- Peterbilt's parent company, Paccar, notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that four models made from 2015 to 2020 would be recalled.
- The Peterbilt models are: the 365, a heavy-duty truck often used for concrete mixing; the 389, a Class 8 tractor; the 567, which can be widely configured; and the 579, also a Class 8 tractor.
- Peterbilt told NHTSA that some trucks — as many as 35,671 units — may have a positive battery jumper terminal cable that is too long, allowing it to chafe against the left front suspension spring. This could result in an electrical short circuit. An electrical short circuit can increase the risk of a fire, according to NHTSA. Paccar said it will notify owners. Dealers will inspect the battery jumper terminal cables, and replace them as necessary. The NHTSA recall number is 20V-130.
This recall comes at a particularly busy time for fleets. Demand for fleets' services is rising, despite the spread of COVID-19, as stores struggle to keep shelves stocked with food, medicine, cleaning items and paper products. Demand is spiking for inland trucking capacity to deliver such goods, according to DAT. DAT's load-to-truck ratio, a measure of demand, was up 31% for vans and 33% for reefers between March 9 and March 15.
The trucking spot market has seen an increase in demand that is "directly attributable" to the outbreak and the resulting consumer buying response, Ken Adamo, chief of analytics at DAT, told Transport Dive sister publication Supply Chain Dive in an interview last week. Shippers are willing to incur the higher cost of freight even for deliveries with fewer items as they look to keep items in-stock, Suketu Gandhi, a partner at Kearney, told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.
NHTSA told Paccar officials it was missing critical, required information for the safety recall. One thing the federal government needs was a plan for reimbursing the owner or purchaser within a reasonable time. Paccar has five working days from the receipt of the letter to provide the information, according to NHTSA.