A lawsuit has been filed in Alabama federal court over Freightliner heavy duty trucks manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a division of Daimler AG. The Freightliner truck lawsuit, which seeks class action status, alleges Daimler sold thousands of vehicles with defective rack-and-pinion steering systems. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
The lawsuit points out that Daimler has issued voluntary recalls of its rack-and-pinion steering systems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in September 2009, Daimler recalled certain model year 2005 through 2010 heavy duty trucks manufactured from October 29, 2005 through July 3, 2009. The Freightliner trucks included in that recall were:
- Freightliner/Cascadia 2006-2010
- Freightliner/Century 2005-2010
- Freightliner/Columbia 2007-2010
According to the recall notice, under certain conditions, the left hand inner tie rod may loosen overtime, and potentially separate from the steering rack. This could result in loss of vehicle control at higher speeds, leading to a crash.
Apparently, some Freightliner trucks have been plagued by other steering issues. In July 2007, Daimler recalled 42,000 trucks built with a TRW Global adjustable upper steering column. The trucks included in this recall were.
- 2007 -2008 Freightliner Century St
- 2007- 2008 Freightliner Columbia
- 2007- 2008 Freightliner Coronado
According to the NHTSA, on certain trucks built with a TRW global adjustable upper steering column, two upper tilt plate bolts may loosen over time and fall out. These fasteners hold the upper column assembly in place. When parts fall off your steering system, things arenâ€™t going to get better. The steering column pivot may fracture if the bolts are missing when an excessive force is applied to the steering wheel, the NHTSA said.
The affected vehicles were manufactured between February 2006 and June 2007, the NHTSA said. Freightliner estimated that about 40 percent of the trucks have the steering column problem.