Cummins’ melting fuel heater leads to big Navistar recall

International tank hauler

Navistar Inc. is recalling more than 50,000 trucks and buses because an electric fuel heater in a Cummins’ medium-duty diesel engine used in school buses, trucks and emergency vehicles could overheat, causing plastic in the fuel heater to melt and potentially catch fire.

If that happens, an unexpected engine stall could occur, increasing the possibility of a crash, according to Cummins’ and Navistar filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The International trucks and IC buses account for the majority of 68,605 engines that Cummins (NYSE: CMI) recalled March 31. Navistar (NYSE NAV) was the only customer listed in Cummins’ recall notice. The status of the other 17,885 engines was unknown.  

About 10% of the Cummins’ B6.7 diesel engines are suspected to have the condition. Cummins said it was unaware of any fires, accidents or injuries related to the condition.

Cummins is developing a remedy and will notify International and IC dealers on April 30. The recall is expected to start May 29.

Cummins investigated the first case of the fuel heater melting in early February. It became aware of 12 cases of the component melting by the time it decided on March 24 to conduct a recall. The NHTSA recall is 20E-018.

Cummins told Navistar of the issue, and the truck maker developed the affected population covered in NHTSA recalls 20V-219 and 20V-220.

The 27,421 vehicles in the first Navistar recall are:

IC Bus/1300 FBC/2018-2019

IC Bus/CE/2018-2021

IC Bus/HC/2018-2019 

IC Bus/TC/2019-2021 



International/MV/2018-2021 and


The second Navistar recall covers 23,299 models of IC Bus/CE from the 2017-2021 model years.