Swedish Truckmaker Volvo Recalls 13,000 Trucks Worldwide for Steering Failure

STOCKHOLM, Sweden June 2, 2005; The AP reported that Swedish truck and bus maker Volvo AB confirmed Thursday it is recalling 13,000 trucks worldwide because of a risk of steering failure.

The problem was discovered after an accident last spring, and the company notified its garages in February that it would recall the FH 16 trucks, manufactured between 1993 to 2002, said Claes Claeson, a Volvo Trucks spokesman.

A failure of an earth connection in the cab and chassis can lead to electricity making its way into the steering shaft, which then heats up and adversely affects steering control, Claeson said.

"As soon as we saw a connection we called in our commission of inquiry," Claeson said.

Volvo said the recall was not expected to create significant costs for the company, which is offering to repair any steering problems free of charge for all trucks concerned.

"There's no great cost. It's a simple problem and it will take about an hour to fix," Claeson said. "But we don't advise people to try to fix this themselves."

During the past 12 months, orders for the Volvo Group's three truck companies -- Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks and Renault Trucks -- were 17 percent higher than a year ago. Units delivered in North America totaled some 20,400 -- an increase of 51 percent. In Western Europe, delivered units increased 5 percent, to some 32,200.

Volvo, which sold its car division to U.S.-based Ford Motor Co. in 1999, also makes buses and construction equipment, including loaders and lifters.

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