Some Mack and Navistar trucks are among the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's recent auto safety recalls.
Under federal law, safety problems must be fixed free. Manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.
More than 7,000 Mack 1998 CL, RD, RB, DM, MR and LE models made between March and October 1998 may have a steering problem. The recall involves Class 8 heavy duty truck chassis equipped with Mack 16,000-pound, 18,000-pound or 20,000-pound steering axles. The inner wheel bearing cone for the steering axle wheel hub assembly does not properly fit onto the Mack steering axle spindle assembly. Improper fit of the bearing to the spindle increases the stress levels to the steering axle spindle, which could cause spindle failure. If the spindle fails, the driver can lose control of the steering.
Owner notification was to begin during February 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Mack at (610) 709-3011.
More than 40,000 International models from 1996-98 also have been recalled for a steering problem. On some International 1552, 1652, 3400, 3600, 3800, 4700 and 4900 models equipped with Spicer 6,000-pound or 8,000-pound front steer axles, the tie rod end can pull outboard and separate from the tie rod tube due to improper thread engagement between the male tie rod end and the female tube. Separation of the tie rod end could result in loss of steering control.
Owner notification is expected to begin during April 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Navistar at (800) 448-7825.
Consumers can get up-to-the-minute information on safety recall campaigns, or information on the recall history of a particular make and model by calling NHTSA's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.