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Navistar recalls certain LT tractors due to improper battery cable wiring

Inverter system from Truck Specialty Center is target of recall population

Navistar is recalling certain International LT models across five years because of a battery cable wiring issue that can lead to a fire. (Photo: Navistar)

Navistar Inc. is recalling 2,804 of its flagship International LT tractors across five model years because improper battery cable wiring in specially upfit trucks can lead to a fire.

The suspect population is identified by vehicles that the Navistar Truck Specialty Center (TSC) upfitted between February 2017 and February 2022 with a 1500W Purkeys inverter system. Similar vehicles are unaffected.

The positive battery cable to the inverter may chafe on the side skirts of the vehicle. Over time,  an electrical short to ground can occur, increasing the risk of a fire. The inverter cables were not routed according to Navistar’s routing and clipping standards, the manufacturer told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Evidence of chafing on the inverter battery cable is visible when the driver side skirt is removed. The condition may not be detected without removing the skirt.

Fire reported in February

Navistar received a report of a vehicle fire in February, which originated below the driver side floor, above the diesel emission fluid tank and outside the frame rail. A positive battery cable to the inverter had shorted to the skirt frame.

An investigation found two of five inspected units had the chafing condition. After looking at more suspect vehicles, Navistar ultimately determined the issue was improper cable routing. It made a change in production at the TSC on March 11, a day after filing the recall with the NHTSA.

Dealers will replace two or three inverter cable brackets and saddles with a newer design and replace any damaged cable. The newly designed brackets and saddles more consistently secure and locate the cables compared to the recalled components, Navistar said.

Customer and dealer notification letters will be mailed by May 16. The NHTSA recall number is 22V-164.

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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.