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Daimler recall inadvertently confirms new Western Star truck model

Though not for sale yet, Western Star 57X included in safety recall for faulty hood part

The Western Star 47X introduced in September 2021 was among X-Series trucks recalled because a hood part can fall off. (Photo: Daimler Truck North America)

A Daimler Truck North America recall inadvertently confirmed the next addition to the Western Star X-Series of heavy-duty vocational trucks. A small number of pre-production 57X models have a defect in which part of the hood can become unglued and fall off.

Western Star has been renaming its off-highway heavy haul trucks as X-Series models. The 49X and 47X account for most of a 2,294-unit recall to replace stainless steel hood-mounted side intake covers that can come debonded from the intake. About 1% of the vehicles are estimated to have the condition that led to the recall.

Daimler knows of eight warranty claims and one field report of the condition, including three covers that fell off while the truck was moving. If the hood side intake stainless steel cover falls during operation, it may cause road debris and increase the risk of a crash.

No injuries reported in recall

No injuries were reported, Daimler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Propduction occurred between March 9, 2019, and April 1, 2022.

Daimler builds around 600 Western Star trucks a month, so the recall is relatively small. But it preempted the marketing announcement of the next product in Western Star’s revamped lineup, expected to be a replacement for the 5700XE that went out of production at the end of 2021.

Daimler advanced that date by having dealers cancel orders for the 5700XE because of a supply chain disruption that has made semiconductors hard to get in the volumes that truck makers need. Daimler was among the first automakers to reallocate microchips to where they were most needed.

The 5700XE is a Western Star version of Daimler’s flagship Freightliner Cascadia. The 57X, seen in testing, also appears to be based on the Cascadia. An undetermined number of 57X models still owned by Daimler were caught up in the recall. Companies build prototype, non-salable and salable models before regular production begins.

A camouflaged version of the Western Star 57X captured in highway testing.
Camouflaged Western Star 57X

The 57X portion of the recall may have been as few as a half-dozen. Daimler amended its defect report to NHTSA on Thursday to increase the number of recalled trucks to 2,294 from 2,288 reported to the NHTSA on April 7.

The side intake covers will be removed and replaced with new parts. New side air intake covers will be assembled at Creative Liquid Coatings, the supplier in Newberry, South Carolina. DTNA-authorized service centers will perform the repairs. Owners and dealers will be told about the recall in a first-class letter on June 5. The NHTSA recall number is 22V-227.

Separate recall for windshield wipers

Separately, Daimler recalled 520 49X models from 2020-2022 because the windshield wipers may fail. On the affected vehicles, the wiper linkage and casting may wear and break, which could result in wipers not functioning properly. Reduced driver visibility may increase the risk of a crash.

Daimler has received 35 warranty claims and two field reports regarding the issue, which affects up to 800 trucks, though only 520 were included in the NHTSA action. They were built between March 19, 2019, and June 30, 2021. The company will notify customers of the recall on June 6. It is still working on a fix for the issue. The NHTSA recall number is 22V-230.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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.