- Engine-maker Cummins will voluntarily recall 500,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks to replace faulty controls creating excess emissions of nitrogen oxides, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a news release. "This recall is the largest voluntary truck emissions recall to date," the EPA said.
- The recall will roll out in two phases, Jon Mills, director of external communications at Cummins, told Supply Chain Dive in an email. Recalls for heavy-duty trucks will begin in August, and recalls of medium-duty trucks will start in March 2019.
- The EPA said Cummins is correcting a defective part, and "does not involve a defeat device" such as what was used by Volkswagen, resulting in its "dieselgate" emissions scandal.
Cummins anticipates the fixes will take two to four hours if all parts are in stock, Mills said. But the time adds up when half a million trucks must have engine parts replaced, especially when trucks are in high demand from shippers.
"Anything that takes truck capacity off the road, even for temporary periods of time, is going to exacerbate the driver shortage/utilization problem in the industry," Drew McElroy, CEO of Transfix, told Supply Chain Dive.
Trucking shipments have grown steadily this year, with June 2018 seeing 7.2% growth year over year, according to the Cass Freight Index Report. With the high demand and crunched capacity, spot rates are also ticking up.
If enough trucks are out of commission at any given time, the capacity crunch is further aggravated, leaving shippers in a pinch to transport their goods. The recalls could hurt carriers' business too, as they may be unable to book orders with shippers due to strained supply.
"We encourage our customers to check with their local branch to find a time that works best for them to minimize the impact on their business," Mills said.