By on July 4, 2010

In what amounts to a landmark policy shift, NHTSA now recommends that customers take quality problems in their own hands, and perform recalls themselves. Take NHTSA Campaign ID number 10V305000.

Summary: MCNEILUS IS RECALLING CERTAIN TRUCKS BUILT ON AUTOCAR CHASSIS. DURING THE REFUSE BODY MOUNTING PROCESS, CHASSIS AIR TANKS MAY BE RELOCATED TO FACILITATE MOUNTING OF THE BODY. AIRLINES TO THE AIR HOLDBACK VALVE MAY HAVE BEEN RECONNECTED INCORRECTLY AFTER A TANK(S) WAS RELOCATED.

Consequence: A RELOCATED TANK COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY.

Remedy: OWNERS WILL INSPECT VEHICLES AND PERFORM REPAIRS FREE OR CHARGE.

What ever happened to “Stop driving it, take it to your dealer?” Now, customers have to do it themselves, or charge? Whom? How much? With what? With a pitchfork? With manslaughter? (Just in case NHTSA gets around to fixing it themselves, here’s a  screenshot.)

PS: TTAC reiterates its policy of  not reporting each and every recall. Too many reports have been added to the NHTSA database. Our system can’t handle that kind of a workload. Apparently, we are not alone.

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8 Comments on “NHTSA To Customers: Fix It Yourself...”


  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    Doubtless they’ll receive an increase in their budget for their stellar performance… I thought our “gov’t” didn’t trust the unwashed masses to do anything for themselves.

  • avatar

    While not obvious, and certainly this qualifies as “inartful” wording, it is important to keep perspective on this. McNeilus makes 2 kinds of heavy trucks, garbage haulers and cement trucks, both of which are sold to fleet operators who have their own service facilities or contract with 3rd party operators. McNeilus doesn’t even have a service network, they have regional service centers, probably a dozen in the entire country.

    With that frame it is not likely that the NHTSA bulletin represents a change in policy but rather the nuances of a very niche segment of the market… if NHTSA told McNeilus customers to return to the dealer for servicing it would be truly confusing. Regardless, in the heavy truck segment it is not uncommon at all for NHTSA to issue a bulletin directing owners to perform repairs.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    While I’m not exactly espousing the policy per se, MacNeilus doesn’t exactly manufacture your grandmother’s Camry, nor do they manufacture 400,000 of their vehicles per year. For that matter, they don’t have a classic sales-and-service channel with locations in most locales. They do manufacture large industrial trucks, such as garbage trucks and airport support equipment, so the people who own these fleets usually have trained mechanics in their employ who deal with maintenance and upkeep as a living. If this were to apply to a mass-market consumer model, sure, I’d see your point. However, methinks TTAC is sounding the alarm a bit early on this one.

    That, however, does not excuse the poor spelling/grammar in the recall notice – I still don’t understand exactly what they’re even trying to say here, and they spelled the manufacturer’s name incorrectly.

    Edit: Upon further inspection, I spelled the company’s name incorrectly, so they did at least get that correct. The rest of my comments stand, however.

  • avatar
    phantomwolf

    Unfortunately, my experience with mechanics recently has demonstrated that sometimes I as the consumer am better off doing the repair myself, unfortunately. Need I get started on my birthday weekend automotive adventure from hell…..

  • avatar
    nikita

    This is more like Airbus issuing a Service Bulletin and United having to do the work on its own dime. In my industry that is how its done. Even the private owner of a Cessna is subjected to the same thing most of the time, and if the FAA elevates it to an Airworthiness Directive, its mandatory.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Policy shift?

    This is the outfit that turns a blind eye to totally fogged-over headlights, allowing the automakers to shift this safety repair onto the vehicle owener or let it go unrepaired.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Speaking of policy, what is TTAC’s policy on reporting recalls? A garbage truck recall seems interesting to report when there are other recalls that seem more relevant.


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