Daimler recalling over 400,000 trucks due to potential brake light malfunction

A potential brake light malfunction is causing Daimler Trucks North America to recall over 400,000 Freightliner and Western Star trucks.

The recall affects the following models since model-year 2008 (production dates of March 27, 2007 through Oct. 30, 2017):

  1. Freightliner Cascadia
  2. Western Star Model Number 4700
  3. Western Star Model Number 4900
  4. Western Star Model Number 5700
  5. Western Star Model Number 6900

DTNA said the trucks have a brake light pressure switch that may not turn on the brake lights when the brake pedal is depressed.

The NHTSA has received documents from DTNA detailing the chronology of events that led the trucking company to determine a recall was needed. According to DTNA, the problem first surfaced in December 2015 when it was alerted to reports of “cruise re-engaging after brakes are applied.” This was initially attributed to driver education. In April 2016, the issue received further scrutiny upon discovery of the stop light switch issue through reports that the dashboard switch “may not activate.” Through November 2016, switches that were returned to DTNA and shipped back to the supplier. The supplier reported that the switches were showing no problem.

In December 2016, DTNA began “an extensive investigation into the root cause of the failure which required more samples from the field.” Identifying the root cause was slowed by vehicles still under warranty not showing any problems, DTNA said.

In May of this year, DTNA set up a new test for the problem and finally determined the problem. Tests led to a conclusion that “it was possible for air pressure to build between the sensor and connector over time potentially causing the brake lights to activate after several hard application of the brake.”

DTNA will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicles, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin Jan. 25, 2018. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-756.

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