Subscribe Today

November 20, 2012  |   Comments (3)   |   Post a comment

Many recalled school buses haven't been fixed

By Thomas McMahon


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.

Post a Comment

Read more about: NHTSA, preventive maintenance

Good updates are there in this web-site

Manohar    |    Nov 28, 2012 01:47 AM

We had a Blue Bird bus in the shop in Tyler Texas being worked on and we asked if they would take care of the recalls while it was there. I was told that unless the computer shows it as a problem that we would be charged for this work. So far the recalls have not been done.

Dawn Rae Loftin    |    Nov 26, 2012 07:06 AM

My suggestion for ANY mechanic, certified ASE Tech, other school board approved employees working on school buses is simple: work with your bus manufacturers where you purchased your buses. If you do not have a Master List of your bus VIN's then simply create one on your Google Documents program if you use Gmail. I like Gmail because I can access my email even at the parts store should I need to access my Master List of VIN's. Also when contacting your bus manufacturers, contact the Warranty Manager and send him/her ALL your VIN's specific to that vendor. Meaning - send International bus vins only to International dealership NOT to a Thomas Bus dealer. Once the Warranty manager receives your Master Vin's have them do a total vin search through their dealership in search of outstanding warranty or recall issues. The dealership earns money by completing such work orders covered by warranty/recalls. They will/should be glad to do this for you. Now on a liability concern for your school employer/school board, document, document, document your warranty/recall issues in email. You will NOT be able to show/prove to any authority figures that you made attempts to correct outstanding warranty/recalls without documented "sent" emails to the manufacturers warranty department manager(s). Now having said all the above, then you have to prioritize the warranty/recalls by placing safety warranty issues at the top of the listed work orders you wish to be completed before non-safety secondary recalls are addressed should your fleet end up with a long list of recalls. I would hope that that would not be the case. Should you have a limited number of quality spare buses you'll have to schedule the work to be done based upon the fact the manufacturers may need to come and drive the bus away to a repair facility. Make sure you cover this when scheduling recall work. Should you have several quick jobs that can be done on sight then maybe the dealership will be agreeable to sending techs t

Dan Luttrell    |    Nov 20, 2012 06:29 PM

Post a comment

Related Stories

Premium Member

Get bus sales numbers, transportation statistics, bus specifications, industry survey results, bus loading and unloading fatality statistics and more in the School Bus Fleet Research Center. Become a premium member today!
Log in Button Register Button


Get breaking news, industry updates, product announcements and more.