Volvo Trucks and its Mack brand are recalling two electric truck models due to the risk that cabin heaters could ignite.
Recalls encompass certain 2019–2023 Mack LR Electric and Volvo VNR Electric trucks. The recall notices say a cabin heater relay may fail, causing the coolant heater to overheat and catch fire.
The two recalls affect 137 Volvo Trucks North America EVs and 43 with Mack Trucks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Volvo Trucks noted when there's no coolant flow or a low coolant level, the heater could catch fire.
The need for fixes arose after a European Volvo safety committee issued a recall decision and report in 2021, and a North American counterpart concluded its investigation Jan. 5, 2023, according to recall reports.
Dealers will update software and install replacement relays free of charge. Owners will be notified by March 19.
The issue hadn’t generated any reported crashes, injuries or warranty claims, according to recall reports.
Volvo Group North American spokesperson John Mies said in a statement that "Europe had this product in production well before the U.S. In this market, we initially did not have enough mileage on our project trucks to understand whether the U.S.-specific application would be affected in the same manner, so we took some additional time for testing and investigation."
The recalls come around the same time that the NHTSA released an investigation into Volvo Group North America and found the “company failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion.”
The investigation came from an audit and eventually resulted in a $130 million civil penalty. But $45 million could be waived based on company performance.
"Safety is of paramount importance to the Volvo Group," Mies also said in the statement. "Wide-ranging improvements in our North American safety processes and systems are already underway, and we’re dedicated to having a best-in-class safety organization moving forward.”
That’s not the only recall affecting the emerging industry. Another notice is affecting certain 2021–2023 Lion6 and Lion8 vehicles. According to the NHTSA, “the miter gear box in the steering system may be incompatible with other steering system components, which can result in a complete loss of steering control.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include statements from Volvo Group.