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Paccar recalls 54 Kenworth, Peterbilt models for possible steering gear fractures

Campaign accounts for more than half of R.H. Sheppard's May recall

The Kenworth T180 medium-duty truck is among 54 models in a Paccar Inc. safety recall. (Photo: Kenworth)

Paccar Inc., the parent company of Kenworth Trucks and Peterbilt Motors, is recalling 54 models of medium- and heavy-duty trucks — more than 50,000 units in the U.S. and Canada because faulty assembly of steering gears can result in fractures leading to a possible crash.

The issue is related to a recall in June of more than 105,000 trucks, construction and vocational equipment affecting 29 manufacturers.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems subsidiary R.H. Sheppard reported the issue to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on May 28.

Paccar reported two warranty claims but no crashes or injuries related to the condition.

Binding steering gear

Steering gear assembled with fewer than the required number of recirculating balls can lead to a fracture in the steering gear worm-shaft and loss of vehicle steering. A steering gear may bind when concentrated loads are applied. A driver may perceive a strain in steering before a fracture. But the defect triggers no audible or visual warning.

Paccar sifted Sheppard’s lists of steering gear serial numbers to identify units that had re-work done possibly resulting in incorrect recirculating ball assembly. Kenworth and Peterbilt plants quarantined, sorted and released parts three times during the first two weeks of June, according to a chronology Paccar included in its NHTSA filing.

Bellevue, Washington-based Paccar estimated 1% of the recalled trucks built between June 1, 2021 and June 2, 2022 may have the issue. It found two warranty claims that match the condition.

The 47,513 trucks recalled in the U.S. include Kenworth T170, T270, T280, T370, T380, T440, T470, T480, T680, T800, T880, W900, W990, C500, and Peterbilt 325, 330, 337, 348, 365, 367, 389, 520, 536, 537, 548, 567 and 579 vehicles.  

In Canada, Paccar is recalling 3,041 trucks covering 20 models, according to the Transport Canada website.

Dealers will inspect the steering gear serial numbers and replace the steering gears as necessary for free. The NHTSA recall number is 22V-547. Paccar set Sept. 26 for mailing owner notification letters, the NHTSA said. 

Editor’s note: Updates with details from NHTSA filing.

Over 100,000 heavy trucks recalled after steering failure reports

Paccar recalls Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks for steering part defect

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.