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Daimler recalls 122,056 heavy-duty trucks for possible loss of electric power

Battery terminal cable can break and lead to engine stall

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling 122,056 heavy-duty trucks because a defective battery terminal cable can break and lead to a stall. (Photo: Daimler Trucks North America)

Daimler Trucks North America is recalling 122,056 Freightliner and Western Star trucks because the battery terminal cable may break, resulting in a loss of electrical power followed by an engine stall.

The recalled vehicles are 2019-2022 Freightliner Cascadia P4, 2021 Western Star WH126, 2020 Western Star WJ121, and 2021-2022 Western Star 49X.

DTNA is unsure what led to two reports of engine shutdown it received in January and March. It suspects improper sealing of aluminum and brass, which are incompatible materials, may have allowed debris to intrude over time.

Neither DTNA nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported any crashes or injuries connected to the issue, which DTNA suspects is present in about 1% of the trucks under recall.

“Field input disclosed that the largest portion of these events are occurring outside of warranty and parts are being replaced by customers with dealer-made copper cables, further complicating DTNA’s effort to understand if there was a defect observed in the field and, if so, what was the population,” the company said in its NHTSA filing.

Aluminum battery cables on the affected vehicles will be inspected for corrosion and/or damage and will be repaired or replaced with copper cables for free. Owner and dealer notification letters are expected to be mailed Aug. 23.  

The NHTSA recall number is 21V-481.

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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.