It's been a mixed year for the Keystone RV Co.
While the recreational vehicle company added more than 100 jobs at its Pendleton manufacturing facility, five Keystone trailer models were the subject of a recall because of a faulty axle.
A March 12 National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration notification states that a number of the 2014 models of the Cougar, Springdale, Hideout, Passport, and Bullet fifth wheels and travel trailers manufactured between January 13, 2014 and February 12, 2014 contained an insufficiently lubricated axle.
According to a recall notice from Keystone, the faulty axles were manufactured over a two week period in January by AL-KO Axis Inc. in La Grande.
When those axles were in use, the wheel bearing and wheel assembly overheat and produce smoke. Continued use of the overheating axle increases the risk of wheel separation from the trailer.
The administration estimated 708 vehicles were affected by the recall.
The Keystone notice instructed owners of the recalled trailers to take their vehicles to a local dealership where the axle could be properly lubricated or replaced free-of-charge.
Officials from Keystone headquarters in Goshen, Ind. did not return a request for comment as of press time.
But the news isn't all bad for Keystone.
Its Pendleton facility added 110 jobs in the past year. Operations manager Ray Schoolcraft said the boost in jobs was a simple case of supply and demand.
"The public likes our product and that's why we've grown," he said.
Schoolcraft said the recent job growth is a part of a larger three-year trend that has seen the company add 600 jobs at a steady rate.
As a result of Keystone's growth, the Pendleton facility added two more service bays for repairs too extensive for dealerships.
Contact Antonio Sierra at email@example.com or 541-966-0836.
This story originally appeared in East Oregonian.