The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced recalls of buses and motorcoaches manufactured by Motor Coach Industries, Micro Bird and Blue Bird.
MCI issued a voluntary recall of 276 D4500 and D4505 motorcoaches from the 2018 through 2020 model years for replacement of tag lock clamps on steerable tag axles. The recalled vehicles carried clamps that came from a supplier with painted surfaces that lacked machining, resulting in clamp slippage.
According to the recall notice, “The steerable tag axle caster steers when the coach is operating at or below 15 MPH, and is designed to be locked when the coach’s speed is above 15 MPH. The locking of the tag axle is accomplished by a locking plate mounted to the tie rod between the tag axle wheel end assemblies and a locking pin assembly mounted to the tag axle.
“MCI became aware that on certain D405 and D4500 vehicles, the tag axle forward alignment had changed after the vehicles went into operation. The block clamps that retain the tie rod had allowed slippage, resulting in the tag axle being out of alignment.
The misalignment could cause the tag axle to not track with the steer axle and result in the vehicle’s rear being offset relative to the front of the vehicle. “As a result, the vehicle operator might lose steering control of the rear of the coach (and) “the rear of the coach could strike vehicles or pedestrians adjacent to the coach.”
MCI is providing replacement clamps and new mounting fasteners and will reimburse costs incurred by operators.
Micro Bird issued two recalls, totaling 1,997 vehicles, to replace electrical breakers that are “oversized in relation to the maximum capacity of the secondary wires connecting the fuse box in the electrical panel. The 150 amp breaker, located under the driver’s seat, may not open fast enough to power off the electrical panel supply. The situation might generate overheating of the secondary wires.”
The recall affects model year 2015 to 2019 CT-Series shuttle buses and 2015 to 2019 T-Series school buses. Micro Bird will provide a replacement breaker at no charge.
Blue Bird and Cummins recalled 58 model year 2018 and 2019 hybrid electric Vision and All American school buses to modify a wire harness connector that may become unplugged.
“If the connector becomes unplugged, under certain circumstances the communication between control modules may be lost and the system may command off the high voltage contactors, resulting in unexpected loss of all systems powered by high voltage, including the traction drive system and power steering,” the notice explained.
The recalled buses carry Cummins PowerDrive 7000 EV drive systems, the recall said. “The remedy is to install a cable tie around the connector body, routed under the connector locking tab, forcing it into the locked position so that it cannot unplug. Cummins will work directly with affected customers and a limited number of service engineers and field technicians to implement the remedy.”