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Tesla issues recall for Semi truck over roll-away risk

Issue involving parking brake valve module affects 35 trucks

Tesla began deliveries of the Semi in December, shipping an initial batch of trucks to Pepsi and Frito-Lay. (Image: Tesla)

Automaker Tesla has ordered a voluntary recall of 35 of its all-electric Class 8 Semi trucks due to a parking brake issue.

It’s the first recall for the Semi, which is produced at the company’s factory in Sparks, Nevada. Tesla began deliveries of the Semi in December, shipping an initial batch of trucks to Pepsi and Frito-Lay.

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety recall report, electronically controlled parking brakes on Semi trucks “may intermittently fail to transition when the parking brake is engaged or disengaged, which could then result in the parking brakes not being set or released.”

The electronic parking brake valve module by supplier Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems was found to contain a defect.

Ohio-based Bendix notified Tesla in February of a possible problem with the module. Tesla investigated the issue and decided to file the recall on March 17, and Semi service teams were notified about the recall around March 27.

Tesla will send letters to Semi owners on May 23 notifying them of the recall. 

“If the parking brakes are not engaged when the driver expects them to be and the driver releases the service brakes, the vehicle may unintentionally move, increasing the risk of crash,”  the NHTSA recall report stated.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has not identified any incidents in which the Semi’s parking brake has resulted in a crash or damage, the company said.

Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, said it will replace the module “with a revised part with improved internals that prevent air leakage and allow the driver to engage and disengage parking brakes.”

In 2017, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pitched the Semi as an electric truck that would disrupt the commercial transportation industry, but production suffered repeated delays amid the departure of key executives.

The Semi can reportedly haul the maximum legal weight of 81,000 pounds for 500 miles at highway speed. The company has not released information on how many Semi trucks it has produced or sold.

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One Comment

  1. Paul R Sandgren

    In your article, you failed to mention all the other semi trucks that have been recalled for the same reason using the same brake valve module by supplier Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. in total there have been thousands of recalls using this very same part.

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]