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Daimler recalls 142,110 Freightliner Cascadias for faulty brake lights

Lights may stay on when brake pedal is released, raising crash risk

For the second time in three months, Daimler Trucks North America is recalling a large number of its Class 8 flagship Freightliner Cascadias. (Photo: Daimler Trucks)

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is recalling 142,110 of its flagship Freightliner Cascadia over five model years sold in the U.S. and Canada because the brake lights may stay on when the truck is moving.

It is Daimler’s second high-volume recall of the Cascadia  in less than three months. It recalled 183,000 of the trucks from the same model years in July because corrosion of an antilock brake component could cause the trucks to pull to one side.

In the new recall, the intensity of the brake lights on affected trucks do not change. That means someone following the truck would not know if the Cascadia was slowing down. Such confusion could increase the risk of a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Daimler reported no crashes or injuries in it’s Sept. 18 report to NHTSA. The truck maker estimates 5% of the recalled trucks could have malfunctioning brake pressure switches.

First complaint in March 2019

Daimler received its first complaint of the brake pressure switch malfunctioning in March 2019. It received a second report in June 2019, which included a complaint that the cruise control would not work because of the brake pressure switch malfunction. Daimler investigated but did not see an issue rising to the need for a recall.

In February 2020, the truck maker received two more complaints. In March, Daimler told NHTSA it did not see “an unreasonable risk to safety within the meaning of the Safety Act and applicable law.” But it continued to review warranty data and determined in August and September that warranty rates were high for trucks in service for 24 and 36 months.

Dealers and customers will get more details on Nov. 16. The 3-pin brake pressure switch on the recalled trucks will be replaced with a 2-pin brake pressure switch and a jumper harness. 

The recall consists of 128,269 trucks sold in the U.S. and 13,841 trucks sold in Canada.

The NHTSA recall number is 20V-567.

Related articles:

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Freightliner conducts second recall for chassis brake light issue

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.