It's official: Nikola truck fires prompt battery-electric recalls

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Aug. 21, 2023:

Nikola recalls 209 battery-electric trucks for fire risk

After announcing last week that a coolant leak inside a battery pack was the cause of an electric truck fire, Nikola is recalling 209 of its Tre BEV models as a result.

The company in its announcement last week noted that it was in the process of filing a voluntary recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for the trucks and placing a hold on new BEV sales. NHTSA documents, dated Aug. 18, make the recall official. The recall notes that leaking coolant can accumulate inside the battery pack, causing an electrical short and increasing the risk of fire.

Owners are advised to park outside and away from structures. As advised last week, the Main Battery Disconnect (MBD) switch should be left in the "ON" position at all times until the vehicle is repaired.  The remedy is currently being developed. 

Interim notification letters, informing owners of the safety risk, are expected to be mailed by Oct. 14. A second notice will be sent once the remedy becomes available.

Owners can contact Nikola customer service at 630-808-4531 with recall number 23VDC-0601. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-580.

[Related: Nikola halts sales on battery-electric trucks due to recent fires, issues recall]

Class 8 severe-duty trucks recalled by Autocar

Autocar is recalling certain 2023 ACX (Xpeditor) and DC (Legend) trucks in which the powertrain driveline center support bearing hardware may not have been properly secured. The recall affects approximately 605 units.

The recall states that an improperly secured powertrain driveline can detach from the vehicle and cause a loss of drive power, increasing the risk of a crash.

Dealers will inspect and secure or replace the powertrain driveline support bearing hardware, as necessary, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed Oct. 6. Owners can contact Autocar customer service at 888-218-3611 with recall numbers ACX-2309 and DC-2305. NHTSA’s recall number is 23V-571.

New Love’s opens in Nevada

A new Love’s Travel Stops location is now open in Tonopah, Nevada, near the intersection of U.S. 6 and U.S. 95.

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The location offers 40 truck parking spaces, Chester’s Chicken and Godfather’s Pizza restaurants, seven diesel bays, four showers and more.

The Tonopah store is the company’s sixth in Nevada.

[Related: U.S. 95 lane closures ongoing in section under construction]

New full-service diner opens at Arizona TA

Black Bear Diner, famous for its abundant portions of home-style comfort food and a unique cabin-themed dining experience, the company said, recently announced the opening of its newest diner located at the TravelCenters of America location in Tonopah, Arizona, along I-10 west of Phoenix. The diner marks the company’s eighth with franchisee TA.

The opening of this location follows TA’s most recent Black Bear Diner opening in San Antonio, Texas this past March.

“We are pleased to add to our full-service dining offer,” said Jack Hancharick, TA VP for full-service restaurants. “Our guests love the Black Bear Diner concept, and our team is excited to welcome such a popular brand to the TA in Tonopah’s wide array of offerings.”

[Related: What makes a top-rated truck stop]