Navistar: Part defect leads to production halt

| February 01, 2012

Navistar Inc. said today, Feb. 1, it has halted production of its Class 8 truck models and will sustain a profit hit because of a part recall from one of its suppliers.

At a stock analyst briefing, Navistar said it stopped Class 8 truck production in mid-December until the problem can be remedied.

It appears the affected part is a Bendix ATR-6 valve used in traction control or stability control systems manufactured by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems between Dec. 2, 2010, and Jan. 18. At temperatures at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit, internal leakage could develop that would result in pressure being applied to a service brake circuit, according to a posting on the Bendix website. This pressure could cause “intermittent or, in isolated cases, continuous brake application.” The notice says the ABS would still work if this occurs.

The defect also could affect the ATR-6 valve used in replacement of ATR-1, ATR-3 and ATR-6 valves if the replacement was manufactured during the specified dates, the company’s posting says.

Navistar told analysts it will retrofit all of its trucks on the road that have the affected part.

A Bendix spokesperson said the affected part was used in truck production at Navistar, Paccar and Volvo, but not including Mack Trucks. She said the recalled part was used in 50,000-60,000 vehicles.

A Volvo spokesman said the company has a “design solution in place” that uses a different valve in place of the ATR-6. “We identified all vehicles suspected of having the Bendix ATR-6 valve defect and postponed delivery of those vehicles, beginning Jan. 19,” the spokesman said. He added the company is taking action to take care of vehicles on the road.

A Daimler Trucks North America spokesperson said its production has not been affected because none of its products contain the ATR-6.

The Bendix website posting says temporary kits to fix the problem are available through original equipment dealers or an authorized Bendix aftermarket location. A permanent remedy kit will be available at an unspecified time, the posting says.

The company’s posting says it learned of the problem from driver complaints about braking issues. The company says it doesn’t know of any injuries resulting from the part defect. Owners of ATR-6-equipped vehicles manufactured between Dec. 2, 2010, and Jan. 18 are advised to have their vehicle serviced with the temporary kit, the posting says.