American vehicle companies Volvo Trucks North America and Nikola Corporation are recalling several hundred of their electric trucks due to safety issues.
Volvo agreed to recall certain Volvo VNR Electric trucks manufactured between 2020 to 2023 due to issues with their adaptive cruise control systems, causing over-aggressive braking that makes the risk of an out-of-control situation far too high.
“During an adaptive cruise control braking event under light load conditions, regenerative braking could be aggressive with the potential of locking brakes and alternating anti-skid braking events, skidding the rear axle,” the Department of Transportation‘s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said about Volvo’s recalled vehicles.
According to Volvo, it happens due to the adaptive cruise control being enabled “without sufficient systems integration and software tuning.” The company added that the remedy involves removing any components that may cause safety defects, such as disabling the adaptive cruise control function within the anti-lock braking electronic control unit to prevent the adaptive cruise control function from malfunctioning.
Nikola has similarly been forced to recall all of its Tre BEV electric trucks over issues with the trucks’ park valve module (PVM), known as the Bendix Intellipark Tractor PVM.
The NHTSA reported that the park valve module might intermittently become stuck in the unparked position and may not properly transition the truck from unparked to parked when the Park Switch is pulled on the truck’s dashboard.
“An Intellipark PVM that intermittently becomes stuck in the unparked position does not allow the vehicle spring brakes to exhaust when the driver pulls the Park Switch,” wrote the NHTSA. “The vehicle must be parked by depleting air storage by fanning down the air brake system with the service brake pedal.”
If a driver detects a malfunction but does not fan down the brakes, the vehicle may move unintentionally instead of properly transitioning into park.
The NHTSA has identified the cause of the issue as mechanical components in the Tre BEV’s PVM “that are at the upper limit of the design specification and other tolerance stack-ups,” which allow for greater internal air leakage.
Electric trucks still far from being reliable enough for mass use
Volvo’s recall involves 236 Volvo VNR trucks in the U.S. and four in Canada. Nikola’s recall involves 364 trucks. While potential safety issues over 600 trucks do not seem like a cause for alarm, these over 600 units represent a massive chunk of the electric trucks currently plying America’s roads and highways because there just aren’t that many Class 8 electric trucks yet. (Related: EV owners complain about “logistical nightmare” caused by lack of charging stations.)
Furthermore, this shows that the new technology surrounding these electric trucks is very susceptible to safety recalls, possibly more than legacy products that run on gas or diesel.
Nikola has reported that it will be notifying both dealers and owners of the Tre BEV trucks by May 1. Volvo has already notified dealers about the VNR Electrics and is scheduled to notify the owners by June 2.
Dealers of both trucks are expected to provide replacements for the defective parts free of charge.
Electric trucks are experiencing a lot of recalls. This is the third safety recall for Nikola’s battery-electric Tre BEVs, with the previous two recalls occurring in February and September 2022, when Nikola recalled 137 and 93 trucks, respectively, due to different safety issues.
Learn more about the deficiencies in electric vehicles at RoboCars.news.
Watch this video from Newsmax as Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) talks about how America is not ready to switch to electric cars.
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