About 250,000 school buses recalled from 2005 to 2010 have yet to be remedied, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials.
Ric Willard, safety defects engineer for NHTSA, briefed state pupil transportation directors on the issue at their recent conference in Memphis, Tenn.
Based on those 250,000 school buses that haven't been fixed, the average completion rate of mature recalls for school buses during the 2005 to 2010 time period is 65%. That's lower than the average completion rate for mature recalls for other types of vehicles, which is 68%.
"School buses, which we would expect to lead, don't," Willard said at the conference. "If I could leave you with one message, it would be: Let's take care of the problems that we already know about."
As one state director commented after the presentation, in some cases there might be a disconnect between the office that makes the school bus purchases and the bus garage — some recall notices might not be passed along.
"That's my guess," Willard said. "The person who is actually doing the work on the bus may not know about the recall."
Willard stressed the importance of spreading the word about recalls throughout the school bus industry. He suggested that national and state associations communicate recall information to their members as it becomes available.
Also, NHTSA generates recall report e-mails for different segments of the commercial vehicle industry. Those interested can sign up to receive e-mails specifically on school bus recalls. To set up a subscription, go here.