Incorrectly Designed Rear Impact Guard – 2013-2023 McElrath Trailers VX75 Xcel Vacuum Excavator Trailers

January 13, 2023 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 23V008000

Incorrectly Designed Rear Impact Guard/FMVSS 224

Incorrect placement of the taillights may reduce the visibility of the trailer, increasing the risk of a crash. During a crash, a vehicle that travels under the rear of the trailer increases the risk of injury.


NHTSA Campaign Number: 23V008

Manufacturer Gratimax, LLC


Potential Number of Units Affected 31



Gratimax, LLC (Gratimax) is recalling certain 2013-2023 McElrath Trailers VX75 Xcel vacuum excavator trailers. The design of the rear impact guard resulted in the incorrect placement of the taillights. In addition, the guard may fail to prevent a vehicle from traveling under the trailer during a rear impact crash. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard numbers 108, “Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment” and 224, “Rear Impact Protection.”



Dealers will reposition the taillights and modify the rear impact guard, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed March 6, 2023. Owners may contact Gratimax customer service at 1-864-814-2220. Gratimax’s number for this recall is 21434.



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


Chronology :

On December 8, 2022, Gratimax was notified by its customer, Vermeer MV Solutions, Inc., of a possible compliance issue relating to the design of the affected trailers. An investigation of the design was opened at that time, including review of applicable regulations, standards, manufacturing documents, and design files, and production of the affected trailers was placed on hold. On January 4, 2023, Gratimax decided that a non-compliance with FMVSS 108 and 224 existed.


11 Affected Products




2 Associated Documents

Noncompliance Notice 573 Report

RCLRPT-23V008-7288.PDF 216.399KB



Recall Acknowledgement

RCAK-23V008-7199.pdf 645.569KB



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Last update on 2023-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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