Plymouth, Mich. – Mar. 15, 2017 – Isuzu has recalled 21,000 trucks due to transmission mounting issues. The recall impacts NPR HD, NPR XD, NRR and NQR commercial truck models produced between 2015 and 2017, according to documentation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Equipment used in the fabrication process burred the transmission mounting fixtures in these models. The resulting rough edges can degrade mounting studs, and in some cases cause complete breakage. This leaves the transmission unsupported, preventing it from shifting correctly and increasing the likelihood of failure. This poses serious risks to drivers and passengers, as the interruption in operation can lead to a crash.
Timeline of Events
In March 2016, the automaker received warranty claims related to degraded or failing transmission mounting brackets, according to an internal document. Investigators inspected some of the affected vehicles and discovered burrs near hole stamping locations meant to accommodate crossbars. Inspectors calculated a projected failure rate of .085 percent and established that serious problems began developing after the 60,000 mile mark.
Three months later, Isuzu engineers reviewed production protocols and added a new phase to fabrication process, which required shop-floor personnel to grind away burred edges. They also conducted road tests to replicate the issue. In June, the car manufacturer decided the problem posed few safety risks but continued to investigate.
Further testing occurred throughout fall 2016 and winter 2017. In January, Isuzu broached the idea of initiating a recall and discussed possible solutions to the problem. On Feb. 10, the automaker chose to launch an official recall.
Isuzu has ordered dealers to install metal buffers to cut down on mounting stud stress. This repair is to be done free of charge. Owners are expected to receive communications regarding the recall in April.