Transportation Collaborative, Inc. reached an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding a dispute over responsibility for rectifying defect recalls of 15 models manufactured by U.S. Bus, which TCI purchased two years ago.
NHTSA issued a noticed of public hearing on Sept. 23 to determine if TCI had “reasonably met its obligation” to notify bus owners and dealers of its intent to fix the vehicle defects that failed to comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards for manufacturing. However, TCI disagreed with NHTSA’s initial “tentative” assumption that the company, as the now-owner of all U.S. Bus assets, had assumed all liability for the recalls, which range from seat back impact barriers and body panel joints that failed to meet strength requirements to the failure of stop arms, brake lights and wheelchair lifts.
“TCI maintains our position that Transportation Collaborative Inc. is not a successor company to U.S. Bus,” the company said in a written statement today. “However, in the interest of public safety and community goodwill, TCI felt duty-bound to conduct the open recalls on behalf of U.S. Bus.”
Under the terms of the settlement, NHTSA released TCI and all of its officers and employees, including its parent companies and subsidiaries, from liability for civil penalties pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 30165 in connection with violations of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and NHTSA regulations. The company, which manufactures Trans Tech Type A and multi-function school activity buses, has also commissioned an independent engineering firm ro review and validate its manufacturing process at the 70,000 square-foot facility located in Warwick, N.Y.
The NHTSA public hearing had been scheduled for Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C.
In separate but related news, TCI announced it was recalling certain model year 208 and 2009 Trans Tech brand school and activity buses equipped with Carrier K410 rooftop condensers because the unit wires could overheat and cause a fire.