Watch Now
Get breaking news as it happens

We'll notify you right when a major story breaks.
Enable notifications to stay up-to-date.

Underhood fires prompt Navistar recall of 44,887 older trucks

Insufficient current leads to blower motor fires and melting

Navistar is recalling nearly 45,000 older trucks because an electrical issue can lead to fires. (Photo: Navistar)

Navistar is recalling about 45,000 trucks from the 2016-2020 model years because of three under hood fires related to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

The 44,887 vehicles recalled are all susceptible to potential fires. Navistar investigated three fires before determining that low voltage and amperage to the power distribution module (PDM) was the likely cause. The first fire occurred in January 2022.

A wiring terminal that does not meet the continuous electrical current load requirement of the HVAC blower motor circuit can cause fire damage. It also could lead to injury to the driver or passenger, Navistar told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Navistar reported no injuries related to the condition. It had 68 warranty claims, including 30 that said some component melting occurred. The melting or fire occurs without any warning.

Insufficient electrical current

The HVAC blower motor circuit on the load side of the circuit breaker in the PDM may have been assembled with a wire terminal that does not meet the continuous electrical current load requirement. This can cause overheating that may melt the plastic material of the terminal block for the HVAC circuit and cause fire in the surrounding area of the PDM and or dash panels.

Navistar’s supplier did not use the company-specified wire terminal for the HVAC blower motor load circuit. Instead, it used a terminal that fit physically into the terminal block. But the substitute was unable to meet the continuous electrical current load.

Most of the vehicles are 2016-2020 International DuraStar (32,692), 2016-2020 WorkStar (12,028) and 2017-2018 TranStar (157) models. Other models recalled were: 2018 ProStar (4); 2020 HV (3); 2020 MV (2) and one 2018 IC Bus.

Navistar will replace at no charge the HVAC blower motor load circuit wiring terminal with the correct terminal pigtail that meets the continuous electrical current load requirement and all fuse blocks found with fire damage. 

Customer and dealer notification letters will be mailed June 5. The NHTSA recall number is 23V-248.

Navistar recall focuses for 3rd time on parking brake issue

31,467 Navistar trucks recalled for suspect fasteners

Navistar conducting 3rd recall for connecting rod failures

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.