Daimler Recalls More Than 500 School Buses Due to Inadequate Emergency Egress

Laguna Hills, CA – October 17, 2018 – Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) is recalling certain 2016-2019 Thomas Built Buses Minotour school buses with 36″ or 39″ wide seats due emergency exit doors which do not meet requirements. The recall is expected to affect 525 vehicles which may be subject to the defect.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Recall Safety Report, the rear emergency exit door may not open wide enough to meet the unobstructed emergency egress area requirements do to interference from a specific seat configuration. If the emergency exit door does not open wide enough, it may limit the ability to exit the bus, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an emergency.

Timeline of Events

In June of 2018, while using a parallelepiped fixture to check the minimum opening for emergency egress during the production process, Thomas Built Buses identified a bus that did not meet unobstructed area requirements for emergency egress. During the check, a minor interference was identified at the upper hinged side of the door.

DTNA opened an investigation to determine the scope of the issue, and the bus was fully inspected to determine if the issue was related to manufacturing or design; however, the bus was determined to be properly manufactured. The next step was to evaluate all of the different seating configurations available on the Minotour to determine compliance with emergency egress requirements.

The issue was narrowed down to 36″ and 39″ wide seats from a specific manufacturer. DTNA discovered that the obstruction only occurs when the 36″ and 39″ seats from this manufacturer are installed within 10″ of the back wall. DTNA subsequently searched their full production records to identify buses with these seating configurations, and on October 5, 2018 DTNA chose to conduct a voluntary recall of certain Thomas Built Buses Minotour school buses that had the potential for noncompliance with emergency egress requirements.

The Solution

DTNA will notify owners, and dealers will modify the rear door slide system, increasing the angle that the door can open, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 3, 2018. Owners may contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712. DTNA’s number for this recall is FL-797.

Owners may also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153). The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 18V-698.

Sean ReyesDaimler Recalls More Than 500 School Buses Due to Inadequate Emergency Egress