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Friday, September 22, 2017

Wheel failures and "Silent Recall"

I have been seeing a number of posts on an RV Forum about cracked and leaking cast aluminum wheels on one brand of RV trailer. Some owners are reporting more than one failure.
There appears to have been a manufacturing defect in the casting process which results in stress/fatigue cracks that eventually may lead to air leaking from the tires.

Some folks are "lucky"(?) and are discovering the leak before there is a tire failure or the wheel fails and damages the RV. Others have reported damage.

It appears that the wheel provider is aware of the problem, as many are reporting that replacement wheels are being provided and the cost of dismount and mount of tires is being paid for with no argument from the supplier.

I have advised the readers of that forum of a few important things:

1. They should be filing complaints with NHTSA as IMO multiple failures of this type should be investigated with the potential for a federally mandated recall and free replacement.

2. If the wheel supplier is quickly replacing these failed wheels, it appears they are fully aware of the problem and should have reported it to NHTSA per federal regulation.

3. I am concerned that tires on these wheels may be suffering internal structural damage from being run under-inflated. This damage may result in tire failure at some later date. It is entirely possible that owners may not connect the loss of air due to the wheel problem with the tire failures.

4. If the supplier is aware of the problem but has not initiated a recall or made public the facts but are simply replacing the wheels if or when someone reports the failure, this is what is known as a "silent recall," which is operating against federal regulations.


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