Bendix malfunction delays new truck shipments

| February 03, 2012

Bendix is working on correcting a potential defect in its ATR-6 valve used in stability control and braking systems after truck operators reported braking problems.

Three manufacturers – Paccar, Navistar and Volvo – have deferred shipments of Class 8 vehicles equipped with the part, which was manufactured between Dec. 2, 2010, and Jan. 18. Bendix estimates up to 60,000 vehicles are affected by the part recall.

Bendix said a temporary remedy kit is available at the OEM dealers and authorized Bendix aftermarket locations. The company is working on a permanent remedy kit, although no estimate was given of when the permanent fix will be available.

Navistar has stopped production of Class 8 trucks pending a permanent fix. A Volvo spokesman said the company resumed truck production after replacing the ATR-6 with another valve. Paccar hasn’t responded to a media request about its action related to the part recall.

Bendix said it reported the faulty part to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Jan. 26, after alerting truck makers to the problem Jan. 20.

The problem with the Automatic Traction Control Relay Valve can potentially occur only in vehicles operating at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, Bendix said in a service bulletin on its website. Intermittent air leakage could result in applying brakes, but is not related to Bendix stability systems, the company said. Vehicle ABS and service braking will still operate normally on covered vehicles, the company said.

An operator might notice a loss of engine power, according to the posting on the Bendix website. In addition, brake lights may not be illuminated and the brake application pressure gauge won’t show any pressure, the bulletin said.

If a vehicle operator has the temporary remedy kit installed, “the Bendix ESP full stability system and Wingman ACB and Wingman Advanced system will be temporarily suspended until the permanent remedy kit is installed,” the company said in a news release.

The company has posted a Q&A about this issue at an ATR Valve Update link at its website at www.bendix.com. The company also is staffing an ATR-6 phone line to answer technical questions and provide ordering information daily from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. Its toll free number is 1-800-478-1793.

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