Peterbilt, an important heavy truck manufacturer operating in the United States and Canada, has voluntarily offered to recall more than 2,000 of its semi-tractor-trailer trucks because they are able to travel at faster speeds than their tires are capable of handling. The recall will allow the manufacturer to change the regulators in the trucks’ engines to control speed. The move has raised concerns about the safety of other trucks with as many as 10,000 of these tires that may still be operating on the road.
Total Recall for Front-Axle Issues
Peterbilt, a subsidiary of Paccar, Inc., of Bellevue, Washington, has recalled model year tractors ranging from 2009 to 2016. These tractors are capable of traveling at speeds greater than 75 miles per hour, although the Michelin tires on these vehicles are rated for only 65 miles per hour. These trucks are primarily the type used for hauling vehicles such as new automobiles.
Peterbilt was quoted as expressing concern that a “premature tire failure” could result on the front or steer axle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Dealers have been instructed to reprogram the trucks’ computers so that their speed is capped at 65 miles per hour.
What About Other Manufacturers?
While the NHTSA has supported Peterbilt’s pro-active efforts to recall potentially dangerous vehicles, the agency has also expressed concern that other truck manufacturers with similar vehicles and risks have not already recalled their own trucks. However, the agency has not opened a formal investigation at this point, and there has been no request for further recalls. Michelin, the company that makes the tires, has stated that its tires are completely safe and are performing as they were designed to do, despite the fact that the NHTSA recently investigated several complaints about the company’s 22.5-inch diameter XZA tires involving three crashes and two police crash reports. Investigators closed the inquiry after they determined owner error or road hazards were involved in these crashes. During the course of the investigation, Volvo Trucks also issued a similar recall the current Peterbilt effort, resulting in the speed regulation of 115 of its own vehicles.
The NHTSA has also blamed states that have raised speed limits to 75 miles per hour, which it says may contribute to tire blowouts. The agency has proposed regulating top speeds of big rig trucks to below 75 miles per hour across the nation. Other advocacy groups have proposed a 68 mile per hour speed limit for all large trucks, which they claim would reduce the number of accidents involving these vehicles, many of which cause injury to other innocent motorists.
Truck accidents can be complicated, and many victims are unable to recover compensation for the injuries sustained in a large truck crash without the help of an attorney. Contact an Orlando Truck Accident Lawyer at David and Philpot today to discuss the details of your case.