Volvo Trucks North America Inc. has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open a preliminary evaluation regarding a petition filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).

“We are confident in the quality of our vehicles and we pledge full cooperation with NHTSA." said Christopher W. Patterson, executive vp of sales and marketing, Volvo Trucks North America.

As reported last week on the Fleet Owner website, OOIDA president Jim Johnston said his organization received 185 written complaints from owners of 260 Volvo Class 8 trucks manufactured between 1989 and 2000. The vast majority of complaints concerned the front end of the truck.

According to federal law, NHTSA has 120 days to determine whether or not the agency sees a need to initiate the first phase of such an investigation, a preliminary evaluation. Volvo is calling for the agency to grant the request prior to the 120-day deadline in order to bring this issue to a close.

"We are prepared to work with NHTSA immediately to clear up these issues,” Patterson said. “We have always had an open relationship with the agency and we encourage them to move forward and open up a preliminary evaluation procedure."

Patterson said 42 OOIDA members have officially come forward in the NHTSA petition, and that OOIDA allowed Volvo to contact about a dozen of them. He said maintenance appeared to be a factor for most of the performance issues.

“We want to continue working with every one of the customers who have raised issues to make certain that the vehicles are properly evaluated to determine the basis for their complaints,” Patterson said.