Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) is recalling 218,468 Freightliner and Western Star trucks over a potential corrosion issue on front brake modules that could increase the risk of accidents.
The corrosion could cause left or right pulling, which could cause the vehicle to suddenly change direction due to uneven braking on the front axle.
On certain vehicles, estimated to account for 1/10th of 1% of recalled trucks, chemical corrosion could affect the functionality of the brake modulator valve. The recalled models are:
- 2021 Freightliner 108SD
- 2022 Freightliner 114SD
- 2017-2023 Cascadia cargo liner
- 2020-2022 Freightliner Business Class M2
- 2021-2023 Western Star 47X
- 2020-2023 Western Star 49X
- 2021-2022 Western Star 57X
Braking with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) engaged may result in full system pressure being applied to a front wheel end. This could cause brake drag due to the difference in braking force. Daimler reported no accidents or injuries.
ABS malfunction alarm possible
Drivers could get an anti-lock brake (ABS) warning light before corrosion has progressed too far. ZF North America’s individual ABS modulator valve components, or pneumatic quick-release valves, carry part numbers from commercial vehicle technology supplier Wabco Holdings. ZF completed a $7 billion acquisition of Wabco in 2020.
All three reports are from the New York to Maine area where road salt is commonly used. Mixed with water, it can form a slushy substance that can cling to the underside of a truck and corrode parts over time. Daimler is also recalling trucks in the Quebec region of southeastern Canada, where road salt is used heavily.
Affected vehicles will receive two front anodized modulator valves, one each for the left and right. Repairs are performed in phases based on vehicle locations. Repairs will be performed by authorized DTNA service facilities. Dealers and customers will be notified by December 30th by first class mail.
Earlier recall due to corrosion issue
DTNA recalled 183,000 Freightliners in July 2020 over a similar corrosion issue and replaced unpainted modules with painted ones to ward off chemical ingress from road salt. In September, the company received two reports of possible corrosion on painted valves, resulting in two trucks pulling heavily to the left and one to the right.
“After repairing the vehicle, the dealer was able to isolate the problem with the steering’s painted single modulator valve,” Daimler said in a statement to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Corrosion test results on five trucks from two different customers showed varying degrees of corrosion formation on the valves installed on trucks through October.
DTNA changed the recall population Thursday to include other vehicle models built with the affected steering modulator valves. These added models have a different valve mounting style and no known incidents. An investigation into the impact of other external braking events, such as electronic stability control and ABS, continues.
The NHTSA callback number is 22V-817.
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