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Parking brake failure hampers Endurance EV

LORDSTOWN — The parking brake on some of Lordstown Motors Corp.’s electric Endurance pickup trucks could fail due to a defective washer, creating the risk the vehicle could roll away, according to a report the company provided to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The issue caused the early-stage EV manufacturer to issue a second recall for the Endurance, its flagship vehicle, however, for just five vehicles produced between Nov. 7 and Dec. 7.

The report states the electric parking brake calipers may have been built with washers that had not been properly heat treated by the manufacturer, which could cause excessive wear over time leading the brake “to lose effectiveness and clamping force at grade.”

If the clamping force weakens, it “could allow the vehicle to roll after being parked, especially if on a high grade, which could increase the risk of a crash,” the report states.

The report states the company was notified Feb. 20 by its supplier, Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Akebono that certain rear electric park brake calipers delivered to Lordstown Motors between Nov. 4 and Feb. 8 might contain the bad washers.

Akebono was notified by its supplier, JTEKT, of the potential hardness issue in early February and its investigation Feb. 16 to 20 concluded a “small percentage” of the washers had not been properly heat treated, the report states.

Lordstown Motors analyzed the reports and data, and issued a recall March 1.

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue, the report states.

The first recall Feb. 22 dealt with an issue that could cause the truck to experience a loss of propulsion while driving. Vehicles owned and operated by Lordstown Motors, as well as one by a customer, experienced the problem around Jan. 20 and after. The customer vehicle, according to a NHTSA report, also shifted out of drive while at a stop.

That recall impacted 19 vehicles. The issue was traced back to a faulty high-voltage cable assembly leading to the truck’s hub motors. Part supplier, Amphenol Interconnect Products Corp. in China, developed a new version of the parts the company to replace the defective parts.

Production of the truck was halted in February.

Lordstown Motors CEO / President Edward Hightower addressed the recalls March 6 during the company’s 2022 financial results call, saying the parking brake supplier has “since supplied us with corrected parts and we have filed a voluntary recall to address this issue as well.”

Vehicles waiting for shipment and vehicles in process at the assembly plant in Lordstown “will also be retrofitted with both corrective actions once sufficient quantities of the components are available,” Hightower said.

Hightower said the company has worked with its supplier network to determine the root cause of the parts quality issues and to “develop and implement corrective actions.”

“We recognize and understand that this news is disappointing to our stakeholders. It is to our team as well, however, please understand that the actions we have taken are consistent with our company values, in the best interest of our customers and align with the long-term interest of Lordstown Motors,” Hightower said.

rselak@tribtoday.com

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