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Thermo King Inverters Recalled for Potential Fire Hazard

November 18, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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More than 250 model year 2014-2015 Freightliner Cascadia models trucks that came factory-equipped with certain Thermo King power inverters are part of a larger voluntary recall that also affects aftermarket-installed inverters.

In August, Thermo King acknowledged to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration an estimated 1,621 inverters could fail, resulting in a potential fire. These were sold to Thermo King dealers from May 15 through July 31 as a standalone option with both the Thermo King TriPac Evolution and TriPac-e Auxiliary Power Units.

“The accounts of the inverter failures include reports of a ‘popping’ noise, an odor emanating from the unit, smoke, and in a few instances sparks and small flames have been reported,” Thermo King said in a letter to NHTSA. “Based upon the reports and its investigation, Thermo King believes the Thermo King branded inverters that are manufactured by Power Bright Technologies in 1100-watt, 1500-watt and 2000-watt sizes may create a potential fire hazard.”

Other than damage to the inverter units, Thermo King said there have been no reports of property damage or personal injury. Between July 14 and August 14, Thermo King said it received reports of a total of 11 inverter incidents from Thermo King dealers. In most of those instances, a device such as a coffee pot or television was plugged into the inverter when the incident occurred.

Thermo King has told owners of the affected devices to turn them off and discontinue their use. The owners will be provided the option of having replacement inverters installed for no charge or having the full purchase price refunded, based upon the availability of replacement inverters.

Owners of the affected Freightliner Cascadia models will be notified by Daimler Trucks this month, and Thermo King will either replace the inverter free of charge or refund the full purchase price. DTNA's number for this recall is FL-668.

Owners may contact Thermo King customer service at 1-866-766-2708 or Daimler Trucks North America customer service at 1-800-745-8000.

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