June 13, 2023

Navistar adds 2 recalls for fire-linked fluid leaks


Navistar Inc. has filed two new recalls for brake fluid leaks linked to fires in trucks it built for General Motors. More than 71,000 vehicles should park outside and away from structures.

The latest recalls posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website cover primarily IC buses and medium-duty International-branded MV trucks. GM in April recalled 40,428 similar trucks Navistar Inc. built for the automaker. Navistar later added 9,170 International CV Series trucks in a separate recall.

A faulty brake pressure switch assembly can allow brake fluid to leak beyond the diaphragm seal into the pressure switch. The brake fluid may seep into the switch’s electrical components and short the brake pressure switch and the associated fuse.

If brake fluid shorts the brake pressure switch and fuse, the circuit can generate excessive heat resulting in a fire. This condition may set a “service brake system” malfunction indicator lamp. 

11 fires in GM vehicles

GM reported 11 instances of fire, smoke or flame in the 2019 to 2023 Chevrolet Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD Class 4-6 trucks between July 2021 and January this year. GM and Navistar traced the incidents to the presence of brake fluid in a pressure sensor assembly.

NHTSA has reported no accidents or injuries. 

GM issued a “do not drive” notice to owners because a fire can start even when the engine is turned off.

Following the April recalls, Navistar reviewed current and previous designs of models with hydraulic brakes. It identified three models built with the same brake pressure switch and a similar harness design.

NHTSA recall 23V-398 covers 15,397 IC Bus CE school buses from the 2018-2024 model years and one unit from 2016. In NHTSA recall 23V-397, nearly two thirds of the 6,786 vehicles involved are 2019-2024 International MV medium-duty trucks.  

For the latest recalls, dealers will replace the brake pressure switch assembly and any wire harness found with brake fluid at the brake pressure switch connector or the associated fuse. Navistar began using a redesigned brake pressure switch assembly in production on May 22. Customer and dealer letters will be mailed Aug. 1.

GM, Navistar recall 49,000 trucks for fire risk

Navistar recall focuses for 3rd time on parking brake issue

GM and Navistar recall 37,328 trucks for suspect fasteners

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

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