complicated. Sometimes the truck driver is negligent. In other cases, problems with the tractor or trailer are caused by the negligence of the trucking company or other owner of the vehicle. And sometimes, the manufacturer is at fault for manufacturing a dangerous product. Many times still, the problem results from a combination of these and other factors.
Determining the true cause of the accident is essential to ensuring that the wrongdoer is identified and held accountable. That way, society is better protected against future wrongdoing. The experienced trucking lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield are familiar with these issues and would be glad to help answer any questions you might have.