The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) said Monday that the last of the nearly 16,000 heavy Volvo Trucks voluntarily recalled earlier this year for a serious steering defect have been identified and repaired – a rare 100 percent auto safety recall completion in a short period of time.
On Feb. 17, 2016, Volvo Trucks North America announced the recall of certain model year 2016-2017 VNL, VNX, and VNM heavy trucks due to a steering shaft defect that could have caused truck drivers to experience a sudden and complete loss of steering.
According to the USDOT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) took the unprecedented step of reaching out to its sister agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), requesting that agency’s assistance in getting the recalled vehicles off the road.
Working with Volvo, NHTSA and FMCSA implemented a nationwide campaign to alert trucking companies and their drivers as well as federal and state roadside inspectors of the urgent recall notification. FMCSA also issued an immediate out-of-service order for the trucks.
The USDOT said Volvo also employed innovative new methods to alert owners and drivers to the potential risk of the defect while the federal agencies turned to multiple social media platforms, sent press notifications to trucking trade news outlets, and made special appearances on satellite radio programs geared to long-haul commercial truck drivers.
“Over the last nine months, our USDOT team and Volvo Trucks have been laser-focused on protecting the motoring public by ensuring that every one of these recalled heavy trucks was identified and removed from our roadways until they were repaired,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This extraordinary effort, covering such a large number of vehicles, now with a confirmed 100 percent achievement of the safety recall, averted the risk of injury or death to not only the truck drivers, but also to everyone sharing the road.”
“We applaud Volvo Trucks’ commitment to addressing every one of these trucks,” said NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind. “Not only has every truck been found, they were repaired or taken out of service before there was any serious crash tied to this dangerous defect. This is exactly what proactive safety is all about.”