Freightliner recalls trucks with improperly lubricated axles

Freightliner 108 SD recalled

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is recalling two Freightliner models because certain axles were produced at supplier Meritor Inc. (NYSE: MTOR) without oil in the wheel end, a condition that has led to two Meritor equipment recalls in less than a year.

Daimler is recalling 1,532 Freightliner Business Class M2 and 108 SD severe-duty models from the 2019-2020 model years. It estimates 1% of the recalled vehicles built between May 3, 2018, and January 30, 2019, could exhibit the condition.  

Assembling the axle without oil in the wheel end can result in overheating of the wheel end bearings which can lead to damage and/or seizing of bearings, plastic deformation of components, and eventually wheel-end separation from the axle.

“Loss of vehicle control or property damage could result due to insufficient lubrication of the bearings in the wheel end system,” Meritor said in its February 20 recall filing covering 1,883  MX10-120EVO, MX12-120EVO and MX14-120EVO steer axles.

Meritor told DTNA of its recall on February 26. DTNA shared five warranty claims it had received involving axle lubrication.

Neither Daimler nor Meritor mentioned any injuries or crashes related to the condition in their respective recalls reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

DTNA service personnel will inspect recalled trucks for the presence of oil in the front-drive steer hubs and repair them as necessary. Dealers and owners will be notified of the recall on May 21. The NHTSA recall number is 20V-176.

Separately, Meritor recalled 1,249 MX 120EVO axles for the same condition in May 2019 following complaints from Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV). Meritor replaced wheel-end components from the spindle out in affected International trucks and added additional visual inspection, including photography, to assure lubrication in the wheel end system.