German-owned Daimler Trucks, makers of Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Detroit Diesel and many other auto subsidiaries, has recalled several 2014-2017 models of their Freightliner and Western Star series semi trucks.
There are two separate recalls/defects
Freightliner Cascadia trucks with compressed natural gas engines, model years 2013-2017, have been found to short out from water and other road liquids, which can cause fires and, consequently, traffic collisions.
The other recall affects numerous models from 2014-2017, all bearing the Freightliner or Western Star brands. In these trucks, the front axle hubs may not support the full weight limit, which could cause wheels to separate from the vehicle to crash or would create unsafe road hazards for drivers and other surrounding vehicles.
Auto-truck collisions are dangerous
Given the sheer size and weight difference, truck collisions with smaller vehicles are more dangerous than car on car accidents. A 2009 report from the American Trucking Associations found that 1.0% of truck accidents cause a fatality as compared to 0.5% in car crashes. The fatality ratio leans distinctly against the smaller vehicles and bystanders, showing that 15% of fatalities were truck occupants compared to 83% of fatalities taking place in other vehicles or with pedestrians and bicyclists.
The threat of a collision doesn’t come solely from reckless driving by a car or truck operator. When a semi-trailer makes a sudden stop or collides with another vehicle, debris can be spilled into the road creating unpredictable hazards, messy road conditions and lengthy clean-up.
If you’ve been in a truck accident in the past few years, there may not have been any driver fault at all. Instead, the vehicle may have been operating incorrectly because of faulty manufacturing or equipment. Working with an attorney to determine cause and liability can help determine where the issue lies and begin the process of resolution.
Daimler had a notable recall on airbags earlier this year as well.