Paccar Inc., one of several manufacturers whose trucks are affected by problems with a Bendix air-brake valve, has issued a recall that includes 21 Kenworth and Peterbilt models.
Meanwhile, the other builders are notifying customers while deciding what further steps to take.
Some 50,000 to 60,000 trucks are affected, says Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, maker of the ATR-6 relay valve. Navistar International and Volvo said they are delaying shipment of thousands of trucks assembled with the valve and are notifying customers. Volvo's sister company, Mack, said only 11 of its trucks are involved and customers have been notified.
A "potential intermittent air leak" in extreme cold can cause service brakes to apply and other operational problems, Bendix announced last week.
Offending valves were made between December 2, 2011, and January 18, 2012. Truck builders are now using a different valve for current production.
Owners of recently built International, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo trucks should inspect the vehicles' relay valves to see if they are among the defective units, Bendix says. If so, the trucks should be taken to dealers for servicing. Inspection instructions and other information are on Bendix's website.
Daimler Trucks North America has not used the Bendix ATR-6 valve, says a DTNA spokesman, so Freightliner and Western Star trucks are not affected.
Paccar's recall includes some Kenworth W900 and T series trucks and tractors, and the Peterbilt 300 series plus the 587.
Its recall notes the possibility of "unexpected continuous brake application," and says that this "can cause the brakes to overheat and lead to a fire" and "can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
"Also, the brakes may be applied without illuminating the brake lights, failing to give proper warning to other vehicles."
These things can happen at zero degrees Fahrenheit and below, said the Paccar notice, quoting Bendix's earlier statement. Paccar's notice is on the U.S. Department of Transportation's SaferCar website.
Bendix said that a "temporary remedy kit" will allow affected trucks to stay in service. The kit contains an O-ring and a plug that, when inserted into the valve, disables its stability control function. A permanent fix is forthcoming, the company said.
Navistar International's chairman, Daniel Ustian, told stock analysts last week that delaying shipments of trucks is expected to contribute to first-quarter financial losses. The other manufacturers have not made similar statements.