Truck Recall 12 Years in the Making


PACCAR, the parent company of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, just recalled almost half a million vehicles. Unlike many recalls, however, this one is not limited to the most recent model years. Instead, the recall covers 12 years of trucks for the same issue. Why did it take PACCAR so long to pull these trucks for repairs?

What Happened?

For the last 12 years, trucks manufactured by PACCAR have rolled off the line with the same manufacturing defect. One of the fuses may not function correctly because of faulty cab control software, causing the dashboard indicator lights to malfunction.

The NHTSA warns that because of this defect, a driver might not know that the air brake system or electronic stability control system in the truck has failed.

Thankfully, the NHTSA has not reported any crashes or injuries related to this recall. However, it is the second time PACCAR has had to recall vehicles for the same issue. In 2018, the automaker pulled buses and medium to heavy trucks for indicator panels that failed to light up correctly.

PACCAR claims that more trucks than they originally thought might be faulty. “Further testing showed a larger population of vehicles was affected and proposed remedies were not effective,” PACCAR told NHTSA.

In other words, the company missed the issue in an additional half a million vehicles–and their solution didn’t work, anyway. PACCAR also said that the coronavirus pandemic had slowed their efforts to test the trucks.

Recall Details

Over 455,000 trucks are part of this recall. Here’s the complete list:

The Kenworth models are T170/2008-2020, T270/2008-2020, T370/2008-2020, T660/2008-2019, T680/2011-2020, T800/2008-2020, T880/2011-2020 and W900/2008-2020.

The Peterbilt models are 330/2008-2019, 335/2008-2011, 337/2008-2019, 340/2008-2011, 348/2008-2019, 365/2008-2019, 367/2008-2019, 384/2008-2019, 386/2008-2019, 387/2008-2016, 388/2008-2019, 389/2008-2019, 567/2008-2019, 579/2008-2019 and 587/2008-2019.

What You Should Do Next

If you or someone you know drives one of the trucks listed above, you’ll have to wait until June 15 for service. That’s when PACCAR intends to start rolling out a fix for the issue.

Both the vehicles originally recalled in 2018 and the latest batch needs to be fixed. An authorized dealership can reprogram the cab control module software to resolve the issue. At least that’s what they hope to do, but considering this is the second time PACCAR has been called out on noncompliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stands, they better get it right this time.

Although no one has yet been injured by this software glitch, there’s a very real possibility that it could be disastrous for truck drivers–and anyone else on the road with them.