I came across this interesting report by the Chicago Tribune which elaborated on how one bus manufacturer neglected to inform customers about its defective vehicles for 8 years, while the NHTSA failed to speed up this process.
The bus manufacturer in question is New York-based Transportation Collaborative Inc (TCI). The company recently agreed to inform its customers there are defective parts in its buses that have been recalled. These parts include
· Unstable seatbacks that could collapse in the event of a crash causing serious injuries
· Faulty seatbelt anchors that can actually come loose in an accident
· Defective wheelchair lifts
Most of these are smaller buses that are typically used by facilities caring for disabled children. There’s worse news – there are as many as 2000 of these defective buses in operation around the country.
The company agreed to notify its customers after the NHTSA scheduled a public hearing to determine if TCI had violated rules requiring it to follow through or repair the recalled parts. The hearing was canceled only after TCI agreed to inform its customers about the parts. The company has been fined $20,000, and has been given time until November 23rd to inform its customers about the defective buses.
Defective Buses in Operation in Georgia, Could Place Passengers at Accident Risk
At least 5 of those buses are used by Atlanta-based Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, which uses these vehicles to transport children below the age of 4. The Tribune found that the center was not aware that the buses contained defective recalled parts.
Making matters even more serious is the fact that the agency isn’t aware of exactly how many of these buses are operating around the country. The company has not yet given the agency a list of affected buses, and according to the NHTSA, they have not been able to find out who owns the buses, and in which part of the country these buses are currently operating.
Georgia personal injury lawyers have had their safety concerns about the NHTSA for several years now. Every time the agency dithers in its duties, it places occupants of these buses at serious risk of injuries in a crash. As Atlanta bus accident lawyers, we are concerned at how little control the NHTSA seem to have on bus manufacturers, and the amount of time it takes to get these companies to take the basic steps of informing their customers of recalls, and fixing recalled parts. It shouldn’t take 8 years for these steps to be implemented.