This Airstream Recall affects some 2019-2020 Sport, Nest, Flying Cloud, International Serenity, International Signature, Classic, Globetrotter and Tommy Bahama trailers, and 2020 Basecamp, Bambi and Caravel trailers.
The ball hitch coupler installed on the recalled Airstream trailers was manufactured out of tolerance. The ball coupler welding fixture allowed the rear guide plate on the inside of the ball coupler to be welded outside of tolerance. This defect does not allow the ball coupler to create enough clamping force on the tow ball. If the coupler separates from the tow ball, the trailer can detach from the tow vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Airstream was made aware of the problem when a customer posted a video on social media showing his Demco hitch coupler detaching from the ball hitch while engaged in the latched position.
Airstream started an investigation and initiated conversations with Demco. Demco was aware of the video and informed Airstream the hitch backplate was manufactured out of tolerance on one of its welding fixtures. Demco stated this tolerance issue would cause the coupler to not be able to meet the SAE J684 pull of test for the rating of the coupler. As a remedy, Demco offered to design and manufacture a test tool that they could provide to Lippert and Airstream that could determine whether or not the hitch couplers are within compliance specifications. Demco also said they would be providing pull test data on couplers they had in their possession that were outside J684 specs to determine if this was a safety issue.
Airstream Convened a Safety Committee to discuss the information with Demco, as well as discuss the next steps. The pull test data from Demco was reviewed and the determination was made to initiate a safety recall.
Airstream Recall Remedy
NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V753000
Manufacturer Airstream, Inc.
Components TRAILER HITCHES
Potential Number of Units Affected 1,888
Airstream will notify owners and will send a temporary use adaptor that can be slipped over the ball portion of the coupler to allow owners to tow their trailers. For the final remedy, dealers will add a shim plate to the backside of the ball coupler clamp to put it in a position to apply the required clamping force on the tow ball, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 20, 2019. Owners may contact Airstream customer service at 1-877-596-6505 or 1-937-596-6111 extension 7401 or 7411.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Affected Airstream Models