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The NHTSA says Navistar To Recall Buses… Just As School Gets Underway!

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The “Safety Defect/Noncompliance Notices Received for July 2011,” published August 5, 2011, by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and noted on www.safecar.gov, show that Navistar (formerly known as International Harvester®), the manufacturer of MaxxForce brand diesel engines, school and commercial buses, trucks, personnel carriers and vehicle parts, intends to recall several of its school bus models just as the school year begins due to safety defects. The buses to be recalled weigh from about 19,000+ to approximately 32,000 pounds and can carry a maximum of from 77 to 84 persons, according to Navistar’s website.

Navistar is recalling certain models year 2011 and 2012 IC RE school buses manufactured from February 4, 2010 through June 16, 2011, and also 2011 and 2012 school buses models IC RE manufactured between August 24, 2010 through June 8, 2011, because the positive battery cable may rub on the hydraulic cooler reservoir mounting bracket. This could possibly result in an electrical short, which could cause a fire—which could result in property damage, personal injury, and/or death. This particular safety recall is expected to begin on or about September 16. No numbers were published noting how many buses this recall affects.

Navistar is also recalling model years 2011 and 2012 IC, CE and RE school buses manufactured from October 8, 2009 through April 14, 2011, as those buses were constructed without or (with) incorrectly installed floor channel reinforcements, and, therefore, the buses fail to conform with the seat back rear force displacement requirements, thus the risk of passenger rearward ejection is increased. Approximately 340 buses are affected for this particular recall. This could result in personal injury or death in the event of a crash. This recall is also expected to begin September 16, 2011.

In addition, Navistar is recalling certain model years 2008 through 2012 IC BE, CE, and FE school buses manufactured from November 1, 2006 through May 2, 2011, because the reflective tape for the rear exit door may not have been totally completed—and the buses do not conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (No. 217)… could reduce the ability of emergency personnel to gain access to the bus in case of accident.

Navistar will be conducting several safety recall campaigns of their school buses simultaneously just as National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 18-24, 2011, gets in full swing! Navistar’s safety recalls are not limited to their school buses, but also will include two additional recall campaigns one for International Workstar commercial trucks, manufactured from February 2011 through June 2011, and another for some of its 2011 recreational vehicles (R-Vision Onyx, Trail-Sport and Trail-Lite vehicles manufactured from December 2010 through February 2011), due to the possibility that a voltage converter may have been incorrectly wired. The latter ultimately could result in a shock hazard.

Navistar plans to notify the owners of the buses and while parts availability has not yet been determined (at the time these notices were published), Navistar says dealers will repair the buses free of charge. Owners of the Navistar school buses and other vehicles involved in these recalls may contact the company at 1/800-448-7825. Parents should be motivated to check with their children’s schools to learn which companies manufactured the buses their kids ride and whether their buses are affected by the recalls.